August 24, 2008
‘Bones’ Goes to Britain for Season Premiere
By Bridget Byrne
GREENWICH, England -- Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz are stuck in a Mini Cooper, just steps from where East meets West.The little red car has just been in an "accident" and is facing oncoming traffic near the Greenwich Royal Observatory, the location on the bank of the Thames River from where all times zones are measured.
The stars of "Bones" have come to England to film the premiere episode of the Fox drama's fourth season, and they've brought all their characters' emotional baggage with them.
So inevitably, Deschanel's Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan and Boreanaz's Special Agent Seeley Booth are not just arguing about how to drive on the left side of the road, but also about how they feel about each other.
"She says I'm not an adaptable character," says Boreanaz, explaining that one of the themes running through the double episode is Booth "fighting to become part of the system here in England -- the traditions and what not -- though as the show progresses, he slowly starts to understand them and embraces them."
"Booth at first hates it, but then he kind of turns around. I don't have as strong feelings either way. I kind of adapt. I start using British words, stuff like calling trucks 'lorries,'" says Deschanel, explaining that Brennan, a more sophisticated world traveler, has an easier time of it working overseas.
In the season premiere, "Yanks in the UK," the forensic anthropologist and the FBI agent initially come to England to link up with their British peers. Brennan is invited to give a lecture at Oxford. Booth is talking to detectives at Scotland Yard.
During their visit, an heiress is found dead and her American father wants U.S. experts involved in investigating the crime. So the disparate duo get to work. That work rubs them up against British counterparts, not just on the job but also in situations that might spark romance.
This could clearly complicate their unresolved feelings about each other, which so far haven't progressed beyond the under-the- mistletoe kiss exchanged in last season's Christmas episode.
However, this season it's rumored there will be much more intimate contact.
During their scene in the Mini, Brennan tells Booth he should be happy that she "didn't sleep" with Ian Wexler (Andrew Buchan), a British forensic anthropologist. Clearly upset, Booth tells Brennan she's special, then crashes the car while trying to avoid a double- decker bus.
"That's when our show is the best, when people have to reveal their feelings in some way. But we never get sentimental," says Deschanel, as she waits on the pavement for the scene to continue filming.
Although "Bones" is often considered a procedural crime drama, Boreanaz stresses the attraction for him has always been the "Hepburn and Tracy kind of thing -- the witty, stylish, fond but confrontational relationship of Brennan and Booth.
"I think going into season four, this should be the mark of what our show is. You put these two characters in a misplaced environment. That's where they operate best. That's what brings out the best in their relationship," he explains.
The idea of filming for 12 days in England was a fairly spontaneous one, following a suggestion made by executive producer- creator Hart Hanson. His idea tied in with Fox's desire to fully re- engage audience interest after the impact of the Screen Writers' strike on last season's schedule.
The overseas location provides all sorts of backdrops not available on the Fox Studio lot in Los Angeles or nearby L.A. locations -- the usual filming venue for the series, which is normally set in Washington, D.C.
"We are getting very good production value. We've shot in places you can't believe. We shot in front of the Bank of England. We are going to shoot right near Tower Bridge. I thought it would be just a distant thing, but it's this close," enthuses Hanson, as he touches the faEcade of a Baroque building.
On this sunny day -- good weather not being something cast and crew had expected -- Greenwich is providing several excellent backdrops, including the Painted Hall of the Greenwich Royal Naval College, which is standing in for the interior of the Oxford College hall where Brennan lectures.
The scenes with the Mini completed, the stars move to a sentry booth, set up against railings in front of a courtyard. It's a convincing substitute for the exterior of Buckingham Palace. They are joined by guest star Indira Varma, the British actress who plays Inspector Cate Pritchard, a Scotland Yard cohort definitely lovely enough to stir Booth's interest in more than just British crime- solving techniques.
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