Anna Torv, who stars as Special Agent Olivia Dunham on Fox's sci-fi series Fringe, told reporters that the show returns with new episodes on Tuesday, and viewers can expect to learn more about Olivia's past and about the Observers and watch as she and Peter (Joshua Jackson) build toward what some see as an inevitable romance. She also talks for the first time about her secret marriage to co-star Mark Valley.
Fringe will kick off at 9 p.m. ET/PT with the first of six straight weeks of original episodes with "Inner Child," in which Olivia befriends a mysterious mute child who's been holed up underground even as she and her team contend with a serial killer who's particularly proud of his handiwork.
Torv spoke with reporters in a conference call on Wednesday. Following are edited excerpts from that conversation. (Spoilers ahead!)
In these episodes coming up, what will we start to discover about Olivia's past?
Torv: We slowly start to discover, ... I never know what I can and what I can't say, but we discover some things that happened to her when she was really little that she doesn't really remember. You start to see the stories, or the lives of Peter and Walter [John Noble] and Olivia kind of begin to interlace a little bit. And you sort of see how their paths have crossed before.
Do you think they could somehow be related?
Torv: At this point, no, I don't think so.
Do you know yet who the Observers are and what their motivations are?
Torv: Do I know who the Observers are? Meaning where they're from or what their function is? No, but we're shooting, at the moment, the final episode, and we're starting to get more of a glimpse into what their function is.
You met and married Mark Valley, who played John Scott. But now John is gone, and so is Mark. Did having Mark there distract you or boost your performance? [Torv and Valley recently married after dating secretly while the show filmed its early episodes.]
Torv: Well, all of the scenes that we had together were kind of odd anyway. We were always in dreamscapes or always not sure what reality we were in. So I don't really feel like we actually got a chance to play opposite each other. I was always [asking] if he was a ghost, and he'd always just say, "No, I'm not."
Are you happier now that Mark is not on the show, or would you rather that he stayed?
Torv: I don't know. I don't know, really. I guess we'll see what they decide to do.
You're filming the finale now. So, looking at the last few scripts and filming them, what's your reaction? Are you surprised? Excited?
Torv: I'm really excited. I think because we're gearing for the end of this season, things have started to get a little bit more cemented. We shot an episode, which actually was directed by Akiva Goldsman, and I think that pushes us ... not into a deeper world, but it sort of pushes us a little bit deeper into some of the things we've been touching on. We're shooting the finale at the moment, and I'm really excited. I'm excited at the prospects of where the show could go if we're lucky enough to shoot a second season. I think it's going to be really great.
The show has had a few really long breaks. Do you think they've alienated fans or stunted the show's growth?
Torv: I don't know. I hope not. I really, really hope not. I don't know. I think we're kind of lucky in that if you are following it, there are things to follow, but if you are dropping in I still think that you're going to be able to get your head around it, you'll be able to grasp where we're at. I don't know. That's always decisions that are way above me. I've been on a couple of different shows that have had really big breaks, and they've come back, and it hasn't affected it at all, and some that it has. So I'm really hopeful that people tune back in and finish the journey with us.
[Producers Alex] Kurtzman and [Roberto] Orci have said that they're gearing up to get Olivia and Peter together at some point. How eager or not are you to see that happen?
Torv: Well, a couple of episodes ago, he was chatting up my sister! So I don't know how they're going to resolve that. I just certainly hope they wait until that's sorted out.
But is that something you're eager to play? A beat as an actor that would interest you?
Torv: I don't know. I hope that they sort of stretch it out for as long as possible. I think that's what makes it kind of fun, when it's like, "Oh, are they or aren't they? What's going on?" I think there needs to be a few more close calls before they start heading down that track. Because then you've got to break up and get back together again, and the whole bit, right?