[WARNING!!! FRINGE SERIES FINALE SPOILERS AHEAD!]
It’s been six months since the series finale of Fringe left a John Noble-sized hole in our hearts. The sci-fi series created by Alex Kurtzman, J.J. Abrams and Roberto Orci came off as The X-Files crossed with all those Star Trek episodes set in a parallel universe and was a welcome dose of weird in a network television market saturated with the safe and toothless.
Months later, Executive Producer J.H. Wyman (who also wrote and directed several episodes) discusses the end of Fringe as well as Almost Human, his upcoming sci-fi series on Fox.
In the wake of a finale which managed to provide a heartfelt conclusion in the still underrated series, Wyman reflected on Fringe in a recent interview with TVGuide.com. Addressing the fact that main character/mad scientist Walter Bishop elected to sacrifice himself in order to save his son and what he knew as the present – thus stranding Walter away from the family unit of Olivia (Anna Torv) and Peter (Joshua Jackson) who appeared to live happily ever after, Wyman said:
“I’ll make you not sad. Walter is only happy when his brain is being challenged. Walter went to the future, and how do you know he didn’t find a way back once again?”
If this seems like Wyman is teasing that he’ll eventually revisit this universe, that’s because he kind of is. One mysterious plot point saw Peter receive the “white tulip” letter from Walter. In one of the more memorable season two episodes, Peter Weller played Alistair Peck, a scientist obsessed with traveling back in time in order to save his beloved fiancée from a car accident.
Toward the end of the episode, Walter explains to Peck his guilt over tampering with time and space (taking a version of his son from a parallel dimension and raising him after his own died), and how he asked God for some kind of forgiveness: specifically, a white tulip. After Peck makes his final jump – which resets the events of the episode – Walter receives a white tulip drawing from Peck, but doesn’t know where it came from… Walter later passes this symbol of forgiveness to his son. The question which lingers is whether Peter recognizes it or not. Wyman says:
“Maybe someday there will be a Fringe movie and I’ll explain some of the things that I want to explain, but I also wanted to let people make their own opinion. I wanted it to be as special to each person individually and let them make their own assumptions and live with it. I have a lot of story I can tell still and I love those characters so much.”
While Fringe fans had to reconcile for themselves the series finale and what it meant, Wyman compared this fall’s Almost Human to Fringe in broad terms:
“Fringe was so far-out. Until you realized it was about the alternate universe, you were like, ‘What is this?!’ Here, you’re going to learn so much about the characters.”
Almost Human follows future LAPD officer John Kennex (Star Trek Into Darkness star Karl Urban), who is partnered with an android officer (Michael Ealy), who he doesn’t completely trust. While the show is being touted as something of a procedural, Wyman goes on to explain how this series will be quite unique:
“This show is different because while you’ll get those vitamins and minerals from a regular cop show, you’re going to see things you’ve never seen before. The criteria is that no story on this show will be on our show unless it is created by something futuristic, solved by something futuristic, or the very reason that the people are doing what they’re doing is futuristic. Otherwise it is like everything else. We’ll be able to tell a murder story in a very different way than NYPD Blue or CSI. We can do stuff that’s out of this world. It offers a really great platform.”
Wyman also suggested that certain members of the Fringe cast could show up as guest stars on Almost Human. Could we see a cross-over featuring Walter Bishop operating in this future (as the inventor of the androids)? Well, probably not. The talk of a Fringe movie is most likely Wyman thinking out loud at this point, but it’s still a universe ripe for exploration, with a devoted core of fans who would follow Walter, Olivia and Peter anywhere.
Almost Human debuts on Monday, November 4, 2013 on Fox.
The series finale of Fringe aired on January 18, 2013. The entire series is available for streaming on Netflix.