Fringe returns to FOX tonight at 9/8c for the start of its fifth and final season. Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to participate in a press Q&A with Executive Producer J.H. Wyman. Joel talked about what this journey has been like and a little of what we can expect in the final 13 episodes.
On whether he knew the fifth season would take place in 2036 while working on last season’s “Letters of Transit”
J.H. Wyman: Well, we knew that traditionally in the 19th episode spot of each season, we always sort of went off the beaten path and we were kind of throwing around a whole bunch of very interesting ideas on what to do last season. When we didn’t really know the entire fate of what the program was going to be concretely, we thought, well, it would be terrible if we sort of ended without some form of an ending that I could either pick up by comic book or other sort of media that would finish the story for the dedicated fans.
That got us thinking; well, what if we sort of us the 19 spot as sort of like a backdoor pilot? We’ve always been interested in going back and forth in time and we thought it would be such an interesting idea to maybe tell the story in the future, but one way or the other, we were kind of like, “Hmm, let’s see how that goes.”
So, we used that slot 19 to be sort of like a test, sort of backdoor pilot to see, “Well, let’s see how that goes.” I think when the result of it came in, it was pretty clear and to be honest, me personally I feel in love with the possibilities of telling the story in the future and married that quickly.
On whether we’ll get a crazy 19th-episode-style episode during this shortened season
J.H. Wyman: The truth is I’ve got something that’s sort of really special planned, but I don’t want to talk about it. I think it will be memorable, but it’s not traditionally that, but it’s the same sport. Let’s just say that, but it’s definitely a breadth of a difference, a step in a different direction. Is that fair?
To see what the rest of the folks on the call asked, check out my write-up on NoReruns.net.