Headed to the CW this fall is Beauty and the Beast, a modern take on a classic story, starring Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan. Both Kruek and Ryan are expected to be among today's Beauty and the Beast panel here at Comic Con. Also set to join the panel are executive producers Jennifer Levin, Sherri Cooper, Brian Peterson and Kelly Souders, with EW's Dalton Ross moderating.
Just a bit of background information before we get to the panel business, Beauty and the Beast will have Kreuk playing Catherine Chandler, a NYPD homicide detective who witnessed her mother's murder years ago. Part of this haunting memory apparently includes witnessing a "beast" attacking her mother's killer. Catherine eventually discovers the identity of the mysterious beast, whose name turns out to be Vincent Keller (played by Jay Ryan) and who was a survivor of a military experiment that went wrong. We're going to get a look at the first episode here at SDCC, after which there will be a panel discussion.
I can't promise that there won't be spoilers about the pilot below, but I'll do my best to post a warning, if it seems like something major.
3:31 p.m. - Moderator Dalton Ross takes the stage to make a few comments before the screening. No singing candlesticks in this version of Beauty and the Beast and no Ron Perlman in lion make-up. Bummer.
Some quick comments on the pilot. The episode sets up the origin story of Vincent (a.k.a. The Beast) and his first encounter with Kreuk's character Catherine, when he saved her life after her mother was murdered. The pilot moves between an investigation Catherine is working on (she's a cop) and her re-introduction to Vincent. The dialogue is a little bit stiff sometimes, and there are a few moments that border on cheesy but there's definite potential for the show to go places, if it has some time to settle in. In the meantime, Kreuk pulls off some solid action scenes, though I would have liked to see a bit more of VIncent in action. The biggest moments with him in beast-mode are from Catherine's perspective and in both cases, she wasn't in the right state of mind to see things clearly, so we get shadows and blurry looking attacks. Hopefully that won't always be the case.
4:17 p.m. The Q&A portion of the panel has started. The cast are on stage. Moderator Dalton Ross acknowledges how lucky Kristin Kreuk is (first getting Superman, now this handsome beast). He then acknowledges how attractive the beast is. Seems like most of his beastliness is internal (adrenaline-induced rage and that sort of thing), but he does get a sort of veiny thing in his face. The writers woo'ed Kristin with cupcakes to get her do the part.
4:20 p.m. - Writers talking about how this series is a procedural and a love-story. The spirit of the orignal series is still in there. Mentions of the original story, and the idea that there are beauties and beasts in all of us. As for the serialized element, which includes Vincent's backstory (a military experiment gone wrong turned him into a beast) and Catherine's mother's death, they're still working on how that will fit into the series going forward.
4:23 p.m. - Dalton brings up how physical Vince will be going forward. He mentions the blurry factor. It sounds like we'll see more physical stuff in the series in the future. Writers talking about finding a balance between the procedural element (investigations), the romance between Catherine and Vincent, and the mythology. It will depend on what the focus of the episode will be. There are darker things coming and also maybe some funny moments. Someone (Jay Ryan, I think) suggested the idea of there being a female beast at one point (one of the other soldiers in the flashback showing the military experiment was apparently female so there may be a possibility of that).
4:27 p.m. - Fan questions! Someone asks if there will be any Smallville guest stars on the show. Kristin says that'd be great. (Doesn't sound like anything's planned right now). Kristin says she's soon a little bit of the original series but isn't basing her character on Linda Hamilton's performance. Jay Ryan talking about working out with every muscle in his body, then corrects himself and says, "Not every muscle." He gets laughs for that. A little girl asks Kristin how old she was when she started acting. Kristin said she was seventeen when she started "working for money." She clarified "acting."
4:31 p.m. - Someone asks about comparisons between Lana and Catherine. Lana is more expressive and emotionally vulnerable than Catherine. Last question is when the show starts. October 11. And that's it! Quick panel because most of the time was spent showing us the pilot. I expect Elementary's panel will be the same. That's up next and then Dexter after that!