When last we spoke to Blindspot creator Martin Gero, his show’s surprising and brilliant season had hardly begun. So when we ran into him at the recent New York Comic Con, LA Fan Cultures Examiner took the time to ask him a few of our in-season burning questions – like what went into the decision to reveal Jane Doe as Taylor Shaw and which main character is nothing like their original description.
Blindspot surprised everyone by telling us who Jane Doe is (or might be – what’s up with that isotope test?) in just the show’s third episode. How did Martin decide to go there so quickly, and did he get any pushback from anyone else about not giving away a huge piece of information almost right away?
“When NBC and I were talking about the show in the early stages, they were like we really need to turn cards, and I was like absolutely, I totally agree. Then when we said we’re going to turn this one they were like well, that’s quick,” he laughed. “The Taylor Shaw of it all is obviously one of the most important thing about the show, and I just needed to get it out there right away because it so much has to do with [Jane and Kurt Weller’s] relationship.
“This is something that’s really defined Weller’s life,” Martin continued, “and honestly, he’s a smart guy so he was going to put it together pretty quick and so then finding out if it’s true or not is relatively straightforward. It’s a DNA test. So you couldn’t really drag it out much longer. If we had dragged it out much longer, I think people would have been super-pissed off about it. Like ‘Come on, is she Taylor Shaw or not, dude?’ We would have had to create faults like well, there is no Taylor Shaw DNA, some sort of bulls–t.
“[But] keep watching,” he added. “There’s still some twists and turns in that story.”
The show has already made all sorts of headlines, and not just in the ratings. Jaimie Alexander revealed on Late Night that the police were once called on her during filming, and Martin told us that an explosion in one of their other episodes made New York’s evening news. This series is not small by any means, but it’s able to be so big because its cast keeps it grounded.
Speaking of his talented ensemble, Martin discussed how he got all seven pieces to fall into place, starting with the key components of Alexander and Sullivan Stapleton.
“She’s amazing,” he enthused of Jaimie. “I never understood why she wasn’t a bigger deal and I’m glad she is now. I didn’t write [the character of Jane] with her in mind, but five minutes into talking to her about the role, I thought, God, that’s it, we can’t get anyone else. We’ve got to do everything we can to get her.
“It was the same with Sullivan,” he continued. “I’ve been such a fan of his. Obviously Strike Back, but for me Animal Kingdom – he was such a revelation in that thing. So hen I met him over Skype and we started talking about it, I was just like oh s–t, I’m going to be so disappointed if we don’t get him and we were really lucky.
“All my seven leads were my first choice,” he revealed. “You never get that.”
However, one character looked drastically different on the page than they did as seen on TV. “I let [the characters] do their own thing and then grow them towards the actors as the show continues,” Martin elaborated. “Probably the best version of that is, Patterson’s character was a 40-year-old Asian woman in the script and then I just didn’t find anyone that really nailed it. Then Ashley [Johnson] came in and I was like, oh my God, I didn’t think of this part like this at all, and we changed it around.”
There’s no denying that they’ve gotten everything right. With a fantastic cast of all-stars plus writing that is always on point, Blindspot has definitely earned its status as the top show of the fall and likely one of the best shows to have come onto television in the last decade. And with Martin Gero at the helm, the show’s in safe hands.
For more on tonight’s all-new episode, check out our video preview and photo gallery.
Blindspot airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.