In Blindspot, the NBC drama debuting Monday, Sept. 21 at 10 p.m., Jaimie Alexander stars as a mysterious woman who is found naked in Times Square with her memory wiped and her body covered in fresh tattoos. It’s a high-concept start and big hook for what NBC is hoping is its next big hit, and perhaps the net's best chance at a hit, this fall.
“In the pilot we set an extraordinary amount of story from the first frame,” said creator and executive producer Martin Gero Thursday during the show’s TCA summer press tour panel. “The tattoos on her body keep us in business for hopefully a long time.”
One of the tattoos has the name FBI Agent Kurt Weller. Alexander’s character, Jane Doe, works with the FBI and Weller, played by Sullivan Stapleton, to uncover the mystery of her tattoos and who she is.
“Each episode is sort of a puzzle piece,” said exec producer Sarah Schechter.
Alexander said the makeup for the full-body tattoos takes seven and a half hour to apply, and the tattoos can last a few days. “I think reading the script I realized it would be quite a task,” she said. During those marathon makeup sessions, she said they listen to the Beatles on Pandora, drink coffee, make good conversation “and the hours fly by.”
Clues about Jane’s identity are revealed throughout the season. She knows another language and has some serious combat and fighting skills. Alexander, who has a fight background, said she created a female wrestling team at school growing up. “I only lost two matches over two years,” she said.
With the focus on Jane and Weller, Gero said Blindspot is “a character drama first and foremost” while also “a procedural for people who don't like procedurals.” The mysteries brought about in the pilot will indeed be unveiled. “There is an overarching mythology week to week,” Gero said.
“The season will play very much like a contained season,” added exec producer Greg Berlanti. “The audience I think will be quite satisfied by the end of the ride.”
With the tattoos as plot clues, Gero and company have a roadmap for the season. Gero hopes the audience tries to solve the puzzle along with the show. “We haven’t been painted into a corner yet,” he said.