Actor/executive producer William Petersen (Gil Grissom) and executive producer Carol Mendelsohn point out the reasons they brought Jorja Fox (Sara Sidle) onto the show.
Why Jorja Fox?
William Petersen: It was very interesting. Here was this young girl who was basically a rookie. And she comes out and we basically ignore her through out the night because we were too busy doing our stuff. And to have her get shot at the end of a pilot was somewhat profound. And then to have her die in the first episode was even more profound. And consequently that’s how we got Jorja to come in from San Francisco. Called up Sara Sidle to come in and investigate it. And I think it ended up being- putting right off the bat- a sort of like profundity to something that- you know- to guys collecting evidence. They are in harms way a lot, these guys, which is why they’re allowed to wear [guns]. And they’re civilians. They’re not cops. They work for the police and they’re in harms way a lot. And this was one way to show that they were.
Carol Mendelsohn: And speaking to that question from the perspective of the writers, Anthony and Ann, jump in, it’s interesting the response of the audience to that character in the pilot. We created a character that could come in, like the audience, and see everything new and learn along with the CSIs. And in the end, there was an audience reaction that she was not up to the job. That she didn’t know enough, and we realized we needed to bring in a young woman that was really smart and knew what she was doing, and was eager and said “Cool” every time there was a case. And that’s Sara Sidle.
Anthony Zuiker: It was a very gut wrenching to make- to do. It was a very risky decision to make. And it was very unexpected.
##Petersen Et Al On The Science Of The Scripts##
William Peteresen: It’s not like dialogue we’re used to doing as actors, you know. I mean, it’s very complex, scientific stuff. Half the time, we don’t even know what we’re saying. We don’t even know how to pronounce the words. But I’ll tell you, it’s fascinating, keeps you - I mean, Jorja, we had that whole thing with the last one.
Jorja Fox: Yeah.
Carol Mendelsohn: Once in a while an actor will call from the set because they don’t know how to pronounce a word, or they ask where a certain body part is. And we pretend that we actually know. […] We have a - One of our co-producers, Josh Berman, his father is a doctor and occasionally with Latin phrases, Josh gets on the phone with his father while I’m on the phone with the set.
Jorja Fox: I’ve called with French words before.