Interview: Josh Schwartz

We have a quick catch up with Chuck’s head honcho.

0000043360_20070924122705So, did you have a plan for the series to end after 13 episodes, planned a finale, then got six more episodes right?

Six, yeah. We always planned to have the season finale on episode 13, then we found out we were going to have more episodes beyond it.

So did you change that episode?

Well, we secretly hoped. We always had 13 episodes, but got more before we aired, except for the strike. So we secretly hoped that we would get more, but we didn’t know, and so episode 13 was broken, we were like, “Let’s leave this, if we do get more, we can do more.” We got the news as we were breaking that episode. Chris wrote it, and it is huge. When the episode left the dock, we knew what we had. It’s still as big as was originally conceived. And after I read it, I looked at Chris and said, “That’s a great season finale.” It’s what we’re shooting right now, and it’s epic. It will be as good as a season finale, in a lot of ways. And then the challenge will be, “Okay, how do we top that?” And I think for the fans, it’s a win, because you’re getting a real ramp-up, a real acceleration story, you’re getting an unbelievable episode two-thirds of the way through the year. And then it’s really incumbent on the writers to really top that and move the story forward. So what you’re really going to get is a new arc, a separate arc, as a continuation of season three, but a tease to the potential of – knock on wood – what season four could be.

Was the original episode 13 going to tease season four?

Episode 13 was just supposed to be the finale. So we pulled some stuff up.

Do you see it evolving every couple of seasons? Intersect 3.0? Intersect 4.0?

Oh yeah. But in other ways too. There are grand plans being discussed, but we have to top ourselves from last year.

Did you have to work under new budget constraints? How did that work?

We really made a concerted effort to try to make sure that nothing came off the screen. We’re delivering the same, if not more amount of spectacle than we did last year. But we lost Julia Ling unfortunately, which was really sad for us. And in certain episodes, you won’t see the Buy More, and not everybody is in every episode like they were last year. That’s probably the most noticeable way, you’ll feel. We make the episodes in less time than we used to. By a day. You’ve just got to shoot faster. But we’re a well-oiled machine now, so we can handle that.

This article originally appeared in the print edition of SciFiNow, issue 40 by Sarah Lucy May. To buy a copy of the magazine or subscribe, go to www.imagineshop.com, or call our subscriptions hotline on +44 (0) 844 844 0245.