Fall TV Preview

Fringe Bosses Reassure Joshua Jackson Fans, Promise More 'Mind-Blowing' Cases Than Ever

As Fox’s Fringe returns this Friday at 9/8c to a world in which Peter Bishop has ceased to exist, executive producers JH Wyman and Jeff Pinkner have an important message for Joshua Jackson’s fans.

“People shouldn’t worry,” Wyman told TVLine when we invited the show bosses to reassure Jackson’s supporters. “We can’t imagine telling the series and the story without him.”

“Look, Peter is part of the DNA of the show. We’ve done some pretty crazy things in the past where people were always like, ‘Well, wait a minute. Why are they doing that? What’s going on?'” adds Pinkner. “Hopefully in Season 4, people will trust us enough to realize that we are doing things for a reason. To sort of have Fringe without Peter in some way, shape or form is really not Fringe.”

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Wyman reiterates, “Yes, Peter is part of the [show’s] DNA and he’ll always be that. [And] just because he doesn’t exist doesn’t mean that the three years that we’ve all invested in and watched does not exist. It really did happen.”

So why “erase” Peter? In the way that Walter in some versions of events is the big baddie of this piece, the producers wanted to offer a view of the Fringe canvas through a new looking glass. “The idea that Peter is gone — and ultimately he’s not permanently gone — is an opportunity to sort of recontextualize the story of everything we’ve seen,” says Pinkner.

Other topics covered by the EPs in a conference call this week:

LINCOLN LEE | Previously mainly seen in the Other world, our version of the G-man (played by Seth Gabel) will fast (though not easily!) get wrapped up in Walter and Olivia’s latest brain-scratchers. “We’re kind of in love with the theme of having this guy come in and have to go into a very strange world and [realize] that everything he thought was true is no longer valid,” says Pinkner. “He’s going to have to put back together a psyche that has been sort of fractured by this knowledge that he really shouldn’t have.”

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BLASTS FROM THE PAST | “Yes, there will be returning faces,” Pinkner tells us. “We hate to spoil things, but there will be characters that you’ll be delighted to see again, hopefully some that you’ll be surprised to see again, and some you may have seen before that come back in a completely different context.”

LET’S GO, ORANGE! | Fringe‘s new title cards, previously blue or red, have acquired a new hue. “The significance of the color is simply just to put out the notion that this is the universe without Peter in it.”

EVIL TWIN PIQUED | Though now ostensibly collaborating with Our team, “Walternate, despite all promises to the contrary, is still a bad guy manipulating things behind the scenes,” assures Pinkner.

MORE MIND-BLOWING THAN EVER? | “We have a slew of really crazy, hopefully thought-provoking, far-out cases that deal with time travel, out-of-control biology, and humans who either for very understandable and sometimes not so understandable reasons, are messing with the rules of nature and the rules of physics.” Same old, same old, you say? Ha! Watch the merged worlds to double up the freakiness. “This year … more than any other year, we have some mind-blowing standalone stories,” Wyman teases. “Because ‘over there’ is so messed up, and over here is a little suspicious as well right now, it gives us carte blanche to push our imaginations to the hilt and see some really cool things realized.”