Fringe S4 Conference Call w/ Jeff Pinkner and Joel Wyman by FringeTelevision
I had the unique and awesome opportunity to be included on today's conference call with executive producers Joel Wyman and Jeff Pinkner that took place at 2PM Eastern today.
Joel and Jeff were in great spirits. First, they reassured everyone that Joshua Jackson's character was not permanently gone. "We would never do that."
They also said "Peter's part of the DNA of the show," and "the previous three years did indeed happen." Joel and Jeff said they would be frustrated if a show they watched did that, and it's not part of their storytelling method to let that happen.
Then out of the blue, Jeff Pinkner started talking about the incredible "Where Is Peter Bishop" fanvid and how much they appreciated it.
Joel talked about different types of storytelling, telling us that Fringe fans have decided to invest in their 'adventurous storytelling', and how fortunate they are to have the ability to 'go deep.'
They said that Season 4 is definitely a new season in which "the two universes have to work together." Joel talked about how the different choices we make shape us. "Our experiences are who we are."
While talking about the combined universe characters, Joel said humorously that "Anna Torv and Seth Gabel have finally figured out that they are half of a pair of identical twins," and that tha makes things easier.
Someone asked if there will be another 'out there' episode in Season 4, like 'Brown Betty' was in Season 2, and 'LSD' was in Season 3. The ep's answered that there would indeed be 1 episode "that's outside the box." On the subject of "LSD" Jeff Pinkner said that that episode almost broke them, but they appreciate all the work that goes into animation.
Another caller talked about viewers' trust in the 'Fringe' series. Joel said that these days he feels viewers are afraid to invest in a new show because it could get canceled, or they may be afraid that their time and effort "won't be rewarded." He reassured everyone that 'Fringe' is an ongoing story. Jeff Pinkner added that they are certainly hoping that the series will last beyond Season 4.
Joel brought up that the Kirk Acevedo 'thing' hurt them, because while they knew their future plans for him, fans were uncertain. Joel and Jeff really appreciate their loyal Fringe fans' trust.
Someone asked if Peter Bishop will return in context, or if everything prior will be unrelated.
For a second time in the call, the executive producers assured us that events of the last 3 years did indeed happen.
Jeff brought up the brandy new digital, online Fringe Comic series titled "Beyond The Fringe," which became available today and said they just don't have time to tell all the stories on the show, and this is one way they can tell stories that are related, but don't get into the show. It sounds like there will indeed be more volumes in this new comic series, but no time table was discussed.
When questioned on "What will Lincoln Lee bring to Season 4," Joel said that "Everything that he thought to be true is void."
They told us there will be new 'mythalone' episodes in the new season, with repeated themes of time travel, "out of control biology", and messing with nature and physics.
Jeff and Joel bragged about their "genius production crew," and how they surprise them all the time.
Jeff, I believe, mentioned that Akiva Goldsman is friends with the president of DC Comics, and that's how those alternate world posters hanging on the wall in 321 came to be, because he personally got involved, and Joel and Jeff got "to be fans" too.
Someone asked if they were doing anything to pull in new viewers, and the ep's brought up the wonderful "Past+Present+Future" video series designed "by our friends at FOX."(More specifically, the brilliant Ari Margolis). Joel said that Season 4 can be considered a starting point for the series:
"If you've never seen the show before, this is a great place to dive in because everything is new."
The Observers' role came up, and their was a little discussion on fate versus free will.
Joel reminded us that the Observers "observe, but sometimes interfere with fate."
For what I believe is a third time, both of them assured fans they would not pull any tricks.
Joel said, "If I was watching something and someone said 'Guess what, everything you saw was a dream.' That would suck." He assured fans "Everything you did know is still valid."
I quoted Joel in a May interview saying "We're constantly going back to the seeds that were laid and make our viewers see those things in a new light." I asked that if Season 3 pointed back to Season 1, if we should be studying up on our Season two episodes? The answer was that some things from both Seasons 2 and 3 will be revisited in Season 4.
I also reminded them that we saw a young Olivia in "Subject 13" reading the book "Winter's Tale" by Mark Helprin. I pointed out that we know executive producer Akiva Goldsman likes that book and is supposedly making a movie out of it in the future. I asked if we will see more references to this book in Season 4 . The answer was "Not that specific book." Jeff explained how the production crew "takes great pains to place them"(certain books) and other Easter Eggs into the episodes.
Overall, it was a great conference call. The big message is that Joel Wyman and Jeff Pinkner appreciate Fringe fans, and know they owe them solid "adventurous storytelling."
So sit back this coming Friday night, and let them drive.