Media Junkyard have released an interview with Joshua Jackson and John Noble from Comic-Con. In the video interview, the pair reflect on season 2 and look ahead to the third season. A couple of spoiler beans were spilled (depending on your tolerance), so resist the urge if you’re a spoiler-free hero.
I’ve transcribed the key parts for those of you with slow connections, etc (video follows further down the page).
Jackson on the fractured relationship between Peter and Walter:
“That’s what Fringe is all about. You have this solid leading lady in Olivia who drives the show through, but then you have John and I as this sort of sidebar, bizarro-world, father-son relationship. For us, all of season 3 is going to be about how these two men fit into each others life now, given all the information and the intrigue and the heartbreak and the anger that would go with all the things that Peter has found out”.
Simples, right? Wrong.
“And then you layer on top of that for Peter, the fact that he didn’t just find out that he was kidnapped from down the street, he was kidnapped frmo another universe, and maybe he’s the key to some sort of bomb – there’s gonna be all sorts of bad stuff on the horizon for him.
Jackson on filming last season’s “Brown Betty” Gleefest:
“It’s the singing and dancing that I’m not [so comfortable with].”
Noble on the direction of season 3:
“Season 2 was extraordinary and finished off with a mind-boggling finale, where we as a company probably did two years worth of exposition of answers in the big finale. Deliberately, but it was like woah! But that was pushed forward because we have an urgency to see what happens if we tell dual stories – how does the story evolve in two different universes? What happens with the same story if it’s left to evolve? And that’s where we go, this is very unusual stuff that I’m talking about here. So that’s where our brains have taken us now and discovering doppelgangers for all of the characters – except Peter. And then how do their lives develop in different ways, without judgement, just watching them. That’s very original television.”
Is it a challenge?
“I think it keeps us fresh. The other actors that I speak to just love it. [Anna Torv] loves it. And it just gives us a break using the same core characters – characteristics – to give different versions. And it’s been a joy for all of us. And very importantly, one constant is Peter, who doesn’t change, and that’s going to be one of the great reveals of season 3.”
“Brown Betty”. Did you enjoy the Gleefest?
“As a worker you gotta enjoy yourself. You might question before you do things but once you go in there you’ve got to give it everything you’ve got. That was my approach to doing it. The initial concept was woah, what’s this!? And it felt like we were doing a support act for Glee, which probably we were. (repeats) And I think we were. But ultimately it was a good stretch for the company.”
Check out the video with your eyes and ears:
Ah, the fine line between positive hype and the detrimental giving away of key reveals. Fringe is not very good at toeing that line, it seems (especially of late – I’m referring to the back end of Season 2 as well).
It’s interesting to get John Noble‘s thoughts on “Brown Betty” being a promotional campaign for Glee. It’s good to have some honesty on the matter without it getting disrespectful, because obviously a lot of hard work went into making it Fringe-worthy. And Fringe fans aren’t fools, we know what’s authentic and what’s not. We all knew that Glee hijacked episode 2.19. (although I do appreciate that the producers may have been planning to do something quirkier with that episode anyway).
As I’ve mentioned before, it was a credit to all concerned that they managed to make it work as well as they did (writers, actors, crew, marketing, etc), but it was an experiment that still leaves somewhat of a bad taste in the mouth. A Glum taste in the mouth, you could say. There’s no getting away from the fact that Fringe got down on one knee and kissed the Glee ring. It hurts me to be reminded of that fact. We kissed the Glee ring!
Don’t get me wrong, there’s something to be gained from using properties to leverage other properties – that’s business and it can be helpful in enabling people to explore additional interests. But there are ways to do it without risking the credibility of a brand. Much like the show itself, it boils down to choices. Now, I don’t want Fringe to stop reaching for the stars or eking out good opportunities. But it has to be authentic and for the absolute good of the show. That said, mistakes will happen and things wont always work as well as they could. Learn from it, take the positives, and move on. And if Glee wins any awards this summer, we’ll claim it was all down to the Fringe sacrifice of 2.19. Oh yes!