The departure of Fringe showrunner Jeff Pinkner has been one of the big talking points of the lowatus, as far as fans of the FOX sci-fi series are concerned. Pinkner had been with the show from the first season and was one half of the showrunner team alongside J.H Wyman since Year Two.
In another segment from THR’s Comic-Con Roundtable, Joshua Jackson reveals insight into Pinkner’s departure and the impact it may have on the show going into the final 13 episodes.
Jackson believes Pinkner’s departure changes a lot, but that the final season helps reduce the impact of his creative loss:
“It changes a lot because [Jeff Pinkner] is part of the creative DNA of the show. But because our show is ending, I think it’s less — we’ll see as we get into it, but I think it’s less — dire than it would be if the show was ongoing.”
Like many Fringe fans, Jackson suspects that Pinkner and Wyman spoke about where the show is ultimately going to end up prior to his departure and believes that the show is in good hands with Wyman steering the ship, even though his workload has increased drastically.
Jackson also says Pinkner’s leaving was down to the “business side” and that he chose not to renew his contract which would have meant a pay cut. Jackson points out that the departure wasn’t “acrimonious with any of the actors on the show.”
You can watch the entire THR Comic-Con Roundtable below (skip to approx 49:15 for the Pinkner exit discussion):
It was interesting to read the fan response to news of Pinkner’s departure. Of the prominent sentiment, many wished him well, others were keen to support Wyman, and others still were perplexed or concerned at the timing of his exit. The contract situation perhaps clears things up, though it’s also his business. What I will comment on is the potential impact of his departure. Will this have a negative bearing on the final 13? It’s too early to say whether ‘one head is better than two’ in this case (ideally you’d have two), but as Jackson mentioned Pinkner’s influence will likely be felt through what sounds like being one of the most thoroughly mapped out seasons of Fringe.
That said, it’s going to be interesting to see how it all pans out once it gets going. Wyman has already made one interesting move in bringing the cast in on how the show ends (though this may have been done anyway had Pinkner remained). As I said before — and I know Season 4 wasn’t the most seamless ride week-to-week — but I reckon Fringe could be 13 episodes away from legitimate classic status. Time and the Observer arc will tell.