Fringe fans may never get over the cancellation of their favorite sci-fi police procedural, some wounds never heal completely. Many of us, however, have hope that this fall TV season will bring us a little solace. If nothing else, we get Almost Human, a new show from J.J. Abrams and showrunner J.H. Wyman. While at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend, Wyman discussed the death of one franchise, and the birth of another.
I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but if you’re a fan and haven’t watched the Fringe finale yet, you have really have no excuse. At the end, Walter (John Noble), has to travel to the future in order to stop those bald bastards the Observers from coming back and taking over the world. While it was a fitting, and selfless, sacrifice, many fans were bummed because he didn’t get to be part of the “happy family” with Olivia (Anna Torv), Peter (Joshua Jackson), and Henrietta. Talking about the conclusion, Wyman told TV Guide, “I’ll make you not sad…Walter is only happy when his brain is being challenged. Walter went to the future, and how to you know he didn’t find a way back once again?”
I didn’t have a huge issue with end, it wasn’t perfect, but what series finale is? It was a way for Walter to atone for all of his perceived sins against nature, and for all the trouble he caused over the years. Sure, it sucks and it isn’t happy, but Fringe isn’t exactly an everybody-hug-at-the-end kind of show. That said, Wyman’s statement is a cop out. Trying to please everyone is bullshit placating, and there are problems with his logic. Walter is happy when being pushed, that much is very true, but over the course of the series, he came to a point where his greatest, purest joy, was being with his son. Maybe he figured out a way back, but given the choice, the aged scientist surely wouldn’t have decided to go to the future and maybe find a way back. Then again, I’m may be reading too much into what was probably an offhand comment.
He does go on to tease us even more, saying, “Maybe someday there will be a Fringe movie and I’ll explain some of the things that I want to explain, but I also wanted to let people make their own opinion. I wanted it to be as special to each person individually and let them make their own assumptions and live with it. I have a lot of story I can tell still and I love those characters so much.” Well that was just mean.
As sad as we were to see Fringe go, and for Walter’s long walk to the future, the prospect of Wyman’s latest series, the robotic buddy cop show Almost Human, is pretty exciting. The show created a ton of positive buzz at Comic-Con, and word of mouth says it is action packed and badass. The story centers around a cop (Karl Urban) in the near future, where things have gotten so out of hand that each officer is assigned a humanoid robot sidekick. Urban’s John Kennex balks at such an idea, but is partnered with a droid named Dorian (Michael Ealy) regardless. Wyman calls the series much less “far out” than its predecessor.
Wyman has already said that he intends to bring Fringe cast members into the fold for Almost Human, though whether that means as guest stars or series regulars remains to be seen. Comparing the two franchises, he says:
This show is different because while you’ll get those vitamins and minerals from a regular cop show, you’re going to see things you’ve never seen before…The criteria is that no story on this show will be on our show unless it is created by something futuristic, solved by something futuristic, or the very reason that the people are doing what they’re doing is futuristic. Otherwise it is like everything else. We’ll be able to tell a murder story in a very different way than NYPD Blue or CSI. We can do stuff that’s out of this world. It offers a really great platform.
The more we hear about Almost Human, the more enticing it sounds. Honestly, they had me at the words “robot” and “buddy-cop,” everything else is just icing on that cake.
Fox is scheduled to premiere Almost Human Monday, November 4 at 8pm.