The season two premiere also expands on the reunion between Rumplestiltskin and Belle (Emilie de Ravin). “RumBelle,” laughed Jane, acknowledging the name given to the “ship” by the fans. “Yeah, I ship them, too,” she confessed.
That was clear from start of it all in her beautifully written episode “Skin Deep,” which framed the story as Beauty and the Beast. “You know, you've got a couple like that, you get two actors like that, yeah, how could you not?” I wondered if we might run into Moe French, Belle’s father, again this season. “I don't know what I'm allowed to say,” she teased. “But I would say, I wouldn't be surprised.”
Dr. Whale takes quite a role in the premiere, but we still don’t know who he is in the fairytale world. “We will see more of Whale,” Jane disclosed. “And I believe [Eddy and Adam] have said that we will see who he is, so, yes.” It actually comes up in the premiere when he’s asked outright by another character. But he is as elusive about it as Jane. But there is more to come on Whale and his identity. “I think fans are going to be just plotzing. It's so good.”
Currently, the series is shooting episode seven, and they’ve just broken episode 10 in the writers’ room. Jane’s next episode airs next week, the second episode of the season. (And she'll be joining me for a chat with the fans following the episode.)
Once Upon a Time is a fertile ground for fan creations based on the stories and characters, whether it’s video mash-ups, fan art or fanfiction. I was curious how Jane, as a television writer, felt about fanfiction, taking characters she helped create and writing new situations and relationships for them. (Full disclosure: although I've never written Once Upon a Time fanfiction, I have written it for other series, including House, The X-Files, and Stargate Universe.)
She considers herself “a big advocate. I think that, a lot of times, how young writers get their chops. That’s the thing you do to get a job as a writer in Hollywood—you write episodes of television shows [someone else has created]. And actually, the eventual job you get in television is writing for characters you didn't create. I write fanfiction every day when I sit down to write something for the characters of Once Upon a Time in a way because I'm writing for characters that I didn't create. I'm putting myself in Adam and Eddy's shows and writing in as close to their voice as I can do. And that's the same thing that fanfiction writers do.”