Supernatural is getting back to the basics in season 12, and as BuddyTV found out from executive producer Andrew Dabb this summer at San Diego Comic-Con, that means getting the focus back on family a bit. He also defended last spring’s finale, previewed what to expect now that Mary Winchester is back and more.

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Watch the video interview with EP Andrew Dabb:

Here are the highlights:

  • Season 12 is more of a soft reset and “back to basics.” They wanted to make the conflicts and stakes personal to Sam and Dean.
  • “As you go big” as they did last year “sometimes the idea of saving the world looks really great on paper but sometimes can be a little nebulous in the telling of the story.”
  • It was important for them to keep the stakes and danger in a more contained, family-focused way. They’ve built on their family. “It’s about putting the focus more on family and building off of that.”
  • In some ways, when Mary comes back, “she’s incredibly proud of Sam and Dean because they’re heroes. She may not agree with hunting but she understands what they do and she understands how great they are and the good they’ve done in the world but she’s conflicted because she knows the danger of this life better than probably anyone and certainly as well as our guys.”
  • For Sam and Dean, their mother died and “everything spirals from that.” They have an idea of who she is because they met her in the past, but they’ve never dealt with her on a day-to-day basis.
  • Sam and Mary have a lot in common. Both walked away from hunting and came back. But when it comes down to it, she’s more like Dean; “take charge, kick ass,” that’s her go-to move.
  • In the season 12 trailer, the first thing Mary does is throw Dean down and take charge of the moment. “She’s a very vulnerable character,” but while she’s out of sorts, she’s not a soft character.
  • Dabb compared taking over as showrunner to being handed the keys to a car: “My goal is to not crash the car.”
  • Dabb understands that the season 11 finale may not have been as satisfying as say, seeing Dick Roman get stabbed in the neck. It’s a risk to do a different kind of finale like that and goes against expectations.
  • God and Amara making peace and going off together was really the best possible result, but in some ways it was also a soft result, the EP acknowledged. He knows it didn’t necessarily work for everyone, but only doing things that people will like limits storytelling.
  • Dabb hopes that people will grab onto the character stuff this season.

Supernatural season 12 premieres Thursday, October 13 at 9pm on the CW.

(Image courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Meredith Jacobs

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

If it’s on TV — especially if it’s a procedural or superhero show — chances are Meredith watches it. She has a love for all things fiction, starting from a young age with ER and The X-Files on the small screen and the Nancy Drew books. Arrow kicked off the Arrowverse and her true passion for all things heroes. She’s enjoyed getting into the minds of serial killers since Criminal Minds, so it should be no surprise that her latest obsession is Prodigal Son.