One of the hardest things about the cancellation of a favourite show is being left in suspense. Shows don’t always run long enough to fulfill a writer’s vision, and even if a series survives its freshman year, it still faces the risk of being cancelled after a second, third or, in the case of Angel, fifth season. For every Buffy the Vampire Slayer or The Sopranos there are umpteen shows that never make it to that very special series finale.
In the best case scenario, the show’s creators, writers, and actors are all aware that their series will not survive the year and are given plenty of warning in which to bring the show to a satisfying conclusion. If they have less warning, the show might wrap up some plot lines but leave other questions unanswered. Once the show wraps up on screen, it is often left to fans to come to their own conclusions about what would have happened had the show continued, but sometimes the creators and writers lend a hand, coming forward to reveal the future plans for their characters.
This is especially true for shows which have their own mythology and/or lead characters with a destiny. After its cancellation, Daniel Knauf, the creator and executive producer of HBO’s Carnivale, revealed more about the show’s complex mythology and how the story would have continued. Carnivale ran for just two seasons but the writers had a six year plan for the show that they never had the chance to execute. Similarly, writer and co-producer Julie Plec answered questions about future storylines on Kyle XY after the ABC Family show was unexpectedly cancelled. The drama, which ran for three seasons, did not have the opportunity to wrap up plotlines and its finale ended with a cliffhanger, causing Plec to provide some answers for frustrated fans.
Recently Eli Stone creator and executive producer Marc Guggenheim discussed what would have happened for Eli and his associates at Wethersby Stone. When Eli Stone aired its finale in July it seemed to provide closure and a glimpse of what the future might hold for the characters. Matt and Taylor became engaged, Eli had a conversation with God/his father that tied back to the show’s pilot, and Eli reconciled with Maggie. However, four additional episodes had been scripted beyond this finale, revealing unexpected futures for some of our favourite characters.
E!Online reported the following:
On Eli’s Relationships:
“The idea was going to be that Eli starts dating Maggie, and then just as things are going really great, there’s a knock on the door. He opens the door to his apartment and there’s Grace [Katie Holmes], who is back in town.”
“We didn’t know whether or not he would end up with Grace. Obviously had we gone to series, it would’ve been difficult for him to end up with Grace because we didn’t have Katie Holmes on a weekly basis. But we thought it would be nice to bring her back for an episode, and she was game. We wanted to end the season with her.”
On Dr. Chen and Nate:
“They were going to go into practice together. We had Nate lose his job at the hospital and eventually Nate and Chen were going to open up an Eastern and Western medicine practice. It was going to be like The Odd Couple.”
On Matt and Taylor:
“They were going to get married. Taylor would eventually have their baby. Matt was going to be the surprisingly good father. Taylor would find it difficult to balance work and motherhood, but Matt would show a surprising ability for being a dad.”
“Jordan was going to reconnect with Taylor’s mother. We were hoping to get Goldie Hawn. That was the plan and hope.”
On Wethersby Stone:
“Wethersby Stone was going to continue to grow and prosper. Maggie would eventually come back to the firm.”
On Eli the Prophet:
“Eli gets a very happy ending. Basically the overall plan for the show was that with each season, Eli’s profile would get bigger and bigger, until by the end of the series, he would be talking to crowds of thousands of people. His profile would grow until he actually found it difficult to practice law because he had so much notoriety. Then the show was going to shift from Eli being a lawyer to being more of an active prophet. One of the things we always said on the show was Abraham Lincoln was a prophet, Martin Luther King Jr. was a prophet, Gandhi was a prophet. All three people met premature ends. As Eli’s profile grew, the danger grew to him as well.”
But the real surprise for many fans was what Guggenheim had in store for Maggie’s romantic future:
“Maggie and Eli don’t end up together. Maggie and Nate end up together. In episode 11 of season one, when you saw Eli 40 years in the future in Times Square, the baby that Maggie is holding is her baby, but it’s with Nate. We were going to revisit that flash-forward and return to Times Square. You would see that Nate arrived late, and as Eli took the stage, he was going to push his way through the throng of people to meet up with Maggie.”
Although few can claim to have foreseen a relationship between Maggie and Nate, this TV enthusiast is just glad that Guggenheim revealed what the future had in store for Eli Stone… and sorry we didn’t have the chance to see it all develop on the small screen.