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Robbie Thompson Explains How The Insect Monster Separates The Winchesters From Supernatural

Contains spoilers about the series premiere of "The Winchesters"

When "Supernatural" first premiered back in 2005, scripted, supernatural-themed dramas and comedies had been around for quite some time. "The X-Files," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," and "Charmed" delighted fans of the genre for years. But what you probably didn't know about "Supernatural" is that it would go on to become the longest-running series of all these shows combined. This was due to many factors, with the superb acting from Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester, Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the older John Winchester standing out. Of course, the show was also known for featuring a vast collection of monsters and paranormal antagonists. Everything from the Wendigo, Bloody Mary, the Rugaru, and even psychopath Doc Benton all benefited from stellar visual effects and makeup work combined with inventive storytelling.

The debut of the prequel-slash-spin-off series "The Winchesters" finds Ackles returning as Dean to narrate the origin story of his parents John (Drake Rodger) and Mary (Meg Donnelly). According to TVLine, the series premiere became the second-most watched of The CW's 2022 fall season after "Walker," which means John and Mary's story is a hit with fans. But the pilot also marked a new trend in the folklore of the franchise by introducing the insect monster known as the Akrida. Showrunner Robbie Thompson has provided insight on how this beast separates the prequel from "Supernatural."

The Akrida is unlike any monster ever seen on Supernatural

The pilot episode of "The Winchesters" showed a glimpse of an intimidating, multi-legged insect monster known as the Akrida that was chasing Mary's dad Samuel Campbell (Tom Welling). The beast is a mystery so far, apart from being frightening in a way that numerous monsters on "Supernatural" weren't. This is given further context when Ada Monroe (Demetria McKinney) described the monsters as entities from another universe or dimension. If "The Winchesters" is looking for a different kind of antagonist, the writers have certainly found an intriguing one.

Showrunner Robbie Thompson spoke about the uniqueness of the monster in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. In response to descriptions of the Akrida, Thompson stated, "One of the things that we talked about was how can we introduce something that hadn't been seen before. It was kind of also just a proof of concept of what we wanted to do with the show ... 'How could we shine a light on new corners of the 'Supernatural' universe that maybe just hadn't been brought to light on the mothership?'"

Thanks to its ominous look and preoccupation with Samuel, this beast looks set to become a recurring villain in Season 1. Thompson added, "Specifically for this one we wanted to start with something fresh and new, not something that 'Supernatural' fans had seen." He concluded by stating new monsters can help keep the show surprising.