Originally a 2009 midseason replacement, "Castle" has become ABC's little crime drama that could over 4-1/2 seasons, consistently churning out clever crime stories, continually growing in the ratings, and sporadically being rewarded with People's Choice Awards. On Monday, the ABC show will achieve another important series milestone -- the airing of its 100th episode.
To mark such a special occasion, creator/executive producer Andrew Marlowe and his writer wife Terri Miller wrote a script that pays its respects to famed mystery director Alfred Hitchcock. But doing just a straight tribute is for the birds, so...
"The challenge is not to do just an homage to Hitchcock, but to do something fresh and different. I've seen lots of shows try to do a Hitchcock episode and fail because they just try to imitate it," Marlowe told Yahoo TV! exclusively at the on-set cake-and-champagne celebration at the end of February. "The homage is just a starting point. We wanted something that was additive to our characters and that would shine a spotlight on their relationships. We purposely made the choice to not compete with our big episodes like the Alexis kidnapping. Instead, we did a story that was quintessential Castle and Beckett."
In "The Lives of Others," Castle is apartment-ridden after breaking his leg skiing and bummed that he can't join the team to investigate the death of an IRS agent. But his misery and boredom are short-lived as he is sure he has witnessed the murder of a young woman in a unit across the street, a la "Rear Window." He then tries to convince his coworkers that it was not just a figment of his imagination, or a side effect of cabin fever or prescriptions.
"'Rear Window' is a classic, and it's been fun playing with the concept. There is a lot of comedy to be mined from injury and immobility," Nathan Fillion said. "We are doing what makes Castle great -- a lighthearted murder mystery that doesn't take itself too seriously, relies heavily on characters rather than situations, and features some twists and turns. I think that's what people like about our show. That's what I like about our show."
Marlowe added, "This story captured the magic we had in the first season with the bickering, bantering, and their differing points of view. Now that they're in a relationship, it has a different level of charm."
But as you can see in this exclusive clip from the 100th episode, Beckett does not find her partner's paranoia amusing, especially after Esposito and Ryan find no evidence at the supposed crime scene. "The gang is a tad annoyed with Castle because they assume he is just letting his imagination get the best of him again, and they have a real case to work on. But he forces us to go along for the ride. We owe [it to] him to at least check it out, especially because over the years many of Castle's crazy theories turn out to be true."
NEXT: The cast picks their favorite "Castle" episodes...
And what a ride "Castle" has been. In honor of the anniversary, Yahoo TV! wanted to know which episodes were Marlowe and company's favorites.
Nathan Fillion (Castle): "If I had a list, I could say, 'Oh that one.' For me, they all blend together. I don't have that kind of mind. The werewolf episode was a good one because I got to dress up like Malcolm Reynolds [from 'Firefly']. We all got to do a little nudge, nod, and wink to our former jobs. [The] steampunk [episode] was another good one. The sci-fi episode was lots and lots of fun because, again, that was a nod to my involvement in that community."
Andrew Marlowe (Creator-writer-executive producer): "It is really hard to pick because our show has such a great tonal range. We can do a thriller one week and a hysterical comedy the next. I loved 'Always' because it was the culmination of four seasons of these two people evolving, getting frustrated with each other, falling in love, going one step forward and two steps back. And maybe I am just still on a high from the fact that we were able to pull off our recent two-parter where we revealed Castle's dad, but that will also go down as one of my favorites, I think. Jim Brolin was such good casting."
Castle's dad is revealed:
Jon Huertas (Javier Esposito): "The one where the documentary film crew starts filming us after a member of the band they were making a movie about ends up murdered. It was shot so differently and we were able to depart from our normal characters and figure out what it would be like for a normal guy to suddenly be in front of the camera. I loved exploring that side of Esposito. And I got to jump over a car and sing in that episode. It was a blast."
Huertas sings in the studio to prep for the episode:
Susan Sullivan (Martha Rodgers): "The one in which my paramour Chet died, because it allowed me to deal with my own feelings of grief and loss and how you move on with your life. Those are prominent issues in my life -- and everyone's life, for that matter. As an actor, you want to play something that's going to allow you to find out something about yourself every time."
Seamus Dever (Kevin Ryan): "No. 404: 'Kick the Ballistics' and No. 518: 'The Wild Rover.' Everyone gives me a hard time that I remember the episode numbers. They just stick in my mind. I'm the Rainman of 'Castle.' Also No. 202: 'The Double Down' is still my favorite in terms of comedy. Our show really hit its stride in Season 2 and we realized that our show could be a comedy as well as a procedural. We were literally asking each other, 'Is it funnier if I do this or this?' That is not a question that is usually asked on a one-hour show."
Watch the episode "The Wild Rover":
Molly C. Quinn (Alexis Castle): "'Hedge Fund Homeboys.' I loved that it focused around those snotty privileged, high school kids. It was also the first time I ever had to cry on camera. It established the fundamentals of mine and Nathan's relationship -- him waking me up in bed and being worried -- and it built everything that we stand on now for our father-daughter relationship. It is really the first time you learn about Alexis's independent personality and how much Castle actually depends on her. And it was the first thing that Sweet Pea from 'Sucker Punch' ever did, and I loved that movie."
Tamala Jones (Lanie Parish): "That ['Vampire Weekend'] Halloween episode that was written by Terri. Her writing is extremely impeccable. I loved that we all got together at the end and had a great time. The mystery of the Fangorium and the people who were into vampires and werewolves sounded so crazy. At the time, vampires and werewolves were very trendy with the 'Twilights' and the 'True Bloods' and it was fun to be a part of the trend. I also loved 'The Blue Butterfly' because period pieces are my favorite. The present and the past were so nicely balanced. And we had great costumes. They put us in the most beautiful gowns."
Penny Johnson (Sir/Captain Gates): "There have been so many great ones that it is hard to pick, but I did really enjoy the two-part one we just did where Castle's daughter is kidnapped. Nathan's performance was flawless. I was like, 'Where did that come from? Are you a daddy?' He nailed it -- that do-anything parental emotion. It also broke the formula we were used to and it had such a big scope and great guest stars."
Watch the two-parter:
"Castle" airs Mondays at 10 PM on ABC.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Alfred Hitchcock