Critically acclaimed sci-fi series concludes Friday on FOX
Behind the Screens with Joshua Maloni
While science fiction fans (myself included) have been mourning the end of "Fringe" for weeks, the attitude on set was more joyous in the final days of production.
Showrunner J.H. Wyman said "Fringe" is the "highlight of my career," and thanked FOX for sticking with the critically acclaimed show despite its loss of Nielsen numbers.
John Noble, who plays lovable mad genius Walter Bishop, said, "(I) think we finished the series off as well as I could possibly have dreamed of, as I hope will be evident."
Joshua Jackson (Peter Bishop), said, "I'm sad to see it end, too, but I hope that we're going to go out with a bang."
"I hope that people will be satisfied with the way that we put the story to bed," he added. "I feel like, instead of stretching the show on for too long or having it sort of cut off in an abortive way, I feel like we got to tell the ending of our story. So, for that, I'm really satisfied."
Noble said he is grateful for his time on "Fringe."
"Doing something of this nature was new to me," he said. "I'd never done anything that required a five-year commitment. To build a show that seems to have kept the imagination of the world so much was a bit otherworldly, to be honest with you. I would go to anywhere in the world, really, and people would stop me in the street and talk about 'Fringe' and how much they adored it and asked questions about it.
"The international reach of 'Fringe,' I think, still catches me by surprise a bit at times. Also, I was given the gift of a character that is every actor's dream. So you combine those two factors, and it's been an incredibly memorable five years."
Noble said he will miss costars Jackson, Anna Torv (Olivia Dunham) and Jasika Nicole (Astrid Farnsworth).
"I guess because I'm the older fellow there I kind of think of them all as my kids, in a way," he said. "I have a very special love for all of those actors and I'll miss them. Over the five years we were given the chance to develop some pretty close bonds - both with our characters and personally - and we did. I don't really know how to explain it any other way than that. It's something that we earned over five years. It probably wouldn't have been there with two years, but with five years it was definitely, and is definitely there. It's probably a lifelong bond, I imagine."
Jackson took pride in what he and Noble accomplished working with the "Fringe" executive producers. In many ways, "Fringe" has been a tale of redemption for the two Bishops.
"I can tell you that the thing that is most satisfying to me as an actor is the work that John and I did, and ultimately with Jeff Pinkner and Joel Wyman, to try and keep the father-son relationship as honest and as dynamic as we could in the center of this very, very, large, crazy science fiction story. That was always a point of focus for me," he said. "I think having the chance to be on a serialized TV show and to tell my piece of it - which was the story of the prodigal son who starts off doing everything he can to get out of this world and then eventually gets drawn in through love of his father, and then falls in love with a woman, and then over the course of the seasons completely reverses his desire and now becomes a really dedicated son and a solid and reliable boyfriend and then husband and then a crazily protective father - I think that's an interesting journey to go on."
Having now completed that adventure, Jackson and the "Fringe" team look back on five seasons with fondness for their diehard fans.
"We, collectively as a group, the cast and the crew and the writers, are so thankful for the support that we have been given over these years, and have been often in awe of the passion that people have felt for the show," Jackson said. "I personally, and I know we collectively, hope that we finish this series on a positive note ... (and) that it satisfies the people who have given us so much over the course of five years."
"Fringe" concludes with a can't-miss two-hour finale on Friday at 8 p.m. on FOX.