'Fringe' Joshua Jackson interview: 'I'm excited about Peter's return'
Friday, September 23 2011, 4:25am EDT
By Morgan Jeffery, TV Reporter
Where is Peter Bishop? The location of Fringe's roguish hero may be a mystery, but luckily, his real-life counterpart Joshua Jackson is a little easier to track down! The new season of Fringe begins tonight on Fox - and will debut in the UK next week - so we caught up with Josh to chat about Peter's disappearance, those Observer theories and what we can expect from season four!
Your character 'disappeared' in the Fringe finale at the end of the third series. How surprised were you when you read the script?
"I helped to build the ending to season three, so I wasn't surprised by it at all. I thought it was important to go to that level because it's the fulfilment of the myth – and that's exactly where we were heading with the story. It's the logical and necessary final point to Peter's storyline, so I thought it was important that we went to that epic level. I'm glad we achieved it. I'm glad that's where we ended at the end of the last season."
It sounds like you're pretty proud of the finale…
"You know what? I think Fringe always does well with its finales, but I'm incredibly proud of the last one. The most iconic image of Fringe was probably the end of the finale to the first season when you saw the World Trade Center – but last season's finale is also up there. Not to toot my own horn, but I hope that this cliffhanger had a lot of people talking about the show. It got a lot of people thinking."
How proud of the show are you in general?
"I'm incredibly proud, especially when it comes to the storytelling. We've taken this show to places that people would never have expected – and I love that. I think that's really good storytelling. Last year, we used the alternate universe to open up the Olivia character and revealed who she is by seeing her opposite.
"In season two, we got to see Walter become a human being again by having a relationship with his son. At the end of season three, Peter became a man. And part of his becoming a man was making a sacrifice. The sacrifice that he had to make was his existence for the lives and happiness of the people that he loved. There is no more noble sacrifice that you can make. That was epic."
Did you think that the character of Peter had come full circle by the end of the last season?
"That's exactly what I felt. When we introduced Peter in season one, he was a guy who cared about nothing. He lived a nihilistic life with no close friends, but you see a completely different person if you move forward three years."
How would you describe him at the end of the third season?
"When you move forward three years, that same guy decides that it's his fate and his destiny to get into that machine and disappear. That's a major progression for a character. He decides to conspire with his own father to make himself not exist so that the people he loves can have a chance to live. That is a very noble sacrifice, and it's not anything the guy would have considered doing three years ago. To me, that's a full stop to Peter. That's the end of this character progression. He can't go any further than that, can he?"
What can you tell us about Peter's return to Fringe in the new season of the show?
"I'm not allowed to give anything away about the new season of Fringe, but I can tell you that I was extremely excited to see what avenue the writers wanted to take in how they bring Peter back."
Before you saw any scripts to the new season, did you have any idea how they would achieve his return?
"I thought about it a lot, and I considered the possibility that Peter could come back as a guardian angel protecting the people that he has made this great sacrifice for. There's another version where he could be an Observer. Well, if he steps outside of the timeline, the only characters that we've introduced into our universe that can do that are the Observers..."
You'd have to shave your head if you became an Observer…
"I'd love that. You know what? I thought the Observer idea was super cool – but you'll just have to watch and see if that's the direction we go."
Can't you even tell us a little secret about the new season?
"I can tell you that everything that we knew with the end of season three is still valid without Peter, but that's it. I'll also tell you that I was equally as curious to see how I get reintegrated into the show for the fourth season. I don't want to sound selfish, but that's something I was very eager to discover. Very eager indeed."
Fringe returns to Fox tonight at 9/8c and airs in the UK from September 28 on Sky1.