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Joshua Jackson on the Fringe Finale, “Our show would have been off the air”

5 years ago by Reg Seeton
Fringe, 5.12 "Liberty" - Peter (Josh Jackson) watches Olivia as she prepares for a mission ©2012 Fox Broadcasting Co, photo by Liane Hentscher

Fringe, 5.12 “Liberty” – Peter (Josh Jackson) watches Olivia as she prepares for a mission ©2012 Fox Broadcasting Co, photo by Liane Hentscher

Fringe comes to end on Friday, January 18 as actor Joshua Jackson and the cast say goodbye to fans forever in the two-hour, two-episode series finale.

Although Fringe will close its series doors on Friday with “Liberty” and “An Enemy of Fate”, actor Joshua Jackson has enjoyed a rewarding five season run of filming in his hometown of Vancouver. The conclusion of Fringe marks the end of a five year father-son relationship between Jackson’s Peter Bishop and John Noble’s Walter Bishop who has become one of the most loved characters on television.

One of the most complex and engaging shows on TV, Fringe leaves behind a huge void that won’t easily be filled anytime soon in a network landscape laden with frivolous reality.

So, how does Joshua Jackson feel about the way Fringe engaged its audience in today’s TV world that makes it easy for people to disengage?

“I think that in the true way of popular media, some of it was intentional,” said Jackson to The Deadbolt on Friday on a conference call ahead of the series finale. “I know from the very beginning, with the Observers and the Glyphs, Bad Robot wanted to put sort of a second layer beyond just observing the show, which is watching the show. I know that Fox was really keen on the way to deepen peoples’ experience of Fringe. But then the audience itself took that and ran with it in a way that I think went beyond the wildest imaginations of anybody who was engaged in the beginning.”

Although Fringe gained a loyal following throughout its five seasons, the road to the series finale wasn’t easy. Each year Fringe was on the bubble of cancellation. Each year fans were left to wonder whether Fringe would be back. Each season, however, the fans were there.

For Joshua Jackson, the show had an interesting two-way relationship with its fan base.

“As much as every TV show is trying to reach out to its audience,” Jackson continued, “it really is the audience itself in our case who continued to drive their own interests and continued to keep each other engaged as much as we tried to help them along. The community of Fringe became totally self-supporting.”

Fringe, 5.12 "Liberty" - Astrid (Jasika Nicole), Walter (John Noble), Olivia (Anna Torv) and Peter (Josh Jackson) prepare for a mission ©2012 Fox Broadcasting Co, photo by Liane Hentscher

Fringe, 5.12 “Liberty” – Astrid (Jasika Nicole), Walter (John Noble), Olivia (Anna Torv) and Peter (Josh Jackson) prepare for a mission ©2012 Fox Broadcasting Co, photo by Liane Hentscher

Although science-fiction can be a hard sell to mainstream TV viewers, Fringe survived because of the increasing influence of its fan base.

“If you talk about Fringe not just as a narrative experience on screen,” added Jackson about fan loyalty, “I think one of the more interesting things that’s come out of it is the community built around the show and how powerful that can be in tipping the scales toward a show surviving or failing.”

As sci-fi fans know all too well, several fan favorite shows left the airwaves way too soon without getting a real show at reaching their true potential. From Firefly, Jericho, and Farscape to Odyssey 5, Dollhouse, and Caprica (to name a few), several canceled shows didn’t get the same shot as Fringe.

“By traditional metrics,” elaborated Jackson, a self-admitted sci-fi fan, “our show would have been off the air at least last year but probably two years ago. But the passion of our fan base made it impossible for our show to be dismissed in a way that maybe ten years ago science-fiction shows would have been lost. So, I think the fan base, and the passion of the fan base, is a large part of the story of the show Fringe.”

The series finale of Fringe airs Friday, January 18 at 8/7c on Fox.

How do you feel about the end of Fringe and how the show lasted five seasons?

What do you think?

Reg Seeton

Reg Seeton created The Deadbolt in 2005 after working for the pioneering movie news website, Coming Attractions. Reg has over 15 years experience as a top online entertainment journalist and interviewer, has worked with several award winning actors, musicians and writers, and has managed entertainment networks in New York and Los Angeles. And he's done it all with one eye!
  • DanTan

    Damn!! I so don’t want to see this show leave. Glad it got a final season to wrap things up completely. Can’t wait for tonight!

  • underdog363

    The good die young … anyone remember “Strange luck?”

  • Natalie

    i’m wishing we could have one last season but at least we got some closure.

  • Scott Murray

    A year later, I still miss this show. I still rewatch all of the episodes thanks to Netflix (only have season 1 on DVD) and have been able to get many new watchers. Every single one of them wishes that there was another season or three!