by Rich Keller, posted Feb 24th 2011 11:06AM
A few months ago it was announced that an episode of ‘Bones’ would serve as a back-door pilot for a spin-off series based on Richard Greener’s ‘The Locator’ series. While not a true spin-off of the long-running Fox series, it would fall within the ‘Bones’ universe, creating possible crossover opportunities.
But this begs a question: Why hasn’t there been a real ‘Bones’ spin-off during its six seasons on the air? There have been numerous guests and recurring Squinterns who have been interesting enough to merit their own show — Michael Badalucco’s role during the early days of the Squinterns comes to mind. Perhaps creator Hart Hanson and his team of writers never found the right angle to promote these folks to their own series.
Or it could be they were looking in the wrong place. If they had turned to Kathy Reichs’ latest novel series, they could’ve found a concept that fit in well in the Fox lineup.
Back in November the author, whose books about forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan inspired the creation of ‘Bones,’ came out with the young adult novel ‘Virals.’ Starring Temperance’s 14-year-old niece Tory, the book focuses on her and her science-oriented friends who attend a prep school in Charleston, South Carolina.
During one of their scientific investigations they are exposed to a mutant strain of a canine virus, thus, endowing them with heightened senses and reflexes. Using these newfound abilities they are able to solve a murder mystery dating back to the Vietnam War.
Of course, there would probably need to be some changes in order to fit this into the world of ‘Bones,’ such as growing her up a bit and possibly changing the location from a prep school in South Carolina to one in, let’s say, Virginia. Once that was done, the character could be integrated into the show, work some cases with the team and eventually move onto her own series.
And who would that “her” be? Well, depending how far she could be aged — maybe 16 or 17 — as well as what tone the show would take, the producers could chose any number of actresses out there. If they want preppy and spunky, they could turn to someone like Hailee Steinfeld or former ‘Hannah Montana’ star Emily Osment. If they’re looking for someone more dramatic they could turn their attention to ‘Blood Night’ actress Patricia Raven or the older Emma Roberts.
As to storylines … despite her newfound abilities, the plots would truly need to remain within the confines of the normal. Or as normal as the universe of ‘Bones’ is, considering they end up discovering skeletal remains in a bathtub of blood once in awhile. However, being a group of science geeks, Troy and her friends would probably end up focusing on cases that took place more in the scientific world than on the domestic front. In that way, the show could be a good lead-in or follow-up to a show like ‘Fringe.’
Now, there are those that are going to say that having a character with “superhuman” powers appearing on a fairly straight-laced show like ‘Bones’ would throw everything off-kilter. While a valid argument, this can be done without the show hopping that dreaded fish with the full cartilaginous skeleton. While the audience may know that Bones’ niece has these abilities, there’s nothing that says that Bones has to believe it.
In fact, there’s a good chance that steeped-in-fact Dr. Brennan could refute them as an anomaly or some type of genetic enhancement that appears in certain people. Should this be the case, ‘Bones’ continues to be the show it always was and Tory goes off with her friends on a new set of adventures. On the other hand, with Bones’ vast knowledge of past civilizations as well as current science, there’s the chance she could believe her niece. In that case, ‘Bones’ could still go on its merry way as long as they didn’t delve deeper into otherworldly situations.
So that’s the skinny. The producers of ‘Bones’ have a potential character from a new Kathy Reichs series that could be placed into a spinoff that, given the hunger on television for young adult angst, could be a potential hit. The question will come down to if they even consider it for a spinoff series?
Do you think Kathy Reichs’ new young adult series ‘Virals’ could be made into a spinoff of ‘Bones?’ Would you end up watching it, despite the fact the main characters have superhuman-like abilities?