iZombie really wowed us when the first two seasons were suddenly dumped onto Netflix UK last Easter weekend. Ever since that weekend (it’s so addictive that it sually takes two days to binge, tops), we’ve been desperate to get back to zombie Liv (Rose McIver) and the rest of the gang’s weird hijinks.
With the first episode of Season 3 available to stream on Netflix UK from today, executive producers Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars) and Diane Ruggiero-Wright are here to give a sneak preview of what to expect from the zombie squad’s return.
“One of the things that I couldn’t be happier about with Season 3 is that we get to know more about Clive,” reveals Ruggiero-Wright. “There’s a lot of backstory that gets covered in this season. Fans will definitely learn a lot more about how Clive became Clive and what makes him tick. So will Liv, and I think that will be really satisfying and interesting to people. There’s a lot of mystery, and emotional investment for our main characters. The stakes are a lot higher, what with Clive being in the know and there being this whole new run of zombies. We’ll find out about the Fillmore Graves people.”
Season 3 is also taking a bit of a departure from the show’s regular Big Bad format, with Thomas saying things are going to change a lot.
“Fillmore Graves is a much different thing than either Meat Cute or Max Rager were,” he explains. “Fillmore Graves are proposing that they believe at some point in the not too distant future, humans are going to discover zombies and the contention is that when that day comes humans will just wipe them out. So they are preparing for that day, and they are suggesting that they will not go gently into the night.”
The suggestion forces the show’s characters to figure out where they stand in that spectrum, which should prompt some interesting internal struggles.
“They all sort of land in different places,” Thomas continues. “Much of the season we’re unsure what to make of the people at Fillmore Graves. And they’re not completely monolithic there either. They are people in the company with different points of view and so we will spend a lot of time there. This season doesn’t end in a big shoot out. I think it plays to more conspiracy theory ideas, trying to figure out who is good and who is bad and who you want to lead you into the next stage. That’s how we’re spending Season Three.
If you’re not already watching iZombie, you really need to fix that. We could try and convince you, but we’d rather leave that task up to Thomas and Ruggiero-Wright.
“The thing we use as a template is Buffy,” explains Thomas. “It’s a show that has some gore and monster genre stuff going around, and it’s got some detective police work going on, and then on top of all that we’re trying to be funny. We don’t want to have the rhythm of a sitcom where you have to get a joke out every moment, but we want it to be clever and witty with quotable dialogue.
“We don’t quite feel like the other CW superhero shows,” he continues, and he’s not wrong. “I’m a big fan of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and sometimes I feel that the dialogue in our show is very much like that. I mean, we want to be clever and funny but they’re breaking into song, and we have monsters eating brains.”
Ruggiero-Wright insists that the show’s fantastic cast goes a long way when it comes to drawing in new viewers.
“I think our cast is just really phenomenal and exceptional, and there’s someone for everyone in it,” she says. “I think people love everyone, but then they also definitely have their person that they latch onto. They have such affection for Ravi (Rahul Kohli), or they want to be best friends with Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin), or they want to date Major (Robert Buckley), and everyone secretly loves Blaine (David Anders).”
But if they didn’t have the actors, she reckons iZombie would be a really hard sell. “We are all like, we’re doing a zombie show, but she’s a cute zombie and she eats brains and solves murders. People are like, ‘yeah, good luck with that…’” she laughs. “But then you see it and Rose is so compelling and so funny and so endearing that you get sucked into her journey and you want her to be okay, and you want her to succeed and find love and not have the guy she dates die!”
“I think we occupy our own space,” continues Thomas, “and in some ways I’m doomed to do shows with—how do I put this? When I did Veronica Mars, if someone told me there was a new teenage private eye show, I don’t know that I would have rushed to see it. It’s the same thing with iZombie. When you say, ‘well, we’ve got a zombie who eats brains and then solves detective cases,’ getting people to experience it is sometimes the hard part!”
iZombie Season 3 premieres on Netflix UK today, with new episodes available to stream every Wednesday. Get all the latest sci-fi news with every issue of SciFiNow.