The core Fringe cast and showrunners gave Comic-Con goers in Ballroom 20 a show on Saturday when series regular Joshua Jackson — who wasn’t confirmed to attend — made a surprise appearance.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Executive producer Jeff Pinkner started the panel off by saying, “Plum roles are realy hard to get these days,” addressing the elephant of the room (aka Peter not existing any more). “There were some auditions” for the role of Peter so “we’re going to show you what we through to find Peter,” executive producer J.H. Wyman added, before a star-studded audition highlight reel was shown.
Zachary Quinto, Ben Schwartz, Bobby Moynihan, Rebecca Mader, Damon Lindelof, Geoff Stults, Michael Emerson, Danny Pudi, Greg Grunberg, Jeff Probst, Jorge Garcia and last but not least — Jackson appeared at the very end dressed like an Observer.
When asked whether the upcoming fourth season would be Fringe as It’s a Wonderful Life, Pinkner answered, “Its not that Peter’s conscious” is out there. “Josh calls every day, ‘What am I doing this year?,’ ” he added. But when asked how Peter could have fathered a child when Peter never existed, all Torv would tease was: “The question is: Is there a child?”
Have we seen Olivia’s full powers yet? “I’m not sure we’ve seen all her powers yet,” Pinkner teased. “And I don’t mean cooking,” Wyman joked. “One of the powers being channeling Leonard Nimoy. What’s going to happen, those are hard to answer,” Pinkner continued.
Pinkner and Wyman revealed that there will be more flashbacks this season, “recontextualizing the characters through events we haven’t seen,” Wyman said. “We’ll always go back and always go forward if it makes sense.”
Here are some other highlights from the Fringe panel:
- Lance Reddick was tasked to do an impression of Olivia doing William Bell as Broyles, reading the following tweet to great effect: “I literally have no idae what Walter was talking about in the last 30 seconds.”
- Blair Brown said that her ideal alt-Nina “cold be a plague or a disease,” adding, “We don’t know if she’s good or bad. If Nina in this world is controlling … maybe in the other world, she’s out of control, wreaking havoc in some way.”
- Jasika Nicole shared that Astrid “has a gun” in a singing voice.
- Now that they’ve done the animated episode and a musical, what’s next? “The nude episode,” Jackson joked. “They’re going to move us to cable just for that one episode,” Wyman teased.
- Noble joked that “Walter and Nina have an affair” in Season 5. Jackson responded with “Mommy!”
It is the question that’s been driving Fringe fans bat-you-know-what crazy all summer long: Is Joshua Jackson’s Peter gone for good?!
suspect we’ll get some kind of answer on Saturday afternoon, when the Fox drama holds its Comic-Con session. Until then, check out the video Q&A I conducted with leading lady Anna Torv at TVLine’s interview suite on Friday as there may be some clues. (Emphasis on may.)