Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD for the Season 1 finale of Debris on NBC, called "Celestial Body."
Debris debuted on NBC this year to bring back the kind of layered and mythology-heavy storytelling that arguably hadn't been present on network television since the end of Fringe back in 2013. And it's no coincidence that Debris has been able to pull off what Fringe did so well, as Debris creator Joel Wyman served as showrunner and executive producer on Fringe. In "Celestial Body," Debris delivered a shocker for Fringe fans when John Noble made a surprise appearance as Otto, and Wyman opened up about how it worked out and what it means for the future of the show.
John Noble's appearance in Debris' Season 1 finale wasn't announced ahead of time. His name wasn't even in the opening credits as a guest star, guaranteeing that even fans who were keeping an eye on the bottom of the screen would have had no idea that the man who played more than one incarnation of Walter Bishop on Fringe was about to show his face on Debris. Joel Wyman explained why he wanted Noble for the role of Otto in an interview with CinemaBlend, saying:
John Noble is known for his performances in a number of projects, including Season 3 of The Boys for a reunion, Elementary, The Blacklist, and of course the Lord of the Rings films, but his work as Walter Bishop on Fringe allowed him to show just how versatile he is as an actor. According to Joel Wyman, Noble was sold on joining Debris despite the limited role he would play in Season 1. Wyman continued:
In case you somehow weren't already sold on Debris deserving a renewal for Season 2 after game-changer after game-changer in the Season 1 finale, the promise of more John Noble just makes more Debris sounds even better. At the time of writing, NBC hasn't announced a renewal for Season 2, but the stage has definitely been set for the story to continue.
And while there could have been no doubt that Debris would end Season 1 with all kinds of twists and turns, the show managed to keep John Noble's casting for the finale and beyond a secret. As somebody who did a double take when Noble made his first appearance in the Debris season finale, I had tell Joel Wyman how impressed I was that the secret managed to stay a secret, not even leaking on social media. Wyman shared my enthusiasm, saying:
Big twists on TV shows and movies can be hard to keep completely secret nowadays, and John Noble joining the cast of Debris didn't even leak when he was filming, and it remained unspoiled all the way through to the broadcast of the finale on May 24. The whole Debris team deserves kudos for pulling off the secret, which is sure to delight Fringe fans. And hopefully everybody else as well!
There can be little doubt that John Noble would make a stellar addition to the Debris cast in the event of a renewal for Season 2. The actor showed off his versatility on Fringe, and when I asked whether Otto on Debris would reveal a side of Noble that even Fringe fans haven't seen before, Joel Wyman explained:
As a Fringe fan myself, I have to echo Joel Wyman's statement that John Noble deserves more accolades for his work as Walter Bishop, so hopefully Debris will continue and give Noble another run on a sci-fi TV show that makes the most of his considerable talents as an actor. For now, however, we can only wait for the news of whether or not Debris will return for a second season on NBC.
The first season is currently available streaming on both Peacock and Hulu, if you want to go back and rewatch earlier episodes with the knowledge from the answers that were delivered in "Celestial Body." If you're in the market for some upcoming TV options, our 2021 summer TV premiere schedule can point you toward some shows that are on the way soon.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).