Although I’m not one of them, the capacity crowd in Ballroom 20 on Thursday for the Beauty and the Beast panel was full of hardcore fans known as “Beasties”. They loved the outtake reel at the beginning and gave show Producers Jennifer Levin and Sherri Cooper, as well as cast members Jay Ryan and Kristin Kreuk, a huge welcome.

Levin and Cooper promised viewers a bigger mythology this year and Levin stated that the theme for this year, if they had one, would be “Who am I?”. This was the point they wanted to sell, referencing it frequently throughout the panel, even when discussing how, in the world of Beauty and the Beast, “there’s always a threat”.

Jay Ryan (of whom I’m a bigger fan from his role in Top of the Lake) talked about the undeniable female perspective of the show, but revealed that there are more men on the staff for season two who will be writing for his character, Vincent. (He also promised “a new beast look”.) Overall, it sounds like the show may have been granted a bigger budget for makeup and effects this year.

During audience Q&A, a gushing fan referenced Kristin Kreuk’s previous résumé (Smallville included) and asked her if there’s anything she can’t do well. She humbly laughed and said, “I can’t do everything well. I’m not good at social things.” That’s surprising to me, coming from a young woman as beautiful as she is!

Beauty and the Beast returns to the CW this fall.