For a market that is constantly losing its viewing to the internet, there is an popular trend of enhancing your content by creating it in several different mediums and in doing so, giving something to your already dedicated audience as well as possibly attracting a new audience. The television show ‘Castle’ has done an incredible job of transforming itself from a single story into transmedia storytelling, meaning that instead of focusing on one platform fans of castle now have a universe to explore.
For those who aren’t familiar with ‘Castle’ let me give you the run down. Richard castle is a famous murder mystery novelist who has just killed off his character ‘Derrick Storm’ and is searching for a new character to base his next set of books on. Detective Kate Beckett is investigating a string of murders that greatly resemble the way Castle killed some of his characters in his book. Long story short, Castle ends up basing his next character on Detective Beckett and shadows her cases…Ta Da we have a cop show.
But what is so special about this show? Andrew Marlowe has created a show that is not restricted within the television format. ABC has actually created the novels Castle writes in the show. ‘Heat Wave‘, ‘Naked Heat‘, ‘Heat Rises‘, ‘Frozen Heat‘ and the newest novel to come out later this year ‘Deadly heat‘ are all novels about Beckett’s persona ‘Detective Nikki Heat’ which the audience can actually buy and read. The brilliance of this is that in the books Castle and Beckett’s personas are together (Jameson Rook and Nikki Heat) while on the show they were still doing the romantic dance all shows do with their leads. This meant the fans were getting the best of both worlds which has only increased its popularity and dedicated fan base. Not only have ABC created the Nikki heat novels, but they have also fleshed out Castle’s previous novels about Derrick Storm and turned them into graphic novels: ‘Deadly storm‘, ‘Storm season‘ and ‘A calm before the storm‘; as well as creating ‘Storm Front’ into a novel. Surprisingly the books are having phenomenal real world success:
The Nikki Heat series is no stranger to the New York Times Best Seller list; the first novel, Heat Wave, debuted at #26, while the second, Naked Heat, debuted at #7. With Heat Rises debuting at #1, it only solidifies proof of Castle’s success in both television and fiction. – The Examiner
This year ABC took it one step further by creating a board game and trading cards. They have even created castles own brand of coffee (for the fans of the show, that is possibly one of the most exciting creations for the castle universe) with flavours like ‘Brewing storm’ and ‘writer’s roast’.
What was once just a television show is now several series of novels and graphic novels, board games, playing cards, calendars, coffee and an increasing amount of merchandise. With multiple fan made merchandise and websites like castletv.net and castle-fans.org (which are run by fans of the show) as well as a growing library of fan written castle fan fictions. The fans have been given a world to explore and a story that is not limited to one platform.