Following an entertaining (and emotional) farewell panel at San Diego Comic-Con, the cast of Fringe began work on the show's season 5 premiere episode, "Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11." Despite a bump to the "Friday Night Death Slot" two seasons back, and persistent rumors of cancellation, FOX has continued to support the fan-favorite show - offering supporters a final, albeit truncated, season of the sci-fi series that is set to debut on September 28th.
However, a series of unfortunate events forced the show's production to shut down this past week - causing many fans to immediately assume the worst: that FOX was reneging on their promise of a proper conclusion to the show.
Reading the actual details of the production hiatus (which involved a pair of illnesses and one minor car accident), reveals a much less dramatic outcome - filming will resume in just over a week (August 7th) and the show should be able to make the original start date.
So what exactly happened? John Noble - who plays the series' most beloved (and loony) character, Dr. Walter Bishop - has been suffering from a sleep disorder that began affecting his ability to perform on set. In addition to Noble, two other Fringe players were not operating at 100 percent this past week: Blair Brown - who portrays Massive Dynamic head and Fringe Team consultant, Nina Sharp - was attempting to recover from an illness and Jasika Nicole - who plays FBI Junior Agent Astrid Farnsworth (Asterix, Esther, etc) - was recuperating after a minor car accident.
While any one of the setbacks could have caused alterations to the production schedule, combined they provided the showrunners with a one, two, three punch that would have been extremely difficult to work around - especially given that production was cut-off midway through shooting the season 5 premiere episode.
Understandably, the delay was pretty unexpected - as Fringe Executive Producer, J.H. Wyman had to swap the ailing Noble out in favor of Joshua Jackson (aka Peter Bishop) at FOX's Television Critics Association Press Conference. When asked about the last minute substitution, Wyman was clearly still scrambling for a PR approach to what would, no doubt, cause anxiety among fans:
Well, we're trying to, he's under the weather just because, we've got... everybody came who could come. We were trying to bring as much as we could, and you got him [indicating toward Jackson].
Brown and Nicole's situations aren't likely to drag the production delay out any further. That said, Noble's affliction seems to be a bit more troublesome and Wyman's flustered answer at the press conference isn't likely to inspire a ton of confidence. Hopefully the actor will be able to get those sleep troubles sorted out this week - as a larger problem could cause major issues for a timely Fringe return.
Screen Rant would like to wish Noble, Brown, and Nicole a speedy (but healthy) recovery... so we can finally get some closure on one of our favorite TV shows!
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for more on Fringe as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.
Fringe is expected to premiere September 28th at 9pm EST on FOX.
Source: Zap 2 It