7th Heaven vet Stephen Collins is joining the cast of Revolution for the NBC series' upcoming second season.
Collins' casting was announced Saturday when producers unveiled a new teaser trailer for Season 2 at the show's Comic-Con panel, moderated by TV Guide Magazine's Michael Schneider. Collins will be play Rachel's (Elizabeth Mitchell) father. "[He] brings an entirely new perspective on her, her upbringing," executive producer Rockne S. O'Bannon said. "He's a very important part of the world we got to inhabit in the first part of the season."
Cast additions are far from the only changes being made on the sophomore series. Creator and executive producer Eric Kripke said he and the writers have gone to great lengths to improve upon Season 1. "As good as it was, it needs to be better," Kripke said. "It was a lot of story about a light switch."
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Key to that, Kripke says, was taking the pendant and the power off the table for the "forseeable" future — Kripke says the pendant will "emerge later in the season" — and expanding on last year's "limited" story-telling opportunities. "It's always been a show about family and hope and love, and now they can all move towards each other and not just make it so obsessed about the power. I think you'll see much more intimate digging into character," Kripke said. "Let's stop talking about the power and lets start talking about the world."
Kripke said he and the writers were excited to go back to basics and introduce a new group of villains in order to bring many of the show's main characters back together, particularly the feuding Miles (Billy Burke) and Monroe (David Lyons). "We just want to see Miles and Monroe kicking a-- together, and so it was like, 'OK, what are some of the ways we could do that?'Kripke said.
Enter a group called The Patriots — a group of people from Cuba who, despite their names, may not have America's best interests at heart. "They're just really, really bad dudes," Kripke said. "The idea was to create a villain this year that's so bad and so insidious and whose tentacles go so far, that even our heroes and our villains ultimately have to band together to fight this threat. They're using the iconography of stars and stripes and patroism, but they're using it as a mask. If you were to look behind closed doors ... you'll see that they are really, really bad dudes up to some nefarious stuff."
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But exactly what the Patriots are after will remain a mystery for a little while. "Watching that unfold and how deep and how far back that unfolds, for us, is a much more satisfying engine," Kripke said.
O'Bannon said fans should not underestimate this season's baddies. "What's really cool is that the show is spinning into a really mythic saga on this grand scale. The villains we are bringing in are really big and bad and serpentine. Primarily our new characters are villains," he said.
The end result is something Kripke thinks fans will appreciate. "I think we have, no question, a better Season 2 than Season 1," he said.
So what will our favorite returning characters be up to when the show returns? Read on:
Charlie: "She's branching off on her own a little bit," Tracy Spiridakos said. "Now it's a few months later and she doesn't have anybody to bail her out. ... She has to rely on everything she's learned along her journey." Charlie will also do a little bit of soul-searching. "She gets to a place where her moral compass very much gets shattered," Spiridakos said. "She's got to figure it out. What's this thing that she been fighting for?
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Miles: With Charlie off on her own, Miles will get in some quality one-on-one time with Rachel as producers explore and expand their relationship. "There was that little matter that he kidnapped and tortured her for awhile so it's complicated," Kripke said. "They really do have strong feelings for each other and its undeniable."
Monroe: "The game has been completely changed after the fall out of the nuclear holocaust," Lyons said. "He's on his own. He's stuck in a place, emotionally and physically, that is completely removed. But he probably won't be for very long." In the new Season 2 preview featured below, Monroe is seen throwing some punches. "I spent most of last season behind a desk talking about a pendant so I now to get out," Lyons said with a laugh.
Neville: "At the beginning of this second season, you literally see a guy who is broken," Giancarlo Esposito said of his character. Despite the ongoing tension between Neville and his son, Jason (JD Pardo), there is hope that Neville might begin to mend fences. "I love it because it's so complicated. This season, I think, is really about acceptance," Pardo said. "Like it or not they're family." But first, Neville will have to start taking his son more seriously. "When someone's growing up, you have to learn to respect them and once in a while something gets through," Esposito said. Pardo, for one, is optimistic. "I think they are going to make a great team," he said. Sadly, it looks like Neville's wife, Julia (Kim Raver), won't get such a happy ending. Esposito rebuffed theories that she died in the holocaust, but made her return sound very unlikely. "We haven't found her, let's put it that way," Esposito said.
Watch the new Season 2 preview here:
Revolution returns on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 8/7c on NBC. Are you excited to meet Rachel's dad?