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In June, The CW announced Wayward Sisters, a potential Supernatural spin-off — with a backdoor pilot set to air as Supernatural‘s first episode of 2018 — about a group of troubled women who’ve all been orphaned by supernatural tragedy. Led by the late Jimmy Novak’s daughter, Claire (Kathryn Love Newton), and under the training of sheriffs Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes) and Donna Hanscum (Briana Buckmaster), they’ll become a monster-fighting force. “This is an opportunity to do something in the world of Supernatural that has some of the sensibilities of Supernatural but addresses a lot of issues, scenarios, and characters that are very different,” executive producer Andrew Dabb says.
It all begins when Claire comes home. “Claire went out, she kicked ass on her own, but a crisis will occur that will force her back into the fold of the Wayward family,” EP Robert Berens explains. And though the show will have a similar feel to Supernatural — Kim Rhodes calls it a “perfect sibling” to the series — one of its biggest differences is location. While Supernatural is a road show, Wayward will be localized in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a decision that Dabb says allows them to create a real community. “This is a place where romance can happen. Or rivalry,” he says.
Speaking of which, Claire arrives home to find that her caretaker, Jody, has taken in a new psychic named Patience (Clark Backo), the granddaughter of Missouri Moseley (Loretta Devine), and she won’t exactly be happy about it. “[Jody] is constantly saying, ‘My door is always open,’ and she does it again in episode 3 of this season where we meet Patience,” Rhodes says. Dabb adds that Patience will serve as the “eyes of the show” when she walks in as the new girl. “Everyone else is like, ‘Sometimes we do autopsies of monsters on the dinner table.’ She’s like, ‘That’s insane! That’s not a thing people do.’ She’s there to offer a little bit of perspective.”
Rounding out the family is Alex (Katherine Ramdeen), the first girl Jody took in and the closest thing she has to a daughter, and Kaia (Yadira Guevara-Prip), a new addition who has the ability to walk between worlds in her dreams. “Kaia has been on her own for a long time,” Dabb says. “She’s not sure who she can trust, but she starts to form certain bonds and relationships that make it clear that this is the place she needs to be.” One of those bonds will be with Claire, whom Kathryn Love Newton reveals saves Kaia’s life when they first come into contact. “She wants to keep Kaia safe,” Newton says. “It’s really important to her, and you’ll find out why.”
As for Kaia’s ability to walk between worlds, Newton says the story “does have a little more of a fantasy vibe” than Supernatural, though it still has what she calls the “core Supernatural dynamic.” As Berens puts it, they approached the spin-off with the attitude of: “What’s a show that’s like Supernatural but different?” And although one of the key differences is the fact that this show features women at its center, Rhodes says it’s not “Supernatural with girls.” Rather, as she puts it, “It’s Supernatural with heroes that happen to be female.”
But unlike Supernatural, Wayward features a much larger support system for the central characters, a key detail for the writers. “What is possible if you have more than just a sibling relationship to guide you through this process,” Berens says. “Could it be different? Could it be less psychologically and physically damaging than what we’ve seen Sam and Dean go through? That’s a really core question of the show.”
Speaking of Sam and Dean, there is a reason why they don’t just show up and help out. Rhodes promises, “It’s made very clear why this is happening without Sam and Dean, although there’s a beautiful opportunity for them to come visit.”
After all, Jody’s door is always open.