Doris Egan took time out of a day-long season seven story meeting (she’s writing next season’s premiere) to talk to me about this week’s penultimate episode “Baggage” and on writing House. Many in the House fan community were sad to learn on Egan’s blog that she is cutting back next year on her involvement in the series to concentrate on other things. As a consulting producer next season, she will only write one episode. “We’ll see how many of my projects work out. I want at least to make the attempt to (among other things) write a new book. My editor has stopped asking when the new book will be written.” The good news is that we won’t have to wait long for that one episode; she’s writing the season seven premiere!
With the series since season two, Egan has penned some of the series best episodes, including “Don’t Ever Change” (with Leonard Dick, for which they recieved a Writers Guild nomination). She has become known to fans of the House-Wilson relationship as St. Doris for her take on their friendship, but has also become the House road trip maven.
When David Shore mentioned at a writers meeting that there should be a road trip episode in season in season six, “for some reason everyone around the table looked at me,” she laughed. Indeed, Egan has written most of the series road trips, including “Failure to Communicate,” “Son of Coma Guy,” “Birthmarks,” “The Social Contract,” and “Known Unknowns.”
Egan has written episodes solo and with a writing partner. “Each has different pluses and minuses. When you’re writing by yourself, to an extent, you don’t have anyone to satisfy but yourself.” And while Egan likes writing by herself, she also enjoys writing with a partner. “When you’re writing with a partner, you have to find some way of making it work in those scenes on which you don’t agree. Sometimes you have to get creative and try to find a way to rethink the approach from a completely new angle.” That’s often a great thing, she explained. “Sometimes you can sometimes come up with something that’s better than you ever had at the beginning. The great thing about writing with a partner, like brainstorming in a writers room, it’s better than the sum of its parts.”
Egan wrote “Baggage” with David Foster, with whom she paired to write last season’s “Birthmarks” as well. “David wanted to do a story with Alvie." Egan noted that Foster “is amazingly good at channeling Alvie. He is just brilliant with writing Alvie.” It was his idea to do the immigration story and we talked about where else to take things.” They felt it was a natural way to bring things back full circle from “Broken” and “see where House was after an entire season. Iit just began to feel natural that if Alvie was there to bring in Nolan into it.”