This isn't your mom's Nancy Drew. The CW's new spin on the beloved literary detective brings fans to Horseshoe Bay, a sleepy town with a penchant for the paranormal and one feisty protagonist. In the pilot, the eponymous sleuth (portrayed by Kennedy McMann) has retreated from all the spy games she was so good at as a kid following her mother's death. However, she reluctantly begins to investigate the murder of a local townswoman after she finds herself holed up at the precinct and pegged as a person of interest in the case.
See, Nancy was the last person -- aside from the killer, of course -- who saw the lady alive, and the circumstances are too odd for her keen sensibilities. The woman was waiting in the parking lot of the diner for Nancy to deliver her a meal. Meanwhile, her husband was inside with his crew (probably to establish an air-tight alibi during the time of the incident). Naturally, the power went out at just the right time to make everyone else inside a suspect as well.
This leads Nancy on a wild chase of not just the husband's secrets, but also the secrets of the town, which lost its so-called "sea queen", Lucy Sable, and is supposedly haunted by her ghost. Thanks to one seance, a couple of eerie encounters, and a little squad work with her co-workers George (Leah Lewis) and Bess (Maddison Jaizani), Nancy discovers a major clue that seems to be the ticket to solving both mysteries -- until we find out that everyone she knows is lying in some form or fashion. Not only do George and Bess have some 'splaining to do about their own connections to the murder at hand, but even the people she's supposed to be able to trust -- her father Carson (Scott Wolf) and boyfriend Nick (Tunji Kasim) -- have been lying to her.
As time goes on, we suspect the new Nancy Drew will be putting her magnifying glass up to just about everyone in Horseshoe Bay -- dead or alive -- but until then, TV Guide caught up with co-creator Stephanie Savage to dig into this new world and get a preview of what's next for Nancy.
What made you guys decide to bring in the supernatural element with the sea queen ghost and the seance?
Stephanie Savage: From our earliest conversations, we talked about bringing out the darkness in the book series. Our favorite editions were the ones that hinted at a supernatural force. Noga [Landau, writer] is a huge horror fan and it was her idea to actually go there in the series.
Will the paranormal continue throughout the series?
Savage: Yes! Dead Lucy's role only increases. And she may not be the only spirit haunting Horseshoe Bay.
Nancy's relationship with her dad was pretty solid in the books, so what was the thought process behind taking her relationship with Carson in an angstier direction?
Savage: A more complicated Nancy-Carson relationship felt true to their situation as the show opens. But the core of that relationship -- the mutual love and respect -- is there. For me, the Nancy-Carson relationship was a huge source of wish fulfillment in the books. Carson admires Nancy, and he is always there for her.
How can we expect to see that relationship evolve?
Savage: Their relationship will continue to have challenges, but eventually they will need each other more than ever.
The murder mystery seems to have bonded Nancy with Bess and George, but now we're finding out that they have some very dark secrets of their own. How will their relationships evolve throughout the series?
Savage: That both Bess and George are legit suspects in the murder is a huge complication for Nancy's friendships. Never mind that the girls don't even start as friends. Nancy is used to working alone, but she'll realize this case is too big to handle solo. She'll be forced to open up and trust Bess and George, which will result in more surprises.
Why is Nick so cagey about his own past, if he says he has nothing to hide?
Savage: Nancy has exactly the same question! Which is why one of her first investigations has Nick ... under her magnifying glass.
Nancy Drew airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW.
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