TV Shows

SUPERNATURAL at SDCC 2016 | Q&A with Showrunners Robert Singer and Andrew Dabb

New Supernatural season 12 showrunners Robert Singer and Andrew Dabb talk about going back to basics and the the family dynamic.

We got a chance to speak with the new showrunners for Supernatural season 12, longtime writers and executive producers Robert Singer and Andrew Dabb, and they revealed the strength of the show and how going back to basics will highlight that even more.

Robert Singer explains the idea of going back to basics for season 12:

“it’s more standalones, I think a smaller canvas, even for the season mythology. It’s not the apocalypse. It’s not Amara. It’s not God. I think it’s very much about the boys, and personal stuff. Just kind of bringing mom back. This hunt for Lucifer is very personal, especially for Cas. So everybody has their sort of agenda. That’ll be turned upside down a little bit later in the season as the Men of Letters become more prevalent in the storyline. And then their view on things as opposed to our guys’ view on things. But you know, some good standalones, telling the kind of stories we used to tell in seasons 3 and 4. I just feel that one of our strengths is we make these monster stories sort of interesting. Not so much creating new monsters, but giving personality to the monsters that we have, and I think that ‘s one thing that’s kept us on the air for a while and what sets us apart from some other shows like this is that—we have the alpha vampire who’s a really interesting character, Kate the werewolf is a really interesting character,” he stated and continued by saying, “We’d like to make their story as interesting as our guys’ story if we can, so you know, getting back to that sort of thing, those sort of interesting villains with their own story.”

When asked about what they have planned for this year, Bobby said this much:

“We’re doing a story with the Thule, the German necromancers. it’s a pretty big story.”

On whether Amara will be coming back to the show, Bobby was pretty confident that that particular story arc was wrapped up with the season 11 finale, and they “have no plans for Amara coming back.” 

As far as getting romantic interests for the boys, Bobby acknowledged the fact that fans were never too keen on having the boys stay tied to any female character that came along.  He also acknowledged that the show have had some pretty strong female characters, although he didn’t mention that several of those ladies were killed off, despite fans’ favor towards them.

When talking about Mary returning, he did agree with Samantha’s assessment of the character and the challenge of Mary transitioning from the mother of a baby and a 4-year-old to a mother of two grown men and just having to deal with the changes in the world, including the technological changes.

“That’s an interesting family dynamic, and where that goes over the course of a season will evolve. I can tell that in the beginning, um, it’s tough. It’s tough on everyone concerned.”

We started with asking Andrew Dabb what the experience has been like so far with being showrunner. He jokes about it a bit, but understands the importance of his role:

“You walk into a situation where the actors are all great, the crew’s been there since day one, they all are incredibly professional and talented, amazing. And we’ve got a really talented writing staff, so for me it’s like being handed the keys to a Lamborghini and they’re like, ‘the car works great, everything works, the only potential problem is you. So, as long as you don’t crash, everything will be fine.’ So my focus is not crashing the car.”

Regarding going back to basics, or going smaller, he explains that it’s happened before. Their focus in the beginning tends to be tight-focused, but it grows and “eventually the world’s on fire.” Dabb goes on to elaborate on that:

“We do a lot of really cool things with size and spectacle,” he says, “but we sometimes lose the personal element of it. Whereas when you focus on the camera, this is Sam, Dean, Castiel, Crowley, this is about them. It’s about how they interact with each other, how they interact with other people.”

He acknowledges the fact that they do tend to get a “little nebulus.” 

On how Mary will be on the show, a character that’s been only a glimpse here and there for the boys.

“Mary’s like anybody else. She has her good days, she has her bad days. There are certain things her sons are doing, like when you have kids, there are certain things your kids do that you’re like, ‘This is amazing, and your heroic, and I love you,’ and there are certain things they’re doing that you’re like, ‘Why are you doing that?’ And I think Mary very much has that same view.”

From what Dabb adds, it does sound like she’ll be very much a part of the family, whether the boys want that or not.

“But there will be differences of opinions. There will be things kind of raised that, you know, not everyone’s on board with. And having her come in, yes, she’s great and she has a really interesting point of view, but the show revolves around Sam and Dean and how they react to her is really the pull of this season.”

As far as the relationship between Sam and Dean this season, the situation with their mother and then of the Men of Letters is going to have differing reactions to that. So, not surprisingly, the boys will probably clash yet again. However, Andrew does say this about Sam and Dean:

“Sam and Dean are on the same page of time, which is they want to do what they think is the right thing. But what is the right thing for them, what is the right thing for either one of them is not always agreed upon. I guess you can spin it that way. So, I’m not saying they’ll really be be at any odds. There’s certainly going to be misunderstandings, but we don’t want them to be fatal misunderstandings. At the end of the day, the brotherly bond is the strongest part of the show, and we never want to move away from that.”

It’s certainly good to know that the strongest part of the show is the bond between the Winchester brothers, and it always has been. Because of that, I feel comforted that whatever challenges that await them this upcoming season, they’ll still have each other as family.


Season 12 of Supernatural will premiere on Thursday, October 13th at 9pm on the CW.

By Nat, the Geek Girl

Southern California native who likes movies, books (Shadowhunter Chronicles, NA, YA fantasy, Red Rising series), TV shows (The Sandman), and San Diego Comic-Con. I also like to write, but don't get to do much of that aside from on here. I fell into the BTS rabbit hole, and I refuse to leave.