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With a resume that includes Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, Torchwood: Miracle Day, ABC’s Once Upon a Time writer and consulting producer, Jane Espenson, has some stellar experience when it comes to building and revealing mysteries – especially for shows that have rabid fan bases.
Espenson wrote Sunday’s episode of Once Upon a Time, which has Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle) exploring one of the biggest mysteries of the season.
“He’s trying to figure out who August is,” Espenson tells The Hollywood Reporter. “At the same time in Fairytale Land, we’re going to see his back-story and really complicated interaction with his son who’s not really happy with who his father is turning into. He’s dealing with two different characters – if they are two different characters.”
THR recently spoke to Espenson about her role on the ABC fairytale drama, what to expect as the finale approaches and the status of her other projects.
The Hollywood Reporter: If one were to look at the episodes you’ve written for Once Upon a Time, is there something that characterizes your scripts?
Jane Espenson: I’m generally the person on all shows that they go to when there’s a funny episode to be written. I like to put humor in things. I think things feel more real with jokes, because in real life we laugh all the time. I also was fortunate enough to become associated with the Rumpelstiltskin episodes. So once I did one of those, they kept turning back to me to continue writing that character which has been remarkable.
THR: Aside from the investigation into August’s (Eion Bailey) identity, we have Emma’s (Jennifer Morrison) learning curve increasing a lot on the last few episodes. What can you say about what she’s figuring out about Storybrooke and her ongoing bout with Regina (Lana Parrilla)?
Espenson: Emma is starting to look at the mysteries around her and put stuff together, but it’s a very hard leap to make. I think that Emma is a very smart person, but she’s very grounded in reality. Also, there are obstacles to people believing and complicated reasons why they don’t want to believe. I can say by the end of the season, any frustrations that people have are going to pay off. Emma and Regina will have a confrontation on this episode, but it won’t be the last one. There will be a confrontation on the season finale that will have people buzzing.
THR: What can you say about Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) and David’s (Josh Dallas) romance heading into the season finale?
Espenson: Definitely, relationships are the kind of thing that pays off on season finales. The theme of our show, it always comes back to true love. So, I have a really good feeling about Snow and Charming and Mary Margaret and David. I’ve got a good feeling about those kids. I think they’re going to make it work.
THR: Let’s talk about other projects you’ve worked on. How did you feel about the last season of Torchwood? Is there anything you would have done differently?
Espenson: The Torchwood fans are very passionate. I’ve never dealt with a more passionate group of fans, so they weighed in very loudly about this last season — which was the only season I was involved in. I was very proud of what we did. I thought it turned out amazingly well. I don’t think you can ever beat Children of Earth, the previous season, which was an absolute masterwork. But, I thought we did very well. I thought we did things with that show that are not normally seen on American television.
THR: You worked on Battlestar Galactica and Caprica, as well. The latest news is that the prequel, Blood & Chrome, is not going to happen now. What can you say about the future of the franchise?
Espenson: I haven’t been on top of that. I know for a while there was talk of it being a series and maybe a web series and now I’m not sure. I think there’s definitely a story to be told about that particular war that that’s set in and I hope they eventually get to do it.
THR: What’s the status of your web series, Husbands?
Espenson: We did season one. We did a kick-starter. We raised money from our gorgeous fans and they renewed us for season two and we’re deep in pre-production. People should be looking for it this summer.
Watch a preview from Sunday’s episode on Once Upon a Time below.
Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro
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