What’s got 12 fingers, a British (by way of Australia) accent, and a bad attitude toward magicians and muggles alike?
This guy! ↑
The Beast — and his tendency to blind, maim, or murder anyone who wrongs him or gets in his way as he tries to master all the magic on Earth and in Fillory — was the bane of Quentin and company’s existence in Season 1 of The Magicians. And when the SyFy series returns Jan. 25, he’ll become Julia’s problem, as teased in the exclusive video above.
In order to find and take out Reynard (Mackenzie Astin), the powerful trickster who killed her friends, raped her, and is eating the hearts of other witches, Julia (Stella Maeve) transported herself, The Beast (Charles Mesure) and the blade that could kill him back to New York from the Season 1 finale’s big battle in Fillory.
“[We’re] going after Reynard. Whether we can trap him, whether it is going to work, we don’t know,” Mesure (Desperate Housewives, Once Upon A Time) explains in the clip.
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Audiences should remember that getting his help required Julia to betray Quentin and his friends, who were intent on finishing off The Beast before he completely drained the Wellspring and demolished magic in the process. “To Julia, she did what was absolutely necessary in order to find Reynard and get revenge for this terrible act he committed against her,” executive producer Sera Gamble tells Yahoo TV. “Julia is really smart but often in over her head, and no one hands you a rule book to healing when something like that happens to you. She thinks she needs his help, so she forms the most unlikely of partnerships. But it turns out not to be so unlikely, because he understands what she is going through.”
Martin Chatwin became The Beast after the sexual assault he suffered at the hands of author Christopher Plover (Charles Shaughnessy). “He spends enough time with Julia to see how traumatized she is because she was assaulted,” Gamble says. “He shares some stuff about himself, feels for her, and offers to help her turn off the pain. There are several very quiet, emotional conversations between them that felt important to include. We wanted to follow the aftermath of that assault and get into the psychology of what happened to this woman, using all of the tools that you get when you are writing fantasy. I think finding ways to talk about the really dark aspects of human nature and the awful things that people do to each other is the reason this genre and type of storytelling was invented.”
But despite their tragic bond, their dynamic is a complicated one. “In one sense, he might love to have Julia as Robin to his Batman. In a strange beastly way, he has become fond of her,” Mesure says. “In another sense, he may just want to kill her.”
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Their similar backstories bought The Beast more screen time. “There was a point, really early on, when we thought The Beast arc was one season long: There would be a big battle at the end of the first year, and then Season 2 would be about something else entirely,” Gamble says. “But as we got into it, we realized there was so much more to that character, and we needed to spend more time with him. He became much more pertinent to the story we wanted to tell moving forward. He was too much fun to let go of so quickly.”
The same can be said about the actor, according to Gamble. “I adore Charles, and he is a brilliant actor. The amazing thing about Charles is that he came in to read for the role for Christopher Plover originally, but as soon as he walked in the room and auditioned, we had this instinct that he should play The Beast, even though the sides he auditioned with were so far from where the Beast storyline was going,” she says. “Part of the reason that arc works so well is that Charles brings so much to it.”
The Magicians Season 2 premieres Jan. 25 at 9 p.m. on SyFy. Season 1 is now streaming on Netflix.