Fringe showrunner reveals surprising truth about amber's origins

Contributed by
Dec 17, 2012

Over five seasons, the team behind Fox's Fringe has built a dense sci-fi world full of quirks and nuance, all leading to the future-jump we saw this past Friday with the premiere of season five. But did you know one major plot point that has run the length of the series was actually retconned?

In an interview promoting season five, producer J.H. Wyman told Collider that the concept of using amber to seal cracks between the universes, which showed up early in the first season encasing a bus and has been used and referenced numerous times in the show's run, wasn't actually "re-contextualized" into the larger story until later:

"Well, it's been such a long road of twists and turns, and ideas come from all over.  Sometimes something you thought wouldn't really be as big as it was blows up into something else. There are certain episodes that, all of a sudden, just really touched people. 'White Tulip' came from a dream.  I thought, 'Why did that episode touch people?'  We like to be clever and say, 'Well, we knew a lot of stuff,' because we did, but the truth is that we didn't know a lot of stuff, as well. We did not know, at the beginning on the bus, that the amber was amber from the alternate universe. It was re-contextualized. It just fits like a puzzle and you go, 'Wow, that's really interesting.'

You find the things that work and the things that don't work, and you go from there.  It's like a living, breathing organism that you listen to. Sometimes we don't hear so well, but if you listen to it, it indicates where you should go, naturally. So, that idea has changed where we're going to end up, even up until the last episode. My thinking on the episode was fluctuating and vacillating between several different ideas."

Considering how twisty the show has been the past few years, from introducing multiple universes to setting the final year in a future nanny state, it's not surprising to hear that the writers made some course corrections along the way to get us here. But it's extremely interesting to see just which concepts were adapted into the plan and not part of it from the start.

The full interview is well worth a read, as Wyman discusses some of the big ideas behind the series.

What do you think of where we've ended up in season five? Do the writers have us on the right track, or do you miss the alt-universes of yore?

(Via Collider)