Highlights from the "Fringe" press room:
Roberto Orci on his (and Alex Kurtzman's) current involvement in the show: "We wouldn't be here if we didn't have some still peripheral role."
Jeff Pinkner on what's ahead this season: "I think that the first season, looking back on it, the first season before we started we talked about what we wanted the show to be and we talked about sort of where we wanted it to end. And I think very much, in many ways, the first season was a prologue. And it was our characters sort of coming together, learning about this world and by the end sort of crossing the threshold - literally and figuratively - into another universe. And now the second season is more about the maturation of the team and of the characters individually. So it's deeper."
Jeff Pinkner on the alternate universe established in the season finale: "Olivia ended up there and she's going to come back. It's not our intention right now to spend a whole bunch of time on the other side but being aware of it has consequences."
Alex Kurtzman on fears of the mythology getting too complex: "That's the problem if you serialize too much. Having a deep mythology is always good, you want a very deep well to draw from. The trick is to manage it, make sure that you're not giving people so much at once that if you miss an episode you're out of the loop and you can't get back in."
Roberto Orci on the final reveal in season one: "What we found out at the end of last season was something we were supposed to find out years from now. And we thought, you know what, let's actually answer something instead and not get, not just rely on that mystery forever. And so we actually chose to give kind of a big answer and have to come with a different show than we ever intended. This was going to be season four in a way... the idea of revealing that there's another world. That was something we thought would be the answer to why everything is going strangely. Well, we're actually answering that quickly now, we have to expand a little, it actually made the world bigger."
Jeff Pinkner on balancing the science and the supernatural on the show: "You go on any major web site, any science web site, AOL even, you'll see that the articles that are being written now about modern science would have been science fiction five years ago... I think it was maybe part of why the show emerged for a lot of people because it felt like there was some change happening in the world that everyone's going to be wondering, like nanotechnology, they can literally render you invisible? What? That's actually possible? So while that would have been the plot to an 'X-Files' television show [years ago], now it just happens to be real."
Jeff Pinkner on what they planned to show at the panel: "There was a moment where we were going to show the first act of the first episode coming back but it ends in such an exciting way that we were afraid to let it out."
Jeff Pinkner on how much we'll see of Leonard Nimoy this season: "He's back and hopefully he wants to come back often... if he wants to write and direct he can do that too."
Jeff Pinkner on using the image of the World Trade Center in the finale: "It's obviously very iconic. One of the writers pitched the idea and immediately we went, that's perfect. But then at the very same time we said, oh we can't do that because it's not tasteful and it would be exploitive. And we sat and really considered it and we decided we were doing it for exactly that reason: in another reality, things are both better and in some ways worse. It's just different choices, the road not taken. And there's really no other iconic symbol like that."
Roberto Orci on what's ahead for Peter: "He is taking much more charge of his life. He is dealing much better with the ambivalence he has for working with the government, which is kind of not his bag. He's kind of a rebel but he's helping the authorities." Adds Jeff: "We're going to spend some time in his past. And he's going to learn things about himself that he wasn't aware of... and like his father Walter spent a whole bunch of his life doing science at the expense, without really focusing on the human consequences. He used people as guinea pigs. Peter in many ways, this neer-do-well character who's always just driving forward, left a lot of damage in his wake. Not unlike his father he has to start to own it and recognize that our characters have to grow up this year."
Roberto Orci on if there will be any romance this year: "We learned our lesson from 'Alias' a little bit where we planned very much ahead and this time we'll know it when we see it. The minute that it seems organic, hopefully everyone will feel it, then we'll move in on the story, keep it alive and real sometimes instead of saying 'by episode nine, we will have the chemistry up to 100%,' it's sometimes hard to plan that."
Joel Wyman on the status of Kirk Acevedo's character: "If I told you that he would have to kill you and I don't want to be involved in that. Um, this is 'Fringe,' nobody's ever gone."
Joel Wyman on the status of Olivia's sister: "In my opinion yes. She's always a part of the show."
Joel Wyman on the status of The Observer: "To me he's such an important key and you will learn a lot about him this season. I promise... He's such a weird, bizarre part that actually turned into something people love. We have plans for him and he's definitely become part of the program."
Joel Wyman on the status of Nina Sharp: "Again, most of the answers... I'm not trying to be coy at all, I'm telling you the truth. Like most of these answers that I think everybody is asking... are definitely involved in the characters and you are going to see the actualization of characters through their innermost private moments and you're going to learn more about them. You will learn more about Nina and who she is, what she is, where she came from, what does she mean to all of the characters in our show this season."
Joel Wyman on the status of Mark Valley's character: "He's the sweetest guy in the world and probably in my opinion, I think he's run his course. To be honest with you, [Anna's] character especially, I mean I don't mean to insult, but especially for women you're really gonna love it because she becomes so like, wow. It's a great thing, I can't even get into it."
Jasika Nicole on what's ahead for Astrid: "We did a scene the other day where Astrid has this lovely, sweet scene with Walter and it's not just about the jokes and just about the one-liners. It was a chance for you to like know just a tiny little bit more about her and about him and their relationship. And it was the greatest thing! And it was kind of nice that it took that long to happen because it made it that much sweeter you know? So I'm excited for it to continue to move in that direction and I was told that Astrid's getting out of the lab this season! More than three times to do cool things."
Jasika Nicole on Walter getting emancipated this season: "[Astrid] loves it. She wants to enable him in as positive of a way as possible without pushing him out there so he's doing stuff that he's not comfortable with, that it's too soon for him. And so it's been a matter of waiting for him to kind of feel empowered and want to do that for himself. And it's a really cool thing, I think she's excited about it but the more that Walter can get out of the lab I think the less that she has to be in the lab in the first place."
Jasika Nicole on what she's learned new about her character: "I know where she lives. I'm not gonna tell you. [Laughs.]"
Jasika Nicole on where they are in production: "We've just shot the third episode and we have the script for the fourth. The fourth is good!"
Jasika Nicole on what will make this season different: "I think that there was a very specific kind of template that was laid out in season one and we followed it in a pretty regimented way and it's not like that at all in season two. All of these little pockets of information and doors that were opened, we start going back to them and connecting them to other things. So it wasn't like this big explosion of a bunch of crazy, different things and now we're going to have another one. We have like two or three episodes that piece things together [like] 'Okay, that makes sense and then okay this one and this one.' So it's kind of like connecting the dots, very slowly, but it's definitely I think a different kind of pattern as far as what they're revealing and how that's happening."
Anna Torv on what her character learns in season two: "I think what she's told while she's in the parallel universe, I think is really going to kind of like give her a big old kick in the bum. And I think it's going to kind of change her whole attitude... I think this season everybody's a little bit more proactive, it's a little bit more about gathering the troops or something."
Anna Torv on if Peter and Olivia's sister will get together: "I don't even know what that's about or if that's going to get resolved or not. But I'm sick of fielding questions about Olivia and Peter until it is resolved, you know? [Laughs.]"
Anna Torv on what advise she'd give Olivia: "I'd just say sweetheart just take a day off. [Laughs.] Just take a day off, take a bath. I don't know, just chill out for just a minute."
John Noble on working with Leonard Nimoy: "I'm doing my first scene with Leonard next Wednesday... Of course I'm excited! What am I going to say: no?"
John Noble on when we'll learn the truth about Peter's history: "Not early on. But the audience already knows enough and I already know what they know. We don't want to [jump] into that too early because that's going to be massive, it's going to be massive. I think it'll be towards the second half of the season and we will have a massive episode and it will be very ugly."
Joshua Jackson on what Peter's reaction will be to the secrets revealed in the finale: "I would imagine not very good. For the dynamic that I'm most interested in playing out over the course of this season is kind of the opposite dynamic of last season. Last season they started here [holds hands apart] and they were like a magnetic force, they were drawn to each other, drawn to each other and drawn to each other... by the end of the season they were here [holds hands closer together]. So now season [two] is going to be this, traveling that last little bit of the gap and when they finally get into some fringey semblance to a healthy family relationship that's eventually going to come out. And when it comes out, you can't help but shatter the dynamic between these two guys.
Also as a pissed off [someone] who had discounted his father, no matter how functional or dysfunctional any of your relationships are with your family... we always begrudge our parents something. And depending upon how serious it is - I don't have a relationship with my father, and I can't imagine it in reality, but if I ever got around to actually trusting him again and having him back in my life and then I found out he was actually lying to me the whole way, it would be nuclear. And I think that's probably that's out there for these two guys, there's going to come a time where, it took too much for Peter to start trusting his father again that little child in him that's going to get hurt is going to be really, really angry."