The latest from TV Guide:
Any Fringe scoop? — Lizbeth
MICKEY: Right off the bat in the first episode, one character’s alliances will be questioned, and the answer will be heartbreaking for fans of the show. (Unrelated: Did you hear that The Observer showed up at Fox’s fall preview party last week? Honestly, I’m glad there’s photographic evidence because at the time, I just thought I was having the gin spins.)
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Fringe executive producers and writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci spoke to IESB about season 2 and a little about alternate universe storyline.
Q: What is coming up on the show that you can talk about?
Orci: Peter (Joshua Jackson) is going to really take charge. Walter is going to explore freedom that he maybe shouldn’t have.
Kurtzman: Last year, it was very much about Peter finding himself blackmailed into the position he was in, of having to be his father’s caretaker. He was always faced with the possibility of running. What was interesting to us was that he was a character who could bail on everyone else, at any second. I think a lot of what happened, towards the end of last season, and what we see at the beginning of this season, is leading to his commitment to say, “I’m the guy. If we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it my way. I’m taking charge now. If you want me to help in the Fringe division, then you have to go through me to figure out how we’re going to get to cases.” That’s going to be a very different way of approach for the character.
Q: How involved will you guys be this season, and what will J.J. Abrams’ involvement be?
Orci: We’re divvying it up, so that we’ll oversee one, J.J. will oversee one and we’re all together, once or twice a month, planning what the next big steps are. Then, we have an amazing staff that divvies up the episodes. We get together on the phone and improve the stories, so we’re all in there. Jeff and Joel are the ones who are physically on site, handling all the horrible things that we’re protected from, in addition to doing what we’re doing. But, we’re all in there creatively.
Q: Are you masters of multi-tasking?
Orci: We are. Part of why we all like doing shows together is because we make it easier for each other to be involved than it would be if any one of us were involved alone. Sometimes J.J. can see them when we can’t, but then we can get together with J.J. The more people who are in the know, the more everyone can continue to be creative. That’s part of the flexibility of having safety in numbers.
Kurtzman: And, we’ve learned a lot from television. Television really teaches you the discipline. It teaches you about having to work on many things at once, because you’re breaking story, while writing a script, while shooting an episode while posting another one.
Orci: There’s plenty to do.
Kurtzman: The key is that you have to keep your quality level high. That’s why you have other people around you to make sure that you are keeping your quality level high.
Q: What is different in your alternate realm?
Orci: The White House was hit instead of the World Trade Center.
Kurtzman: Kennedy’s still alive.
Q: Where’s Walter (John Noble) in the alternate world? How does he feel about our Walter taking his son?
Orci: I’d be pissed. That feels like a juicy train to collide into. That’s looming somewhere.
Q: How much of Walter is improvised and how much is written? Do you put it in the script, when Walter goes off?
Orci: Absolutely. You say, “In the background, Walter is inspecting whatever thing is catching his eye. You’re not even sure what he’s doing yet until you get over there.” It’s still very written, but John’s improvs are underlines and exclamation points on the scene. One line can change a scene. It can do so much to everything that came before. Obviously, you can’t make some of that stuff up. It takes a team of people. But, he really knows his character and he can get in an out of character almost without the script.
Q: Does the cow exist in the alternate world?
Orci: Uh, yes.
Q: Is there still Massive Dynamic?
Orci: Yes. The trick is not to confuse people. You only want to change something, if there’s a really good thematic reason to have it be different. It can’t be red is blue, just for fun. We want to let it really resonate because it’s something major.
Q: How many conversations have you had about Mrs. Bishop?
Orci: We’ve had a few, but that definitely seems like a big target that you want to make sure you build up to correctly.
Q: Is Olivia (Anna Torv) the only one going over to the alternate realm?
Orci: So far, she’s the only one. We’ve gotta play that carefully.
Q: What are your thoughts on parallel universes?
Kurtzman: I think they exist.
Orci: It’s the latest thinking on it, you know. Anything that can happen, does happen. That’s what Mr. Data said in Star Trek: The Next Generation. It seems to resolve a lot of the paradoxes that exist, but who knows. It’s an old idea now. It’s not a new idea.
Q: Do you have to wait for word from Leonard Nimoy that he’s available or willing, before you do a William Bell script?
Orci: We do two scripts in advance, at a time. We’ll go, “Hey, you up for two more?” It’s a buy one, get one free kind of thing.