Rick And Morty co-creator Dan Harmon on S6: “Let’s just do this for everybody who’s been waiting.” - SciFiNow

Rick And Morty co-creator Dan Harmon on S6: “Let’s just do this for everybody who’s been waiting.”

We speak to Rick And Morty co-creator Dan Harmon about continuing the plot from Season Five to Season Six and how Rick’s revelations may destroy the show…

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Rick And Morty Season Five and Season Six.

If you’ve seen the first episode of Season Six of Rick And Morty ‘Solaricks’ [if you haven’t, well, we’ll wait until you do so… ready now?], you’ll know that the show’s creators have given what many fans have called for and has canonically continued on the story from Season Five’s explosive ending and has given us a lot of insight into the Rick and the family’s past.

“At the end of every season we have this crucial choice to make, which is are we gonna end on a cliffhanger, which makes that episode easier to write beccause you don’t have to finish. But then you have homework…” says the show’s co-creator Dan Harmon. “We left a lot unresolved and so we knew if we just hit the reset button, that would be considered lazy or unsatisfying — people have to wait a long time between seasons!”

Indeed, when writing a show where its characters can be instantly reset and all story can be thrown out of the window at a moment’s notice without any consequence, it was perhaps inevitable that the show would eventually turn to a continuous storyline, though it’s clearly not something that Harmon has taken lightly.

“There was this other consideration: When is your show allowed to be so canonically indulgent? Do you ever have to stop considering the hypothetical new viewer who’s watching off the streets and is starting with Episode 601 of Rick and Morty? It’s nice sometimes to consider it a zero sum game and just go: ‘Look, that person’s going not enjoy this – they’re going to need to go back and there’s going be too much canon. Maybe they’ll be impressed with the tone of the show and be inspired to go get caught up by watching the previous season, but let’s just do this for everybody that’s been waiting. Let’s finish this story and get our season started’.”

We find out a lot about Rick’s backstory in S5 (image credit: Adult Swim).

As for Rick, creating a compelling backstory and challenging ‘the smartest man in the universe’, the show’s creators have had a hell of a time. Which we think he’d be pretty pleased about…

“At the very beginning of the show we recognised that, not unlike Doctor Who, or characters that are superpowered and cool and undefeatable, it just requires you to not tell plot-driven stories about ‘oh, I lost my sonic screwdriver’. With Rick, we recognised early on that eventually this guy’s going to be a living god. We can’t go where we want to with these sci-fi stories without endowing this man with powers that make him invincible.

“So we rarely tell stories where you’re genuinely feeling ‘oh my God, is Rick going to die?’. People are constantly choking him and beating him and trying to kill him, but you know he’s not going to die. So you’ll notice that in his stories, the emotional core of it is what’s at stake. It usually has to do with the relationship with Morty.”

Usually what’s at stake is Rick’s relationship with Morty (image credit: Adult Swim).

Speaking of that emotional core, Season Five of Rick And Morty gave us a lot more back story to Rick than we’d ever seen before, discovering that Bad Rick – or ‘Weird’ Rick – that our Rick has been chasing for decades actually killed our Rick’s wife, Diane.

Season Six promises a lot more. Not that Rick has any interest in that whatsoever…

“Rick has as little taste for serialisation in canonical backstory as I do,” Harmon laughs. “I was raised in the broadcast era and the right form of craft, then, was modular storytelling.

“Rick doesn’t want to be a blamer and he doesn’t want to be a soap opera. He wants to continue, but another way of looking at that is that he’s very avoidant. I mean, he split his daughter in two rather than have a relationship with her! [But] Rick is a changed man and he keeps changing. We revealed his whole true backstory at the end of Season [Five]. We can’t do that again. We can’t say we were just kidding. We tried that! Now we’ve established that’s a fact, we can’t retcon that. So that does change Rick. He’s confided in Morty.

“More importantly, it changes their relationship. Morty becomes less and less of just a punching bag and becomes more and more of a partner to Rick. Which may destroy the show…”

Nah, we don’t think so! Rick And Morty is showing now on 4OD. Season Six, Episode 2 will be aired on E4 on Mon 12 September at 4am