Fringe Exclusive: John Noble Shares a 'Wonderful' Reunion With Joshua Jackson

The very good news for Fringe viewers is that somewhere between Episodes 3 and 6 of the coming season, John Noble and Joshua Jackson will reunite on screen.

As soon as Peter “ceased to exist” at the close of the Fox drama’s Season 3 finale, Fringe fans fretted: Will the show be able to salvage the father-son dynamic between Walter and his boy? One small step toward that goal would be for Noble and Jackson to share scenes in Season 4, but when last we looked into that, Noble had two episodes under his belt while Jackson had yet to report to the set.

TVLine revisited the hot topic with Noble on Monday night at Fox’s annual Eco-Casino Party, asking if he has gotten to reunite on camera with his TV son yet. “That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it?” he countered with a smile. He then answered, “Oh, yes, I have. And it’s been wonderful.”

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Of course, the $750,000 question then concerns how Peter rejoins the fold. Noble shared no details, but said that fans would be “probably surprised, but not unhappily” with how his and Jackson’s characters cross paths. Likening the narrative to the movie Sliding Doors, Noble suggested that the start of Season 4 will consider a reality in which all of the characters known to us never had their lives touched by Peter, yet nonetheless have the vaguest sense of his onetime presence.

“I don’t want to get all esoteric on you, but I do think we have longing and memories of lost things,” Noble offered, “and that’s what Peter is.”

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Without the Peter they knew in the mix, Noble says that Walter is still brilliant, annoying and helping to solve Fringe mysteries, yet “under constant threat of being sent back [to prison] unless he behaves himself — which he doesn’t.” Stand-offish Olivia (played by Anna Torv), meanwhile, never had the opportunity to warm up as a result of Peter’s presence. “She’s very lovely to me,” says Noble, “but very firm, too.”

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One last tease from Noble, as Fringe‘s premiere date — Friday, Sept. 23, at 9/8c — inches closer? “I always wondered what it was like being a rock n’ roller trashing a hotel room,” he shared with a wink. “Enough said.” (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)

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  1. Michael Sacal says:

    Someone please remind me how the series ended. Which Walter accused the other of killing his son?

    Oh, snap. See, the reason Peter vanished could have been because Walter NEVER went to Walternate’s reality to snatch him and, so, he died, while HIS Peter is still alive!

    See, if Walter saves his Peter he doesn’t have to go to the other reality if he doesn’t do that then Peternate dies.

    • Michael Sacal says:

      “Peter was saved from drowning in the lake ”

      Matt, Peternate WAS saved from drowning in the lake in the reality we saw play out on TV. Peter Prime died from an illness, remember?

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      CLARIFICATION: Sorry for the confusion, everyone; the peril of editing a story at 10,000 feet. The sentence in question has been edited for clarity, with the changed section placed in bold. – Management

      • Hemo_jr says:

        Are you categorically denying that John Noble indicated that Peter was born and existed as a child rather than never being born at all??

        Or are you simply trying to put the cat back in the bag after mostly spilling a secret you were suppose to keep?

    • Delirious says:

      Peter (ours) died as a kid. Peternate (theirs) got snatched, and saved. Later, Peternate (now in our universe) was saved from drowning.

      So, NO Peters would be alive if Walter hadn’t gone for Peternate, since Walternate missed the correct “medicine” (which Walter saw thru the interdimensional window).

      • Michael Sacal says:

        But if he had cured his son, then Peternate would have died. Maybe that’s what changed, he was able to cure his Peter and that is why Peternate vanished.

  2. Hana says:

    This doesn’t make any sense, though. Our world’s Peter died of an illness; he didn’t drown.

  3. Irishgirl says:

    Ok…I’m not understanding this sentence of your article. “Noble suggested that the start of Season 4 will consider a reality in which our universe’s Peter was saved from drowning in the lake all those years ago, thus setting on a different trajectory all those whose lives his alt-self would touch.”

    Do you mean a reality where Peter didn’t survive? Because he did in the reality from the past 3 seasons. Or do you mean that the Peter from our universe didn’t die as a child, almost drowned, and was saved? I’m not understanding what this means.

    • Hana says:

      Yeah, it would make more sense if Peter (the one from the red universe, the Peter played by Joshua Jackson) drowned after Walter took him from the other side. I am wondering if something got garbled in translation here.

      • Michael Sacal says:

        So Peternate would drown after Walter snatched him? Hmmm… could be, but then both Peters would be dead.

        • Hana says:

          The only way I can think of this statement making any sense at all, is if Walter took Original Peter over to the Other Side to be cured, or tried to, causing a rift, and he and Original Peter didn’t drown in the lake. And that alt-Peter (the Peter we know) died, winking him out of existence. But in that case, Original Peter must still be around. Maybe that’s who Josh is playing now?

          Or else the quote is all wrong.

          • Michael Sacal says:

            Matt could have meant “wasn’t saved”.

            It depends on how Walter killed Walternate’ son. Did he kill him by snatching him and letting him drown, or did he kill him through inaction by not curing him because he didn’t have to?

          • Hana says:

            Yeah, if it’s really supposed to be “Peter wasn’t saved from drowning” then it would make a lot of sense, but taken at face value, this is really a head-scratcher. (It would only make sense if Dead Peter hadn’t died and then somehow got out there with Walter on the ice.)

          • Michael Sacal says:

            Given that it was an Observer who saved Peternate, in what way would what happened in the last episode of the previous season change that?

      • Bouncy Castle, London, UK says:

        Erm. Both versions of Peter are played by Joshua Jackson!!!

  4. br says:

    This doesn’t make any sense. Blue Peter was never in danger of drowning, that was Red Peter and Walter. Is this a new retcon? If Blue Peter was saved and he’s alive now, as the article implies, why the need to have longing and memories of lost things? Nothing would be lost, because Walter would still have his real son.

    • Hana says:

      It could be that Walter is longing for the alternate reality that we experienced for the past 3 years, for Red Peter as his son whom he loves.

      Still, I’d love to know whether that’s an accurate quote or not.

      • Sarah says:

        You said it much more bluntly than I was trying to make, thank you, haha.

      • br says:

        But he never experienced it. The point of Peter disappearing is that nobody interacted with him. Ever. Why would he long for another son, when he already has a living one? Is he that greedy? Why would he take his son to a frozen lake? There must be something wrong with that quote, no matter how I look at it, I can’t make sense of it.

  5. james says:

    the original peter never drowned, he died of illness so not why every keep going on about drowning

  6. Sarah says:

    Apparently in THIS new Peter-timeline perhaps Walter DID go to save Peter in the altverse and in bringing him back September never finished saving him and he drowned. So I gather that he did exist but just died young in ice in Walter’s savior attempt this new timeline.

    Ok to me, this just means while we see the timeline where Peter doesn’t exist in S4 (what we’re all getting to understand is happening from spoilers, photos, etc), THEY in THAT new Peter-timeline are considering the possibility of a timeline wherein it differs from this one which the live. One in which Peter lives (like the one we’ve been watching all these years, Timeline Prime, if you will.)

    So we will soon come around to the timeline,perhaps the one we still know or one more similar to the one we know for now before we get back to the original one, however that is.

    Basically I’m assuming we will be seeing a lot of various timelines this season in the present and likely different pasts and futures until we get back to the one we have always known. The show is all about choices and what happens when we make each one, after all. And the right tweaks have to be made to revert or fold back into Timeline Prime.

    • Hana says:

      “Apparently in THIS new Peter-timeline perhaps Walter DID go to save Peter in the altverse and in bringing him back September never finished saving him and he drowned.”

      But that’s not what the story above says. The story above says that “our Universe’s Peter” (Blue Peter, aka Dead Peter) “was saved” from drowning on the ice. That does not fit at all with the backstory we know, where Blue Peter died of an illness, and Red Peter almost drowned after falling with Walter through the ice. Blue Peter was never NEAR the ice on the lake.

      It doesn’t make sense, unless (a) it’s a misquote or John Noble misspoke or (b) things happened very differently in the past, perhaps a past where Blue Peter didn’t die of the illness or perhaps was cured, and somehow that resulted in Red Peter’s death.

      Not sure how I feel about that… if so, they’re presenting a wholly different version of the show’s central event. Should they really be screwing with that? If they are, there had better be a good payoff.

      • Sarah says:

        I think when they say “our universe’s Peter” they do mean the one we always knew…so technically he’s the red one but he’s always been seen as ours in the story.
        It may seem confusing but I’m sure they’ll handle it well in the writing. And it’ll be easier to see it play out on screen.

      • br says:

        If they change the backstory that much, there is not enough payoff in the world. Which probably means they will.

    • Michael Sacal says:

      It could be that whereas the first three seasons were about alternate worlds (space) this one will be about alternate timelines (time) fighting for survival.

      • Hana says:

        Well, in a sense, the alt-worlds already ARE alternate timelines, since the differences between them result from different choices made.

        • Michael Sacal says:

          I think they said that we would see more about the First Ones, so time may become more of an issue this season than travelling to other realities.

  7. Hemo_jr says:

    What, in the sentence, “He never existed,” allows Peter to even have been alive in order to have drowned/not drown the lake?

  8. Lizzie says:


  9. scully8 says:

    The one thing that stood out to me more than the Peter drowning was Noble’s comment about how Walter and Peter re-connect.

    I’ve been thinking about this since Lance Reddick made the comment that Peter would be back ‘talking crazy about how he had worked with Fringe team in another timeline’; I believe Peter will be reintroduced as a fellow patient of Walter’s. Think about it–if Peter came from the original timeline into this new one, he would remember, but because he didn’t exist in the current timeline, the Fringe team wouldn’t remember him and he would have to try and convince them. I think Peter as a crazy–much like Walter–would be a brilliant way to bring him back. In any event, we are merely 10 days away. I can’t wait!

    Just a thought . . .

  10. Kay says:

    “Noble suggested that the start of Season 4 will consider a reality in which our universe’s Peter was saved from drowning in the lake all those years ago, thus setting on a different trajectory all those whose lives his alt-self would touch.”

    Before we all explode trying to understand the answer to this $750,000 question, Matt, could you please check to see if there are typos or errors in the transcript of the interview as stated above? Because no matter how we parse it, this sentence doesn’t make sense and John Noble would know.

  11. soco says:

    Ha! I’m still confused. I’ll just wait until the 23rd.

  12. AngelMoonGirl says:

    Oh my gosh, I can’t wait! This sounds like a really cool story, provided of course that Fringe goes back to its old dynamic once Peter returns. I wouldn’t want a whole season or even a season and a half about nobody remembering him. But there’s so many ways this could go, I’m just so excited! Fringe is amazing television!

  13. Megan says:

    I just feel the need to say that John Noble is truly one of the most brilliant actors I’ve seen on TV in quite some time. I can’t get over how fantastic he is.

  14. Jdrummer says:

    “Noble suggested that the start of Season 4 will consider a reality in which our universe’s Peter was saved from drowning in the lake all those years ago, thus setting on a different trajectory all those whose lives his alt-self would touch.”

    What if “alt-peter” and the peter that died in our universe as a child were actually switched between universes already, at an even younger age? Walternate keeps deep, dark secrets all the time; maybe this is one of them?

    • Jdrummer says:

      Or it’s just that Noble is refering to “our universe’s Peter” as the one from the other side and “Alt-Peter” as the one original from our universe, just because it’s been that way since season 1.

  15. Gihan says:

    But Olivia saw peter as a glimmer.that means he’s peternate.

  16. Steve L says:

    It is so gratifying to see so many FRINGE geeks out there! None of my friends get it.

    • Shawn says:

      Yes Steve, there are many FRINGE fans out here. (You need to get your friends on board :P) Our whole family loves it. Now my daughter is off at college and trying to recruit her dorm friends. Love it! :)

  17. tvnut014 says:

    So Olivia obviously still knows Walter. I wonder if she’s more patient with him now. Usually, Peter was there to serve as a go between when Olivia got too frustrated with Walter. I also wonder if Walter still chose to have his brain cut out by Bell?

  18. CB says:

    I’m betting Peter turns into an Observer.

    For the record, if the Doomsday machine made Peternate never exist, there would currently still be no our-world Peter because he died of illness as a child. Peternate, as a kidnapped child, fell into an icy lake and was rescued by an Observer who in turn made Walter promise him a favor in return at an unspecified later date. I think the favor was to make a choice that would harm Peter as an adult.