Joshua Jackson: If "Fringe" Is Forced to End This Season, the Payoff Will Still Satisfy ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Joshua Jackson: If "Fringe" Is Forced to End This Season, the Payoff Will Still Satisfy

      Email Post       2/03/2012 08:24:00 AM      

Joshua Jackson: If "Fringe" Is Forced to End This Season, the Payoff Will Still Satisfy
By Scott Huver

Thursday, Feb 2, 2012
Updated 2:26 PM CSTView 

 With “Fringe’s” ratings leaving the show on the fringe of cancellation, Joshua Jackson says he’s confident the producers have a plan in place to satisfy the otherwise acclaimed sci-fi show’s faithful core audience if a forced finale comes this season.

Jackson, who plays timeline-lost Peter Bishop on Fox’s critically hailed cult favorite, tells PopcornBiz that as the more obtuse and enigmatic elements of “Fringe’s” ambitious but occasionally impenetrable Season Four are finally coming to light and putting higher stakes storylines into play. And while he’s hoping for more “Fringe” in the future, Jackson says he’s got every reason to believe that if low ratings bring the series to a close – as Fox executives have suggested in reluctant terms – the creative team will be able to execute the endgame they’ve always had in mind.

Season by season, “Fringe” has just got more ambitious, taken bigger risks, and they always do pay off within the context of the show. But ratings don’t always equal the creative successes. Are you guys at a point where maybe you’re starting to think about the ending of the show, so we can all have the satisfaction of getting there, before the ratings make us say goodbye?

The truth of the matter is, we already had that conversation last year. I think sort of we peaked ratings-wise, in Season Two – it was our most solid year. And I actually think creatively that was our most consistently solid year. But it wasn’t our most ambitious year – I would say Season Three was an extremely ambitious year, and a lot of people tuned out last year. So we were prepared that last year might’ve been the end. I’m not involved in those conversations, frankly, but I think [the producers] are prepared for it, if that was going to be the case, how they would implement that ending. And they’ve always said – and I believe them – that there is an ending to the show. I’m guessing you heard what [Fox programming president] Kevin Reilly said, and I don’t think you can be any more honest and upfront and still be a network executive. So if this is going to be the end of the show, if we are not making the money or they’re losing money on us, I just want to believe him when he says that he will give our guys enough time to implement whatever the end game is. Because as much as I don’t want to lose my job, at this point the thing that we have to do as a show, and as a network supporting the show, is satisfy the people who have so passionately stuck with us, and been so rabidly and passionately involved in our show. We cannot just go out in blink. It has to finish, whether it’s now, whether it’s next year, whether it’s five years from now, it just has to get to its end.

What can you say at this point about where the current season is heading?

This is the first time on ‘Fringe’ – and I’ve said this before tonight – where we’re this deep into the season and I have absolutely no clue where we’re going. Because there was sort of a natural place that the show had to go last year to satisfy the story that had been introduced. But there’s no necessary ending to the story we’ve introduced this year – It could go a bunch of different ways. So I have no clue.

Do you feel that in a way, even though you were absent in much of the beginning of the season, that this is gradually turning out to be Peter’s season?

Not really. I feel like the function of the Peter character, beyond who he as a man, is to reflect the other characters back – and this is a constantly changing thing, so this is my opinion today! – but it seems to be, getting two-thirds of the way into Season Four now, that what this season and last season really are, and I think ultimately what this show is about now, is a woman finding herself. I feel like this show is about Olivia Dunham coming to know herself. In Season One and Two I really thought it was about the family, right? This Bizarro family. But as we’ve gotten out of the family dynamic and definitely more into the romantic dynamic between Peter and Olivia…Last year the entire season was about us, as an audience, coming to understand what Olivia was, by seeing what she wasn’t – that whole Olivia/Bolivia dynamic. And this year I think, as an audience but also for her character, it’s her coming to know herself, in the grand sense, who the real Olivia Dunham is. So I think that that’s what this season and ultimately the whole show is about. So every prediction I’ve ever made on this show is wrong, so we’ll see.

How do you envision Peter now, overall?

Peter has been kind of a boy hero right from the very beginning. Peter is the one that gets brought into the world from the pilot on, but as that character, he’s the boy hero. He’s the thing that makes the machine go, but he’s not the central story of the show.

He’s like a living MacGuffin, in a way.

And we talk about that all the time. He was definitely the MacGuffin for the first two seasons. And then the last half of last season he was the MacGuffin as the battery of the machine, so definitely we’ve used him as that. But in his dynamics with other characters, what he seems to have always served, is in the ‘Fringe’ world that we’ve created, we don’t need to get to know Peter’s story, because it’s NOT Peter’s story. We need to get to know how people relate to Peter, and it sort of shows them back to themselves. In the beginning it was just Peter with Walter, right? We would never have been able to know Walter if he didn’t have Peter there to allow him that view inside. And I think that’s a lot of what Peter serves with the Olivia relationship as well: you get to see the human side of her, because of her relationship with Peter.

Read the entire article here.


Matthew M said...

Well, that clears that up. Joshua Jackson is satisfied with his role and understands his place in the grand scheme of things.Hope that shuts up whiny 'Anonymous' and .45, you have heard it from the man's own mouth - it's not about 'Peter'. Also, sounds like as Jim Morrison and the Doors sang it, "This is the end my friends, this is the end.....".
Hope he is wrong about that.

Unknown said...

Josh is right. It is not about just any one character. What Fringe is ultimately telling us is that "every relationship is reciprocal." The people in our lives help shape us, and define our choices. Individual human beings are not a closed system. We are influenced by many others.

And THAT is the beauty of this show. It's not about totally self-absorbed characters.

Shawn Mahone said...

This is why ratings are so small, they limit the scope by concentrating on only one or two characters journey. The problem is if you like Olivia and Walter..,awesome, if you do not then that causes problem I.e. Ratings loss. I am still waiting for the Peter arc to kick in but that looks like another dead end from the honest show runners. Yikes.

trent said...

Josh telling the truth once again. The good thing is that the producers have finally stopped lying about The Season of Peter and now they don't pretend they ever intended to explore the character at all. I wish they had been honest from the beginning, but I guess that's too much to ask from them.

It will never not be sad that they reduced a supposedly main character to a MacGuffin, a mirror, whose only purpose is to reflect back the truly important characters. I think it's a weakness and a disservice, both to the character they don't care to develop and the characters, that can't stand on their own. I think the quality suffers for it. A pity. Fringe could have been so much more! But it's okay, it's just a TV show without much depth, like so many others nowadays.

trent said...

I don't think the show is that ambitious, Amrit. I have the impression they are stuck creatively and they cannot write beyond crazy Walter and suffering Olivia, that's why they had to reset the characters and that's we're seeing so much rehashing of previous cases.

There is some enjoyable stuff coming up, though. Personally, I can't wait for tonight's episode. Astrid meeting alternate Astrid is going to be awesome and as disappointing and mediocre as this (possibly final) season has been, at least I'll have this.

Shawn Mahone said...

Well CHUCK just deleted 5 years worth of character growth in order to satisfy the main character. It just shows that fringe and Chuck have creators that are limited. They are no David Simon, Matt Wiener, Vince Gilligan or Graham Yost. Those guys balance multiple characters and the bad guys too. At times they are not afraid to follow the story, for example at the end of season 2 Cranston and Paul were just so awesome together yet vince kept them apart because the story required that yet end of season 3 Fringe the focus should have shifted to Peter but the creators did not have the nerve to follow through. People pick up on that and leave when they know that a show is scared....we will see where this goes, but the Peter season proclamation by the show runners has done them no favours and added unnecessary pressure. Good luck to them.

Anonymous said...

I will never shut up, Matthew M. They have wasted a perfectly good actor just for the sake of JOHN AND ANNA! They bought back Josh just so he can make other people look better. Josh will never get a chance to show what he can do, Josh will never show he is more than Pacey, he will be never be humanized while John, anna, seth, Lance, Blair and even SETH GABEL get humanized characters, he will never get an episode that shows he is more than a FREAKING OBJECT that everybody gets to play with. This show sickens me and I hope it gets cancelled.

Sorry Josh but you are really turning people off your character. while people are bragging away about how damn wonderful walter, olivia, astrid, lincoln are, people only see peter as an emotionless object, a Macguffin, who has no damn personality, no heart, nothing.

Why did they bring Peter back? They should have just fired Josh and replace him with Seth since the writers care more about him.

Unknown said...

I feel Peter has the biggest heart of them all. He's the most forgiving person. He is not so narrow-minded as to allow old hurts to run his life, because things and people are always changing. Oh, well. At least I converse with others elsewhere that feel the same that I do.

XweAponX said...

I just read the first part of the comic book arc from DC Comics, the first issue written by Joshua. In my view, this makes Joshua into Peter and Peter is Joshua- These guys are forever intrinsically intermingled. I don't know if Joshua has a 196 IQ like Peter does, but that he can MAKE US BELIEVE Peter has this IQ, week after week and for 3 and a half years. I can kind of see now, the "reflection" thing- Peter always reacts to what he is being confronted with - For Seasons 1 and 2 it was his "Dad" Walter. In Season 3 it was Olivia, and "The Vacuum". But he was denied both of these things in Season 4 so far. We've seen Peter adapt himself to whatever situation he's in - He's a proved Survivor. So ultimately, is he reflecting US. As unique as Peter is, he is also The Everyman- He is what each of us, can be, and sometimes refuses to be, or what we have an opportunity to be, but we wasted the opportunity. Peter's done all of those, but mostly, he shows that he WANTS to be a better Peter. Like he says in Westfield, where he used to scam people, he now has found a place of his own, his "Home". And so Peter through Joshua, is ourselves, wanting to come home, and given the opportunity, not wasting it.

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