As if you needed another reason to follow Fringe to its new Friday time slot, sources confirm to me exclusively that later this season, producers are planning to introduce a new Big Bad — perhaps the largest, worst Big Bad of them all: Olivia’s abusive (and never-before-seen) stepfather. As you know, a 9-year-old Olivia — tired of watching her stepdad mercilessly beat her mother — shot and nearly killed the evil-doer. He eventually disappeared to parts unknown but has continued to send her cryptic messages every year on her birthday. What brings him back into the fold? And better yet, who should play the MIA monster? Let’s leave the first Q to the producers and the second one to Mr. Armchair Casting Director (that’s me!).
Michael Emerson: Not only is he probably one of the few actors who takes “Oh my God, you’re so creepy!” as a compliment, but this gig would keep him busy until things really get hopping on the pilot he’s hatching with his former Lost boss, Fringe producer J.J. Abrams.
Terry O’Quinn: If Abrams thinks Emerson is the wrong shade of black hat to menace his Fringe heroine, perhaps his other muse, Lost’s Locke, could fit the bill. He, too, should have a little free time before that pilot he’s doing with Abrams and Emerson kicks into high gear.
Robert Knepper: I haven’t enjoyed a piping-hot cup of English Breakfast since Prison Break put T-Bag’s portrayer on the map. Thank goodness his character wasn’t named Scones. I really love scones.
Jon Voight: His stints as 24’s controversial’s controversial Season 7 heavy and the de facto Jock Ewing of Fox’s short-lived Lone Star reminded us that this acting heavyweight is way more than just Angelina’s dad.
Willem Dafoe: I’m sure he’s a very nice fellow and all, but the erstwhile Green Goblin’s face alone frightens me. If he has lines, too — which, um, in most roles, he tends to — forget it.
Gary Oldman: Besides being a 100-percent brillopants thesp, the onetime Dracula brings just the right amount of out-there to his work to fit right in on Fringe.
John Malkovich: What’s better than being John Malkovich? John Malkovich being villainous. Sure, he’s more than gifted enough to play Mr. Nice Guy, but it’s so much more fun when he doesn’t. (For a probably less expensive option: Think Big Love casualty Zeljko Ivanek. He and Malkovich are practically evil twins.)