Fringe: Showrunner Looks Back Over The 5 Years Of The Show

This weekend witnesses the end of an era. The final ever episode of Fringe airs in the US and around the world (on Sky here in the UK). Who’d have though five years ago that a show that launched looking like X-Files-lite would end up being one of the greatest telefantasy events in history?

To celebrate the moment here’s an interview with current Fringe showrunner JH Wyman which originally appeared exclusively in the SFX A-Z Of Sci-Fi TV (which is still on sale, but only for another couple of weeks). Wyman looks back at each year on the show and his contributions to each of them.

SEASON ONE

Wyman was asked to join Fringe around episode 1.14 (“Ability”)  “JJ Abrams had asked if I’d come in and help because they hadn’t found the show yet. It was sort of stuck between this really awesome pilot, and, ‘Where do we go from here?’ It had procedural elements so was it an X-Files clone? What was it about? Basically, I said to them, ‘I love science fiction but I haven’t written a lot of it’. I adore it, of course, but JJ said it was really about a family and not to worry because I’d love it. Ultimately, I realised the better the science fiction, the more about humanity it was. Once I realised that, I was like, ‘Okay, I can do a million
of these. I love this!’

“I think we started to find the show at the end of the first season. Everybody started to think in different directions, but ultimately it came down to executive producer Bryan Burk – a little known fact! We were sitting around and I was coming up with the concept that there’s more than one of everything and the idea of a coin. There would be two coins: one for Over Here and one for Over There. Bryan blurted out in the writer’s room, ‘We have to show the hatch!’ It was brilliant because it was true. We were covering the ball so much and nobody was compelled. The audience didn’t know what was going on, or where the show was going. So once we let the cat out of the bag – that Peter is from another place and Walter is hiding a terrible secret – the show began to take purchase. It was a defining moment.”

Next page for season two

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