The Fringe saga comes to an end on January 18 with a two-hour finale that promises to put the seal on an epic journey. For co-creator JJ. Abrams, the journey began with some cool yet loosely connected ideas and a massive leap of faith which ultimately saw the show evolve from its monster-of-the-week origins into a serial monster.
In a recent interview with Hitfix, Abrams outlined the story elements that himself and fellow co-creators Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman had in mind when originally setting forth:
We knew alternate universes. We knew The Observers. We knew, even when Walter first sees Peter at the institution and he checks his eyes, we knew what was going on and why. But what we didn’t know was sort of… Everything. We didn’t know how crazy and wild and big it would go. We didn’t, of course, know the jump forward in the fifth season. We didn’t know some of the details of the Cortexiphan stuff with Olivia, but we knew that there was something she had gone through. You always have the best idea at the time and you think, “That’s kinda where we’re gonna go” and the closer you get to doing it, the better idea comes up and you go, “Oh my God, what about that?” So it’s always a leap of faith a little bit.
Abrams restates that he while didn’t anticipate the show becoming as serialized as it has, he believes it was for the best:
When we first started the show, we sorta saw it as a kinda “Twilight Zone”-y, “X Files” kinda crazy weird-thing-of-the-week and even though we kinda it up to some degree, we ended up sorta shifting really into more of a kinda soap opera about these characters, which I kind of loved. I don’t regret leaving that sorta style or kinda template behind. I think it’s actually far better not to do that, but that was one thing that changed a little bit. We didn’t quite realize how serialized we were gonna get. The intention was not to be that serialized, but once the show sorta proved to be like: It’s got this audience and this is what it wants to be, I think it was the right move.
You can read the full transcript at Hitfix. Catch the 2-hour Fringe series finale Friday, Jan. 18 at 9pm on Fox.