‘Alias’ writers don’t rule out a revival – Los Angeles Times

It’s been just over a decade since the spy drama “Alias” went off the air, so, naturally, the burning question is whether it’ll be the next series to make a comeback during this era of flashback TV.

Several writers from the ABC series — Ken Olin, Sarah Caplan, Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Monica Owusu-Breen — gathered Saturday at the ATX Television Festival to reminisce about the fan-favorite drama that starred Jennifer Garner as butt-kicking double agent Sydney Bristow. And they didn’t rule out the possibility of reviving the series, which ended its five-season run in 2006.

“It would be amazing to do it,” Appelbaum said. “But the right idea would have to come. We wouldn’t want to do it unless it was absolutely perfect.”

Here are some other tidbits from the panel:

The perfect shade of red hair from the pilot was thanks to a UCLA trip: Finding the right red wig for Sydney to wear in the pilot was more work than anticipated. 

“We had three red hair wigs and none of them were good enough,” Caplan said. “[J.J.] was like, ‘It’s not the right red, it’s not the right red.”

But while scouting locations at UCLA, Caplan and Abrams came upon a math student with hair dyed just the right shade. So, she boldy asked the student if she could snip a small portion of it. Yes, really.

“I went up to the girl, I said, ‘Do you mind if I take a little snippet of your hair?'” At first, the student refused. But with some patience and some cajoling, she relented … for a price. But Caplan, without cash, had to wrangle $39 from various crew members to make the deal.

That memorable post-Super Bowl episode, “Phase Out,”  was originally supposed to be a different one:  The series landed the plum spot in Season 2, which went on to become one of the series’ most buzzed-about episodes. But the original plan was to air the episode that featured Ethan Hawke,

“We shot another show that was going to be that show,” Caplan said. “And when we were making it, I said, ‘J.J., this is a really dark show. He took it home to his wife … then came back and was like, ‘OK, we’re going to do a different one.'”

The writers had to go back to the drawing board and craft a new episode.

“Suddenly, we’re racing to do this show. I think that the post-production lady somehow she made it, she had about four days to turn the visual effects around on that,” Caplan said. “It was unbelievably stressful to get that episode out in time.”

A scene that never came to be: The idea for the Season 3 finale originally put Sydney in a position where she was climbing a mountain with Jack and Vaughn. At some point during the hike, the ropes were supposed to get tangled and Sydney was going to have to cut one of them, saving one of her companions, while the other would perish. The episode was going to fade to black. But when news of the scene leaked, the writers had to go back and write a new ending.

“It would have been awesome,” Appelbaum said. The writers didn’t exactly reveal who would have been the loser in that situation, but Owusu-Breen teased: “You’re not killing your dad.”


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