Bones is an American drama television series that premiered on the Fox Network on September 13, 2005. The show is a forensics and police procedural in which each episode focuses on an FBI case file concerning the mystery behind human remains brought by FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth to the forensic anthropology team of Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan. Emily Deschanel stars in the title role, opposite David Boreanaz as Agent Booth. The rest of the cast includes Michaela Conlin, T.J. Thyne, Tamara Taylor and John Francis Daley.

The series, created by Hart Hanson, is very loosely based on the works of real-life forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs, who is herself a producer on the show. Its title character, Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan is named after the protagonist of Reichs' crime novel series. Bones is a joint production by Josephson Entertainment, Far Field Productions and 20th Century Fox Television.

The series concluded after twelve seasons. Reruns of the first season of Bones began airing on TNT on January 29, 2008.

Sleepy Hollow was written into the Bones universe in season 11, making it part of the same world as The Finder too.

Production[edit | edit source]

Origins[edit | edit source]

The concept of Bones was developed during the latter part of the pitching season of 2004 when 20th Century Fox approached series creator Hart Hanson with an idea of a forensics show. Hanson was asked to meet with executive producer Barry Josephson, who had purchased the rights to produce a documentary on the forensic anthropologist and author Kathy Reichs. Although Hanson was reluctant about being involved in making a police procedural, he signed on and wrote the pilot episode after having an intensive meeting with Josephson about the show. As the show is based on the works of Reichs, the writers constantly involve her in the process of producing the episodes' storylines.

In order to make Bones a unique crime drama in the midst of the multiple procedural dramas that already populated network television like the Law & Order and CSI franchises, Hanson decided to infuse the show with humor and character development as much as possible. Another element conceived for the show was the "Angelator", a holographic projector whose use is to replace flashbacks that are often used by other procedural shows. In addition to their expositional purposes, the holographic images, which are created by visual effects, brought a unique visual style to the show that the producers were looking for.

Casting[edit | edit source]

David Boreanaz was the first actor to be cast in Bones. Series creator Hart Hanson described the actors who had auditioned for the role of Seeley Booth as "pretty boy waifs" and immediately responded when the head of the studio, Dana Walden, suggested Boreanaz for the role. Boreanaz was offered the role but was unenthusiastic about getting involved after a difficult meeting with executive producers Barry Josephson and Hart Hanson, even though he thought the script was well written. However, after the producers contacted him again to convince him to accept the role, Boreanaz agreed to sign on and was cast as Seeley Booth.

Emily Deschanel auditioned for the role of Temperance Brennan close to the production start date of the series pilot, during which time another actress was nearly cast in the role. After the filming of Glory Road was completed, producer Jerry Bruckheimer told Deschanel about the role and sent her to Bones' executive producer Barry Josephson to audition for it. Deschanel impressed Hanson at her audition, where she showed the character's assertiveness by stepping forward towards Boreanaz after he moved towards her, to which Hanson remarked that "90% of actors would take a step back". She was subsequently cast in the role.

In June 2008, it was reported that Michael Badalucco, formerly of The Practice, had been cast as one of the grad students who will be replacing Zack Addy in the lab in season 4.

Title sequence[edit | edit source]

The title sequence of Bones is usually shown near the beginning of the episode. Accompanied by the show's theme music, composed and performed by The Crystal Method, the sequence provides the credits of the show. Each episode usually begins with a cold open, which sets up the plot of the episode and can last from three to ten minutes before the title sequence is shown. The title sequence varies from season to season. The first season's title sequence mostly consists of scenes from the first five episodes of the series while the second season's title sequence is made up of scenes from the first season and early episodes of the second. The opening credits in the title sequence include the regular cast members of the respective seasons.

Settings and storylines[edit | edit source]

Plot summary[edit | edit source]

The show begins in the year 2005, and tells the story of a series of case files, solved weekly, by an unlikely alliance between Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan's forensic anthropology team at the Jeffersonian Institution (a thinly veiled allusion to the Smithsonian Institution) and FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth. By examining the human remains of the murder victims, Dr. Brennan's team provides scientific expertise and an outsider's perspective to the world of criminal investigation to the FBI. In addition to the murder cases featured in each episode, the series explores the backgrounds and relationships of the major characters including the developing friendship and possibly romantic relationship between Brennan and Booth.

Filming location[edit | edit source]

Most of Bones is filmed in Los Angeles, California, despite the fact that the show is mainly set in Washington, D.C., where the fictional Jeffersonian Institution is located. The interiors of the Jeffersonian Institution were specially built on a large soundstage at the 20th Century Fox lot in Century City, Los Angeles, California.

Characters[edit | edit source]

Main characters[edit | edit source]

Dr. Temperance Brennan "Bones" (portrayed by Emily Deschanel) is a forensic anthropologist working at the renowned Jeffersonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and a best-selling crime novelist. She is intellectually brilliant, but is narrowly focused on her work, as well as lacking in social skills.

Brennan aids F.B.I. Special Agent Seeley Booth (portrayed by David Boreanaz) in his investigations involving human remains that cannot be identified without her skills in forensic anthropology. In contrast to the other main characters, Booth has limited knowledge of science and is often used to provide a layman's translation of the scientific jargon-filled dialogue.

Brennan is helped by her colleagues at the Jeffersonian Institution: Angela Montenegro (portrayed by Michaela Conlin), Dr. Jack Hodgins (portrayed by T.J. Thyne) and, until the end of Season Three, Dr. Zack Addy (portrayed by Eric Millegan). While she specializes in forensic facial reconstruction, Angela is also Brennan's best friend and has a contrasting personality to Brennan's social awkwardness. Hodgins is an entomologist and an expert on spores and minerals, and is also fascinated by conspiracy theories. His skills allow the team to approximate the time, and often the location (e.g., if the remains were moved post mortem), of death of the victims. At the beginning of the series, Zack was Brennan's graduate student and assistant at the Jeffersonian. In the second season, after he received his doctorate in forensic anthropology, he was hired as a forensic anthropologist. His character is similar to Brennan in that he finds it difficult to relate to an average person.

All of the above five characters have appeared in every episode. The two other main characters of the series include Dr. Daniel Goodman (portrayed by Jonathan Adams) and Dr. Camille Saroyan "Cam" (portrayed by Tamara Taylor). Dr. Goodman is the director of the Jeffersonian Institution and a former archaeologist. He appeared in the first season but not in the next two. Cam was introduced in the second season to replace the character of Goodman as Brennan's superior. As a pathologist, her working style clashes with Brennan's and the two often have disagreements. The tension between them stems from Cam's authoritativeness and a previous relationship she had with Booth. As the series progresses, Cam and Brennan become more respectful of each other.

In addition, Dr. Lance Sweets was added to the cast to both provide a bit of comic relief and to assist Booth and Brennan with their cases. Dr. Sweets, simply called Sweets by the main cast, is a 23-year old psychologist who assists Booth and Brennan by providing a psycho-analysis for suspects and victims alike.

Recurring characters[edit | edit source]

There are several characters who have had recurring appearances in the series. Howard Epps (portrayed by Heath Freeman) is one of two murderers in the series so far who have made recurring appearances. Introduced as a death-row prisoner in the first season episode "A Man on Death Row", Epps used Brennan and Booth to delay his death sentence and eventually escaped prison. He was proved to be a serial-killer whose initial targets were blonde teenage girls before he targeted Brennan. He later fell off a balcony to his death following a confrontation with Brennan and Booth.

Recurring in the first season only, Sam Cullen (portrayed by John M. Jackson) is a Deputy Director of the FBI and consequently, Booth's boss. He does his best to keep Agent Booth on track and frequently disapproves of Dr. Brennan's involvement in FBI field investigations.

Caroline Julian (portrayed by Patricia Belcher) is a prosecutor and works in the U.S. Attorney's office. Although she has a very demanding and bossy attitude, Caroline frequently offers help to Booth and Brennan in their cases. She has appeared numerous times to have Booth and Brennan in court and to help solve their cases.

In the second season episode "The Girl in the Gator", when Booth is sent to get a psychological evaluation after he shoots an ice cream truck, he meets his psychiatrist, Dr. Gordon Wyatt (portrayed by Stephen Fry). The character, Dr. Wyatt, provides comic relief to the show through his interactions with Booth and Brennan. FBI Special Agent Tim "Sully" Sullivan (portrayed by Eddie McClintock) was introduced as Dr. Brennan's love interest during Booth's absence and worked on a case with her. Over the next three episodes, he develops a serious relationship with Brennan but later decides to leave for the Caribbean.

The Gormogon , a cannibalistic serial killer, is a recurring character in season 3, but is only physically shown once, during the season finale.Gormogon is seen once before this, when he pops out of the closet to kill the lobbyist. You get a brief look at his face during that episode.

Internet[edit | edit source]

Fox has released free episodes of Bones and seven other primetime series online to be downloaded for viewing on its MySpace website, which is owned by the same parent company, News Corporation, that owns Fox. This began on October 3, 2006 but access is restricted to residents from the United States only. Bones is also available for free-of-cost viewing at Hulu.

Other media[edit | edit source]

Aside from the television broadcast of Bones, its characters and concepts have also been produced in print, on the internet and in short videos for mobile phones.

Currently, there are two print books related to the series, one a novel and the other an official guide. Buried Deep, written by Max Allan Collins, was published by Pocket Star on February 28, 2006. The book is based on the characters in the television series rather than the characters created by Kathy Reichs, who had inspired the concept of Bones. Its plot focuses on Dr. Temperance Brennan and Special Agent Seeley Booth's investigation into the skeletal remains left on the steps of a federal building and its connection with a Chicago mob family. Bones: The Official Companion: Seasons 1 & 2 is written by Paul Ruditis and published by Titan Books, released on October 16, 2007. The book includes cast and crew interviews, episode guides and a background detail on real-life forensics.

Fox has made extensive use of the internet to promote Bones. Prior to the broadcast of the second season episode "The Glowing Bones in the Old Stone House", profiles of the characters involved in the episode were put up on their own MySpace web page. The blog entries of the characters were created to give insight into the potential suspects to be featured in the episode. In the episode, Brennan and her team uses clues from these web pages, which the viewers can also access.

A spin-off series consisting of 26 two-minute episodes, called Bones: Skeleton Crew, was produced by Fox and launched through a partnership with Sprint Nextel in conjunction with MasterCard's sponsorship. It was released to Sprint TV subscribers in November 2006 and released on the official website of Bones on December 4, 2006. The episodes do not feature the show's main cast; its plot revolves around three Jeffersonian Institute lab technicians who use their skills to solve a mystery.

Bonus content was posted by Fox on Bones' official site during the third season, which include short videos featuring Booth and Brennan waiting to see Dr. Sweets.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Season 1-8 are available for instant streaming on Netflix

References[edit | edit source]

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