‘Castle’ Changes Guard With a New Captain and a New Partner (But Don’t Worry, Caskett Fans)

Richard Cartwright/ABC

Fall TV Preview 2015Castle’s undergoing a remodel in Season 8. Last seen weighing a potential state senate run, cop Beckett (Stana Katic) has since opted to become captain of the 12th precinct instead. “She’s not an ivory-tower boss who stays in her office doing paperwork,” reports new co-showrunner Terence Paul Winter. “She still gets her hands dirty.”

Even so, this promotion means her husband, Castle (Nathan Fillion), will sometimes tackle cases with newcomer Hayley (new series regular Toks Olagundoye), a former U.K. cop and “bit of a wild card” who’s now working in NYC as an independent investigator. But never fear, Caskett fans: Producers have no intention of having her come between the series’ central couple. Says fellow new co-showrunner Alexi Hawley, “Hayley’s not meant to be an obstacle or part of a triangle.” Adds Winter: “The DNA of the show will always be the ongoing love story between Castle and Beckett. We still treat every episode as a romantic comedy. With murder.”

RELATED: Visit Our Fall Preview Page to Check Out New Shows

The premiere—which includes the reappearance of Bracken (Jack Coleman), the senator responsible for ordering the hit on Beckett’s mother—is a two-parter that’s partially told from Castle’s perspective before shifting to his wife’s. “There are things that are answered through Beckett’s point of view in the second episode that are a mystery in the first,” Hawley says. “And Bracken comes back in a way that’s not what you think.”

Castle, returns Monday, Sept. 21, 10/9c, ABC