BEVERLY HILLS – If it seems to you like I just live-blogged a “Fringe” final season panel just a day or two ago, you’re close to right.
It’s only been eight days since the tear-filled “Fringe” farewell at San Diego’s Comic-Con.
Now? It’s time for “Fringe” to say good-bye to the Television Critics Association press tour.
We won’t cry.
Of course, we won’t have Jasika Nicole on this panel to reduce everybody to tears.
Click through for the full report…
4:38 p.m. We start with the same Observer-centric trailer that earned the show its fifth season and that played at Comic-Con. This is all deja vu already…
4:39 p.m. Our panel: Joshua Jackson, Anna Torv, Lance Reddick and Joel “J.H.” Wyman.
4:40 p.m. Oooh. A special message from J.J. Abrams. He wants to thank each and every one of us personally for our support. He says that our support is the thing that kept the show alive. Last week it was the support of the fans that kept the show alive. Shrug. “Joel has come up with some remarkable stuff,” Abrams teases, before saying that he thinks this will be the best season yet.
4:41 p.m. When did the “Letters of Transit” world idea come up? Jeff Pinkner, Joel and Akiva Goldsman came up with the idea to do something of a backdoor pilot and they used the Episode 19 slot that you’ve given to experimental episodes in the past. It was a showcase episode.
4:43 p.m. Has Joshua ever had reflective time to think back on his years on “Dawson’s Creek,” comparing the last few weeks on each show. Jackson calls it a “gift” that he’s been on two shows that knew they were going to end and had the opportunity to go into a final season to get closure. “It’s not bittersweet to me, to tell you the god’s honest… All shows end,” Jackson says, preferring the opportunity to end things well and enjoy riding off into the sunset.
4:44 p.m. Jackson is jealous of the process that some of the actors have had in getting to play multiple versions of their characters, but “on the flip side, it is nice to have a day off every once in a while.” He also isn’t jealous of the actors having to play opposite themselves. “I loved it,” Torv says, though she admits, “It would be nice to have a day off every now and then.” She prefers not to talk about playing Leonard Nimoy, but she loved playing Fauxlivia.
4:46 p.m. “Imagine writing ‘William Bell goes into Anna,'” Wyman says, which Jackson turns into a double-entendre. This is just like the Comic-Con panel.
4:47 p.m. Do the actors have a favorite world to work in? “By favorite character was Alt-Broyles, but my favorite world was Our World,” Reddick says.
4:49 p.m. “We’re only three days into the final season, so for me, I’m still getting my sea legs back with the hours,” Jackson says on whether he’s started getting emotional yet. But he references last week’s Comic-Con experience as “such a unique experience.” Torv says that “you want to make the journey count” and Jackson says that “the gift that FOX gave us” is the chance to knock this last season out of the park.
4:51 p.m. How do they want their characters end up? As Anna tells us for the first time, Joel told them things about the direction this season is going, so she doesn’t know how to answer. “The ‘want’ is sort of taken out of our court now,” Jackson says. “We have more scripts and we have more information as a cast and a crew,” Jackson says, noting that they don’t need to speculate anymore on set. “The benefit of that knowledge gives us all the opportunity to do, I hope, what is our best work,” Jackson says. Reddick, however, disagrees that he’s been told what happens to his character.
4:53 p.m. A reporter asks to hear nice things about John Noble. “I don’t think that there’s a person who works on the show who doesn’t have the upmost respect for John as a person and also as a performer,” Torv says, saying that John [and Josh] taught her how television works and how it works to do a role that’s fluid and ongoing. “He just tries anything and everything. There’s just no shame there. He just gives it a go,” Torv raves. “I don’t know how many more superlatives I can throw at John over the years, because I have this major, major man-crush on him,” Jackson says, talking about their student-teacher relationship. He says that what Noble has created is a once-in-a-lifetime character. “This thing that he’s created could only be him,” Jackson says.
4:57 p.m. Wyman says that the goal of Season 5 is to keep the family in mind. “We’ve done so much work to get people invested in the mythology. We’ve done great things. We’ve done missteps. But at the end of the day, these people are what people care about,” he says. He remembers Akiva says, “Being clever is not really an emotion.” Wyman explains, “I’m definitely drawing a metaphor for how difficult it is to have a family in this day and age.”
5:00 p.m. We’re talking about Saturn Awards. Sigh. Anna’s saying nice things about the New Yorker Sci-Fi issue, though she’s the only one on the panel to have read it. She calls the Saturn nominations “such a nice inclusion.” She’s starting to realize that Wyman and the writers nod to sci-fi past. “You don’t realize things are science fiction until people name it,” Torv says. Wyman says he wasn’t a sci-fi fan previously, but once he started getting into it, he realized that great science fiction is about humanity. Yes. We know this. “Where else can you tell an incredible story about an affair that involved two of the same people?” Wyman asks. Jackson, who was always a sci-fi fan, applauds the bravery of the show, which is a hallmark of sci-fi for him. Jackson talks about how the show pushes and challenges.
5:05 p.m. “You guys have really celebrated us,” Wyman says, praising us for seeing when “Fringe” was trying. “Having the support of saying ‘Look, is somebody pay attention?'” Wyman muses. He thanks us. Three or four FOX publicists in the background clap.
5:06 p.m. The reporter is still pushing on THE SAME QUESTION ABOUT THE SATURNS. She’s not satisfied with the response. Torv insists that she did, in fact, answer and that she said it was always lovely to be included.
5:07 p.m. Apparently Noble is under the weather and Nicole is in production.
5:08 p.m. OK. Getting sick of this. “What gives with the Emmys?” another reporter demands. At least he’s only talking about Noble’s lack of Emmy attention. I can get behind that.”To be honest with you, I can’t comprehend it. I don’t understand,” Wyman says. “Hopefully somebody somewhere will realize what this man is doing and can actually give him some sort of celebration,” he says. “I don’t know if people just don’t watch the screeners,” Wyman speculates. “He drowns in love. There is no place he goes where ‘Fringe’ fans don’t just shower him with the praise he deserves,” Jackson says. “At least for the people who care about our show, everybody sees what he’s doing,” Jackson adds. Wyman’s lament is that he wants more people to see Noble’s work. “I have a feeling John will get another job,” Torv says.
5:11 p.m. What does Lance Reddick think about playing a minority character whose minority status is never discussed? Reddick explains that he originally auditioned for Charlie, but when he read the script, he thought Broyles was the part he was ready for and a casting director agreed. He read for Charlie. He read for Broyles. He was rejected for Broyles. He got a call-back for Charlie. He was rejected for Charlie. And a month later he got called back in. “It’s a tricky thing when you talk about stereotypes… but in addition to stereotypes, there’s always the whole element of tokenism,” Reddick says, explaining that he liked the way Broyles evolved on “Fringe” after the first season and that they kept making him interesting. He discusses his “charmed career.” “Even though I’m always complaining about having fewer opportunities than my white counterparts, I feel like I’ve had a charmed career,” Reddick says. And now he’s on the verge of crying again, just as he did at Comic-Con. He admits he’s had problem with this role and the show, but through it all, “This cast has been family.” Awww.
5:15 p.m. “There have probably been about three or four ending and everybody had an ending of where we would end this show,” Wyman says. He calls the show “a living, breathing organism.” He talks, again, about “missteps.” “Being a living breathing organism, it’s going to change,” he says, but he’s always believed that the show has “a natural end… but how that takes shape is always in flux.” The question is how to do that in 13 episodes. “I want to see them get what they deserve to get. Some things may be unexpected. Some things may be expected,” Wyman says, insisting that everything be earned. He wants the show to end with “hopefulness” and he wants people to be able to drive to work the next day and imagine where the characters or going to be and how their lives are going to be. He wants it to be “satisfying and bittersweet.”
5:20 p.m. Wyman thanks us again, as the panel ends…
That’s all, folks…