Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who co-created Fox's sci-fi series Fringe with J.J. Abrams, told SCI FI Wire that the show will begin to answer a lot of its own questions as it wraps its first season.
"We are about to shoot our final two episodes of the season," Orci said in an exclusive interview last week with Kurtzman, his writing partner on Star Trek and Transformers and such TV series as Alias.
Will the final episodes of the season—which kick off on April 7 at 9 p.m. ET/PT—tie things together? Yes, Orci promises, adding: "The question is how fast."
"This is something we discussed very much with the network," Orci added. "Sometimes they want answers, and then we'll actually write a show in which everything is answered, and they're like, 'No, that's too fast!' So how slowly to dole things out is always the key question. But we definitely have answers that we're dying to give, and it's a matter of how quickly we get to them."
Following is an edited version of our exclusive interview with Orci and Kurtzman about Fringe, which stars Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson and John Noble.
You have been setting stuff up about William Bell, the founder of Massive Dynamic and Walter Bishop's [Noble] old lab partner, as well as the weird bald guy [The Observer] and Olivia [Torv] and Peter [Jackson] and Walter and their past ties to one another. What can you talk about as to how much you're going to reveal and how much you're still going to keep out there?
Orci: Well, we have an ultimate solution. ... Essentially, one of the things that we came up with once the staff was hired—and we have to give a lot of credit to the amazing staff—was imagine the most basic question, which is "Why is the [Pattern] happening? What is causing all of these things? What is the Pattern?" And so we do have an answer to that. That answer will probably be a long time coming.
[But] various players' interests and allegiances, like William Bell—like his potential connections to our characters from before—all that will be more fleshed out and their place in the world more defined.
Before the end of the first season?
Will we figure out who The Observer is?
Orci: Who he is? Not who, but you'll get a deeper context of what he's a part of.
I think it's already been suggested he's from an alternate dimension or something?
Orci: That doesn't tell you much, does it? ... It's an answer without revelation. ...
In the pilot, Agent Scott [Mark Valley] asked Olivia, "Why did Broyles [Lance Reddick] request to put you on this unit?" Is that question going to be answered by the end of the year?
Orci: Yes. ...
There are also hints of something more going on between Olivia and Peter? Or are you not going to go in that direction?
Orci: Well, we want it to. It's obviously something that has to cross your mind, but we wanted to, you know, make sure it's earned. And it was interesting for the first 13 [episodes], because the natural assumption is "Oh, there's going to be a flirtatious pitter-patter between our two leads." But we very deliberately set up the fact that she'd just been tormented and hurt by her first love having gone horribly wrong. And when that kind of thing happens, the last thing you're feeling is kind of flirty. So we very purposefully built in a massive obstacle that would take, you know, most of the season to get over. And we're kind of playing it by ear in terms of seeing [how far to go]. Each show that we watch, we say, "Do I believe that she is recovered enough now to notice Peter?" And when that moment hits, hopefully it'll hit us all at the same time. ...
I talked to John Noble a couple of weeks ago, and he also felt that he didn't want to see the Peter-Walter relationship sort of resolve itself too quickly, because there's too much baggage there for them to become pals right away. Do you guys sort of share that feeling?
Orci: Yeah. Our motto on them was always one step forward, two steps back. ...
What sort of weird science will you incorporate into future episodes?
Orci: From chips under your skin to track you to cloning, [which] is now real in a way that it wasn't when The X-Files was on. We have a rover on Mars. We have invisibility cloaks. We have ... HAARP, the High [Frequency Active] Auroral Research Program that bounces lasers off the ionosphere and can see underground. We have potential weather control, used by the Chinese during the Olympics. We have chem trails, you know, the German government admitting that, yes, indeed, they have been putting chemicals in some of the airborne aerosols that planes ... I mean, literally, I don't know how we're going to run out of stories. As long as there's an Internet, we're not going to run out of stories.