[Warning: General spoilers for Season 2 but no specifics.]
Netflix dropped Season 2 of The Order this morning, and whether you’ve already inhaled several episodes after an all-nighter or are just getting started with your coffee, we have a treat for you. Earlier this week, I jumped on the phone with showrunner Dennis Heaton, who’s one of my favorites [see Motive fawning here], to talk about the new season.
We don’t dive into specific who/how/where/what spoilers but we do chat in general terms about some of the character arcs, the fun casting, and where he’d like to take the gang next, should we get a Season 3. Read on!
If you were a fan of Alyssa and Jack’s will they/won’t they/can they/should they push and pull last season, Season 2 gives us all that and more when Jack regains his memories and then has to reconcile his divided loyalties to the Order, the Knights, and Alyssa. Heaton enjoyed giving viewers what they wanted, with a twist.
“It’s always important to me when we do a season of TV that every character gets their own journey and that nobody is simply there to be an extension for another character,” he explains. “As we create the season, we look at each character as an individual and [ask], ‘Where are we coming from with them?’ and ‘What, what journey do we want to see them go on?'”
“With Alyssa and Jack, because you can’t talk about one of them without talking about the other, because of their love for each other, we really wanted to see the dynamic tension of two people who love each other, but also love the path that their life is going on. And that path is pulling them apart.”
The season also gives us a variation on a big bad, and introduces us to a couple of different witchy collectives. “There was a big debate when we finished Season 1 about what would we do for a villain in Season 2 because obviously when you’ve got a character like Edward Coventry and an actor like Max Martini portraying him…when you blow up the Death Star, you want to wait a movie before you have to blow up another one.”
“What I wanted to do in Season 2 was open up the sense of the world. We got into that in Season 1 when we introduced Renee and the Necromancers, the rejected members of the Order, and so I wanted to see more of that…like Praxis or Sons of Prometheus, even just mentioning some of the other organizations. It was really important to me because I want there be a sense that there are other philosophies of magic out there.”
This season features some pretty significant character growth from Gabrielle and Hamish, which gives Lourizo Tronco and Thomas Elms a ton of runway to just play the hell out of their characters. “Gabrielle as a character definitely was in a situation [where we said], ‘Let’s do more,'” Heaton explains.
“And a lot of that came from just hiring Lo in Season 1 to play Gabrielle and her just hitting it out of the ballpark. It’s one of those things where you’re not expecting the character to necessarily take on that light that they take on until an actor embodies it and you really get a sense of the potential.”
“When we started Season 2, we wanted to bring Gabrielle in from being a bit of a recurring character and very much the antagonistic character that she was and bring her more into the fold of the stories and just give her more complexity because she’s such a fun member of the team.”
“[With Hamish], we have all of these bits of trivia and knowledge for all of these characters that sometimes doesn’t make it into into an episode or even into the season, because there’s so much that needs to take place.”
“So this is our chance to finally tell the audience that Hamish comes from a lot more money than people are expecting. With the character, it was [also a case of], ‘What journey can we send him on?'”
“There was the very specific desire with the season arc this year that we end in a place where all of our characters are forging new relationships, but [they] are coming at the expense of the old ones. And it just evolved over the course of the storytelling that when Hamish finds out that the Knights used to be a part of The Order, [we wanted to explore] what that does to his mindset. ‘Where is that going to lead him? Where does it lead all of them?'”
Randall has his own epiphanies, too. “I think all of the Knights, ultimately, once they have taken their vows, there’s no question of their loyalty to their cause. And I think out of the four of them, Randall is the most stringent in many ways about that,” says Heaton.
“He is the champion [and] defender of the state in a lot of ways, and so what I really wanted was to make sure that as the Knights percolated and started to fall apart, they don’t realize it yet, but it’s the first sign that the organization is crumbling as they know it, and it was really important to me that Randall be the one who fights the hardest keep the organization together, to keep it true, even as it’s basically mutating in front of his eyes.”
Vera gets to show her softer and more vulnerable side this season as the events of Season 1 leave her a bit off her game while she’s fighting not only to retain the title of Grand Magus, but to save the world, too. “I’m a big fan of Vera as a character and of Katharine [Isabelle] as an actor and I wanted to make sure that Vera continued to feel like an integral part of the second season,” Heaton explains. “With Edward’s disappearance into the Vade Maecum at the end of Season 1, a journey for Vera focusing on her struggles to assume permanent control of the Order seemed like a natural fit.”
We won’t spoil who they play, but we will tell you that Season 2 offers a delicious mix of guest stars, including Buffy‘s James Marsters, Dark Matter‘s Jodelle Ferland, and 90210‘s Jason Priestley and Ian Ziering. “Coming out of Season 1 with all of this great cast who have history in genre TV, we had such a positive reaction to that, for us, it was just, ‘We’ve got to keep going that way,'” he shares.
He was thrilled to get Marsters. “When we hired Marita Grabiak to direct block three, I noticed that she had done a ton of Buffy on her IMDb page and it was her idea to reach out to James,” he says. She said, ‘I think James would be a fantastic leader.'”
Aside from his showrunner gig, Heaton is the president of the Writers Guild of Canada. One of the things the pandemic brought about this spring was sending every active TV show writers room home to break stories over video chats. While it worked from a tactical standpoint, Heaton hopes they get to go back to in-person rooms. “No virtual room will ever be able to replicate the experience of being in a room with several other writers, especially when the most integral conversation of the day, ‘Where are we going for lunch?’ is off the table,” he says.
Should The Order get a fourth season, Heaton already has some ideas. “I’d say we’re going straight to Hell, but I don’t know if I have the budget for a location shoot. I don’t know if this is Season 3 or even 4, but I think some kind of judgment day/day of reckoning will have to happen at some point,” he points out. “When you throw a party, you gotta expect your parents home at some time.”
Photos Courtesy of Dennis Heaton and Netflix.
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