Be ready for a bloody good time when the new season of "Bones" starts with a trip to London where the crime-solving duo of Bones and Booth (Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz) aid in a high-profile murder investigation. Besides poking fun at the differences between England and America, the fourth season opener also finds time for potential romances with their British counterparts that will, of course, reflect back on the feelings Bones and Booth harbor for each other. David Boreanaz talked to our Jim Halterman about what we can expect with the new season.
The obvious first question is always about the will-they/won't-they relationship between Bones and Booth. Boreanaz explains, "that the whole point of the show is to give and take. You want to really give back to the audience what they're asking for but at the same time you have to do it smart and without tipping your hat too much. The beauty of it is that we're allowed to do that and put the characters in circumstances that dictate that." As far as the new season is concerned, Boreanaz said that, "I think right off the bat it's really focusing on their relationship and how that effects [the way] they solve crimes or how they move forward in whatever case they're working on."
As far as shooting the season premiere in London, Boreanaz said that "Bones" has it's own level of popularity overseas. "It was a bit chaotic and crazy. London and Europe in general for me is kind of hairy more so than it is over here. There's definitely a following with the show and a presence over there [during] shooting and the people coming up and the fans following you around. They were very supportive and very friendly. It did make for some crazy moments when I'd leave my hotel and go for a run... but other than that it was okay."
Boreanaz, who will direct an episode later this season, also feels that "Bones" isn't like a lot of the other shows out there today. He offered that, "We honor and really support the character work and that's what we strive for on this show which kind of makes us different from other procedurals out there. It is character stuff and... we balance it out with the procedural and the case."
Speaking of character, Boreanaz has his own ideas for how he'd like things to develop this year for his character. "We'll really kind of get back into Booth's past, we'll see his apartment, see where he's living this year, how he lives. One specific idea that I have in general that I really want to exploit is that Booth is very on the outside---he's very charming and has his shields up but here is a guy who was an Army Ranger. He was a sniper. We touched on it in the first season that he was tortured and that he got hit in the shins." Specifically, as a way to show another side of Booth, Boreanaz believes that, "It would be nice to see how Booth gets ready in the morning, how difficult it is for him... a little more vulnerability towards his character [and] see him kind of start the day and see how hard it is for him because when you do see him he's always on the move and he always has all his stuff that protects him but what lies underneath all that is some good stuff and I think we'll exploit that this year."
Beside all the playful bantering (or flirting, as it could be called), he added, "there's something lethal about Booth that is really intriguing to me that we haven't really seen, a bit of a dark side to him that I'd really kind of enjoy to exploit this year. He's the type of guy that can switch on and off pretty quick. If you really get him angry he can snap and people would fear him pretty easily."
The fact that "Bones" has taken its time in becoming a hit for the Fox network is not lost on Boreanaz, who loosely referred to the series that brought him his first dose of fame, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and it's spin-off "Angel." "I think what's great about 'Bones' is that it's been embraced by the critics and it's been embraced by a following of people that have really supported us from the beginning which, in retrospect is the same with the other shows that I was on. You have to look at it in perspective what network it was on and... what it did for that particular network at that particular time. ['Bones'] pretty much remains still under the radar."
However, Boreanaz doesn't think that being a certified success means the series is as good as it's going to get. "I still believe there's a lot of growth for our show as far as not becoming too popular but maintaining a really nice steady climb not only with the ratings but also with the new fan base that comes on every year for us. We were able to get it to TNT this year and expose it to even more people and get them excited about a season four, which I think will be big for us. I think the beauty of the show has been its gradual increase and not really going straight to a top number one show."
One of the things that "Bones" has done so well from the start is expertly balancing the humor and the crime of the week. When asked how they keep both elements move forward so steadily, he felt that, "it's a very fine line. There are a lot of fine moments that I'm always like 'David you're playing Booth a little bit too much over the top or a little too goofy.' Those notes come to me sometimes because I bring at least 150% percent of his energy in his scenes. It's a lot easier to bring him down than it is to bring him up, believe me." Speaking more specifically about the work he and Deschanel bring to the series, he revealed that, "we get scripts that don't have specific moments or things that Emily and I will put in... because really it's the characters that kind of pop and create the show that exists today and makes it better and fun to watch because of these moments."
Boreanaz also revealed that making the recurring character of Dr. Lance Sweets (John Francis Daley) a full-time regular this season will aid in how Bones and Booth work together. "I mean giving someone couples counseling to deal with themselves in the workplace is phenomenal. I don't think you've ever really seen that in television. I mean it was really groundbreaking for us last year and it was a big plus for us. ... it adds just another clog or piece of the puzzle for our show."
Finally, since he can't get away from analyzing the Bones/Booth character, Boreanaz explains how these opposites attract. "They're very much alike in a lot of ways but they're also very not alike. I think there's that little kid inside of Booth that she really enjoys because maybe she lost a part of that as far as her character is concerned because she's so straight and serious and very literal. For him to kind of shake that up I think there's a part of her that enjoys to see that but it's also frustrating her because it annoys her at times but she does the same to me so that's the balance.
Catch the two-hour season premiere of "Bones" tonight at 8:00/7:00c.