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Fringe Star John Noble Talks Series End, Walter’s Journey & Payoff for Fans

By on January 11, 2013
John Noble.

John Noble.

With only one episode remaining before the two hour series finale on Friday January 18th, Fringe star John Noble spoke to Press about the show’s end, Walter’s journey and what fans can expect to take away from the finale.

Speaking via satellite link from Australia yesterday, an upbeat Noble answered a slew of questions from assembled journalists, in addition to receiving an outpouring of praise and thanks for his contribution to the series over the last five years.

Audiences have seen several sides to Walter Bishop over the years, from mad scientist to devoted father. Additionally, the show allowed Noble to explore several versions his character including Walternate. When asked if he had a favorite ‘Walter’ over the seasons, Noble commented “I loved it when he was being random, which was probably the original version of him more than anyone else.  I loved doing Walter then and all of the different mental states that we’ve played in during the time, but when he was being completely random and had very poor social skills.

“I loved the scenes that he played with Peter, the connecting stuff that I played with Josh Jackson over the five years.  Both of us really loved doing that work.  There were so many different aspects of Walter, the comedy and drama and emotion and so forth.  He was a fully-fledged character.  So it’s hard for me to say what my favorite one was, but probably—Fringe is essentially a love story and so the scenes where he had close connection with Peter, but also with Anna’s character or Jasika’s character were very special to me.”

On the subject of what he would take away from the last five years Noble replied “Doing something of this nature was new to me.  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 other worldly 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.”


Peter and Walter in “The Boy Must Live.” ©2012 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Liane Hentscher/FOX

The two hour series finale is of great interest (and some concern) to the show’s most loyal fans. Noble was careful in his responses regarding actual plotpoints surrounding the master plan, and Walter’s role in it but he did throw out the following hints: “We know that something radical has to happen in order to beat the Observers.  I think by now we’ve built up to the fact that possibly maybe Walter has to do something pretty outstanding to make this happen.

“More importantly, I think, what you’ll find is the way that his relationship with Peter plays out over the next two episodes, and in particular, the finale is really quite remarkable.  That’s something we had to do because we spent so much time and I know that the fans love the relationship between Peter and Walter so much and we certainly paid homage to that and brought it home, I believe, really strongly.

“I would love to have had an episode with each of the characters.  I do have some beautiful moments with Jasika and Anna as well.  It’s good story writing in the sense that they’ve built this great big arch and they’re going to pan out.  I’m not going to tell you exactly what happens, obviously, but we do get the payout.  And it’s also wonderful to have Mike Cerveris back into the equation again.  He’s also been—aside from the fact that he’s an amazing actor and a friend of mine; he really does add another element to our story telling.”

Were there tears on the last day on set? Surprisingly no.

“The last day on set was really quite fun,” said Noble.  “We were all kind of buoyed up.  It was one of those nights that go forever.  I think we finished at 9:00 in the morning or something, but we had a lot of fun.  I can remember we all got a fit of the giggles halfway through the night, which is probably really inappropriate.  All of us were doing a scene together.  I don’t know.  It was just hilarious.  I couldn’t get my lines out, which is very unusual for me.  I just kept getting it wrong and we were all laughing a lot.  But it was good fun.  We had a wonderful time.

“The last scene I did was a beautiful scene with Michael Cerveris, but backstage all the rest of the … were on set as well, as we do in most scenes.  You give your speech afterwards and so forth.  I felt really buoyed up afterwards.  I didn’t feel depressed.  I thought that we’d really had a great finale.  The last day was so much fun.”

FRINGE: Olivia (Anna Torv, L) and Walter (John Noble, R) learn the origin of the Child Observer in the all-new "This Boy Must Live" episode of FRINGE airing Friday, Jan.11 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2012 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Liane Hentscher/FOX

FRINGE: Olivia (Anna Torv, L) and Walter (John Noble, R) learn the origin of the Child Observer in the all-new “This Boy Must Live” episode of FRINGE airing Friday, Jan.11 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2012 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Liane Hentscher/FOX

So what can fans expect from the season finale on January 18th?

“The finale, I believe, I think it’s the best finale I’ve ever read, just in terms of being able to tie up the five years, five years of intense work,” explained Noble.

“To be able to pull it together as the way that Joel Wyman did is quite remarkable to me.  So I honestly think the fans will be—well they’ll be disappointed.  There’s no question because the series is finishing, but I think they’ll be very thrilled and honored by the way that Joel has made that happen.”

Fringe returns tonight, Friday January 11th with “The Boy Must Live,” which is the final episode before the two hour season finale next week. Fans will not want to miss this one.