FRINGE: Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman Talk ‘Novation’ and What’s to Come

November 7, 2011 by  

While FRINGE may have had their official season premiere back in September, in many ways, Friday’s episode felt in many ways like an entirely new beginning (or at the very least, a new arc now that Peter has returned).

To answer some of my burning “Novation” questions, I went to FRINGE executive producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman to see what they could spill about the hour, plus more of what’s to come…

Peter was fairly isolated from the group in “Novation.” Was that an intentional move on your part to adjust him into this new world slowly, or was that just how the case worked out?
Jeff Pinkner: No, that was absolutely intentional. As we mentioned earlier, Peter is an unknown quality. Peter is a fringe event. And they need to appropriately treat him as such. They’re certainly way — he knows information that as far as they know is impossible. And as you said, Marisa, he’s telling them a story, which while far-fetched, they’ve heard before. Walter, obviously, has a deeply emotional reaction to the fact that this boy is claiming to be the grownup version of his son. And treating him with anything less than delicate kid gloves would have been irresponsible.

It also speaks to [Peter's] condition which is, “Wait a minute, what? [Laughs] I’m being held prisoner?”

Is it a whole new balance for you guys now that he’s back, and yet not entirely back?
JP: We are very, very, very mindful of not purposefully or even unintentionally frustrating the audience. We also know that…look, we love Peter. We love the relationship. We crafted that relationship. We didn’t pull Peter out of the relationship  because a) we didn’t enjoy it or b) we didn’t see where it could go forward. We’re as frustrated as everyone. We’re writing this show constantly — and by we, I mean all of us — and we’re making the show from the point of view of fans who want to see our characters be happy. But in order to earn that, we need to go through patches where they aren’t happy. Otherwise, there’s no sunshine without rain, you know? Sometimes it gets boring living in Southern California weather — you take the sun for granted, as crazy as that sounds. That’s why spring is so much more meaningful on the east coast than it is on the west coast because there’s actually a change and rebirth.

So for all of those feelings to have the appropriate degree of satisfaction [for Peter's return], you need to go through some rough places first.

Understandable. Now with the shapeshifter on the run again, how will that impact Peter, given his involvement with tracking her?
J.H. Wyman: That’s definitely part of the developing narrative, that he’s inextricably linked to but that’s just there to — you’re going to really start to understand the larger picture soon enough, and understand how that’s going to impact everybody and what they’re doing there.

Could that have anything to do with the upcoming return of David Robert Jones?
JW: We’ve never really said in what capacity — you know FRINGE. We do things that…I think we’ve said before: if you said to us, “Hey, we heard that there’s going to be a love triangle between Peter and Olivia and some other person,” and people reported that, only FRINGE could twist it so you were kind of right, but you were kind of wrong. It was really between Peter and Olivia and another Olivia, which is a whole other dynamic. We’re allowed to do things that are really weird.
JP: There are pictures of Jared Harris (David Robert Jones) on the set of our show. To what extent and what the character is and who the character is and how the character is, those are things that we don’t want to spoil.

Speaking of those on-set photos, there are also pictures of Orla Brady (Elizabeth) filming an upcoming episode…
JP: I had not seen those pictures.

There were pictures of her with Joshua Jackson (Peter).
JP: Interesting.

Does that mean Peter will be heading to the other side to see if he can find any answers about how to get home from there?
JW: Back and forth is always part of our DNA, you know? We’re over there and we’re over here, the two sides are working together. There’s an opening and not hostility so people are helping over there, people are helping over here. You’re going to find a lot of strange sort of situations where people from over there you would not expect to be over here and people over here you would not expect to be over there and what that means. A lot of our fans are really sort of interested in how we get the doppelganger together and what great things happen when we see the two sides wok together.

So no comment about what Peter and Elizabeth are doing or where they are?
JP: Well, if there are pictures on the internet, there seems to be pictures of the two of them working together. But as far as what the context is, no, we’re really loathe to spoil things.

Fair enough. Now that we know that in this timeline Olivia and Rachel lived with Nina, what can you tease about that dynamic? Will Nina have any conflicts of interest with Olivia and Peter?
JW: That’s really cool. It’s a good question. We find that really delicious that Olivia and Nina have a deeper relationship and we’re going to explore what that is and what that was and how it effects everybody. Because, going back to choices and influence and impact, which I think we now, really, especially this season, we’re really interested in the impact that we all have on each others’ lives and what that influence means. And that’s a metaphor for this season.

So there are going to be certain things that Olivia learned from Nina, certain ways to look at the world, certain ways to handle problems, she learned a lot from her. She can also recognize what Nina is capable of doing something that might be a little on the line of good morality or bad morality or ethics. You’re going to get to see a lot of that. You’re going to get to see a lot of their differing views of the world. There’s a lot of nice surprises coming up for everyone, specifically in regards to that relationship.

Very good to know. We’ve seen a little bit of how Nina and Walter’s relationship has drastically changed in this new timeline. Is her relationship with Broyles also significantly different, because that hasn’t been touched upon yet.
JW: Yeah, we haven’t seen that yet and it’s definitely not the same, but you bring up the more valuable point — Walter and Nina.

You know, what is the interesting thing to us, when Walter perpetrated his crime, his kidnapping [of Peter] all those years ago in the version we know, he was successful. He brought back Peter, he ends up saving him and keeping him. Really, Nina’s action of trying to stop him and causing him to break the vial — it was sort of became academic because he got the boy anyway and he saved him and he brought him back and then our story was born, you know? But if you actually look at it [now], the boy didn’t make it, neither of them did, and now Walter totally holds Nina responsible for that, because if she wouldn’t have interfered, the vial wouldn’t have broken and conceivably, in his mind, “I could have made it there. I could have administered the medicine and I would have him. Or someone could have had him.” So there’s a huge shift in their understanding of each other and their culpability in what has transpired. That’s a really fun one for us.

As far as Broyles, we haven’t — on purpose — investigated his relationship with Nina yet.

There are so many Nina questions out there, and she is one of the most fascinating characters to me partially because we know so little about her.
JW: We figured that Nina is a fascinating character to us and always deserves her due. And having so many cast members, you have to make sure you treat each one with the respect that they deserve. You don’t want to just throw out things and go, “Oh, by the way, this is Nina.” We want to make sure that this season is going to be the season where we really feature her, because Blair [Brown (Nina)] is such a tremendous actress, and we’re so lucky to have her. To give her stuff that will stretch her, to give her something so she is more than just the cloak and dagger head of Massive Dynamic is such a pleasure for us to write.


Anyone else excited to see what’s in store for Nina and Olivia? Or perhaps there is something else you’re looking forward to?

But in case you need yet another reason to look forward to “And Those We’ve Left Behind” — this Friday’s fantastic brand new episode — take a look at the promo Fox just released.

YouTube Preview Image

Related:

FRINGE: Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman Talk Peter’s Return, William Bell, Ratings and More
FRINGE: Jeff Pinkner and J. H. Wyman on Peter’s Memories and Fate Versus Choice. Plus, ‘Witness the Return’ with a New Promo!
FRINGE: Anna Torv and John Noble Tease ‘Subject 9,’ Massive Dynamic, Nina and…William Bell?!

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Comments

16 Responses to “FRINGE: Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman Talk ‘Novation’ and What’s to Come”

  1. rich on November 7th, 2011 8:58 pm

    The best thing so far this season was that promo. Episodes included.

  2. MR505 on November 7th, 2011 10:16 pm

    I can’t wait for more Olivia/Nina relationship reveals, it’s as awesome as the dynamic between Olivia and Walter. Also eager to go back Over There. I am truly enjoying this season.

  3. Angie on November 7th, 2011 10:19 pm

    Marisa, I love how Pinkner goes ‘Interesting’ when you told him about the on-set pics. Hahahaa… that’s just hilarious!

  4. Leanne on November 7th, 2011 10:19 pm

    Thanks as always for your wonderful interviews. This season looks like it will have many different arcs, which I always thought would be the case. However, all the arcs will all probably cross over with each other, which is the way I like it to happen.

    Judging by the things brought up in the interview, lots of things to look forward to.

  5. AngelMoonGirl on November 8th, 2011 12:42 am

    OMG THAT PROMO.

    As a huge Peter/Olivia fan, my excitement just increased tenfold O.O

  6. input on November 8th, 2011 5:46 am

    They should have given Olivia the relationship with Nina from the beginning, to balance the Walter/Peter thing.
    Anna Torv and Blair Brown have such great chemistry, even in thses little scenes visible, despite the fact they do not have time to overrehearse their scenes, since Blair is not on set much, they really click.
    So far with the introduction of the new Walter and new-Olivia they have given John Noble for Walter a phobia, several scenes per episode to explain that walter is different, Olivia and Astrid and a doctor to do the same, and Anna Torv 2 sentences: killing the stepfather and the Nina remark. So who is the better actor here? I am amazed what Anna Torv manages to do with so little information. But for some viewers at least 1 scene in which Olivia can explain why she is who she is is needed.
    They have only been writing for Walter/Peter in every way. On the one hand you got hundred times explaining in scenes from Walter/Peter and about Walter/Peter what their past is etc, on the other hand we get 5 facts in 70 episodes about Olivia, Lead character.
    Afters 70 episodes we learn for the first time what happend to Olivia after her mother died, never a scene of adult Olivia talking about her mother, her abuse experience , and who is her father???? Would be interesting if that would turn out to be David Robert Jones, my feeling since his line that
    I really do not understand why the writers want us to feel sorry for Walter, in both timelines he was a child-abuser, in this one they were his subjects, testtubes whatever, his crying about his son is just selfpity to me. He should feel guilty about his actions, but he is made into the one to feel sorry for, instead of his victims, children damaged for life.

    I hope that Olivia- Nina will give us finally some insight in Adult- Olivia’s feelings about her past, death of her mother , her abuse, what triggered the stepfather killing etc. Nina’s influence was already visible in Anna’s portrayal of this Olivia, more polished etc ,probably varnish a past like that before you are 14 is more like a vulcan waiting to erupt.
    And Nina is shady, so Nina versus Olivia later on on moral grounds? That could be interesting.

  7. NinaFan on November 8th, 2011 10:53 am

    Yes!!! Finally more Nina Sharp (Blair Brown)!
    I was wainting….

  8. Sofia on November 8th, 2011 11:20 am

    I’m loving more Peter/Walter scenes. The 3th season was all about Olivia, her character was very well development. Now is time to see Peter and his motivations, his feelings and development. I can’t wait for more. Fringe is not Fringe without Peter!

  9. Tak on November 8th, 2011 12:09 pm

    Fringe is not Fringe without everyone.

  10. Tak on November 8th, 2011 12:12 pm

    Broyles and Nina :)

  11. martinu on November 9th, 2011 2:05 pm

    could have said there were spoilers in the article – i didnt know about the peter and elisabeth pictures. jesus!

  12. bella on November 9th, 2011 2:13 pm

    c pour quand la suite svp

  13. rost10 on November 9th, 2011 3:23 pm

    The Promo!!!!!!!!!!!!! Best thing yet!

  14. MatthewM on November 9th, 2011 7:12 pm

    Are we ever going to see Rachel and Ella again? I think they added to Olivia’s humanity.

  15. Briar on November 10th, 2011 4:57 am

    Well said, Tak. Fringe is an ensemble show par excellence. Yes, there are three central (and equal) characters, but there are characters all round them I find intriguing and delightful and want to know more about. Here’s to finding out more about Nina now. About time!

    By the way, I also think Fringe have invented the most horrific monsters ever. The shapechangers are repellent on every level. Imagine – they take the life of someone you love so they can get close to you and manipulate you, and then kill you too. Knowing Fringe they will try to make these monsters sympathetic (and they managed with Shapeshifters mark 1). Nope, they can’t do it, not for me. Only recanting and accepting guilt (as Walter does time and again, which redeems his character) can do that.

  16. luv me on January 10th, 2012 11:33 am

    Well,let watch and see

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