Saturday, February 2, 2008

Debra J. Fisher and Erica Messer talk about "Alias" ~2004

Erica Messer and Debra J. Fisher talk about "Alias" (2004).

All 10 writers, including Abrams, sit in the writers' room with the season all mapped out. At this point, they go through the season episode by episode. Taking a week to go over the details, the team usually begins with the character aspects of he story before delving into the action. After getting the general shape of an episode, the team goes through it more specifically, breaking it down into scenes on the infamous board. Once the episode beats are laid on the board and the act breaks are strong enough, "John Eisendrath will cook up a great outline," explains writer and story editor Debra Fisher. From there the writers take turns transforming the detailed outline into a full script.

While some of the writers have changed since Alias began, it still keeps us guessing each week. Sydney Bristow not only captures the villains but captures the viewers, even if it takes her a few episodes. "She's your best friend who lives right next door, who is living a double life. I think that's really attractive to people," says Debra Fisher.

It is this unique blend that makes Alias so compelling, and the writers have managed to embrace it fully. "Something that makes us different is that, sure, there's good guys and bad guys, but sometimes, within an episode, the bad guy, Arvin Sloane, you can end up feeling sorry for [him]. I don't know how many TV series blur those lines…," claims writer Erica Messer