April 15th, 2011
05:45 PM ET
[Editor's Note: Stop reading this post now if you don't want to know anything about Friday night's new episode of "Fringe."]
So much for retirement?
Leonard Nimoy will be back on tonight's episode of "Fringe," in some form or another, as his character William Bell. (Of course it's quite possible that it's only his voice that has been "un-retired": This follows the announcement that he will be voicing the character of Sentinel Prime in "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," a nice homage to his work in 1986's "Transformers: the Movie.")
"Bellie," as Walter calls him, has been back on the show for the past few episodes, having taken residence in Olivia's body, in a brilliant Nimoy-esque performance by Anna Torv.
"She is up for any challenge," executive producer J.H. Wyman said, speaking to reporters on Thursday. "This season, she's been pulled and pushed in every direction, and [executive producer Jeff Pinkner] and I are just amazed at how she hit the ground running with everything. The whole invention of the character, and how she spoke and everything, was all her creation."
Added Pinkner, "Anna and John [Noble] spent a weekend on their own, just working out their relationship, and John just helped her develop her take on Leonard Nimoy."
As fun as it is to see Olivia as "Bellie," there's still the question of what happened to Olivia.
"This episode is a journey to retrieve Olivia before it's too late," Pinkner explained.
So how did the "Fringe" masterminds get Nimoy to return?
"Leonard retired from acting at the end of our season finale, and he was very sincere about that, but Joel and I were talking about the notion that William Bell would inhabit Olivia's mind and we called Leonard and pitched the idea to him and he just started laughing, and said, 'I'm in, how do you want to use me?'" Pinkner said.
"He's participating in the show. William Bell is present in this next episode, and present in a way that gives new meaning to alternate reality, but it's very much Leonard Nimoy."
Fans were, of course, thrilled to hear that the show has been picked up for a fourth season, and the producers responded to some rumors about the end of this one: A major character death will be taking place on the May 6 season finale, but rumors that another alternate world will be introduced are untrue (for now, at least).
Pinkner added, "Hopefully [the finale] will be wholly unexpected and also, re-contextualize the story of season three in a really cool way."
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