September 21st, 2010
08:58 AM ET
When we last left Agent Olivia Dunham on "Fringe's" season finale, she was being held captive in the alternate world. Her alternate self, known to producers and fans as "Bolivia," had taken her place "over here," setting out to wage war against Olivia's friends.
Fans should get ready to spend an awful lot of time in that alternate world "over there," based on what "Fringe" producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman told reporters in a recent conference call.
"We thought that the best way to really thoroughly tell these stories was to dive into them wholeheartedly," Pinkner said.
"So an entire episode will take place over there with the alternate 'Fringe' team and then another episode will take place over here. Rather than trying to tell an episode that takes place in both universes simultaneously within the same episode, we really wanted to thoroughly explore a 'Fringe' case over there and the journey that our heroine is on and then come back over here," Pinkner explained.
Also in that season finale, Leonard Nimoy delivered what he said would be his final performance as William Bell, who died "over there." But regardless of whether or not Nimoy ever changes his mind about retirement, that's not necessarily the end of the road for his enigmatic character.
"William Bell is a big part of this world, and in the world of 'Fringe' science death is not the end," according to Pinkner.
Wyman added, "I definitely think it’s fair to say that you have not experienced the last of William Bell."
Last season we also saw Peter briefly leave the "Fringe" team after discovering that his father Walter had kidnapped him from "over there" as a child.
"We realized that we could give John [Noble] and Josh [Jackson] something to really chew on this year that’s different from last year but just another shade," Pinkner told CNN. "They’re going to be okay and then they’re not going to be okay. Things are going to be solved for a minute and then further complications are going to up. Because the lie that was perpetrated against Peter and what Walter has done - if you take it for face value and you really look at it - it’s the quintessential kidnapping story. There’s feelings there."
As for themes such as relationships and choices, Pinkner and Wyman see the alternate world, with its historical and personal changes, as a way of delving into them. "It seems to us like Facebook is so much an opportunity for people to explore the choices they made and reconnect with people from their past and imagine how their life would be different or 'What happened to this person?'" said Pinkner. "It’s such a subconscious theme in our world these days that we get to play it actively through our show."
One thing the producers could reveal is that "members of our team will be aware of doppelgangers of themselves on the other side," Wyman said. "Imagine seeing a version of yourself that’s just a little better. That could be depressing."
Viewers who want to know where the relationship between Peter and Olivia is headed won't be disappointed this season. According to Wyman, "We have one of the most unique potential love triangles in that it's one guy with two different versions of the same girl."
Pinkner and Wyman also consciously make sure that the show is never too difficult for new viewers to get into.
"We honestly and sincerely show these stories to our parents and we say, 'Can you guys follow this?'" Pinkner said. "When they go, 'Yes, totally,' we know we’ve hit it because we want to be a show that should want to be accessible."
You can catch the new season of "Fringe" Thursday nights at 9 p.m. on Fox.
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