As fans of FOX’s drama Drive know all too well, the series was cancelled after four episodes. A total of six episodes were completed and the network had planned to air them this Summer. Those broadcasts have now been cancelled but the network says they will be posted online on Monday, July 16th. It’s expected that they will also be made available for download via Amazon.com and iTunes.
Unfortunately, those two final episodes will not resolve the race and will leave viewers with many questions. DriveFans.com recently interviewed executive producers Tim Minear and Craig Silverstein and the two gave a few clues as to what might have been. Keep in mind that, because only six scripts were completed, many ongoing storyline details hadn’t been decided and now never will. Says Minear, “I was so busy trying to address network notes and production concerns that it was hard to get too far ahead.”
One of the major plot points that that was being revealed was that each race participant or team had to have a sponsor to be part of the race. In some cases, the team was aware of the sponsorship and in some cases they were not. Minear offered, “Some of the sponsors would have nefarious/revenge motives for some of the players, others would have more Great Expectations-esque benevolent motives.” Ivy, Leigh, Susan and many of the background teams were included by the race company to simply make the race more interesting. Silverstein says, “Sort of like non-player ‘bots’ in a multiplayer videogame. Imagine the fury when Leigh finds that out.”
Alex Tully and Corinna Wiles (Nathan Fillion and Kristin Lehman) – Alex was a former robbery get-away driver. It would have likely been revealed that his kidnapped wife was part of the plan to force Alex into the race — through all of their courtship and marriage.
New mother Wendy Patrakas and new partner Ivy Chitty (Melanie Lynskey and Taryn Manning) – Wendy’s sponsors would have been revealed to be an older couple who had discovered that the infant child they had adopted years earlier was actually Wendy’s first child (whom she was told had died).
Wendy would have successfully escaped from Ivy (who does not know how to drive) and returned to Ohio to rescue her baby Sam from her abusive husband Richard. Because of something Ivy inadvertently does, Wendy is grabbed by Richard and forced to return home. Ivy has always been very self-centered but goes to Ohio and successfully rescues Wendy and Sam. The two women and the baby would continue in the race together. Ivy would have bonded with Sam and would have ended up sacrificing her life to save him. By the finish, Wendy would have been reunited with her first child.
Step-brothers Winston and Sean Salazar (Kevin Alejandro and J.D. Pardo) – In episode six, it’s revealed that their mutual father Fernando is Winston’s sponsor. We would have learned later that Fernando’s trusted advisor Esteban Masferrer was the real sponsor. It was his plan to use the race to take out Fernando and his sons and then take over the family business.
John Trimble and his daughter Violet (Dylan Baker and Emma Stone) – It would have been revealed that John was his own sponsor in the race. Minear adds, “We would have learned that John Trimble was not really sick — the meds were making him sick. Part of the game of the race. His believing he was a doomed man changed him and made him capable of things he normally would not be capable of. Once he realized that he was not going to die, he’d be instantly hit by a bus, ’cause, funny.”
Friends Susan Chamblee and Leigh Barnthouse (Michael Hyatt and Rochelle Aytes) – In one of the script drafts, Susan’s truck-driving killer was set up to be a faceless serial killer (not unlike the truck driver in the film Duel). In another version, the sociopathic killer would have been played by sexy actress Eliza Dushku (a veteran of Angel, which was executive produced by Minear for a time). Most likely though, the killer in the truck would have been revealed to be a former contestant who had become partially paralyzed in the race and was seeking revenge. Survivor Leigh would have gotten together with Rob at some point in the story.
Army soldier Rob Laird and his wife Ellie (Riley Smith and Mircea Monroe) – It would continue to be revealed that Ellie was not very innocent and was actually quite conniving. She was having an affair with the race’s blue-eyed ground monitor Bill (the real name of Allan James played by Brian Bloom?). AWOL Rob would have turned himself in for a court-martial but Bill would have forced Ellie to break him out of the brig because Rob has a special skill that would have helped them win the race. Minear also wanted to do a storyline in which Rob would be sent to Iraq with his troops and would end up uncovering a race clue in the middle of the desert. He would then be sent back into the race by a high-ranking military official. Rob would return to the states and end up partnered with Leigh — both in the race and romantically.
Other episode ideas that weren’t explored include the racers driving through a vicious storm and the aftermath of a 30 car pile-up. Had Drive continued to a second season, the duo say that there would have been a new race with new players and some of the first season characters would take on new roles in the competition.
Of course, the big question that fans have is “Who would have won the race?” Because the story hadn’t been fully developed (or because he just doesn’t want to tell), Minear would only say “Somebody.” We’ll let you know if we find out more. Stay tuned!