“Fringe” may have been truer to its title in terms of r appeal, but that didn’t stop the show, which stars Joshua Jackson and John Noble, from seeing its storyline through to its series finale, culminating with its 100th episode airing Jan. 18.
Even as its lead characters were exploring some of the most mind-bending plotlines ever found on network television, Fox’s cult sci-fi hit was following its own extraordinary journey, remaining on the air for five seasons due largely to a small-ish but passionate and highly targeted fanbase that convinced the network to keep it on the air.
As the series finally weaves many of its long-running storylines together and reveals secrets closely held for five seasons, writer/producer/showrunner J.H. Wyman and Noble – the series’ breakout star thanks to his charismatically quirky turn as resident mad scientist Walter Bishop – reflect on creating appropriate closure for “Fringe.”
J.H. Wyman: It's a tough order writing a series finale, because you're going to have people that like it and people that don't. That's just the way it is. So at the end of the day, I just had to basically answer the question truthfully. ‘What would I want? And how can I tell the truth, and how can I make sure that I can move people?’
John Noble: I think we were all apprehensive to see what would happen in the finale. We didn’t know until really quite late in the piece how Joel would finish it off. I can honestly say that it was everything that I had hoped it could possibly be.
Wyman: I just said, 'Well, as a huge fan of television, what would I want? What would I really, really want?’ And that is two things: I would want to make sure that everything happened logically. Not tricks, not bring in another universe or another thing, or it's all a dream. No – we have enough emotion here for real, honest, good stories. And number two is I really wanted people to leave and think, ‘I have hope. I know where they are. They're just like a universe away, and it was worthwhile, and I feel like nobody pulled the rug out from underneath me.’
Noble: The way that Walter’s relationship with Peter plays out in particular in the finale is really quite remarkable. That’s something we had to do, because we spent so much time – and I know that the fans love the relationship between Peter and Walter so much and we certainly paid homage to that and brought it home, I believe, really strongly. I would love to have had an episode with each of the characters. I do have some beautiful moments with Jasika [Nicole] and Anna [Torv] as well.
Wyman: This year was a bit different because I actually called each one of them and told them the whole journey beforehand, which I never did. I'm always a very secretive person as far as stories are concerned. I never really communicated where I was going for a whole host of reasons, but they got used to it.
Noble: The last day on set was really quite fun. We were all kind of buoyed up. It was one of those nights that go forever. I think we finished at nine in the morning or something, but we had a lot of fun. I can remember we all got a fit of the giggles halfway through the night, which is probably really inappropriate. All of us were doing a scene together. I don’t know. It was just hilarious. I couldn’t get my lines out, which is very unusual for me. I just kept getting it wrong and we were all laughing a lot.
The series finale of "Fringe" will air Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.