Walter Bishop/Instance

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Profession:  Secretary of Defense of the United States - Political Appointee In The Alternate Universe, Scientist Extraordinaire, Author Portrayed by:
John Noble
Also Known As:  Mister Secretary, Secretary Bishop, Walternate
Family:  Peter Bishop - son, Elizabeth Bishop - wife
Connections:  Thomas Newton - senior operative, Dr. Brandon Fayette - lead researcher, Reiko - courtesan
Seen In:  19 of 100 episodes
Status:  Relieved that the trans-dimensional bridge helped heal the temporal rifts of both worlds
Remarks:  Has recently been exposing shapeshifter infiltators and Bell/Jones double agents in and around his organization
Images of Secretary Bishop    Alternate Version    


Secretary Walter Bishop is a leading US Government official (DoD) from the alternate universe. He is the one and only birth father of the lone Peter Bishop that survived childhood disease to help save humanity, regardless of timeline, era or universe. In the final timeline before Walter and young Michael can travel to the future to save this universe from the Observers and reset the 2036 timeline back to a stable 2015, Olivia learns from Bolivia Dunham (Liberty) and Agent Lee when they reunite - the 90+ year-old, former politician, retired 20 years earlier (≈2016) from the DoD, and that he still lectures at Harvard.

Original Timeline

 Always a pivotal player in the overall saga, he is not seen, or mentioned by name until the end of Season 2.

  • Walter watches him through his inter-dimensional viewer and finds a cure for Peter's disease. The Observer distracts him and he does not notice that his efforts to save Peter have succeeded. Walter does. Knowing the cure, Walter travels to the alternate universe and abducts Peter, to cure him. (Peter)
  • Secretary Bishop is brought to our universe by Thomas Newton. (The Man From The Other Side)
  • He and Newton intercept Peter in a motel room. (Northwest Passage)
  • He offers Peter the chance to return to his original universe. Peter agrees. His role as the alt-universe US Secretary of Defense is introduced where he is headquartered on Liberty Island with the Statue of Liberty, in New York Harbor. He authored a ZFT book in 1995 in his universe. (Over There, Part 1)
  • He explains to Peter that he needs to get the power source working to run the Wave Sink Device. He is holding Olivia in a padded cell. (Over There, Part 2)
  • He explains to Broyles that they need Olivia to subject herself willingly in a series of experiments to learn her special ability on travelling between universes. He recommends Brandon to use a sensory deprivation tank to calm down his experimental subjects. (The Plateau)
  • He attempts to implant false memories into Olivia while she is in his custody. (Concentrate And Ask Again)
  • He convinces Olivia to conduct a test to travel to the parallel universe using a sensory deprivation tank. He also explains to Broyles that the amber victims can be revived. (Amber 31422)
  • He tries to pull Olivia out of the field then has her sedated after she breaks into Brandon's lab. (The Abducted)
  • He suggests to Brandon to narrow down the harmonic field to one person to successfully transfer Bolivia back to their side. (Entrada)
  • He denies Brandon's request to use children as Cortexiphan test subjects, echoing the moral conflict Walter had no problem ignoring three decades earlier. He confides with Reiko on the difficult decisions he faces. (Immortality)
  • He discovers the whereabouts of his abducted son when Olivia confesses her mission to the parallel universe and hands him the drawing of her and Peter in a white tulip field. (Subject 13)
  • He is pursuaded to reveal the details of Bolivia's mission on the other side to Captain Lincoln. He receives the blood sample of Dunham's newborn son from Brandon. (Bloodline)
  • He materializes in this universe along with Bolivia and Brandon Fayette after Peter builds a bridge between universes, then confronts Walter after Peter vanishes. Secretary Bishop ultimately assassinates Olivia with a pistol shot to the forehead in the distant original timeline... a future that only Peter was forced to endure - a motivating factor in the decision to reset both universes. (The Day We Died)
Adjusted Timeline

  A pivotal antagonist throughout Season 3, his role as a sympathetic ally is less prominent in Season 4.

  • His aid is solicited by Peter, who has returned from the ether. The mission at hand is to help Peter return to the time & space he suspects he needs to occupy, in order to really fine tune the course-correction Peter made in the previous timeline... the vanishing act nobody can (or should) remember. Bishop deactivates Doctor Fayette after discovering he is a shapeshifter that murdered and replaced the 'organically-authentic' Fayette. (Back To Where You've Never Been)
  • He oversees the interrogation of David Jones, before releasing him. He courts his lovely wife with fine dining, there relationship apparently repaired in the adjusted timeline. Later, he leads the meeting in Liberty Island conference room and encourages expanded cooperation. (Enemy Of My Enemy)
  • A short press video has him touting the new era of relief from the destructive forces that were consuming his universe. (Everything In Its Right Place)
  • He attends the joint conferences on Liberty Island between the two Fringe Division staffs, agrees with and supports Walter's scientific analysis of the threat both universes face, and agrees with and supports the plan to deactivate the Wave Sink Device that is mending both their worlds. As he oversees the closure event, he quite civilly reconciles with Walter about their extended history opposing one another, and he expresses their shared positive assessment that Peter is one terrific young man. (Worlds Apart)
Yeah Baby. Austen Powers And I Barber At The Same Groovy Salon
Accomplished Scholar


  • Secretary Bishop formerly worked as a scientist in the same parallel universe Boston area lab that Walter currently uses. He was famous for being the architect of their Star Wars defense system. Prior to becoming the Defense Secretary, he worked at Bishop Dynamic. (Subject 13)
  • In 1985, he tried to synthesize a compound that would cure his son's genetic disease. When he failed, Walter Bishop abducted his son and cured him in this universe (Peter). Six months after the abduction incident, and unable to accept the loss of his son, Bishop turns to alcohol abuse for relief. The entire affair contributes to a fractured marital relationship unlikely to repair itself. (Subject 13).
  • In 1995, he wrote and published ZFT... The Natural Decay Of Our World. He admits to his current Fringe Division team in Manhatan that the book is a half-truth and that the tears in the fabric of the universes are not natural decay. The tears lead to something on the other side. (Over There, Part 1)


  • Nickname. Playfully dubbed Walternate in 1985 by Bell and Walter, the reference is occasionally utilized by the science task force in the interest of brevity.

—   Plot Relevant Questions   — Address theories about questions on Walter Bishop/Instance/Theories   Ask minor questions on the Talk Page  

 1) Do not answer the questions here.
 2) Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.

  • Does Secretary Bishop's actions represent the will of his government, or is he conducting a personal vendetta against this universe and Walter?
  • Has Secretary Bishop tried to retrieve Peter Bishop from this universe prior to their Noyo County meeting (The Man From The Other Side)?
  • Did Secretary Bishop visit Walter during his stay at St. Claire's (The Equation)?
  • Where (or from whom) did he get the plans for the ancient Wave Sink Device weapon?
  • Does he have a connection to Sam Weiss, either his version or ours? (Over There, Part 2)
    • If so, is his connection related to the phrase A DEMON'S TWIST RUSTS (anagram for DON'T TRUST SAM WEISS) written on his old Harvard chalkboard in the laboratory he abandoned inside of the Amber exclusion zone?
    • If so, which Sam Weiss does it refer to, if two exist?


Central Characters: Olivia DunhamPeter BishopWalter BishopPhillip BroylesAstrid FarnsworthNina Sharp
Central Characters (alt): Bolivia DunhamSecretary BishopColonel BroylesLincoln LeeAgent FrancisAgent FarnsworthBrandon Fayette
Recurring Characters: The ObserverAgent LeeHenrietta BishopEllaBellCaptain WindmarkRachelBrandonSam WeissDavid Jones(alt) Nina SharpCharlieNick LaneHenry HigginsThomas NewtonSanford HarrisMitchell LoebJohn Scott
Additional Characters: Episodic CharactersMinor Characters