Pinker & Wyman Shocked At Belief 3 Years Of Character History Is Gone ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Pinker & Wyman Shocked At Belief 3 Years Of Character History Is Gone

      Email Post       1/12/2012 02:32:00 PM      

Over at Huffington Post, Associate Television Editor  Laura Prudom has posted an interview with Fringe showrunners, Jeff Pinker & Joel Wyman.

It is a comprehensive interview; covers the series to date, their plans for Season 4, the Peter arc, and where things stand from their perspective about the show going forward.

It also includes a new clip between Peter and Walter that will tug at your heart strings.  

Check out the full article here - 'Fringe' Cancellation Rumors: Executive Producers Talk Fans' Fear, What's Next For Peter (EXCLUSIVE CLIP)

The most heartening thing about the interview was this section quoted below.  Especially the sections I have highlighted:

"Jeff and I were actually shocked that people would think for a second that we would have one of those sequences where, poof, the character is gone and everything that you knew about our characters and everything that you learned didn't really happen or is gone. We would be terribly frustrated if we came across that, being fans of television ourselves. So we would never in a million years do that. What we were really trying to do is have the audience really understand that all this stuff really did happen -- "I'm with Peter and I'm in his shoes; I want him to be able to experience what he's lost. I want to get back there and I want those relationships. I know that he belongs with Olivia. I want him back with Olivia -- I don't know how, but he's got to find his way back." That's what we had always intended, so we were a bit shocked when people thought, "They just erased a couple of years of character history." It's not true. That's not what our intention was, nor is it where we're going."

Hopefully that puts to bed that erroneous supposition!


Fringie6989 said...

I must say I was shocked too at how quickly fans questioned the writers intentions. Have they ever let us down? Everything they have put in there has been for a reason whether it has come to fruition yet or not. The storylines have always come full circle and this ENTIRE show has been about relationships and their affect on the people around them. To think that they would simply erase the one character who has had the most influence on the people around him is unthinkable. From the very beginning of season 4, the absence of Peter was so clear it was heartbreaking. Let's just let the writers do what they do best and stop trying to improve upon excellence when we only know part of the story.

trent said...

Sorry, but I don't believe they were shocked, they can't be that naive. It's not like they have unlimited trust points, whatever they do. They blew them away with very weak plots in S3 and that finale. The first 1/3 of season 4 has been on the awful side for the most part. Now they have to win trust points back with off-the-charts amazing episodes to wash away the bad taste in my mouth.

And by the way, as long as they intend to keep the story in the current timeline, as they said in another interview: "we’re going to stick to where we are", for all intents and purposes, everything except Peter is gone. I don't know if their intention is to ever go back to the characters they developed for 3 years, but they don't have any trust points left, that allow me to hope.

Maybe they can start to get themselves out of the mess they created with tomorrow's episode. The promo looked promising, so at least there is that for now.

Shawn Mahone said...

Based on Joshua Jackson's interviews I have calmed down a bit knowing what he knows and how calm and easy going he is about the whole thing.

I think the interviewer got the question wrong, it was not that fans were upset that all 3 years of history were wiped out it was that they created a clean slate and only used the history that they wanted to use and thus avoided paying off Peter's son and some other contentious storylines.

The interviewer as per usual softballed it a little. I think she should have gotten more specific about how much of a Peter arc will we get if any at all and more stuff. Now maybe that is in part 2 of her interview so we shall see.

I think the fact that they are aware of the ratings and said what I said ages ago about it all coming down to what the WB will license the show for is positive. That they had a plan to finish the series is a positive too. That they are actually coming out and trying to stop the bleeding (fan departure in the thousands) is a very good mood. Every show runner who has a show on the bubble should come out and grovel a little it helps make the audience feel appreciated.

Daniel Belcher said...

I can see Fringe being picked up by a pay channel (they'd love to have this viewership) like HBO or Showtime, or even Netflix. Have you seen what they're paying for that new series? Fringe has already demonstrated a loyal fanbase that's willing to pay for the story.

bryan said...

now its less bashing and mostly just worried that its quantity(money) over quality(best documentary out there lol) such a quality show could ever be on the edge makes me question people intelligence ak so smrt

Zepp said...

I personally, I can not have another position, I am convinced that the statements and conclusions of the showrunners are the most approximate the real situation of Fringe. They known by the whole saga of Fringe, live backstage with the teams and all the actors, they are dealing daily issues of Fringe contract with the network involved, know, know very well the real audience, and DVR Internet, and its relations with the display of Fringe, a Friday, they know everything, all from within that machine enterprise, business, contractual standards, and so on. These executive producers, showrunners, has the macro-knowledge, everything. So when they say that Fringe has substance argument for 6-8 seasons, I can not take a position that is not to believe them faithfully. And you can feel in their words, they want to proceed with Fringe, until "the last line of the plot" Fringe. They have an opinion, much more grounded than I, a fan, looking for news. So just place me in a way that is to delegate all my trust in them, the executive producers of Fringe.

Anonymous said...

Pay channel? Not a chance. Warner Bros would steer the show to the CW first (TimeWarner second). The CW would love those viewership numbers, and the show would already fit into their cult favorite/sci-fi scheduling practices. Warner already owns the show, at NS Films in Burbank. They buy it from Bad Robot, send it to there studio company (FB2 Films) in Vancouver. It comes back to SoCal and gets a bunch of post production by Warner freindly assets. Once the product is ready to air is when FOX gets truly involved, putting it on the TV and distributing to few non-US markets. Warner does a bunch of world TV distro to minor markets. Once the air/rerun contract is satisfied with FOX... NS Films (Warner) gets their product completely back in hand and starts DVD/BR distro and airing into terciary/syndication/cable markets.

FOX isn't part of the WB, CW, UPN, TimeWarnerCable family of corporations. Dropping FOX (non-family) and adding CW (family) should save some cash in the production and distribution process, thus insuring the final two seasons (5/6) that were originally planned for FRINGE. Another benefit would be that CW would likely put it in a better time period than the Friday night deathslot. The one bad thing (US) is that CW has about 97% of the market reach that FOX has... so 3 out of every 100 loyal US fans would be cut-off... that my friends is better than 1.3 million out of 1.3 million loyal US fans losing the show altogether.

Anonymous said...

Well, maybe if what we see on screen stops contradicting what the writers say off screen, maybe we fans wouldn't be bashing them.

Sorry but these writers have disappointed me for 4 years. Nuf said.

Shawn Mahone said...

LadyGagaClapClap that comment makes me wonder why you watch the show today? I mean if they have constantly dissappointed you from the beginning then that seems a little odd. I thought you were going to quit watching?

I may have (at times) been too negative on the show because of my love for the medium but I do acknowledge the limitations of the show and its strengths too bout. Yes the overall coherancy of the show may be a bit weak and the show would be best to stick to procedural elements but there have been some great episodes in there. Firefly, Peter, White Tulip, etc have pushed the envelope of procedural televison and that is great for them and us.

I do hope that Peter gets more screen time but I will accept it is what it is.

Anonymous said...

Joshua Jackson has kept me watching this show but after reading everyone constantly bashing Josh and Peter while acting like John and Anna are the gods of the acting world, my enjoyment of this show has waned and I am sick of seeing Josh being wasting while people are bragging away about john and anna.

Shawn Mahone said...

Good read for saving the show.

Shawn Mahone said...

Well that happens on every show. Some characters/actors are not liked and that can be hard to accept if you are a fan of said character/actor.

Josh has said that they would have been cancelled if for not John's performances. Anna Torv is the lead character and so has to get a certain amount of screen time. It does not bother me that they have given a lot of screen time to those two over the course of the first 3 seasons.

What kinda bothered me was the lack of effort and continuity of Peter and this weak season so far.

That scene in the upcoming episode where Peter is pleading with Walter about wanting to go home is excellent and it has some dialogue and material that they should have given to Josh a long, long, long, long, long time ago.

But lets see how 4.08 onwards goes, if by 4.10 they are back to COTW and Peter in the background then I will understand your concerns better. Hopefully tomorrows episode starts a Peter arc that is 5-10 episodes long and gives direction to this season.

Anonymous said...

Oh so because Anna Torv is the lead and the show wouldn't be cancelled if not for John Noble (which is crap BTW since despite JOHN NOBLE, the show STILL has low ratings), Josh should be given nothing to do and he is not talented enough? IS THAT YOU ARE TRYING TO SAY?

Shawn Mahone said...

What I am trying to say is that a tv show is a living breathing organism that constantly changes due to conditions that the showrunners are not totally in control of. I do not think they meant for Joshua Jackson's Peter to be sidelined as badly as it was and that can be the outcome when they are on such tight deadlines and have to make this all up on the fly.

The fact is as I said in my previous post that Josh's Peter's arc starts tomorrow and he may get an arc that is 10 episodes straight that is Peter and nothing but Peter and if you wait and see then not only will you get more Peter you will get critics praising his performance and fans as well.

As I said if his arc stops at 4.10 and he gets sidelined for the rest of the season in mediocre MOTW then I agree your complaints hold a lot of validity. The producers said this is his season and that he will be the focus from now on and he holds the key to the series. These are big statements and their reputation is on the line, they do not want to be known as a creative team that did not have what it takes when it mattered. This is Peter's time to shine and Josh's as well, patience and you might get everything you always wanted.

Based on the review from Mo Ryan above, if they do not come through and give a phenomenal Peter arc this season then you will not be alone in giving the show a lot of crap and a hard time. They know the stakes and they know what will happen to them if they fail, they know what happened to a show they used to be on when it fell short (LOST). So lets see how it goes ok.

fringeobsessed said...

What this tells me is that people are not listening to Jeff and Joel's conference calls.
In their most recent conference call in April they explained all this in detail, but either people didn't listen to that call(which can be found here in the FT archives) or if they did they did not retain the information.

Shawn Mahone said...


I think the problem can sometimes be when a show asks the audience to not only think with their heads but most importantly their hearts. The Where is Peter Bishop fan video came from, fans hearts and I think that is where things can become strained.

Chuck suffered the same thing in season 3. I think the way Joel and Jeff (and Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak) conduct their interviews by being ambigous and confusing does not help. A little clarity would go a long while. They talk about "recontextulising" and stuff like that but it means nothing to fans who just want back something they love with their hearts.

Snide comments that Akiva made about this not being a contract negotiation with Josh does not help in any way or form or the producers passing the buck onto Josh and saying this was all his idea.

All fans want maybe is the show runners to show some sincerity and admit that they may have made some creative mistakes and they are working on rectifying that. The removal or Peter has been a mistake on so many different levels and only the die hard fans can excuse this.

If Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindleoff had just been better with their interviews that Lost may have gotten away with the lack of answers or frustrating storytelling.

Show some warmth and friendly humour and understand people love Peter and the old characters and things would be a whole lot better I think.

martisco said...

I love these guys. But the only real problem with Season 4 and trust, is that they didn't properly prepare the audience for the new story. With the alternate universe, they were working toward that since the end of Season 1. By the time we went Over There, the audience was excited and thrilled to finally be there. But this new story was dropped on the audience very abruptly at the end of Season 3, with no preparation whatsoever. Many in the audience have spent this season (4) struggling to adjust to something they were not adequately prepared for. The missing fall finale (World Series) hasn't been helping them adjust either.

I'm torn, because I absolutely love Fringe's fearless and daring, and its ability to make me think and consider new things. I have found a lot of good, even great things about Season 4, which has been at its best when they delivered on their promise of mixing the two universes. But I also hate hearing fans descend into nitpick, demanding mode. "We want Peter and Olivia," "We want this and we want that." I think in some ways the writers have only themselves to blame for that, but I also dread having to listen to fans now, too. I want to watch this season unfold. I just may do it on my own, not participating in the fan community, just watching the show as always and forming my own opinions. I really am not looking forward to the FAN DEMANDS. It seems, every show reaches this stage in the end sooner or later, and it's a real drag. Then years later you go back and watch the show they were complaining about, and you realize how great it was. I have seen this happen several times.

martisco said...

PS. I try to let the episodes speak for themselves. If the showrunners have to explain everything to me, that should be a signal that they're not writing (interpreting) their brilliant ideas quite well enough. Maybe they've bitten off more than they can chew. I'm going to give them a chance to chew it. There are 15 episodes left for the season.

For me, the constant "WHEENNNNNN ARE WE GOING BACK TO SEASON 3??" bleats are getting tiresome, even as I understand why they're being said. (Heard the same stuff about the alternating blue and red episodes last year, too, which drove away some of the fans because it was just too weird to watch those characters like Walternate and Bolivia that we didn't care about AS MUCH) Some beautiful, thoughtful stuff is being presented in many of these episodes this year, and I'm slowly getting to know the yellowverse characters.

I guess the extended honeymoon is over for the showrunners, but I am still awfully interested in the show they're putting on.

Old Darth said...

The show is about Olivia's coming of age so everyone's story will always be in support of that.

I agree with you Martisco. The show should solely be judged by the final product ie what is put on the screen. Off screen issues and more importantly, unsubstantiated and perceived issues hold no sway for me.

Nor should show runners be expected to give away the goods before the episodes have aired and they have worked so hard to create. There is no dishonesty in with holding such information.

I'm fine with the pace of the show and set no milestones on story elements being paid off. Or how much screen time actor(s) get.

The only thing I hope the show runners deliver is an intriguing story told honesty ie with the characters acting in accordance with what has been previously established.

Fringe has honored those criteria to a very, very high level.

The bonus is how Fringe continues to do story telling that takes risks such as Peter's nonexistence.

I am enthralled.

Old Darth said...

And I remain perplexed how anyone can call a story telling decision a mistake BEFORE it has been told in its entirety.

Shawn Mahone said...

It must be very hard to be a fan of a cult tv show. Todd Van Der Werffe wrote an excellent article when reviewing Community's Documentary Filmmaking:Redux. He said this:

"It’s always understood that the flipside of being a low-rated cult hit is that the people who love you, adore you." and

"But when you get down to all of the wailing about the show this week, what it comes down to in the end is that a bunch of us were forcibly reminded that the number of people who like the same thing we like is punishingly small. This is the sort of thing that always hurts to be reminded of, because stories are designed to bring people together with those who are like them, and nothing hurts more than realizing that in all of the world, there are very few people like you."

I understand fans who defend a certain type of show even with all their flaws. But there is a lesson in this tale as well, one worth taking note of.

Old Darth said...

Whether flaws exist or not, no story will appeal to everyone.

The more a long form of story telling demands of its audience the smaller that audience will be.

Another worth noting.

Shawn Mahone said...

"Whether flaws exist or not, no story will appeal to everyone."

And that is the crux of the problem with these types of shows. If the story were more than one womans journey of coming of age or another mans trek to redemption than maybe there would be more of us around.

Telling a compelling story while keeping certain plots and characters equally compelling gives viewers incentive to turn up week after week. Loading question on top of question and keeping certain plot or character issues vague only causes fans to leave.

I understand running a show can be tough but to give a fan something or anything so that they stick around is imperative to a shows survival.

In your heart or brain can you really tell me that it was vital that these first 7 episodes be told in the manner they were told? Could the show runners not have include any narrative momentum in order to keep fans around and still interested?

Audiences will stick around, a show just needs to give them a reason to stick around.

Count Screwloose said...

It's all about two Bishops guarding a Queen. How hard is that?

Dave Thompson said...

How much money do you think they can save by avoiding stupid "monster" storylines?

trent said...

"And that is the crux of the problem with these types of shows. If the story were more than one womans journey of coming of age or another mans trek to redemption than maybe there would be more of us around."

The crux of the problem is that the story of Olivia's journey of coming of age and Walter's trek to redemption is a repetitive one. How many times do we have to see the same themes again and again? I get that Peter doesn't count for them as a character and that I can't expect a character study for him like they did with Walter and Olivia, but they are not offering me a fresh view of them, either. They are not deepening on their characters, they just regressed any character development to do another iteration of the same thing.

You are right that we have to accept things as they are. I did a year ago, when I realized that Peter's story would always unfold in interviews and they'd never allow him to be a character in his own right. The problems comes, when the producers are unable to see their own shortcomings and whine about the lack of trust from the audience. Hello! Of course, I thought you'd kill off Peter! Of course, I thought you'd erase a couple of years of character history. You gave me every reason to believe you'd do that!

Briar said...

"I'm with Peter and I'm in his shoes; I want him to be able to experience what he's lost. I want to get back there and I want those relationships. I know that he belongs with Olivia. I want him back with Olivia -- I don't know how, but he's got to find his way back."

Maybe this is their mistake. I certainly might have felt this for an episode or two, but for eight episodes, no. I can't be with Peter for eight episodes and against Olivia and Walter, as he has turned out to be. Bonding with Lincoln Lee is no substitute. Nor will changing sides and allying himself with Walternate be. I care for all the characters, not Peter exclusively (obviously people who care only for Peter won't get this). His constant yearning for what was has blinded him to what is - and this Olivia and Walter are in trouble. The absence of the relationships that used to exist makes it very clear how important those relationships were. Watching the ice age that is the fourth season grow has been very distancing, for me at least. I don't want Peter to get back to Oz and abandon these people, I want him to recognise that this is Kansas and these are the people who need to relate to him. Because it is very likely that what he did in the machine destroyed the Blue and Red universes as they were then, and what we have is those universes as they are now. If that were the case, there would be nowhere to go back to (just memories and dreams, the false world of The Matrix), just a long process of remaking what was lost in the universe as it is.

Anonymous said...

Countless screwloose, if the so called queen was actually LIKEABLE, then there would be no problem but no peter was made to look stupid so QUEEN olivia will rein over everybody and how darn perfect she is. I hate her.

Shawn Mahone said...

@Dave Thompson

I think what is really expensive is travelling to the alt-universe. It must take time to do all the green screen for the ambered areas and also the actors have to double up on scenes and that must take time and effort and a lot of resources.

It has been sadly very noticeable that budget cuts have been severe this year. We have had no observers really. We have only been once to the other side. Josh has hardly been in the season, his contract might be 10/13 so I do not know about that. The monster of the weeks have not been that compelling whereas I prefered the human "bad" guys like Proffessor McLeanand and the Greens. On location shooting has been kept to a minimum, etc.

I do not think monsters cost a lot. I think what costs a lot is on location shooting and travelling to the Alt-Universe.

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