The final season of Starz’ “Da Vinci’s Demons” revolves around the Siege of Otranto, an historical event following the Ottoman Empire’s invasion of the southern tip of Italy. It’s a season that has star Tom Riley excited because the show is finally pitting Leonardo Da Vinci against the smartest person in the room — himself.
“I always said he has to fail for once,” Riley said. “He can’t MacGyver his way out of every situation. I just wanted him to fail. If you’re just the cool guy who steps up and people say ‘fix this’ and he does, then where do you go? This season people are saying ‘you can fix this’ and for the first time he says ‘I can’t.'”
The dynamic of Da Vinci squaring off against himself is set up when he learns during the siege that someone has not only stolen his invention plans, but has improved them.
“He’s always let the idea that he could do something override the fact of if he should,” Riley said. “He has this macro idea of just being a great creator who creates great things and f–k the consequences. This season forces him to ask the question ‘if you can create something terrible, should you?'”
These confiscated inventions lead to a lot of deaths on Da Vinci’s hands and both Riley and creator David S. Goyer warned that the final season will be a gut punch and no one is safe.
“Bodies are going to drop,” Goyer said. “This is kind of a ‘be careful what you wish for’ season.”
Goyer said there were a number of reasons that led to the decision that Season 3 would be the end for “Da Vinci’s Demons.”
“At the beginning of Season 3, I tried to step away more,” Goyer said. “That proved to be harder than I thought because I was really emotionally invested in the show. At the same time, I’ve got young kids and the show is a long commute; it takes like 17 hours from my doorstep to get to Swansea [in Wales, where we film]. As we discussed it, it just seemed like the natural place to press pause.”
Riley said he’ll miss the character but is excited to end on their own accord.
“It’s bittersweet,” Riley said. “I’ll miss playing the part and being able to be so unpredictable and spontaneous and weird with it. I loved it, but being able to end something on your own terms in this day on television is very rare so I feel lucky we got through three seasons with a solid arc.”
The final season of “Da Vinci’s Demons” premieres Oct. 24 on Starz.