Episode Report CardSara M: A+ | Grade It Now!
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SM: Really? GL: No. SM: Wow, I was like, "Uh oh, that's heavy." So your dad is LL Cool J. How do you get the medical facts for the show? I know you have some doctors on staff to help out, right? GL: Yeah, there's Dr. David Foster, who is now also a writer for the show. SM: He wrote the Joel Grey episode. GL: Yeah, that one, and he wrote "TB or Not TB" and "All In" as well last year. He wrote some fantastic episodes, and he's also absolutely crucial in helping us come up with our stories. And then, to be able to construct these stories, we end up consulting six, seven, eight doctors. SM: Wow. GL: 'Cause we have a hard time constructing a mystery when [we] have no idea what any of the medicine means or what any of the bacteria are. SM: How does that work, exactly? Do you start writing an episode with a disease you want to use and then build everything around that, or do you have the episode you want and then try to find a disease that'll fit in it? GL: Russel and I, we've sort of done every possible version of constructing a story. The very first one we wrote was the Death Row episode, "Acceptance," and the idea was, "Would you bother treating someone who was on Death Row?" And we worked from there. That, to me, was just an intriguing question. And of course House is going to [treat him] because [House is] intrigued by the mystery, so he's gonna do it. But the drama would come in how well the doctors around him reacted to having to treat a four-time murderer. And then Russel had the idea for "Skin Deep," and that idea was the disease. Russel's first notion on that was, "What if there was a girl who has testicular cancer?" So we started with the disease on that one and then worked backward. And this year, Russ just wanted to somehow combine The X-Files with House, and then the disease came a bit later. [On] that one, we had to rely quite heavily on Dr. Foster, and a little pitch-in from Larry Kaplow, on the disease in kinda making that whole thing work medically to be able to realize this UFO dream. SM: I think it worked. GL: Cool. Yeah, it was fun. And Dan Sackheim directed the episode, and he was heavily involved back on The X-Files, so that was sort of an extra treat -- to have Dan directing that episode. I was really happy with it, I thought it came out really well.