The cast and crew look back at the journey to the alternate universe and closing the bridge.
via TV Guide:
Of course, what the producers couldn’t foresee, but certainly hoped, was that audiences would end up loving the alternate universe, which made it all the more disheartening when the bridge between the universes was eventually closed.
Nicole: That was a really clever decision for the writers to make, to introduce this alternate universe where you’re not rooting for them, you’re rooting for the universe that you know. The universe that looks like yours, the one that’s relatable to you, the one that we’ve been with for a couple of seasons already and then you start seeing all these other characters and they behave so different.
Noble: I really take my hats off to the writers for that, because at the time we started off with the universe, I remember saying to people, “This is such a challenge to get people to actually not treat your character as the enemy.”
Torv: Because we committed, it meant that the audience was then able to commit knowing that this wasn’t going to be a waste of their time.
Noble: We were aware that slowly, slowly people started to say, “Well, perhaps they’re not so bad.” I thought it was a major achievement for the writers.
Gabel: I was surprised. I knew that the alternate universe was definitely something cool, but I was always concerned that people would think that we were infringing upon Fringe and that we were possibly taking away from a version of the show that they had liked. So when people were embracing it, I thought, “Okay, this is great.” We’re able to actually provide an expansion to the story and have it still be a part of the Fringe universe, if you will.
Nicole: The more you got to see the characters in the alternate universe the more you realized that they have their hopes and their dreams and their fears and their worries and their happy moments and their sad moments and they, it’s just not black and white. They made a lot of sacrifices and in a lot of ways we were the bad guys, not us specifically, but our world. That’s when you got to see “Oh, man. These people aren’t bad. These people are real people that have their own problems that they’re going through.”
Noble: And they’re still there, in Fringe history. I know Anna really misses Bolivia. She really loved to play Bolivia. And Walternate’s there. I can resurrect him any time I want to. I think it was time to leave and concentrate on the original universe. Had we been going for another season they may not have done it.
Pinkner: Yes, there was a moment when we decided to close the bridge, where we were on a conference call with Fox and Warner Brothers and Shana C. Waterman [Senior Vice President of Current Programming] from Fox said that when she read that script, she actually teared up. And we lovingly said, “See, these are the characters that you didn’t want us to introduce in the first place, and now you’re crying because we’re saying goodbye to them.” You know, it was an experiment that could have gone wildly wrong. Their caution made us work harder. So it was validated.
Reilly: Yes. But I was also getting different feedback too. There were a lot of people that felt, “Oh, I liked it better when you weren’t in the other universe. When are you coming back?” But again, this is a really talented group, and I knew they’d bring it around, and they did.
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