NYCC: Fringe

Thu, February 12th, 2009 at 9:58am PST

TV/Film
Alex Dueben, Staff Writer

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Lance Reddick stars in "Fringe"

Fans of “Fringe” didn’t expect any revelations about the hit television show at its New York Comic Con panel -- the confusion is part of the fun, but viewers came out in force last weekend, filling the enormous meeting room to just short of capacity.

Executive Producer Jeff Pinkner was joined on the dais by the show’s regulars, Anna Torv (Olivia Dunham), Kirk Acevedo (Charlie Francis), Blair Brown (Nina Sharp), Lance Reddick (Philip Broyles), Jasika Nicole (Astrid Farnsworth), Joshua Jackson (Peter Bishop) and John Noble (Walter Bishop) for a panel moderated by Damian Holbrook from TV Guide.

The panel began with a fast-paced montage of the season to date, and after the cast was brought on stage to cheers from the crowd, Holbrook began asking a series of questions before turning the floor over the audience.

As far as what they wanted to do with “Fringe,” Pinkner’s answer was not necessarily what everyone expected. “We want to explore with this show what is reality, and is there more to this world and our experience than meets the eye? And do it in an entertaining way and make people imagine the horrible things their bodies can do to them.”

Holbrook asked Brown whether Nina and Walter have a past. “Hard to say,” Brown laughed. “We can dream.”

After being asked if she could dance for the audience --having made her film debut in “Take the Lead” -- Jasika Nicole revealed that “John [Noble] and I have talked about a ‘Fringe the Musical’ episode. We have a cow. It’s kind of obvious.”

As far as the images that appear before the commercial breaks, Pinkner admits it’s not a secret anymore. “Aside from the character stories, there are several little games embedded in the show; obviously, searching for and locating The Observer in every episode. In every episode, there’s a visual clue to what the next episode will be about. The icons at commercial breaks are a code, if you chose to search it out. It’s hard. We should probably have a contest for the first person to crack the code. It relates to larger mythology of the show.”

Holbrook asked the obvious follow-up to the cast, how much do they know?

“Not very much,” said Torv. “We know where the Observer is because he’s referenced in the script.”

Wildstorm's "Fringe" #3 on sale in March

“I’m Broyles, I know everything,” said Reddick, who managed to remain almost as deadpan as his characters had the crowd laughing.

“Is it difficult to handle the jargon, John?” Holbrook asked.

“I always know what’s going on,” Noble said. “What was the other question?”

“Does it make sense?”

“Absolutely. Every word of it.”

Holbrook mentioned that when he visited the set months ago, he found that Joshua Jackson kept a flow chart in his dressing room and asked how it had grown over the past few months. “It’s so big, I had to bring it home,” Jackson said. “I hate to break it to you, but it’s sometimes hard to follow. I’m such a nerd. I’m an actor with a flow chart.”

Holbrook brought up the ‘Fringe’ comic book from Wildstorm and asked if anyone had seen it, and almost everyone said no. “I saw it in the store,” said Reddick.

“Did you get it?” Holbrook asked.

“No,” he said, cracking the audience up. “I was looking for the latest ‘Ultimate Spider-Man.’”

In response to a question about the weirdest thing he’s had to do or say, Noble replied, “I think it’s all good. Some of the lovey-dovey stuff’s a bit tough to take. I like the science.”

Pinkner said Fox has been amazing as a home network. “Here’s why I love Fox. They spent a lot of time trying to get the Observer on the platform at the inauguration of President Obama. I kid you not.”

William Bell was another topic that was raised. “We will absolutely meet William Bell,” said Pinkner. “He’s a part of show and has been since pilot. We may have met him already. He’s very much a part of the fabric of the show. One of the most engaging things about working on the show is that its very much a story that’s just starting. So much is just prologue that will unfold for hopefully a while.”

Anna Torv and Joshua Jackson star in "Fringe"

Once questioning was turned over the audience, queries varied from the acting process to more specific ones about the show and the direction. One fan asked that since Peter’s not supposed to be in Boston, are we going to find out why and when will things hit the fan? “I think Josh [Jackson] has the same question,” said Pinkner. “Before the season is out.”

“Really?” Jackson asked.

As far as balancing individual episodes with the larger arc, Pinkner made it clear that they’ve thought about it a lot. “We started with the ending. We know what series finale will be and we make a concerted effort to make the show accessible, but as fans want to make a rich world. The metaphor we use is Harry Potter. You can pick up book four and understand it, but it’s richer if read all the ones before.”

That led to the follow-up, are all the people on stage in the ending? Pinkner said, “Yes,” which was greeted by sighs and applause from everyone on stage.

TAGS:  nycc2009, fringe, lance reddick, jeff pinkner

 
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