Every once in a blue moon, the stars align and something miraculous happens. In this case, HAVEN’s third season was announced simultaneously with its appearance at New York Comic-Con. It was perfect timing as it allowed fans to celebrate face-to-face with the cast and creators of HAVEN. So as NYCC embraced and showcased the supernatural sci-fi series for the first time, fans from around the globe raced to join in the festivities.
As limos arrived, fans streaked through the hallways, and security smiled as both the talent and fans strained to get a glimpse of each other, the air was filled with anticipation. This was not just a day to celebrate; it was a day to revel in the mutual love-fest from both sides of the entertainment spectrum. It is a curious symbiotic relationship, for entertainment needs both talent and an appreciative audience. The most gifted writer or performer in the world is but a voice echoing in a forest without someone to watch and listen. So when such an occasion arises, it is a joyous thing to be a part of — and the HAVEN panel and autograph signing at NYCC was one such beautiful moment in time.
With gleeful exuberance, the enormous 3,000-seat auditorium filled to capacity. It was an hour to be remembered. There was laughter and tears — well, tears from laughing too hard. Try as one might, it was simply impossible to reign in the impish delight and naughty humor of some of the panelists. Perhaps the teasing blooper-reel was to blame for setting the devilish tone, but more likely it was just the true natures taking the opportunity presented. Most of the good-humored antics rested squarely on the shoulders of castmates Lucas Bryant and Eric Balfour, who act more like mischievous teenagers. Though funny enough, unable to resist the infectious comedy, the rest of the panel were soon joining in.
The HAVEN panel started smoothly enough with a nice introduction discussing the genesis of the show. Invited as a last-minute special guest, co-creator Charles Ardai shared how he had approached Stephen King to write a story for a book he was publishing and that story ended up being “The Colorado Kid,“ from which HAVEN is based upon. The story caught Charles’ attention and he thought it would be a great launching point for a television series; so he pitched it to a friend of his, and the next thing he knew, Jim Dunn and Sam Ernst had been brought in to write the pilot.
As Sam explained, after reading the book, he could not see a TV series in it, but in the end, he and Jim tackled it — although the pilot they came up with turned out to be a story with no supernatural elements in it — simply because there had been none in the book. Unfortunately, the first thing Stephen King said after he read it was, “Where’s the supernatural element?” That’s when Sam and Jim went right back and re-wrote it on Sam’s back-deck — and the rest is history. Though Jim added, “It was a bit nerve-wracking asking Stephen King to associate his name with THIS!”
The rest may have been history in the sense that HAVEN was ultimately greenlit and ordered to series by Syfy, but there is so much more to the HAVEN story — or rather, the stories HAVEN portrays. The increasingly labyrinthine stories of Audrey Parker, Nathan Wuornos and Duke Crocker are anything but “history” — they are continually unfolding before our eyes. As fans and viewers of the show well know, their stories are happening right now. We have watched with fascination as Audrey Parker arrived in Haven and discovered its supernaturally-infused town of “troubled” inhabitants. We have swooned with ecstasy as Audrey and Nathan have danced around a tentative flirtation for two seasons. And we have wondered at the backstory and history between Nathan and Duke and how their respective forefathers have set them on paths that may ultimately have put them in the cross-hairs of a destiny not of their own making. The mysteries, the “troubled,” the tattoos, the prophecies, the romance and the bonding in the midst of the most extraordinary of circumstances has created a rich tapestry for HAVEN.
Having just watched the climatic second season finale in which Audrey was kidnapped and Nathan and Duke are left in a gun-drawn, stand-off when a shot rings out, the fate of all three of the show’s principal characters hangs in the balance — and fans are biting their nails to find out who survives.
Alas, with humor being in abundance at NYCC, the panelists were more inclined to tickle the fans’ funny-bones than to illuminate and provide any real spoilers on where the show is headed in its third season.
With one note of caution that there may be minor spoilers ahead, here is some of the responses shared during the panel:
For the cast, maybe you could describe your character’s “trouble” and how it may change during the third season?
EMILY: Audrey’s ability is to help people, and she finds her home in that. While at times, she feels it is a burden, it is the only thing she knows is true and can hang onto. As for where that goes for her, that will be interesting. She will always be pulled into helping others and their emotional issues, while still trying to figure out her own. But it is always easier to focus on other people’s issues than your own, and she is constantly pulled by that need to help.
LUCAS: First of all, my name is Nathan Wuornos. I play Lucas Bryant on HAVEN, and as you know Nathan can fly.
SAM: Hey, you weren’t supposed to give it away! [laughter]
LUCAS: People call it a “trouble,” but what is a “trouble”? What’s so troubling about being remarkably good looking?
ERIC: He smells fantastic too! [laughter]
LUCAS: I don’t look at it as a negative, though some people are just jealous. [Pointing at Eric.] Let’s see, what were we talking about? Yeah, my “trouble” — not being about to feel. I’ve talked about it before, they were looking for an unfeeling actor and they found me. It’s all good.
SAM: Why don’t we talk about the change up — the tattoo.
LUCAS: So the tattoo thing, Nathan really felt it. It really hurt [laughter]
. . . . What’s going to change about Nathan is he’s going to be wearing more ties – uh, what am I talking about again?! [laughter]
ERIC: As for Duke, his affliction is his horrible, horrible taste in woman. I mean, one girl turned him into a crotchety old man and almost killed him, another one sought his death and made a death-obsessed OCD guy, then his ex-wife did what? Sold him out — yeah, she was a turn-coat. . . . We found out that Duke had this ability to cure the cursed or to remove the affliction. I think it will be interesting to see how Duke handles that because clearly he is the lunar opposite of Nathan who is in my opinion a much more earnest hero. I guess it’s like Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. Luke still looks good and fights for what’s right.
LUCAS: Wait, I’m Luke? Unbelievable. [laughter]
ERIC: Duke is that sort of reluctant hero, I guess, or maybe not even the hero. I imagine he is going to struggle and want to push this ability as far away as possible. It would be my hope – and this is for the writers — that we see Duke in Season 3 not using his ability, but when he does, it is to help Nathan or Audrey.
SAM: Yet, Duke is a stone-cold killer!
Then Sam told a story about how he got call from director about how Eric wanted to be allowed to pull the trigger in a scene. The director figured, “Well, it’s his boat, it’s been hijacked — well, F-that!” To which Sam replied, “Yeah, F-that!” and then said it had been entirely Eric’s idea. So they let him hold the sawed-off shotgun 6 inches from the guy’s face and pull the trigger — unfortunately, the guy had taken the bullets out. But Duke did not know. Thus, Sam said, “So now this next season, we’re going to test Duke’s badassedness.” To which Nathan impishly said, “How bad is his ass?!” and Eric retorted, “Well, apparently, it’s on the gag-reel. Of all the things to cut out of the gag-reel, you didn’t cut that out?! They cut out all the f-bombs. There were like 27 in the gag-reel!” After being reminded there may be children present, Sam laughed and said, “Oh no, this is New York City!” After which a loud cheer erupted from the fans.
One further question that elicited a great response was:
In the finale, there was a gunshot that rang out in the dark and we don’t know who the recipient is yet. Since Duke was exposed to Dwight’s blood, and he is a bullet magnet, is it possible that Duke either acquired that ability or transmuted Dwight’s ability which could play a factor in that scene, thus preventing Nathan from being shot?
SAM: That is definitely a possibility. . . This is why sci-fi fans (and we are all sci-fi fans!) are the coolest people on the planet! Because after you’re done watching — I have to pick a show that is off the air – like MASH, you don’t sit there and wonder if Hawkeye had not removed the spleen and put the patient into a temporal rift, he’s not a zombie, not a True Blood vampire, or an Anne Rice vampire from the first two books. Hey, we could do this all day — this is why we have the greatest f-ing job in the world!
Other questions raised, but not fully answered during the panel were whether HAVEN is a story more about coping with the “troubles” or resolving the “troubles,” or whether there is a particular “troubled” person who continues to haunt them long after a particular episode.
Though the writers were pretty unambiguous about shooting down the theory that there may be a temporal rift in Haven which could explain the “troubles,” they explained that it was like there are two different sets of people, like political parties, that have to work together and figure out a way to live together.
It was also definitely answered that Duke cannot simply take the afflicted person’s “troubles” away. Duke is a reaper. He must kill the person to remove their affliction. This places a heavy burden on Duke. He must choose to help by killing those who are suffering from “troubles” or stand by and watch them suffer, knowing he could help them — but only by offering them death. Is death truly the only option? According to Sam and Jim, it is. Though Sam was intrigued by the idea that Duke could transmute the “troubles” and use that power in a different way.
Questions that seemed to stymie the writers a bit were: Will the seasons ever change in Haven, or will it always be summer? Where do the “troubled” go once they leave Haven? Is there a refuge out there for them, or do they simply disappear? Similarly, is there a perfect yin/yang or split-apart symbiotic relationship between the troubled and their soul-mates and thus are only “troubled” when they are separated from each other?
They also did not want to answer just yet the question of when Nathan got the mysterious tattoo on his arm. Even Lucas seemed to want to know the answer to that question!
On the more definitive side, Sam and Jim were in accord that they hope to bring back Adam Copeland as Dwight next season, schedule and budget permitting. And everyone agreed that Vince and Dave are definitely hiding something and know a lot more than they are letting on and it is about time they got some answers out of them.
The one juicy tid-bit that was offered came from Charles Ardai who was intrigued by the idea that Vaughn Carpenter’s wife from “As You Were” was also a shape-shifter and he promised he would consider revisiting that storyline if given the chance. Imagine how much fun that could be!
To see for yourself how humorous and hysterical the panel was in the following are fun video
Provided courtesy of Trchwdspnfan80:
Provided courtesy of Trchwdspnfan80:
Provided courtesy of Tep711:
Provided courtesy of Jessalessa:
Provided courtesy of Jessalessa:
Then providing some additional insight into the psyches of Audrey Parker, Nathan Wuornos and Duke Crocker, the following is a video of interview clips from the press room:
And for the fan always looking to peek a bit more behind the curtain, here’s where to find photos from the autograph signing showing the cast and writers hard at work chatting with the fans HERE.
HAVEN certainly knew how to bring down the house with its lively repartee and wild enthusiasm during the panel and their warm, welcoming stance with their fans during the autograph signing. So much so that the cast literally had to be pulled away from the fans to leave!
As all good things must come to an end, such a magnificent day had to end as well. But it left a glorious impression as everyone left happy having been a part of this wondrous event. As the HAVEN stories continue in its third season, here is to hoping for more fun-filled adventures at future conventions. ‘Til then, let’s countdown the clock to Season 3! Is it July 2012 yet?!
In the meantime, in case you missed them, here are some earlier articles from interviews with the cast that you may find illuminating now that the second season has concluded:
Where to find this article: