Here we go, another round by popular demand, Supernatural Fun Facts!  This week, the very troubled but still wildly entertaining season three.  

    • Since “Supernatural” was picked up for season three, there was a lot of pressure from the studio to deliver, because they really wanted a season four.  It’s traditionally in season four where a show can be sold to syndication, thus it starts making a lot of money.  Season three however happened during a nasty labor dispute between the studios and the WGA (Writer’s Guild of America) and a strike was looming. 
    • "Supernatural" was heavily pressured by the studio and network to make some new changes, starting with a directive to take on two new female characters into it’s cast.  Katie Cassidy (Ruby) and Lauren Cohan (Bela) were added as regular cast members.  As Eric Kripke put it, “I think we made a lot of missteps trying to incorporate that note, although we tried very hard to embrace it.”
    • Season three only had 16 episodes.  The WGA strike started on November 5, 2007 and ended February 10th, 2008.  Once “Mystery Spot” (originally episode 12) finished shooting, “Supernatural” shut down production for a couple of months.  They were able to return in mid March to produce four more episodes before ending the season, which was a relief because a few believed that they would never return.  
    • Year one of The CW was not the rousing success many had hoped.  Some old favorites like “The Gilmore Girls” and “7th Heaven” were shed, and The CW went ahead with it’s bold new “girl-power” vision, premiering notably “Gossip Girl” as well as trying to give genre programming a try with "Reaper."  The new dramas were heavily promoted, but because budget was limited, “Smallville” and “Supernatural,” the number one and number two scripted shows respectively, received little promotion or attention from the network.  There were no promo photos done for season three and the season two shots were often recycled for promotion.  
    • Season Three was a budget challenged year for “Supernatural.”  Because the show barely earned renewal, it came back with a reduced budget, not to mention the directive to accommodate two female cast members.  They also were given notes by TPTB to expand scope and focus less on the small, insulated stories of the two main characters.  They were promised a bigger budget for a few episodes.  When Kripke went way over budget to meet these demands in the season opener, any increased budget promises were pulled back.  According to Kripke, “We had to make huge compromises on every script to wrestle it down to budget.”   
    • The shoestring budget in season three also forced Eric Kripke to cut back on the show’s length ("Supernatural" episodes ran only 39 or 40 minutes, a couple minutes shorter than others), and he had to slash the use of classic rock.  It was getting too expensive.  At the Salute to Supernatural convention in LA in 2008, he talked a bit about the frustrations of having to juggle things that they wanted to do vs. things they could afford.  Here's a link to Bardicvoice's report on that con panel, which she attended.  It's a very through and extremely informative report!  http://bardicvoice.livejournal.com/23720.html
    • John Shiban shifted his role from writer to consulting producer for season three.  He was around to offer ideas, but left by season end to run his own show.  Raelle Tucker left at the end of season two as well.  A new writer was brought aboard, a promising up and comer by the name of Jeremy Carver.  Needless to say, his impact on this show since then has been huge.  
    • Eric Kripke called season three a “turbulent place creatively” because they had just killed their main bad guy!  They went half a season without a bad guy and had no strong mythology other than the demons were in chaos without their leader.  He called it “a war without a front” story, equating it with the approach of small terrorist cells scattered around.  He admitted they weren’t very skilled to do that.  For other reasons why this didn’t work, see the budget thing above.  As a result, the season really didn’t kick into high gear until episode 7, and then the writer’s strike happened. 
    • This doesn’t have much to do with season three, but I just love this quote from Robert Singer in S3.  When talking about what his favorite scene is he shares, “I love the scene in “Faith” where at the end of the show Dean says to the girl, ‘I don’t pray, but I’ll pray for you, where as Eric’s favorite moment was when the guy’s sticking his hand down the garbage disposal.  So you put the things we cherish together and you end up with a pretty complete show.”
    • Supernatural returned for season three on October 4, 2007.  The premiere episode, “The Magnificent Seven,” was made available for free download on iTunes the day before.

       http://youtu.be/SyFCVX_N9UQ
    • “The Magnificent Seven” is the first appearance of Ruby’s demon killing knife.  The Winchesters still use that to this day.  
    • A funny BTS story for “The Magnificent Seven.”  In the scene where Bobby drives his car through the bar, after the fight Jim Beaver had to jump back in the car and drive off.  In all that excitement, he drove off without Jensen!  The shot has Bobby peeling away while Dean is left behind in the bar with all the demons. The crew swears it was funny.  Visually, it sounds funny.  
    • The drain cleaner that Isaac had to drink was made of Gatorade and Jello.  It still made the crew gag.
    • Jensen Ackles calls “Bad Day at Black Rock” Jared’s funniest episode, “…which I like because Sam doesn’t really get to be funny very often.” 
    • Eric Kripke admitted his big mistake with Bela, who was written always getting the upper hand and screwing over Sam and Dean badly.  He acknowledged he should have gotten the hint in her first episode, “Bad Day at Black Rock,” when she shot Sam without hesitation.  That made her unlikeable and irredeemable, not bad ass like he thought.  “Had we figured it out in time, we could have made Bela work.” 
    • Jeremy Carver’s very first script for “Supernatural” was season three’s “Sin City,” which he collaborated with Robert Singer.  His inspiration was Enemy Mine, where a human and alien are trapped together.  Singer helped with the script because the conversation between Casey and Dean, in which a lot of mythology is revealed, was a bit much for a brand new writer to the show. Kripke near the end of the season lamented that too much mythology was revealed in that conversation.  
    • “Sin City” is the only episode in which Bobby and Ruby interact.
    • Sandra McCoy, who played the Crossroads Demon in “Bedtime Stories,” was Jared’s fiancee at the time.  They met four years earlier while filming Cry Wolf.  Their relationship ended by the time season three finished shooting though.  
    • Eric Kripke lists “Red Sky at Morning” as one of his worst “Supernatural” episodes.  However, budget played a role in some of that.  The original script called for a scene like The Shining where the woman in the teaser goes upstairs to the bathroom and the entire floor is filled with water.  Then she dies.  Then they rewrote with the shower filling up with water and drowning the woman, and the guy in the car drowning when the car fills with water.  Those were nixed too.  “We were really excited about those set-pieces, but we couldn’t afford them, so it became a big wet spook touching them on the shoulder and then everyone spits water and they’re dead.”
    • The plan was for Gordon (played by Sterling K. Brown) to be in multiple episodes in season three.  He was supposed to find out that Sam killed Steve Wandell and organize a posse to come after Sam.  That didn’t happen though because the actor had commitments to the Lifetime series Army Wives, so they killed him off in “Fresh Blood” instead and the whole Wandell side plot was dropped.  
    • Eric Kripke calls Gordon’s death, his head popped off with razor wire by Sam, one of the coolest deaths they ever had.  He acknowledged that one could question how Sam could pop off Gordon’s head and not his own hands with the razor wire, but he didn’t care because it was cool.
    • The original plan for the second half of season three was Sam would start using his powers and saves Dean from Hell, but at a big cost.  The powers were turned on and Sam takes a very dark and dangerous road.  Around episode seven, with a strike looming, the realized they wouldn’t be able to tell that story and went for plan B, aka what we got in “No Rest For The Wicked.”
    • The flashbacks to when the Winchesters were young boys were not in the original draft of “A Very Supernatural Christmas.”  Writer Jeremy Carver needed to add some pages and Ben Edlund suggested the flashbacks.  Needless to say, it changed the whole dynamic of the story. 
    • Remember the ending scene of AVSC where Dean choked on too much rum in the eggnog?  That was a real response.  Jared actually spiked the eggnog with a ridiculous amount of rum. 
    • This is a nice tidbit from TV.com about "Malleus Maleficarum" (it's pretty fascinating!):  Malleus Maleficarum is the title of a treatise on witches and witchcraft, which was written by Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger in 1486. The complete title and subtitle was "Malleus Maleficarum, Maleficas, & earum haeresim, ut phramea potentissima conterens", which translates as "The Hammer of Witches, which destroyeth Witches and their heresy like a most powerful spear". In the book, the authors aimed to refute any claims against the true realty of witches, to show that most witches were women, and to set out ways of dealing with them. Interestingly, in relation to the prevalent themes of Supernatural in Season 3, it also asserts that three elements are necessary for the successful accomplishment of witchcraft: the evil-intentioned witch, the help of the devil, and the permission of God. The publication of Malleus Maleficarum was instrumental in the Catholic Church's ultimate acceptance of the reality of witchcraft as a clear and present heresy, and became the handbook for witch-hunters and Inquisitors throughout late medieval Europe.
    • In "Malleus Maleficarum," the maggots in the burger were inspired by Eric Kripke finding a dead possum in his garbage can.  Maggots were everywhere.  He took that to Ben Edlund and a maggot scene was born.  
    • Sera Gamble originally started writing “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” which was an idea she and Raelle Tucker had for a while.  She had to get started on “Jus In Bello” though (writer’s strike time crunch looming), so Cathryn Humphris finished the script for her.  
    • Jared threw his back out while shooting the baseball bat attack scene in “Dream A Little Dream of Me.”  He toughed it out while Sam was being kicked and battered by Jeremy.  When you see Sam squinting in pain, it was for real! 
    • African Dream Root Tea recipe:  3/4 inch piece of African dream root, 1 tablespoon ground ginger, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 uncontaminated piece of dreamer’s DNA.
    • Originally, Sam’s desperate hug with Dean after he wakes up in Wednesday again in "Mystery Spot" wasn’t in the script.  Jared and Jensen added it.  It worked!  
    • The use of Asia’s “The Heat of The Moment” in “Mystery Spot” has been linked by fans (no confirmation from Mr. Carver) to the South Park episode “Kenny Dies.”  Cartman sings that song during that episode.  Also not confirmed by Mr. Carver but it’s a running theory we’ve had for a while, the breakfast being “Pig in a Poke” was more than a funny name.  “Pig in a Poke” is an idiom for a swindle back in the middle ages.  It essentially means something bought without the buyer knowing its true value.  Kind of like Sam not realizing the lesson he was being taught by the endless repeating Tuesdays.  “Tuesday, Pig in a Poke..."  BTW, like my new con shirt?
      IMG 0491
    • "Mystery Spot" is my all time favorite "Supernatural" episode (for the two of you that didn't know that).  
    • The placemats in the diner in "Mystery Spot" had an image of a groundhog.  It was a children's coloring contest to win a bicycle.  Everyone in the art department colored their own groundhog and had them as a collage on the wall.
    • “Mystery Spot” was written and shot as episode 12 and supposed to come after “Jus In Bello.”  Because of the writer’s strike though, the CW thought “Jus In Bello” would make a better season finale, since it was unknown if the show would return for any more episodes at the time and the episodes were switched when airing.  “Jus In Bello” went on to be one of the highest rated episodes of the season, well higher than the season premiere and finale.  
    • “Jus In Bello” was nominated for an Emmy in Sound editing.  Sound editor Michael E. Lawshe and team won, but not for "Supernatural."  They were nominated twice!  Their win ended up being for the "Smallville" episode “Bizarro.”
    • “Supernatural” went on strike hiatus on 2/21/2008.  They didn’t return with new episodes until 4/24/2008.
    • Because of the writer’s strike, pilot season was practically non-existent, so most current network shows were renewed regardless of the ratings.  Season three was a poorly rated season for “Supernatural,” but it still remained a consistent performer for this struggling network and the writer’s strike was able to take some of the blame.  “Supernatural” earned it’s very first early renewal on March 3, 2008. 
    • "Ghostfacers" was the first episode back, which was a nearly completed script when the writer’s strike hit.   Many found the irony of the show returning with a mock reality show, the kind of programming that replaced scripted programming during the writer's strike, funny.  Many fans weren't as interested in the joke though and "Ghostfacers" was the lowest rated episode of "Supernatural" season three by far.  However, a lot of shows struggled in the ratings when returning from the writer's strike because it was confusing which shows were coming back when.  
    • “Ghostfacers” was the first time the credits rolled at the end of the episode!  That was done to maintain the feel of the reality show being made.  
    • Post production was a real nightmare for the four episodes produced after the strike.  The timelines between prep, shooting, and airing were much shorter than usual.  Eric Kripke shared a few stories about the round the clock editing they were doing to get these episodes done in time.  
    • By the time “Long Distance Call” was shot, the budget issues were so bad they made their way to Sam’s hair. 
      Longdistancecallhair
    • Sam’s rental car in “Time is on My Side” was Lariat car rentals.  That was the same rental company seen in several The X-Files episodes.  
    • Jensen's stories at cons of filming Dean's gory death scene and subsequent hanging from meat hooks in Hell in "No Rest For The Wicked" are always very entertaining.  It was sheer misery for him.  He also had to lie there and play dead uncomfortably soaked in fake blood and wearing a hot and heavy rig while Jared cried over him.  He gave Jared tons of praise for pulling that off.  
    • Jensen in the Season Three Companion described filming the scene of hanging from the chains in Hell this way:  "Out of the sixty episodes we shot, that was the most physical pain I've been in for one shot.  I showed up at five in the morning to start a four-hour prosthetic application with the hooks in my side, neck, wrists, and ankles.  They bring me on the set and they've got five wires wired up so they hook into my wrists and ankles.  Then I put a belt on, cinched it really tight, and they piped me right in the back of the belt.  I had five guys pulling me up and just basically quartering me.  I was probably about thirteen, fourteen feet in the air, just hanging there.  Most of the weight was on my belt.  The harness slipped past my jeans' belt and the metal buckle dug into my hip so I had all hundred and ninety pounds of myself basically resting on this buckle that was pinching into my hip, and I had to hold it there for five minutes, which is a really, really long time when you're suspended by one wire.  So that was really tough.  In fact, at the end of the shot, the big crane came up and started spiralling in and finally got to my face and they yelled, 'Cut.' As they were lowering me, I had tears rolling down my face, partially because of the scene but more because of the pain!  It sucked, but it turned out to be a pretty cool shot." 
    • By the time they went back to film the final four episodes of the season, the early renewal gave Kripke and company a chance to break stories and run with season four right out of the gate.  The attitude in the writer’s room was that season four would be the last (there was lots of turmoil both financially and politically at the network to make them think that), so they wanted to go out with a bang, making up for the missed opportunities in season three.  That all kind of changed though after “Lazarus Rising” aired. 
But that’s all for season four fun facts.  Until next time…

(All quotes from the Supernatural Season Three Official Companion unless otherwise noted.)

Season Two Fun Facts:  http://www.thewinchesterfamilybusiness.com/article-archives/season-two/18597-supernatural-fun-facts-season-two

Season One Fun Facts:  http://www.thewinchesterfamilybusiness.com/article-archives/season-one/18589-supernatural-fun-facts-season-one


Comments  

Gwen
# Gwen 2014-07-01 06:07
Oh I LOVE S3. It's my favourite season to date and, probably, always will be my favourite season. It has 3 of my all time favourite episodes - Mystery Spot, AVSNC and Fresh Blood, there's lots of Sam POV, Jared/Sam cried beautifully in NRFTW (I'm such a sucker for a Teary!Sam) and Sam's hair was all curly and fliicky outy and just utterly gorgeous. I loved that Jared and Jensen added Sam hugging Dean into Mystery Spot - it's one of my all time favourite SamnDean hugs. 'I lost my shoe' is just a classic. The only things I didn't like were the Ghostfacers ep and Bela!

It's a shame about the Wandell plot being dropped, that would have been a fantastic storyline.

Quote:
The original plan for the second half of season three was Sam would start using his powers and saves Dean from Hell, but at a big cost. The powers were turned on and Sam takes a very dark and dangerous road.
This would have been so awesome. As much as I do adore S3 I will always wish that we had got the originally planned S3.

Thanks for these Fun Facts, Alice. S1-3 will always be my favourite seasons and I've loved revisiting them with these articles.
Prix68
# Prix68 2014-07-01 06:38
Wow! Poor Erik Krpke! His stress level at work must have been over the top. Thanks Alice for all these facts.
E
# E 2014-07-01 08:53
Season 3 may have been troubled, particularly behind the scenes, but it still contains some of the strongest episodes, many of which make my top 20 (sorry, can't narrow it down any more than 20)…! Bad Day at Black Rock, Fresh Blood, AVSNC, Mystery Spot, Jus in Bello, and the creepy Time is on My Side are among my favorites. Yes… the good old days! Thanks for the recap there was a lot here I didn't know. Its too bad about Sterling K. Brown being unavailable to create more out of the awesomely bad Gordon. My understanding is that the J's absolutely LOVED working with him.
Evelyn
# Evelyn 2014-07-01 09:33
Despite all the turbulence of the season, S3 did turn out to be not too bad. Yes, Bela was a huge mishit as far as a character, and I agree, her always getting the upper hand on the boys was very disconcerting. Although, she did end up going to hell, so, WIN-WIN I say.

I was aware of some of this information, but not all of it. This is a great report. Thanks for putting this together. I do love these Fun Facts. Thanks.
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2014-07-01 10:26
alice, you are really cranking these out. I need to get to binge reading FUN FACTS:o
love2boys
# love2boys 2014-07-01 11:52
Alice, this series rocks! Thank you. I am really enjoying it.
Grace 232
# Grace 232 2014-07-01 13:50
Thank you so much for sharing all this. There is a lot here I did not know. While season 3 is a short season, a lot of my favorites come from that season - Mystery Spot, Fresh Blood, A Very Supernatural Christmas, and No Rest for the Wicked. Your articles are really making the wait for October bearable. Looking forward to season 4.
elle2
# elle2 2014-07-01 20:37
I'm with you, Alice: Mystery Spot is my favorite of all episodes -- and Season 3 has most of my favorite episodes, Jus In Bello, No Rest for the Wicked, A Very Supernatural Christmas, Dream a Little Dream of Me, Fresh Blood, Bad Day At Black Rock and yes, Ghostfacers! As so many of you know, I found this show at Mystery Spot (bored silly during the writer's strike of course) and it was history from there.

This is a great series, Alice. so glad you got this idea and have run with it!
Vince
# Vince 2014-07-01 23:16
Also Henricksen, was a victim of the strike. He was apparently supposed to stuck around more in season 3, but when "Jus in Bello" was supposed to be the finale in case they didn't come back, they wanted something big to happen. So Victor got the axe.

Also, I'm pretty sure Ellen was supposed to pop up for an episode or two, but those scripts were never written.
Russ
# Russ 2014-07-02 04:31
Shit. This was awesome. I knew none of this, but I disagree with viewers on the Bella part. I never understood the hate for her. I thought she was frakkin' awesome.

Bring on the rest of the series :) I'm going back to find the S1 & S2 posts.
Alice
# Alice 2014-07-02 10:20
I'm thrilled I could inform! I came into the world of Supernatural blogging in season three, so a lot of what I wrote here is from personal knowledge.

Sorry about the links. I usually put those in the article, but gee I forgot this time. I'll add it in now. In the meantime, I'll provide the links here.

Season Two - http://www.thewinchesterfamilybusiness.com/article-archives/season-two/18597-supernatural-fun-facts-season-two
Season One - http://www.thewinchesterfamilybusiness.com/article-archives/season-one/18589-supernatural-fun-facts-season-one
sylvia37
# sylvia37 2014-07-02 10:44
I loved season 3. It really did give both boys so much great material. But I can't tell you how disappointed I was to read in the season 3 companion that the original idea was for Sam to SAVE Dean using his powers. How different things might have turned out. Sigh..... I know many people love season 4 and the angels and Castiel and all of that, but I really wanted Sam to save Dean.

Great articles, Alice. I have all the companions, but there is some information that I didn't know. Thanks.
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2014-07-02 17:16
Despair not Sylvia37, maybe he'll get that chance in season 10. Hear us TPTB, we want Sam to save Dean from eternal damnation! ;)
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2014-07-02 14:39
Thanks Alice, I absolutely loved season three, it's the season that has my two favourite episodes, "Supernatural Christmas" & "Mystery Spot". Man, I never knew about all the financial problems they had though, yikes. Is that where Eric Kripke lost his hair? :D Just kidding!
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-07-02 19:29
LOL Sylvie!