It looks like Sam and Dean are about to uncover a treasure trove of knowledge on this week's Supernatural episode, "Everybody Hates Hitler."
Over a conference call, writer Ben Edlund dished the details on where the Winchester brothers are headed after learning about the Men of Letter's wealth of information on "As Time Goes By," while also facing Necromancer Nazis and a Golem that actually towers over the two lead actors.
With episodes under his belt such as "Blood Brothers" and "Reading is Fundamental," Edlund is no stranger to creating a wild new aspect to the show that ties in the classic humor, drama and action that's become a staple of the series.
As for centering an installment around villainous Nazi Necromancers, Edlund said that the concept "originally stemmed in terms of thinking of the Thule Society," a German occultist group that "really did fund the early days of the Nazi party and kind of had some weird interactions with an early Hitler."
To him, it seemed like the perfect direction, especially with Sam and Dean on their hunt for the ultimate collection of supernatural knowledge.
"Sam's really jazzed about this wealth of information and the library there, and everything that comes from inheriting the Men of Letters headquarters. Dean is a little less geeked out in that regard," Edlund said in respect to how the brothers would approach their new quest.
Of course, Dean's always been under the impression that things like Bigfoot just don't exist and neither do these secret societies so now all of a sudden, the development changes his concept of what's real or not.
It seems clear that finding this "library" is a positive influence on Sam's involvement in the hunting business, certainly because "this is an important thing that's going to give them tools to fight the enemies in this season."
Along with the new discovery comes a brand new set piece to the show, one Edlund finds "gorgeous."
"It will stand as a set for some time, I hope, because it's wonderful looking. [Writer] Adam Glass brought the Men of Letters into his episode, and it was the opportunity to give them a really really cool atmosphere rich space for them to be in, and [production designer] Jerry Wanek has done a beautiful job of making it real, or as real as movies get."
The writer laughed about the challenges of creating the new location, especially because his initial ideas were unshootable: "I got very prose-y in the scripts because I was just so excited to do it. I actually had to limit myself. It started out unproduceable and then we scaled it back. At one point it was constructed as an echo of the axis mundi, and it actually was a mini universe underground that had all these spiral staircases and unproduceable elements."
At the same time these limitations also worked in keeping one of the creatures in the episode, a golem, more grounded.
Edlund talked about his design for the golem being similar to the clay creatures in a fantasy sequence in Peter Jackson's film Heavenly Creatures, but realized that having an actual actor play out the scenes worked out better in addition to adding a level of comedy.
"The golem is so physically present that the guy we got to play him, John Desantis, is amazing. He's like 6'11. Usually when I'm writing something for Sam and Dean and I say, 'Oh, this person towers over Sam and Dean,' I'm in a really bad place to begin that discussion because Jared is 6'6 and Jensen is really tall. Trying to get them be towered over [is tough].
He continued enthusiastically, "[Desantis'] voice sounds like a church bell rolling down a hill. It's great. He adds such presence to the intent of the comedy written in the script which is amazing."
See Sam and Dean fight Nazi Necromancers on this fun brand new Supernatural episode tomorrow at 9/8c on the CW.
Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.