By Kristina Manente
I can tell you right now, there is no show I am more excited about than TNT’s The Librarians. Think of Indiana Jones meets Supernatural meets a bottle of tequila, and you’ve got The Librarians. A group of genius and gifted misfits including a math and science prodigy with synesthesia played by Lindy Booth , a lumberjack art historian played by Christian Kane, John Kim as a rascally thief, and Rebecca Romijn as a counter-terrorism expert. The cast also includes John Larroquette as Jenkins, Mathew Frewer as the big baddie, and welcomes back Noah Wyle as lovable dork-in-chief, Flynn Carsen.
In college, my roommates and I fell in love and laughter with the original Librarian films and so when I heard there was going to be a television show, we went crazy. The movies were fun, even silly, but they were fabulous adventures. To have a hero that’s not only as socially awkward as myself, but as dorky, is a great thing to see… and the fact that’s going to be expanded to a whole team is just a joy.
But to backtrack for those who may not be on The Librarian bandwagon (how dare you), basically it’s about this organization that protects and curates all the mythical and magical relics of the world (Excalibur, The Golden Goose, The Spear of Destiny, etc), and the curator of all this is Flynn Carsen… a major dork with 22 degrees, as played perfectly by Noah Wyle. There were three tv films on TNT: Quest for the Spear, Return to King Soloman’s Mines, & The Judas Chalice. They were all ridiculously fun, goofy, and full of adventure and flailing. They were also some of the highest audience grossing programs on TNT.
So, it wasn’t too much a surprise when the television show was announced, perhaps it was always a question as to when rather than if. So how did The Librarians television show come to be? According to show runner John Rogers, it was because “Michael Wright, Dean Devlin and Noah [Wyle] loved the movies so much.” They spent years trying to get the rights, and when they finally did, John called up Noah to break the good news.
“We called Noah and said, ‘we’ve figured out how to do the Librarians show!’ and Noah was like on the phone, ‘but I’m the Librarian. What are you saying? Don’t I get to be in it?’ No, you’re in it! ‘Oh, OK, good.’ He was genuinely kind of hurt, like, no, it’s me! And he loves it. He busted his ass to do the episodes he did on ridiculous schedules and flew back at midnight just to make his calls, just to be there for the show, just killing himself so that he could do both. And certainly not for the money. So, yeah. He loves this character.”
So let’s get to it, what will The Librarians television show be about?
John Rogers, pictured left, explained it the best: “The Librarians is a pulp show. It very much reflects an Indiana Jones, pulp sensibility..[y]ou’re going to see a lot of supernatural mysteries, a lot of magic mysteries…[y]ou know we really tried to make sure it felt like a good solid mystery each time that there was something to uncover.”
Non-stop adventure, action, and hijinks with a heavy dose of humor. Everyone, cast and crew alike, at the panel and round tables at NYCC was very sure to mention the humor. It’s not a serious show, it’s a light show, and that’s a welcomed thing to see with so many programs falling into the trick of being dark and gritty without any real motive. That being said, of course there will be some drama and angst, mostly focusing on the new recruits, whose journey the audience will be a part of.
The movies established that there was one Librarian in this secret organization. There’s always just been one, and that was something Rogers wanted to explore.
“What’s it like being a magician alone in a world of magic, he’s out of his goddamn mind, that’s what he is, but he runs into a mystery he can’t solve himself, and what that mystery is, it breaks the fundamental nature of the organisation.”
(L to R: Lindy Booth as Cassandra Cillian, Christian Kane as Jacob Stone, Rebecca Romijn as Eve Baird, John Larroquette as Jenkins, and John Kim as Ezekiel Jones)
That’s where the new recruits come in. Flynn needs to rebuild the organization, but he can’t do it alone. He may want to do it alone, but he know he can’t. Especially as things are about to get a lot more complicated…
“Something happens in the first two episodes which means the world’s going to get a lot weirder very fast…it used to be [that] magic would poke up, and [Flynn] could go around and smack it down, now, magic is seeping back into the world, and he just can’t be in enough places at the same time.”
So what can we all expect from The Librarians? Rogers promises no cliffhangers, and that the first season is really going to take its time to explore these characters dealing with the fact that they’re not only special, but there’s magic in the world.
“To me as a comic book fan and a TV fan, people adjust very quickly, and one of the reasons is the pilot structure; you’re doing stuff for networks, and networks often insist, well, now we need to know what the show is, and so you close up a lot of stuff in the pilot. The fun of working with Dean Devlin, and the fun of working with TNT is that we have a very creative relationship, and it’s like, take the year. Do what you want. Make the entire year a journey. The first season of this will be the first book in the series, where they get recruited and they have to learn about themselves, and they have to learn how their gifts work. And to me that is a more satisfying experience.”
In a world where so many shows do deal with major issues in just one episode, it is so refreshing to hear this is how The Librarians is going to take it slow and that we’ll be going along on this magical and bizarre journey with the new characters.
The preview at NYCC showed a dragon, a Minotaur, and Tesla’s Death Ray. Favorite episodes from some of the cast include one about fairy tales, as well as the Christmas episode with Bruce Campbell as Santa Claus. There’s no stone that is going ot be left unturned in terms of mythology, and one hopes The Librarians will have multiple seasons to explore as many of them as possible.
“There’s literally no idea that was too way over the top. There’s ideas we didn’t get to do, I was heartbroken we did not get to do the selfie of Dorian Gray. That one may still come back.”
The Librarians premieres on TNT on December 7th.