Last Friday, the beloved sci-fi series Fringe came to an end with the two-part series finale "Liberty" and "An Enemy of Fate" on Fox. Joshua Jackson was one of the main cast members along for the entire 100-episode ride, starring as Peter Bishop. It has been quite a run for Peter, starting off in the "Pilot" as the estranged son of Walter Bishop (John Noble), getting roped into the bizarre world of fringe science with Walter, Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole), and Agent Broyles (Lance Reddick). Before the series finale aired, Joshua Jackson held one final conference call to discuss the show for one last time.
The actor first reveals what he will miss the most about going to work every day on the Fringe set.
"Well the thing that you end up missing the most actually is not what gets put on the screen. The hardest thing to walk away from over a long-formed TV show is the camaraderie of the company, both the crew and the group of actors that you have together. That's always the hardest thing to walk away from. Creatively, I feel like the show came to a natural and satisfactory ending. So I hope that people will be satisfied with the way that we put the story to bed tonight. And I feel like instead of either stretching to show on for too long or having it sort of cut off in an abortive way, I feel like we got to tell the ending of our story. So for that I'm really satisfied, but I will miss the people that I was working with for the last four years."
He also spoke about the two-part finale, and how it largely deals with Olivia's story.
"The first of the two hours really deals with Olivia's story almost exclusively. It gives us, in a very Fringy way, a finale insight into where she is or has been over the course of this season. So Peter doesn't really have-in fact, nobody other than really Olivia has much of any role in that story. But then in the finale, as much as Walter may be called on to make a sacrifice and the gang in general is trying to implement Walter and Donald's plan, I feel like at least in the script it read pretty fairly spread across all of the players. Everybody has their piece in the story. And then ultimately Peter's role, as it has always been, is to be the dutiful son and the husband and father. So that plays itself out in a really specific way. I don't want to tell you obviously how it plays itself out, but everybody, I think, is pretty engaged in the finale."
The actor also spoke about how collaborative executive producer/showrunner J.H. Wyman was during Season 5.
"To a greater extent than at any time in the prior seasons of the show I was involved in the initial conversations about what Season 5 would be. Wyman was incredibly open this year, not just with myself but I think with all of the actors, about what their characters would be and what their final arcs would be. He gave, I think, all of us this signpost of what our season would be in a way that hadn't happened before. So he gave us all of the opportunity to plot out exactly how we thought we should be playing each of our individual characters. So from that standpoint it was actually tremendously satisfying. I actually felt like the Peter as Observer arc was quite interesting this year. To me what was interesting about Fringe was that even though the larger story was as big as it can possibly be, the saving universes and doppelgangers and all the rest of it, the beating heart of the story was always the family tale. I really enjoyed the fact that at the center of what was driving Peter and Olivia this year was both the recovery and then the loss of their child, and then as a couple trying to grapple with that both individually and together. So I think we did a really good job this year of having the larger story driving forward but having the smaller interpersonal story be honest. And then as always, Peter and Walter, they're just inextricably linked. So Peter mirrored all of the mistakes that his father had made all those years ago regarding Peter, in regards to his own daughter. So yes, I felt it was a very satisfying story and a proper for our show to end when you see the finale to night."
The show has always been on the cutting edge of interacting with the fans and bringing them deeper into the show, from the Glyph codes to the early "easter egg" appearances of the Observer in Season 1. Joshua Jackson spoke about how the audience "ran with" these extra tidbits in unimaginable ways.
"I think in the true way of popular media some of it was intentional. I know from the very beginning with the Observers and with the glyphs, Bad Robot wanted to put sort of a second layer beyond just observing the show, just watching the show, and I know that Fox was really keen on that too as a way to sort of deepen people's experience of Fringe. And the audience took that and ran with it in a way that I think that went beyond the wildest imaginations of anybody who was engaged in the beginning. As much as every TV show is trying to reach out to its audience, it really is the audience itself in our case who continued to drive their own interest and continued to keep each other engaged. As much as we tried to help them along, the community of Fringe became totally self-supporting. If you talk about Fringe, not just as a narrative experience on screen, I think one of the more interesting things that's come out of it is the community built around the show and how powerful that can be in tipping the scales towards the show surviving or failing. Because by traditional metrics our show would've been off the air at least last year but probably two years ago, except the passion of our fan base made it impossible for our show to be dismissed. Maybe the way that even ten years ago science fiction shows quite often were lost. So I think the fan base and the passion of the fan base is a large part of the story of the show Fringe."
When asked if there would be the possibility of a Fringe movie, Joshua Jackson revealed that anything is possible.
"Perhaps there would be a movie. I think there will probably be a lot of fan fiction. Maybe there will be even some sort of filmed addendum to the show or televised or podcasts or however it manifests itself, but I feel like the afterlife of Fringe is the test case for how modern cult shows are going to live on after they go off the air."
In closing, the actor offered his heartfelt thanks to everyone who watched and supported the series throughout its five-season run.
"I just would like to say to everybody involved here tonight and to everybody who has come on this journey for these five years of this show, I'm going to speak out of turn here, because they're not all represented, but we collectively, as a group, as a cast, as a crew, as writers, are so thankful to the support that we have been given over these years and have been often in awe of the passion that people have felt for this show. So I personally, and I know we collectively, hope that we finish this season and ultimately this series on a positive note tonight that is satisfying to the people who have given us so much over the course of the five years. So thank you to everybody for listening today and if you could pass on my and our great thanks to everybody who has come with us on this journey. I'll talk to you on the next one I guess."