The Winchesters Will Feature Villains That Are Much Different From Supernatural's

Ghosts, vampires, and werewolves are old news. Nowadays, if you've got plans for a supernatural saga with a "monster of the week" format, then you better have creativity on your side because a deep-dive into the wide world of folklore is an absolute must.

When the series first began in 2005, "Supernatural" welcomed this challenge, happily digging deep to tell the story of two brothers traveling across America to face off against not-so-mythological creatures. This meant everything from tricksters and changelings to grim reapers and hellhounds. For the initial five seasons that series creator Eric Kripke had planned, it was a brilliant opportunity to explore some lesser-known lore. But if you've heard tell of this long-running show, then you probably know that it didn't end with five seasons. "Supernatural" went on for a whopping 15 seasons.

Across 327 episodes, it really feels like Sam and Dean Winchester faced off against every monster there is. Rugarus, shojos, wendigos, fairies, suicidal teddy bears, dragons, John Wayne Gacy, God, The Wicked Witch of the West, God's sister, and one time, they even took an opportunity to kill Hitler. I'll put it this way: the writers got creative and s*** got weird. And even after all of that, someone (I'm looking at you, Jensen Ackles) had the bright idea to commit to a "Supernatural" spin-off that recreates the original show's format.

Thanks to "The Winchesters," we've got a new crew of monster hunters traveling the country to take down the supernatural. In other words, it's time to hit the lore.

Let the research begin

Set in the 1970s, "The Winchesters" tells the story of how John Winchester (Drake Rodger) and Mary Campbell (Meg Donnelly) met, fell in love, and fought monsters together while in search of their missing fathers. Much like the original series, the overarching mystery will be solved as the series goes on, but in-between puzzling out the truth, John and Mary will be saving people and hunting things all across the country. 

Showrunner Robbie Thompson already has plans for how their hunts will set this story apart from the many seasons of "Supernatural." While speaking with TVLine, Thompson explained:

"We were really looking for something to differentiate from Supernatural, something we hadn't seen before. Obviously, there's some demons in the pilot, and we've dealt a lot with demons on Supernatural. But we really were excited about trying to find a new monster, a new Big Bad, and even within the course of episodes, trying to find some new monsters for our heroes to be fighting."

Demons were inevitable. Once a formidable foe for Sam and Dean, the black-eyed malevolent spirits have gone from terrifying agents of hell to impossible-to-kill nuisances. They're unavoidable — throw a stone in any scene of this show, you'll probably hit a demon. Where things really get fun is with the new monsters that Thompson is hinting at: when hunters rule out all the usual suspects and are forced to do research and figure out what they're even up against. From the sound of it, that's what we can look forward to seeing in "The Winchesters," as John, Mary, and the rest of their Scooby gang take cases across the country.

Who is the Big Bad of The Winchesters?

In the same interview, Thompson explained that the writers sought out fresh ideas for both the episode-to-episode monsters and the overall Big Bad of the season:

"Honestly, a big part of it was just, how do we differentiate ourselves from the mothership, give our heroes something to fight against that was more personal to their story and to this new group outside of just Mary and John to tackle for the season?"

Presumably, the big bad will be the mysterious interdimensional monsters who get a brief mention in the pilot episode. The creatures that Mary's father was tracking before he went missing are called the Akrida and we're told that they are "not of this world." Occultist Ada (Demetria McKinney) tells the young hunters that these creatures have tried to invade the universe before, but were thwarted by the Men of Letters — an organization that has ceased to exist.

That last part's not great, but things will probably work out in the end, right? Sure, the Men of Letters were a fully-formed secret society of hunters and they had decades worth of supernatural research on their sides, but I'm sure these 20-somethings-year-olds can handle this just fine!

If the Akrida are indeed our new Big Bad, then Mary and John have some serious obstacles waiting ahead. An interdimensional threat is huge; Sam and Dean didn't start tangling with the multiverse until the final seasons of their series and they at least had some angels on their side. But based on the fact that their future children never had to deal with (or even hear about) the Akrida, we can probably assume that they'll triumph in the end.