Nick Santora and Nicholas Wootton talk SCORPION
1. What was it about this project that stood apart from anything you’d seen previously?
NS: Normally, when you’re watching shows about geniuses or films about people who have genius as part of their lives, you deal more with the logical part of their minds and less with the emotional part. I found it interesting to try to explore the emotional part, or in some cases the non-emotional part, of being geniuses.
NW: I had the same response when I first heard this idea. The thing I really liked was that these guys were brilliant on the left hand and horrible idiots on the right hand. They could, in perpetuity, make mistakes. And that’s why it made sense as a series. Whenever you have a main character who can make mistakes and yet you still forgive them and love them, you instantly have structure. They start with one idea, they screw up, and they have to redeem themselves.
2. In getting ideas for the show, how much do you allow real-life world events to influence you?
NS: Not much at all. We will look for real life scientific information from magazines or articles about scientific breakthroughs or interesting scientific factoids, but real world events don’t really come into the show at all. We’re writers; we like to use our imaginations.
NW: In other shows like Law & Order, which we both wrote for, those can be jumping-off points for other stories, but even then it’s impossible to actually rip from the headlines. It’s a misnomer for that show. You can only rip so much, and then it becomes reality, and that moves at a far different pace than television drama. You get kernels of things from true science and true invention, and you have to make it up after that.
NS: And the truth is, real world events can often be stressful for people, and we’re big believers in doing a show that’s fun and lets people be entertained for an hour without thinking about anything that’s going to cause too much stress.
3. What’s the episode that stands out in your mind as dangerously close to “real life” – that maybe was a bit futuristic to you as you were writing and researching it, but that actually became more of a reality than you’d like to admit?
NW: While we were breaking the dam episode, there was a dam break in Brazil (“Dam Breakthrough,” Season Two Episode 12).
NS: We had already written it, and then it happened. That’s where fiction was mirrored in real life, and it’s quite sad when that happens.
NW: We’ve had a few prescient episodes. There have been a couple of things that have come up that have presaged other things. Because we take the technology from real tech, this stuff does happen.
4. How do you think the characters have grown and evolved since last season?
NW: The arc of the series is bringing Walter O’Brien from a robot to humanity. We see him get it, lose it, and we see him in fits and starts. Now that we’re in the middle of the second season, we see how much he’s actually grown from the beginning of the series. So, it’s how he’s ultimately going to become a feeling, human person, or at least a version of one that’s more than he is now.
NS: They’re all trying to find their way through the world, and no matter how hard it gets, they’re not going to give up.
5. Please tease a bit on what’s upcoming in the New Year.
NS: Action, drama, fun, and romance. Not necessarily in that order.
Scorpion returns with new episodes on Monday, 2/8, at 9/8c!