By Lorenzo Marchessi
PANEL REPORT #3:
6,500 cheers, tears and Observer Hats (given out free to everyone in the audience) took over the cavernous Hall H bright and early Sunday morning for what was Fringe’s final Comic-Con panel. An amazing number of people had camped out overnight for this just outside the San Diego Convention Center!
“That is just awesome,” Joshua Jackson said with a laugh after the cast saw the fans hold up drawings of a tulips. Season five will take place in the future, but in the exclusive teaser shown to the Hall H crowd, there was some new footage intercut into the trailer even though production on the new episodes will begin next week.
The panel included the series stars – the incredibly insightful Anna Torv , the quick-witted and charming Josh Jackson, the baritone voiced Lance Reddick, the amazingly heartwarming Jasika Nicole and the always commanding John Noble, along with Executive Producer J. H. Wyman.
“Yes it’s going to pick up where we left off in the day after,” showrunner Joel Wyman said.
“We had to get the actors who worked incredibly long hours to go and shoot for a season that they had no idea what it was about or [knew] would happen,” he shared. “That was our sales tool to get us a season five.” For Wyman, who will take on showrunning duties himself without the help of Jeff Pinkner, he had “ideas since season one.”
“Truthfully, I had two and a half versions of what we thought we should do for the end,” Wyman said. “I sort of decided three months ago … and it was very clear [how it was going to end].” Wyman added, “Because it’s 13 [episodes], we want to write the scripts early to make sure that everything is absolutely perfect,” Wyman said. “If I’m doing that with the writers, I want to … make sure that the actors have time to [plan].” Jackson added: “To give us the chance to do our best job going into the final season.”
The tears started flowing when Anna Torv and Lance Reddick recalled their favorite scene, which happened to be Jasika Nicole’s pivotal episode when Astrid and her doppelganger had a scene together. They stated it perhaps was the moment when the show’s end was starting to hit everyone in the cast. Jasika and Anna complimented each other to tears – and the entire audience too!
When asked whether Peter and Olivia would have their happy ending, the actors were coy. “I think these two will get their final chapter of their story,” Jackson said. Torv continued the secrecy: “I concur.”
An exclusive video for the Comic-Con crowd was screened for the fans. “It’s not saying goodbye,” Wyman reassured in his introduction, adding that “you have a brick in the building.”
When asked what she’s learned from Olivia, Torv said innocently, “I think it’s to come,” before the crowd began to laugh. (It would become a running joke at the panel.) Once Torv realized, Torv said embarrassed, “I’m Australian and I’m so irreverent. I’m so sorry.”
“I get sort of cross when anything happens to them,” Noble said. “When we lose a cast member or something I get really f—ing angry, take it personal.” “What we’ve learned is the power of love,” Noble said. “What holds Fringe together is the power of love.”
It was more a disclaimer, but Jackson warned the 6,500-seat room that he did not “wet” himself even though there may be a spot on his pants that may have hinted at otherwise.
“Henry [Ian Cusick] was an astounding performer last season,” Wyman said. “Let’s see if he makes his way into the season this year.”
“Anna and I have read some of the fan fic out there, you guys are scandalous,” Nicole recalled. “Fifty Shades of Fringe?”
An Observer book will be released, where it will be from September’s perspective. “It’ll be through September’s prism of impressions … and what the characters mean to him,” Wyman said. Fans will also have the ability to have their names included in the book as “people of interest.”
The question of why there are no female Observers will be answered in season five.
Talk of a possible Fringe movie was also mentioned, though the story has continued through comic book form, with one having been written by Jackson and Nicole.
An amazing panel that received a thunderous standing ovation upon their bows when leaving for a great cast – for a great show!