TV time jumps are a tricky business. They can breath new, narrative life into a series—or, in the case of a teen-driven drama, give our protagonists time to grow up. But, if too jarring, they can also alienate a viewer who has stuck with a show through multiple seasons only to feel like they have missed vital parts of the story and characters’ growth.
When The 100 returns this week with Season 5, it will, for the most part, take place following the six-year time jump we saw in the Season 4 finale. It’s a big leap for a show whose first four seasons took place over the course of only ten months, but it’s one that—having seen the first four episodes of the season—I can say The 100 definitely pulls off.
Den of Geek was lucky enough to not only preview these episodes, but catch up with series showrunner Jason Rothenberg to ask about the process of crafting the narrative for The 100 Season 5. One of the questions we asked was which characters, from his perspective, changed the most and the least during the six-year time jump.
“I think Octavia has changed the most, I think that’s just impossible to argue otherwise,” said Rothenberg. “The least? Hmm. Probably Bellamy. He’s changed quite a lot. He’s grown up quite a lot, but he’s changed the least in the sense of … I don’t know. It’s tricky, in terms of who’s changed the least, because they’ve all changed so much.”
In other words, The 100 Season 5 has hit that post-time jump balance of growing its characters in believable ways—they have changed, but they are still recognizable as the teenaged rapscallions we first fell in love with (or, if not love, then first fell in fascination with).
“The first four seasons are told within ten months,” added Rothenberg, “and they’ve now been away for almost ten times that amount of time.” It’s a big jump for The 100, but one that allows us to see these kids all grown up.
The 100 Season 5 premieres today—Tuesday, April 24th—at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.
For more information about The 100 Season 5, check out our news hub, and stay tuned for more info from our conversation with Jason Rothenberg.