Don’t Have A Cow, Man, But Fringe Could Have An Animated Episode

Fringe to have animated episode?

It’s getting to the stage where almost nothing surprises me about what Fringe could pull next. We’ve had Twittersodes, special airings of unaired episodes from last season smack bang in the middle of season 2, and tonight, we’re going to get an all-singing, all-dancing musical installment. What’s next – a live broadcast of Fringe from the moon? Not quite, but there is suggestion of an animated Fringe episode.

I feel like I need a Bart Simpson quote, or something, to greet this news.

Head past the jump for more on that, tonight’s musical episode and why we’re going to need to keep our eyes peeled in the finale for a secret season 3 clue.

These tidbits come courtesy of Jim Halterman who has posted expanded notes from the recent conference call with Fringe executive producers and show runners, Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman. Here are some of the quotes that put my Fringedar in a tizzy.

Question: Now that you’ve done a musical episode, how are you going to top it next season?  Are you going to have a Saturday morning cartoon animated episode or anything like that?

JP: You may be closer to the truth than you realize.

JHW:      Exactly.

JP: Remember that question.  Deep in next season, remember what you just asked us.

I find this both really interesting and insanely funny at the same time. I can just imagine a Walter and Astrid animated cartoon – “In The Lab With Walter and Astro”, where Walter continually gets himself into another fine mess as Astrid rolls her eyes and mutters obscenities. Or a Peter/Olivia toon, titled “For Pete’s Sake”, where Peter’s never-ending mission is to get hold of Olivia’s gun, but he keeps getting thwarted at the last by her death-look. With TV in the state that it’s in, I’d watch.

I guess FOX could run another of their “FOX ROCKS” weeks for Family Guy or The Cleveland Show, although this animated possibility (whether it develops into an episode or something else) actually seems like an organic idea from the Fringe writers room. In truth, I thought they’d do a 3D episode next, what with it being all the rage these days.

Question: Fringe is almost becoming notorious now for all this secret little hidden Easter eggs within it.  Is that something that everyone takes a part in or is that part of the writing – putting all those little things in?  When do they come into play?

JP: Some of them are in the writing.  Some of them are specifically scripted.  There’s probably in every episode the observer up here is somewhere, and that is we won’t script that because that’s one of those things that we want people to have to find but during the production process, we will figure out where is best suited for this story and then production.

What’s really nice about the series now is all of our departments are so invested in making a complete in-world building and making like a really rich textured program that from set dressing to props to visual effects – everyone participates in hey, what about this, what about that, here’s an opportunity to do an Easter egg here.  I don’t know.

There was an episode a couple of weeks ago that was sort of like inspired by the game Clue and in different scenes, all of the sort of signature murder weapons of the game Clue are just featured as props, background, in one scene or another.  That’s something that the writer of the episode and the prop master came up with together.  Every episode has sort of a clue somewhere … what the next episode will be about and that’s largely driven by visual effects.

JHW: In the season finale, there is one hidden thing in there that I and Jeff will both be really impressed if anybody picks up.  So, there you go.  There’s one to look for in the season finale that’s very telling about next season but also very hard to find.

This is a great question. Since we spent a great deal of time combing through the clues I’m continually interested in their construction and implementation. I think they’re being a bit coy on the subject though. I mean, some of the clues – particularly the deeper metaphorical efforts, guide the story as much as the characters.
As for the ‘next season clue’ (I guess we can call it that), my eyes are already peeled. They’ve been ready. :)

Finally, one other quote on tonight’s musical madness (the part in bold gives me more reason to be hopeful for tonight):

JP: The music really sort of supports the storytelling, and it takes us out of it in a fun way, but the whole thing is sort of a fantastical episode anyway.  And I think it was important to us that if we felt in any way we were damaging the story, we would’ve just said, “Thank you very much but it’s not going to work for us.”

You can read the entire post over at Jim Halterman’s blog, including the producers view on managing spoilers. Thanks FringeWatch for the heads-up.


  1. Anjali says

    “Peter’s never-ending mission is to get hold of Olivia’s gun, but he keeps getting thwarted at the last by her death-look.”..

    hahahaha Roco. That is hilarious!!!

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  2. Page 48 says

    I hear the season finale is going to be a live-to-air, silent, black & white, sock puppet episode told with Etch A Sketch subtitles, tastefully punctuated by Leonard Nimoy playing spooky organ music.

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  3. JS says

    Well, if they ever actually decide to do an animated ep, I hope it’d be a combo of animation and live action. (Hey, it worked for Farscape [re: “Avenging Angel”].)

    As always, story is king, so if they want to tell it with construction paper cutouts and lunch bag puppets, then fine – just as long as the story is good! 😛

    In fact, I’m pretty sure in another universe, Fringe is told entirely through lunch bag puppets.

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  4. hal says

    Hey now… do you realize what kind of power this would afford the writers and directors? Animation is the king of story telling. Remember the animatrix? If it is anything along those lines of slickness this would be uber fucking amazing.

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  5. MikeMike says


    I’ve a great idea. Let’s take a show that is doing well, that has good plot movement and completely derail it with gimmicky crap.

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  6. says

    I really hope that they’re kidding. They’re going to end up turning this series into a joke the same as what happened to the X-Files during season seven. Please, be kidding.

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  7. hal says

    I think you are letting Roco’s inclusion of a picture of Family Guy throw you off too much. Nice going.

    Do you honestly think it will be an animation in the sense of a family sitcom cartoon like Simpsons or Family Guy?

    When I think animation I think of hot scifi shit like Ghost in the Shell, Animatrix, that kinda thing.. I mean really… Fringe would fit in with this so perfectly!
    I do think there is room for plenty of comedy in this format, as the Fringe co are like a little sitcom thing going on there sometimes but if there really is going to be an animated episode it’ll be hot shit.. just imagine who could be directing? If it’s like an anime that would be off tha hook yo

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    • Page 48 says

      When I think ‘animated’, the first thing that comes to mind is along the lines of the animated “Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

      Then again, there’s the “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” combo of live action and animation. I don’t have any appetite for that.

      My preference would be more like “The Incredibles”?

      If they were considering this type of episode as part of the regular season, I would be against it. I just don’t like gimmick episodes thrown into the mix, especially when a series is on a late season roll as “Fringe” was prior to “Brown Betty”. If it was a bonus DVD, or better yet, a mid-summer offering to bridge the gap between seasons, then why not?

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