“Van Helsing” Exclusive: Showrunner Neil LaBute Talks Overton’s Pregnancy, Dmirti’s Backstory & Previews “Big Momma”

Before Syfy’s Van Helsing took a break for the Thanksgiving holiday, OMFGTV jumped on the phone with series’ boss Neil LaBute (“Billy & Billie,” “Full Circle”) to chat about the latest installment, titled, “Everything Changes.” The showrunner also took time to talk about the differences he noticed going into the show’s sophomore season, how bringing Missy Peregrym’s character Scarlett allowed them to work around Kelly Overton’s pregnancy, and tease tonight’s all new episode!

Going into season 2, Neil explains it was easier in a sense that “this world has already been created, now it’s like doing a sequel.” The showrunner wanted viewers to feel like they were still finding out new things about this world. “We still wanted to unfold some mythology and unfold the characters a bit more, we’re doing a few more flashbacks,” LaBute tells us. He likens the series’ inaugural season to a wild animal, and adds that season 2 in a sense is the “same animal, different stripes.” Neil is aware that fans of genre television love their shows “in a particular way” so it is very important for him to go back and check that nothing from the past season or past episodes contradict anything said in the newer ones, because the fans will surely notice.

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In real life, Van Helsing star Kelly Overton was pregnant for the entirety of the season, which became a challenge LaBute faced when working on this next chapter. Overton shared news of her pregnancy around the time they had finished outlining the season, so the writers went back to the drawing board to change several things. One of the changes they made was adding the character of Scarlett Harker, who surprise, surprise, is actually Vanessa’s twin sister and has many of the same abilities. Neil knew he wanted to eventually explore the possibility of “another Van Helsing,” and decided to bring that character into play now. “The show isn’t called Vanessa Van Helsing, it’s called Van Helsing.” Luckily for LaBute, Missy Peregrym (“Rookie Blue,” “Reaper”) fit right in on set and in the show. “She was a great sport, fast learner, and she really picked up the slack.”

The season’s seventh episode, “Everything Changes,” begins with Dmirti’s (Paul Johansson) backstory, showing him in the 1970’s and how he was captured and experimented on. Neil thought it was important for viewers to see Dmitri in a different way than they were used to seeing him. “We also wanted to show the ’70’s clothes,” joked LaBute. And don’t fret if you didn’t get enough of Dmitri’s backstory, because we’ll be getting more! “You’ll get a sense of how Dmitri, in fact, got turned,” he reveals. “We will also be getting some backstory on other vampires such as Scab, “You’ll see Scab as a real person.”

Speaking of Scab, he recently became the leader of an all-lady killer squad called “The Sisterhood.” We asked LaBute why he made a man the leader of a group of lady warriors who hate men. “The law that rules the land is survival of the fittest, and it echoes something that we do further down the road.”

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At the end of the episode the group gets gassed and Vanessa gets taken by a bunch of guys in a Black Hawk helicopter. What’s the group going to do without her? “Just as Vanessa was searching for her daughter all last season, this gives them a super objective for the rest of the season,” he says. “But we also know there’s this Elder thing going on that they’re gonna have to deal with as well, so it makes their objective two-fold.” The next episode will pick up from that same place with them going “now what do we do?”

In tonight’s return of Van Helsing, the all-new episode, titled, “Big Momma,” introduces a group of cops who are still going through the paces of the law when the law no longer exists. “They’ve got everything our group would want in terms of supplies, but there’s something very strange about them,” LaBute teases. “They can’t help but go off with them to see what the situation is, but all their radars are up as to what’s the real situation with these people.”

Tonight’s Van Helsing is a crazy episode you definitely don’t want to miss!

Van Helsing airs Thursdays at 9pm on Syfy.

Photo Credit: Dan Power/Nomadic Pictures Corp./Syfy