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Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous showrunner breaks down Season 2 and that dino-sized cliffhanger
With Season 2 of Netflix’s Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous leaving us on another massive cliffhanger, there’s plenty to unpack as Darius (Paul-Mikél Williams) and his fellow camper friends remain stuck on Isla Nublar in the aftermath of the events of Jurassic World. From Ben’s mostly solo survival storyline to the exploits of Mitch (Bradley Whitford) and Tiff (Stephanie Beatriz) — the eco-tourists you love to hate— and all the kids coming more into their own as they face down the dinos who want them for dinner, the series leaves fans of the Jurassic Park mythology with plenty to chew on and ponder.
SYFY WIRE spoke with executive producer/showrunner Scott Kreamer, who offered up some spoiler-filled specifics about Season 2, getting real with the show’s life or death stakes, and the odds of a Camp Cretaceous getting renewed for a third season.
**SPOILER ALERT: Stop reading if you haven't finished watching all of Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Season 2**
As you were breaking the story for Season 2, was the narrative very much set or did storylines come more organically?
We had talked about this with [Jurassic World director] Colin [Trevorrow], doing more of the whole Swiss Family Robinson of it all. And when we got in there, it just wasn't right. If you're doing an hour-long series, you may have more time or room for that. But, we have so much story we want to tell that we had to back off of that. I mean, it's still there. [The kids] still need food, still need water, still need shelter. But initially, we thought it was going to be maybe more of that.
What sequences from Season 2 do you love?
Let me see, the Baryonyx chasing the motorcycle, I like it a lot. There was some pretty cool stuff [director] Dan [Riba] was able to achieve in the finale with that stampede. I enjoyed Mitch getting his “just desserts” from the T. rex. It also felt like a very Jurassic feature moment.
As the villains of the season, seeing Mitch and Tiff get a very Jurassic-style ending was surprisingly satisfying.
They do a great job of this in the features, where usually the bad guys are hoisted upon their own petard. We definitely had Mitch taking great glee in hitting Rexy with the stun spear. We're setting that up as well with Tiff taking out Grimm and the Baryonyx with their revenge on her.
Were they always going to come to a bad end this season?
We always knew we wanted to do something with some big game hunters and so that all kind of happened organically. But then as we started going with it, it just started to unveil itself to us in the writers' room. Part of the thing that people responded to in the first season was the fact that there were deaths. Well, we weren't necessarily going to have one of our kids get eaten in Season 2, so it was nice being able to bring in some people who, whether heroically or not, meet their demise at the jaws of a dinosaur. [Laughs.]
Was there a favorite storyline for any of the kids this season?
I think we realized early on [that] when our kids are in conflict, it really crackles. Like the end of [Season 1], Episode 4, when the campus is destroyed and they're on their own and everyone's at each other's throats and Darius pulls them together. Or when they start to come apart in [Season 1], Episode 8, that stuff really felt alive. Like any other show you want to have character conflict there, so Yaz [Kausar Mohammed] hurting herself back in Episode 6, and what does that mean to an athlete? And is Brooklynn [Jenna Ortega] still so self-involved that she's just trying to boost followers when she gets back? Or is it about working on these, as she put it, IRL friendships? Everything on this show starts with the characters. It was fun as a writers’ room to kick around all these possibilities and then doing what we can trying to give each of the characters their moment to shine and to illuminate another part of them.
And we talked about putting Brooklynn and Darius at such odds, that was something that we didn’t start with. It just sort of came out. Whether or not it was Darius responding to a father figure, or Brooklynn's natural distrust or curiosity, I don't think we knew we were gonna go there necessarily. But I really liked how that played out with them, and how they came back together at the end there.
With Ben’s arc in Season 2, was it always known how long he would remain on his own before he comes back to the group?
When we started the series, even back before we started breaking Season 1, the idea of doing a survival story focused on one character with as little dialogue as possible seemed like something on the bucket list that we wanted to do. But a lot of things as far as Ben goes are things that changed. At one point in the original version, Ben was gonna fall at the end of [Season 1], Episode 7. It felt like that might make it easier to pivot into running away in Episode 8. But there are certain rules at Netflix so we had to do all of that in the same episode.
It was definitely just feeling it as far as how long were we going to leave the Ben question there. And the fact that Darius and Ben don't see each other again until the very end of this season, as we started breaking things that just started to feel really right and then coming together as a really nice way to button this entire season.
The show ends on a clear cliffhanger. The adults are eaten and the kids are still on Isla Nublar with no clear way off the island. That’s a big swing to take with no official Season 3 pickup?
I guess it could be a little hopeful. [Laughs.] With everything going on with these kids, we're not going to end at home at the end of this season, not that that's necessarily how the whole series would end. But it would be really tough with Mitch and Tiff getting their just rewards, and the kids still on the island, it wouldn't be my choice on how to end it.
So yeah, maybe we took a swing there. But that just felt like if this season's about trying to get rescued, these kids, as they've grown together as a team, it seems the natural progression of things to have enough of waiting for help. We've got to help ourselves.