Scorpion Roundtable Interview with Nicholas Wootton at SDCC 2016
Scorpion will be airing its third season this coming fall. Make sure to catch the two hour premiere Monday October 3rd at 9pm. We caught up with Scorpion’s Executive Producer, Nicholas Wootton, who had nothing but wonderful things to say about the cast and crew of the hit CBS show.
The cast of Scorpion couldn’t be a more perfect group of outsiders. But, it turns out that the cast came together with no time to spare. Wootton gives us an inside look at the stressful time. “I’m trying to think of how many pilots I’ve actually been involved in. I think it’s like five or six. I’ve never been involved in a casting process that went this late towards production. I think Kat [Katharine McPhee] was cast three days before, maybe two days before, we started production. I think she was cast on a Friday, and we started on a Monday. Something like that. And it was terrifying.”
Wootton goes on to explain how Robert Patrick was the first one cast. They were happy to know that at least they had a powerhouse actor like Robert Patrick behind them, but casting the geniuses was not an easy task. Wootton says, “All we had was Robert Patrick. I was like, ‘I guess we’re just shooting Robert Patrick.’ All of a sudden it was like boom boom boom boom boom, and it came together. And it’s one of those miracles to me of pilot season, which happen very infrequently because everybody is after the same cast. They’re all after the same actors. They are all after the same people. I think what was great about us, what helped us, is that we weren’t. We weren’t after the same people that everybody else was. We were after sort of a misfit crew.” Wootton describes all of the actors as being phenomenal and just blowing them away during auditions.
Wootton then talks about how they have had the cast grow this past season. In the first season, we saw a lot of the same situations, and each character was doing the same thing. “Now we’ve broken them up into pairs a lot of times, and you can see how they interact with each other. You can see different parts of their personalities come out as actors and as characters. And you see the depthness, the richness of how deep they can be and how wonderful they can be together.” This is one of the things I thought Scorpion did so well in their sophomore season when many other shows struggle. Wootton makes sure to express his gratitude with his cast by saying, ““I can only say we got so lucky, and they are really lovely people to work with.”
When asked how Wootton has enjoyed seeing the fans grow along with the show, he had only appreciation for the loyalty from the fans. He says, “What was interesting this year, which I wasn’t expecting, is that people actually showed up.” When asked how the fans have reacted since revealing the Pilot during their first San Diego Comic Con, Wootton said, “Presenting it the first time, yeah it’s kind of terrifying. And you’re like ‘What are they going to do?’ And then when the airplane thing comes up, it’s like nobody can beat the airplane thing. Nobody is going to beat the 747 flying over the Ferrari. You may say it’s insane, but nobody is going to do that. Nobody is going bigger than that this year. And then people were freaking out. And they were clapping, and we were like okay I think we’re good.” This year when showing their footage, Wootton was excited to be able to hear the reactions since they are often so isolated and don’t get the fan interaction except through social media. “To see people showing up for us, I mean because we were first, so people showed up for us. To see them engaging in the way that they engage, laughing, you know, asking questions… it shouldn’t be surprising, but it’s refreshing. It’s wonderful to see.”
When asked about how much time and work goes into writing a very scientific TV show like Scorpion, Wootton gave some interesting insights. He explains that one of the writers will bring an idea, and they work on the concept first. Then they will find an expert to help with the research and scientific pieces. Wootton gives us an example. “The dam episode was one of them where we got a dam expert. And we said ‘Okay what can go wrong… What are the dangers here? What can happen? What’s happened in the past?’ And you get a ton of information, and then we sort of all put that in our hopper. And then it goes pretty fast. If it doesn’t go fast, you have a problem.” Wootton goes on to say, “You should never have to work that hard to make a great episode. It should be hard in the detail of it and just to make it perfect. But in the breaking of it… if it starts to go over a certain period of time, and it’s just not happening, you kind of got to cut bait.”
Wootton makes sure not to leave us hanging. This final question reminded him of a particularly phenomenal episode coming our way in season three. He explains that the second episode after the two hour premiere is particularly great. Wootton reveals that it was so great that the episode broke in three days because everything just fell into place. Don’t forget to tune into Scorpion this fall on Mondays at 9pm on CBS.