By Samantha Puc
When The 100 returns to the CW for season six, fans may experience a sense of déjà vu. After 125 years in cryofreeze, Clarke (Eliza Taylor), Bellamy (Bob Morley) and their friends will be exploring a brand new planet for the first time—much like when they went to Earth for the first time in the series pilot.
During an interview at New York Comic Con, Taylor says, “I think there’s some really cool callbacks to even just going down to the ground again and not knowing what to expect. [That] in itself is really kind of reminiscent of the pilot.”
“We’re rebooting the entire show,” says showrunner Jason Rothenberg. “We are creating a new world which means, obviously, we have no sets! All the sets were on Earth except for two space ship sets. So, [building all of those] was hard.”
Rothenberg says Eligius III is “unlike anything that we’ve seen before.” He describes the planet, which is “owned” by the Eligius Corporation, as colorful, beautiful, and “not an ugly kind of post-apocalyptic dark world. The planet is lush. It’s got two suns so the light is very different.” He also says there’s a nighttime sky feature that he can’t talk about, but that changes the light on the planet in a really interesting way.
As for Clarke and Bellamy, both Taylor and Morley say the characters are trying to take the late Monty’s (Christopher Larkin) words to heart in season six.
“Clarke’s mindset is very much based on the choices that she’s made,” Taylor says. “I think what Monty said in the finale is to do better on this new planet and she’s taking that to heart and really trying to make amends with the people that she’s wronged. … She’s made some bad choices—necessary, but bad, so she’s feeling pretty sorry.”
Losing Monty and Harper (Chelsey Reist) “is a hard pill to swallow” for Bellamy, according to Morley. “Even shooting that scene with Chris and Chelsey was quite harrowing. Waking up 125 years later and specifically being woken up, Bellamy and Clarke, by Monty and Monty telling them like, ‘hey, let’s go and do better here on this new planet.’ I think that’s the thing that really dictates his mindset for the whole season.”
Although the series, as Morley says, “really burns through story and plot,” Rothenberg says that season six will offer the characters time to digest what’s happened up until this point.
“They have time to work out their issues a little bit this year,” Rothenberg explains. “There’s a lot of stuff between them that has to be worked out. The [show] recipe for me has always been a mix of the epic and the intimate. I like to always try to find a small character moment within a big action sequence. Without them, I think people don’t care so much about the big action sequences.”
“I think it’s great that there’s going to be more conversation and reflecting on what’s happening in the last five seasons,” Taylor says. “Last season we didn’t really get a chance for Clarke to talk about all this stuff, and it’s a lot.”
“The story is so fast and we have so little time to tell it. Sometimes, admittedly, I wish we had more time for them to just sit in rooms and talk, too,” Rothenberg says. “The other day Bob had two really emotional two-handers in a row. … It was a weird day. I don’t think he’d ever had a day like that. He was like, ‘I don’t even know what to do with myself. I get to talk so much.’”
Taylor says season six is “the most challenging thing I’ve ever done” in her 18 years as an actor. She says the new season has “a great new energy about it” and she thinks fans will be really interested in Clarke’s relationship with a character played by newcomer JR Bourne (Teen Wolf).
“He and Clarke have such a very, very, very bizarre relationship,” she teases. “You’ll see.”
Meanwhile, Morley says Bellamy is “still trying to be that head and the heart leader.” He says he’s excited for fans to see a new, more emotional side of Echo (Tasya Teles) as well: “Tasya really gets to explore Echo’s backstory. It’s something I’m excited about because I imagine Bellamy’s going to be involved in that.”
So far, set photos from The 100 season six show Taylor and Teles on a beautiful beach set, which may or may not point to more interaction between their characters.
— Jason Rothenberg (@JRothenbergTV) September 20, 2018
Rothenberg says that, because the characters have been in cryofreeze, 125 years have passed but to them, they went to sleep last night and woke up today. All of the emotions and situations from season five are still very raw. “It will take a little while to work their shit out,” Rothenberg says.
The 100 season six will likely premiere sometime in 2019. To keep up with announcements on the series, follow @cwthe100 on Twitter.
Samantha Puc is an essayist and culture critic whose work has been featured on Bustle, The Mary Sue, SheKnows, The Tempest, Rogues Portal, and elsewhere. She mostly writes intersectional pop culture analysis with a particular focus on representation of LGBTQ and fat characters in fiction. Samantha is also the co-creator of Fatventure Mag, an outdoors zine for fat women and non-binary creators who are into being active, but not into toxic weight-loss culture. She lives in Rhode Island with her spouse and cats.