The A.V. Club catches up with J.J. Abrams:
AVC: Do you want to direct an episode?BuddyTV, iVillage and Television Without Pity pepper J.J. Abrams with questions:
JA: Well, I'm hoping. Maybe a season finale or a season opener or something. I've been wanting to do it since the pilot. We have great directors working on Fringe, but when someone else directs something that you're involved with, it's always their vision, and the director in my head is definitely wanting to get involved.
BuddyTV: I wanted to ask you, what's your obsession with mysterious boxes? You always have a mysterious box. Do you always know what's going to be in them when you write?IGN writes a comprehensive piece on Why You Should Watch Fringe:
JA: No. But the funny thing about the box motif is, it's just human nature, I think. You want to know, what is it? What do you see inside of that thing? I think in certain situations, it can be a really fun story point. Even in one of the early episodes of Fringe, there's a teaser at the end of one of the episodes that is kind of a magic box-y sort of thing where you're like, “What the hell?” I just love that stuff, so that's my own personal interest.
"There's a large mythology that we all decided on when we wrote the pilot and we knew that when we went to series we were going to have to reach a certain end point," says Kurtzman. "That end point's very flexible in terms of when we get there. If they let us run for 12 seasons, you'll see it in season 12. If they take us off the air by nine episodes, you'll see it in episode nine. So there's a lot of room there."
The team adds that they were lucky to figure out what that mythology was going to be early in the process of creating the show, because sometimes on other shows it doesn't come as easily or as early, forcing the writers to sort of "find it as they go."
"This time we really do have a plan," says Orci, while noting that this was a lesson they learned while working on the sometimes convoluted Alias.
"I think we're of the opinion that shows that sort of say, 'Yeah, we know our big answer,' but they don't really… you can tell," adds Kurtzman. "You can tell because the storytelling starts to feel like it's treading water. And we knew that if we were going to go into this, given how massive it was going to be to explore this world, we had to have our end point in place."
"[Standalone episodes] was one thing that we demanded from the beginning when we all were going to sit down and do this show," recalls Orci. "We have to learn our lessons from before. We studied procedurals specifically to try and merge [it with serialized]. And it's very against our instincts to do that, but when nine of the top shows on TV are called Law & Order and CSI, you have to study them a little bit and figure out what it is they're doing that's such a satisfying [experience]."