Van Helsing has been a hidden gem on Syfy for four seasons now, and our reviews over the years have been overwhelmingly positive for this vampire apocalypse show. Although Jonathan Lloyd Walker took over as showrunner in the recently concluded season 4, the series didn’t miss a beat despite a shift in focus to different members of the Van Helsing clan. We spoke to Lloyd for the Sci Fi Fidelity podcast about his first experience helming a production and about the opportunities afforded by being renewed for a fifth and final season.
Having been both an actor and writer in many Vancouver-shot genre series for many years, Lloyd was happy to finally have the opportunity to steer the ship with Van Helsing season 4. “It’s been a great experience!” he says. “I obviously for a number of years have been the XO, the second in command, second seat as it’s often called in the business, and it’s been a great training ground for me to be able to get an opportunity to watch really talented showrunners execute the vision of a show and shape it in their own way. And so I was very eager to get that opportunity to do the same thing.”
It was a smooth transition for Van Helsing’s writing staff, of which Lloyd had been a part since the beginning. “Very fortunate for me, Neil Labute, who was the showrunner for the first few seasons of this… said to me after season two, ‘If this goes for awhile, and I think it will, I’m very much thinking that I’m just going to hand it off to you and move on and do some different things. Would you be interested?’ And it was a dream come true; it was exactly what I wanted,” says Lloyd. “So it’s been great!”
Those who have seen the Van Helsing season 4 finale know that its open-ended nature seemed to indicate that the show knew it was coming back. “It’s been a hard to keep secret for me for quite some time because when we were pretty much about halfway through season 4, I got a pretty strong indication that we were going to get a season 5 but that also season 5 would be the last season for the show,” Lloyd reveals in the podcast. “[It was] great to have the opportunity and the support from the network to bring a show full circle and bring it to an end.”
The podcast hosts recall their first conversation with Lloyd during his time as a writer on another show that was renewed for a final season, allowing the series to end on its own terms. “We got that fortunately with Continuum, and then I’m now going to get it again with Van Helsing,” says Lloyd. “So that enabled me to think ahead… what could I bake into season 4 to help tie in to what I think I’m going to do in season 5 and how I want to bring the show to a conclusion?”
The interview reveals many of the plot points that will lead into the finale season of Van Helsing in the full audio version on the Sci Fi Fidelity podcast. Be sure to subscribe so that you never miss an episode! Each week we review a currently airing show, discuss a topic of interest to genre television, or interview someone from behind the scenes of our favorite series. Find us in your podcast app of choice or simply listen below!
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Michael Ahr is a writer, reviewer, and podcaster here at Den of Geek; you can check out his work here or follow him on Twitter (@mikescifi). Dave Vitagliano has been writing and podcasting about science fiction television since 2012. You can read more of his work here.