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Librarians: Dean Devlin on Doctor Who influence, previews season 3 death

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Allyson Ward Riggs

The Librarians are back to save the day again — only this time the stakes will be higher than ever when the TNT drama returns Sunday.

“In the third Librarians movie, [Judson] warns Flynn that there will be the ultimate battle of good and evil. That’s what this season is focusing on, that ultimate battle,” says executive producer Dean Devlin about show’s darker tone this season. “It’s a little more like the movies were — a bit darker.”

And part of these raised stakes is that The Librarians will eventually be down a member of their team.

“Over the course of this season, we’ll lose a character. That’s all I can tell you,” says Devlin of losing a part of the Library’s family. “We didn’t start with it, but as we were developing [it] we realized, ‘This character’s going to leave the show.’” 

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Not only will Sean Astin and Felicia Day be guest-starring, but things are also going to get slightly more romantic courtesy of an episode involving a love potion. 

Ahead of this weekend’s season premiere, EW spoke to Devlin about what’s coming up, as well as the show’s Doctor Who influences.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Last season we saw that Jake, Ezekiel, and Cassandra were learning how to be themselves while also dealing with these new roles. What’s in store for them this upcoming season?

DEAN DEVLIN: The big struggle now is the consequences of magic. Magic is the ultimate power and ultimate power corrupts absolutely. The danger for Librarians has always been that they’re around magic all the time. They’re protecting magic, but there’s always the danger of them being corrupted by it. In fact, in the original Librarian movie, the librarian before [Flynn] had turned to the dark side by using magic. [So] this season, whether or not they should be using magic is going to be a big part of how they evolve. Some of our villains this year will be normal people who’ve been corrupted by the magic that touched them. [Also] we’re going to find that artifacts don’t necessarily have to be ancient anymore because now that the ley lines are back, new artifacts can get created. That opens up a whole new realm of where magic can come from and what magic can do.

Who will the Librarians be going up against this season?

Our big villain is Apep, the Egyptian God of Chaos. His mission is to reintroduce pure evil back into the world. Our world is a balance of good and evil, but if pure evil were to be reintroduced, it would tip that balance and change the course of our destiny. The Librarians have to stop Apep before he can do that. 

Another antagonist this year, personified by the head of the group, Vanessa Williams, is a group called DOSA, which stands for the Department of Statistical Anomalies. Basically, the idea there is that there’s been so many magical events that have happened over the last couple seasons of our show, that eventually the United States government had started to take notice and they put together their own task force to find out what’s really going on there. The one common denominator they’ve seen is that the Librarians always appear there. From the point of view of the U.S. government, they believe that the Librarians are actually magic terrorists. Not only do our heroes have to fight evil, they have to deal with this new antagonist that’s constantly getting in their way.

In previous seasons Flynn (Noah Wyle) has gone off on his own quests. Will we see more of him this year?

He’s in seven out of ten episodes this year. He has a very personal arc that happens for him that tears him away from our group for a bit. He’s dealing with something none of the other Librarians know about [that] he knows puts the others in jeopardy. That’s going to make him emotionally separate to a certain degree, because what he has to do, the others can’t know about.

And how about Eve (Rebecca Romijn)? Now that’s she’s figured out what being a Guardian means, what’s in store for her?

One, she’s going to find out that the role of the guardian is a different role than she original thought it was, and it has a much greater impact. The other is, she’s going to suddenly start getting these instincts that are kicking in that our younger Librarians have to evolve faster than they’ve been evolving. [In] the ending of season 1, she saw the younger Librarians ten years in the future and they had evolved into the strongest forms of themselves. As she is sensing the impending danger of this ultimate battle, she takes upon herself to try and accelerate the evolution of the three younger Librarians.

Is that because you wanted to accelerate their learning process and get them a little bit up to speed with Flynn?

No, it’s more about what it is to be a parent. In some way, Flynn and Baird are the parents of this little family. We all want our children to be terrific but you can’t force a child into being what you want it to be. That’s going to be part of the conflict.

What’s in store for Jenkins (John Larroquette) this season?

We’re going to learn about Jenkins’ private life and the thing that drove him to the Library in the first place. That’s going to get revealed over the course of this season.

In the season 2 finale there was a real Doctor Who influence. Can we expect more of that this season?

There’s no doubt in the world that I am the biggest Doctor Who fan. In fact, this season, since I took over as show runner, I actively pursued two Doctor Who writers, who came and wrote episodes for us this year. One is Tom MacRae who wrote my favorite episode ‘The Girl Who Waited.’ In fact I loved his episode so much I wouldn’t let anyone else direct it. [The other] is Gareth Roberts. We have a love potion episode that he wrote for us. It was great to have them come on board and bring that sensibility. The influences are absolutely intentional and really just a way for me to express my love for my favorite show on television.

The Librarians season 3 premieres Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT. 

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