During the conference call for the fifth and final season of Fringe, J.H. Wyman was extremely grateful to the fans for supporting Fringe throughout the show’s run. TV Equals was also able to learn more about how Wyman plans on giving the fans a solid ending, how the show affected his writing and more.
2036:The backdoor pilot
Wyman said the traditional spot for Fringe‘s off-the-wall episodes became a way for this season to give the fans a proper send-off, which involves having the main characters fight as the resistance against the Observers.
“We knew, traditionally, in the 19th episode of each season, we sort of went off the beaten path, and we were throwing around a whole bunch of very interesting ideas on what to do last season, and [since] we decided we didn’t really know the entire fate of what the program was going to be concretely, we thought it would be terrible if we ended without some form of an ending,” said Wyman. “….That got us thinking, what if we used the 19th spot as a backdoor pilot? We’ve always been interested in going back and forth in time. And we thought it’d be such an interesting idea to tell a story in the future…so we used that slot 19 as a test.”
After seeing the results, Wyman said the direction for the season became clear. “Personally, I fell in love with the possibilities of telling the story in the future,” he said.
Keeping special effects in check
With a high concept show like Fringe, it’s probably easy to get lost in the amount of special effects you can indulge in. However, Wyman has made sure to keep a tight leash on how special effects are used. “We were really fortunate because technology is so advanced,” he said. “You just have to learn to get really good at choosing your moments and making sure your story isn’t overwhelmed by special effects, but actually vice versa, that your emotional arcs and emotional storyline are driving the train.”
Peter and Olivia
Fans have been watching the relationship between Peter and Olivia develop over the course of the series, and Wyman said this season will give the fans even more to take in.
“You know, I said… no love story worth telling is easy. It’s sort of the hills and the valleys that make a relationship, in my opinion, really dynamic and worth watching. The harder to tell, the more worthy the payoff,” he said. “I’m really trying to give the characters specific odysseys this year. There are single odysseys, meaning [one] for each character, but also in a relationship dynamic, odysseys–things are growing and shifting and shaping, and Peter and Olivia are going to be part of that. Their relationship will shift and grow and evolve, but I think it’s safe to say that we’ll be there for every step of the way and everything will be logical.”
How Fringe helped Wyman
Wyman is completely proud of his work on Fringe. In fact, he called the show ”the highlight of my career.”
“…[W]hen I first got on the program, I think in the first season, the show was trying to find what it was and I was a fan, but I really didn’t know a lot about it. And J.J. [Abrams] said the concept of the show is about a family…and I’m leaning all too much towards being an existentialist, how am I going to tell stories that are meaningful…something people can relate to and something I care about writing, about the human condition?” he said. “…I figured out, ‘Oh yeah, I can see the further out science fiction gets, the more about humanity it actually is about. Once I sort of picked it up, it sort of changed me from my impression about science fiction and how I would attack my work on the program. So, I think I definitely became a better writer.”
The season premiere of Fringe airs September 28 at 9/8c on FOX.