‘The 100’ Season 6: Jason Rothenberg Interview on World-Building and New Beginnings

Both the poster and first trailer tease it’s time for the survivors to face their demons in The 100 season six. In the new season, the gang arrive on a new planet and attempt to move forward following Monty’s dying wishes that they do better. He also wished them happiness and believed they could be the good guys wherever they wind up. But the first trailer for the new season shows following Monty’s wish for a peaceful future is going to be near impossible.

During the New York Comic Con, series creator/executive producer Jason Rothenberg sat down for interviews to discuss season six. Rothenberg confirmed how much he loves building new worlds and teased a little of what we can expect from Clarke and the gang as they explore a new world.

Season six of The 100 premieres on April 30, 2019 on The CW.

This season is another reinvention. Is that fun for you to do this sort of refresh each season?

Jason Rothenberg: “Yeah. That’s a good question. I definitely creatively try to keep it interesting for myself, that’s why we do it. It’s now become our model so every year we try and tell a new ‘A’ story, essentially, a new sort of uber-plot which does involve usually creating a new wrinkle of a world or a new group of survivors or whatever the case may be. And you’re right – this season is a fairly drastic version of that. It is a new show, literally.”

What can you tell us about the planet and its people and creatures?

Jason Rothenberg: (Laughing) “There will be some.”

People and creatures?

Jason Rothenberg: “Yeah. I mean, you know, the most exciting thing for me has always been world building… Not the most exciting thing, but it’s definitely something I enjoy doing. I hired a bunch of writers who are sci-fi geeks this season and we’re going to try…it’s a hardcore sci-fi story that we’re telling.

The planet, what can I tell you about it? I really can’t tell you much about it. We know it’s got two suns. Those two suns affect the world in really extreme ways that we reveal pretty much right up front. So, that’s all I can really say.

In terms of the people, Eligius 3 – the prisoners were Eligius 4 from last season – Eligius 3 is the mission that Monty was trying to crack that code on and did and found where they went. And it’s 200 years later. They’ve been there for 200 years and so what we find is what they have left behind, what they have created, I guess. What that means you’ll have to wait and see.”

Tone-wise, which season is season six most like?

Jason Rothenberg: “It’s different. The theme of the show has always been this really kind of dark what would you do to survive, how far will you go, at what point does the good guy become the bad guy because they are willing to do such extreme things to keep their people alive. And they go into this season having done all those things, having Monty’s sort of dying wish for them to do better, and they will now really try to do better. So, there’s an odd hopefulness to this whole season in regards to that which I think flavors the whole stew in an interesting new way. Not like any other season; it’s very different.”

Book one was the first five seasons and now we’re starting book two. Do you envision that being the same length? Do you have a plan for it beyond this season?

Jason Rothenberg: “You know, the end of book one was something that had been with me for a little while and I didn’t know if we were…to be honest with you, I didn’t know if that was going to be the end when I wrote it last year. So, I was kind of tasked with a tough mission which was create an ending that is both interesting in and of itself for a season ending and could be the end of the show. We were lucky enough to have that not be the case.

I love this notion of exploring this new planet and what has become of the Eligius 3 colonists. And so, it could last five years I suppose. I’m not really thinking that far ahead. It’s a long time to be on one show. It’s hard to keep the quality as high as I feel like we have. The crew is great, the cast is amazing, the writers have been great. Everybody is doing their best work right now. But at some point, you start to repeat yourself and I don’t want to be in that situation so I’m not announcing an end date or anything like that – that’s out of my league anyway – but I don’t think it’s one of those shows that’s meant for a Supernatural type run.”

Are there any unusual pairings or anything you can tease for the upcoming season about characters we’ll see together that we may not expect?

Jason Rothenberg: “Yeah, there are some interesting pairings. Eliza (Taylor) and Richard (Harmon) are great together and they have a lot to do. Murphy’s really pissed off at her for what she did last year. He got shot at the end and obviously she abandoned them in Polis…Was it Polis? Technically it’s Polis. She abandoned them to Octavia. She’s also obviously sided with McCreary and Diyoza and that led to some trouble for him, so he’s not going to let her forget that for a while.

Their conflict is awesome. They’re both such good actors. It’s like the dream is having as many talented people to write for and pair together. You know we like to do that, and that will continue.

And, there’s some new characters that I love. That’s always the case where we try and introduce a new group of whether it’s antagonists or villains to run our characters into. That’s similar this season.”

Will we see any more flashbacks of Monty and Harper raising Jordan?

Jason Rothenberg: “No comment. It’s always possible that we can see people who have left the show.

This season one of the things I’m most excited about is we’ve come up with a story for Eliza – for Clarke – that is unlike anything we’ve ever done before. It’s really pushing her as an actress in ways that she feels challenged by, which is good. When you have someone as talented as Eliza five years on one character can get a little bit, I won’t say stale – I don’t think she’d ever say that – but it’s nice to give her a challenge. I know I just got an email from her about what’s coming up in this next episode and she’s like, ‘Really?!’ I can’t really talk about it much other than to say it’s going to be awesome and I’m excited to see what she does.”

Did you receive any pushback from the network when the topic of cannibalism was introduced?

Jason Rothenberg: “No. Actually there was no pushback on the cannibalism story. I think I had a phone call or two, but I pitched them why they did it and Mark Pedowitz at The CW has always been our biggest champion, has always given me as much rope as I needed to hang myself with. He’s incredibly supportive that way and it’s really nice to have that going into creative discussions with the network. There was a conversation about it, but I think Mark was cool with it so everybody else became cool with it. I don’t want to speak for him, but I feel like that probably happened.”