“ Fox / Sci-Fi & Fantasy Series „
I'm well into series four of Fringe now, I have to say that I nearly gave up on it in series one, but series two made me a firm fan and I haven't looked back since. The dynamics of the main 3 characters, Walter and Peter Bishop and Olivia Dunham are really what makes the show as some of the story lines can be ever so slightly confusing and implausible. The 'Fringe Division' are part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and specialise in investigating the unexplained and often unexplainable, there's also a lot of parallel universe stuff going on which is why it helps if you watch from the beginning.
There's a definite black comedy element brought into it by Walters character who, despite being a scientific genius has spent the last 17 years in a mental asylum, his quirky nature and taste for all things sweet, especially in the middle of an autopsy, can alleviate the seriousness of Olivia's character.
Get the boxset and enjoy!
Fringe is a science fiction television series co-created by J. J. Abrams (of Lost fame), Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. It is now half way through the second series and I have watched and loved every episode.
The series follows special agent, Olivia Dunham, mentally unbalanced scientist, Walter Bishop and his son Peter, who is a bit of a genius himself, but has spent most of his adult life on the wrong side of the law.
All three work for the "Fringe Division", an extremely secret branch of the F.B.I. They spend their working day investigating fringe science i.e. seriously weird phenomenom, which can not be explained, but in which many cases, form a pattern.
So far they have been involved with cases of rare diseases, resurrection, teleportation, brain liquefication, possession and parallel universes, to name a few. Many of these cases seem to have roots in a huge corporation called Massive Dynamic, who one minute help Olivia and co with their investigations and the next hinder them. I am still not completely sure whether they are the bad guys or good guys!
Fringe is quite a complicated series, although not as complicated as Lost. I did want to watch Lost but forgot about it till a few episodes into the first series and couldn't figure out what was going on. Fringe episodes do mainly stand alone, so you could join in at any time and enjoy it. The characters though, have so much interesting history, that you are best to watch it from the start or you may find it a bit confusing.
My favourite character is Walter Bishop, played brilliantly by John Noble. When we first meet him, he is in a mental institution and seems totally insane. He is a genius though and was working on experiments on the fringes of science before he lost his mind. His research and intelligence is invaluable to the Fringe Division. Walter is hysterically funny and I have lost count of the times I have laughed out loud at the things he says and does. At the beginning of the series he had a strained relationship with his son Peter, but they have became closer. It's obvious how much he loves Peter and they have some very moving scenes together.
The rest of the cast do a brilliant job and I'd hate to see any of these actors leave the series, as I cannot picture anyone else in their roles.
If you like sci-fi and haven't watched Fringe, I'd advise you to tune in. Even better, get a hold of the first series and catch up on the second, I've no doubts you'll love it!
At the moment it is on Sky1 on Tuesday at 10pm.
As an avid follower of television series I came across Fringe when television seemed to be at a low point when shows like Heroes, Grey's Anatomy, Smallville were in a rut. I was more inclined to watch Fringe than other shows because of J J Abrams (producer of Lost and Alias), I could trust the show to be of a certain standard like other productions of his.
The two hour premier dragged a bit and the story appeared bizarre initially, however the pace picked up significantly towards the end and definitely made it worth my while. The story revolves around Fringe division in the FBI responsible for investigating the unexplained events happening around the globe. The team is led by Olivie Dunham, the fearless and dedicated FBI agent who is focused on finding and eliminating the cause of this activity. Her character is criticized often for being flat with little entertainment value. The addition of Walter and Peter Bishop however more than make up for any gaps in entertainment. The intensely estranged father and son bring their own unique quirks to the show. Walter the eccentric scientist is played by the acclaimed John Noble. His son Peter, for me, is the main attraction of the show what with his wit and charm (played by Dawson Creek's Joshua Jackson).
An engrossing watch, however, like other productions of J J Abrams it threatens to get too surreal or winding. However the viewers were assured that this aspect of the show would be kept in check and that he has a definite plan for where he wants the show to go. The show has so far met all expectation and has overtime become a favourite of the audience. A must watch.
Fringe is a sci-fi / fantasy series created by J.J. Abrams (of lost fame) it follows the adventures of FBI agent Olivia Dunham and her 'fringe science' team as they uncover the who's and the whys to what is going on. The show is well produced for sure but some of the pacing and writing at times can be baffling, and for me great shows should be about the details (e.g. the wire, the sopranos) we rarely get to see into these characters and what motivates them. Olivia Dunham is also hard to warm to, but, yes but saying that I would recommend this show it is full of ideas and exciting episodes and I hear is getting better and better it also has in Walter Bishop's crazy scientist a funny and lovable centre for the episodes to evolve around. The seasons overall arc is intelligent in idea if a little unfulfilled in execution but every show has to start some where and if you have a fondness for the x-files I think you'll be satisfied
As i have now become a victim of the credit crunch, i spend more time at home than i do hunting out the latest red wine at the local. This means i watch more tv and Fringe interested me because i like something with edge. Fringe has it in bucket loads.
Based around unexplained phenomenon of the murdering kind, FBI agent Olivia Dunham enlists the help of Peter Bishop. Peter is played by the delightful Joshua Jakson, once of Dawson's Creek fame. Because the spread of phenomenon is getting out of control, the FBI enlist the help of Peter's father, Dr Walter Bishop, who absolutely steals the show.
Walter was institutionalised and is the 'Mad Professor' who is totally charming, scatty, vulnerable, exceedingly clever and is the perfect person for this role. His past is marred with the experiments he did in his younger years. These have enormous impact on those close to him. As i watched series one and now am into series 2, i find my self wanting to adopt Dr Bishop and all his silly eccentricities.
As series one progressed, i found the cases of phenomenom got more weird and i suppose it could be a 21st Century X Files, only so much more enticing and engaging. Anna Torv, who plays Olivia Dunham is a very convincing FBI agent whose past haunts her and comes back to bite her very sharply in her proverbial posterior. She finds it hard to adjust to normal life and is quite a sad character who needs a good hug. Her character finds it difficult to show emotion and as the series goes on, the writers are chipping away at her inner self and hopefully, the emotion will surge to the surface.
It appears we are all being watched and the other side are gathering the information they need to target us and take over. I think this is where it is leading. Every episode opens up just a little bit more information and is so cleverly written and filmed.
Fringe has been the highlight or my viewing this year, along with True Blood, but that is another story.
I was enticed into watching Fringe when it first came out in 2008 because of it being linked with JJ Abrams. As a massive Lost fan, and enjoying most other things JJ Abrams has been involved in, it had to be worth a try. Plus the hype online about this brand new series was worth taking a look if nothing else.
I'm not going to go into detail about the characters are, what the 'Fringe Division' is, or any of the storylines, as you can find all of that anywhere on the internet. Instead I'm going to share my thoughts and opinions on the series.
Although you could easily describe Fringe to other people as it being 'kind of like the X Files', you soon discover after a few episodes that it's much more than that. Yes, each episode has a pretty much stand alone story about something weird and strange going on, but there's also a developing arc of a storyline that takes you through the first series and into the next. Plus, you also start to realise that it's not so much about the 'sci-fi' of the show, but more about the characters themselves.
JJ Abrams and the writing team behind Fringe are geniuses. How you can get your audience to fall in love with an eccentric mad genius who is highly responsible for all the major horrible things going on, is anyone's guess. But they do. Granted, the performance of John Noble as this character (Walter) has masses to do with the success, and could possibly be one of the best character performances in a TV series for some time.
The intricacies of the relationships between the main characters are what sustains this program, making it so much more than a sci-fi show. If you love good writing, mystery, cliff hanger endings (the one at the end of Series 1 gives you shivers!), and weird slightly unbelievable storylines (although everything mentioned is allegedly linked enough to science that it COULD be true!!), give it a go! This truly is a series of high quality.
Fringe is very different from most TV programmes I have ever watched. What does Fringe mean in the context of the show?
To describe it better than I could this next part has been taken from Wikipedia:
∞ Scientific inquiry in an established field of study which departs significantly from mainstream or orthodox theories, and is classified in the "fringes" of a credible mainstream academic discipline. Fringe concepts are considered highly speculative or weakly confirmed by mainstream scientists.
∞ Though there are examples of mainstream scientists supporting maverick ideas within their own discipline of expertise, many fringe science ideas are advanced by individuals either without a traditional academic science background, or by scientists outside the mainstream of their own disciplines
Hopefully that explains a little bit better than I could what Fringe sciences are all about, anyway back to the show:
Fringe has been created by JJ Abrams who is the creator of Lost and the new Star Trek film. It's very slick and has a story line that never fully gives its self away. It's set in Boston in the USA.
The main characters
Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv): The main FBI agent who is running the investigations.
Walter Bishop (John Nobel): The brilliant mad scientist who has worked on the Fringe sciences many years ago until he ended up in a mental institution but has been released under the care of his son Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson). He is a really disturbing but often funny character and the relationship between him and his son is a brilliant sub plot in the show.
Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson): As previously mentioned he is the son of the mad scientist and is charged with keeping watch and control over his father. He seems to have a complicated past, he is also highly intelligent but instead of using his intelligence in a conventional way he seems to have spent most of his life moving around the world involved in a life of fraud and crime.
Phillip Broyles (Lance Reddick): He is the big boss of this section of the FBI and is the one who has put this team together to investigate something called the pattern which I will come onto shortly. He is an extremely cold and serious character and part of me wondered what side he was truly on at the start, however he has grown on me as the series has gone on.
I hope you are still with me as this is where it gets more complicated. It's hard to give to much information without giving too much away but I will try. The basic plot is that there are strange things happening throughout the world nicknamed as the pattern and Broyles has put together a team to investigate and stop the Pattern also known as attacks on the civilian population.
One of the first patterns is when an entire plane of people is killed and they all look like they have been melted. Olivia Dunham's boyfriend is also caught up in a strange explosion and dies slowly as his body seems to become genetically modified and it eventually kills him, but no matter Peter Bishop has discovered away for Olivia to communicate with his old memories to discover how much he knows.
Each episode generally starts with a new pattern event like humans being used as bio weapons or being experimented on for the sake of science most episodes point back to a company called Massive Dynamic who seem to be connected with all the goings ons. The FBI is desperate to talk to Robert Bell the owner of Massive Dynamic but he proves very illusive.
As the series develops there is other plots coming to the front and there seems to be a group behind the patterns who are trying to advance their own ideas through Fringe sciences. Walter Bishop has a lot of issues from spending so much time in the mental institution and probably from all the drugs he has done over the years, as the episodes come you start to realize that he has done things and been involved in experiments that no man should be involved with. His relationship with his son Peter is really interesting to watch as the series roles on. It starts with him resenting his father due to him being so involved in his work and giving him a really unorthodox childhood.
There are other characters introduced as the episodes move along. One odd character is a bald expressionless man who they have named the watcher. He seems to turn up at every pattern event and has a connection with Walter Bishop and his son which I won't tell you because it will spoil it if you haven't watched it.
There is a lot of weird things happening throughout the series one is where after a chemical is released the people who come into contact with it have a fast rate of skin growth which grows over their eyes mouth etc and stops them from being able to breath. Some episodes can be a bit scary but enjoyable none the less.
I'm going to stop now so that I don't give too much away. The characters are brilliant and the mix of plot lines and mystery with the various underlying sub plots work really well. Watch out for everyone's favorite Vulcan Leonard Nimmoy in the last episode which brings out a wholly new plot.
== This is my 50th review and I thought I'd review a new TV show I've been in love with! ===
I have been increasingly impressed with JJ Abram's efforts and it has increased by a lot after watching Star Trek and his new TV show in which he's a producer of: Fringe. Still in touch with his science-fiction roots, he has created a new TV show more or less based on X-files, people might say. But however, JJ Abrams has taken it to a different angle; based on real science rather than paranormal happenings that cannot be explained scientifically.
What exactly is Fringe? It is a true science that tries to further the boundaries of science and it is a highly speculative branch of science. They deal with topics such as rare diseases, chimeras, trans-humans with psychic abilities and teleportation and it doesn't stop there.
The relatively new TV show of Fringe is based in Boston, Massachusetts under the supervision of Homeland Security, we learn much more about fringe science itself and also there are cases of different seemingly weird crimes actually seems to form a much larger pattern, possibly a global pattern that's been seen across the world. The pattern itself may be connected to a massive company that's distributed throughout the world: Massive Dynamics. Every TV show has their main plot arc and the Pattern/Massive Dynamics is IT. The science itself in the show is so preposterous, but that is exactly what makes the show so fun to watch! I can never predict what the next episode will bring and what they think of in one episode, they will have gone to the opposite spectrum to keep it more exciting and not bland.
The show encompasses experienced actors with big-time blockbusters and tv shows that's in the history books; John Noble appeared in the second film of the Lord of the Rings as Denethor; while it was unknown to me at the time who he was; his performance in the film was more than accomplished as he stood out the most in the film. Joshua Jackson, a veteran of Dawson's Creek; this popular show was broadcasted to many countries around the world. He is best known as Pacey and the popularity of the show overall may affect in viewers believing his performances in the show at times. One of the leads of the show is unlike the others; Anna Torv is quite inexperienced actress hailing from Australia but in my opinion, she has handled the pressures of TV show very well. However, some might find her character rather cold and only has one expression which is...a look of disgust or there's a bad smell everywhere she goes. But I've got used to it and even enjoy her performances.
In the first few episodes, the show all falls into place of what becomes the unit of the 'team'. A lone FBI member Olivia Dunham comes across a case and needs a scientist who has been institutionalised for his work in Fringe but there is a catch; she needs the son to sign the father into his guardianship so she can solve the case. He successfully helps with the FBI and they enlist his help with further cases that are deemed to be fringe science. Dr Walter Bishop is one of the leading scientists in Fringe science; having worked in secret for the government previous to 20 years ago before he was institutionalised, which is why the FBI has enlisted his help in solving further odd crimes involving fringe science.
The script seems to be rather tight and well thought-out; the writers have employed John Noble's character Dr Walter Bishop as the funny man, though unintentionally to the character in the show. Having been in a mental hospital for the best part of the 2 decades, he has forgotten his manners and decorum and the writers have used this to their advantage to create some honestly funny moments in the show, one main example is that he keeps thinking of food all the time and asks for it in the most inappropriate moments such as standing over a dead body and drooling at the thought of the said food! I am not too sure what to think about Jackson's character in the show; he doesn't seem to contribute much to the show aside whining about his father who embarrasses him and a side-kick to the FBI agent Dunham which is unrealistic at times but I guess I can't really complain given the nature of the show! Dunham; the main character in the show and belongs to the Fringe division of the FBI, as a FBI member, I thought she would have read up about certain fringe topics but she seems to be ignorant of everything that's been presented in every episode. She gives a face of ' ...What is that?' every single episode and sometimes it is rather annoying that she's this stupid. I would have preferred it if she was an agent with a wide knowledge of science itself. But never mind, she is quite pretty and gives rather good tension in the show when in scenes with Peter anyway. The most useless character has to be Agent Philip's Broyles, considered to be Agent Dunham's second side-kick. He doesn't have much of an involvement, only appears when he needs to push papers ie getting warrants and the like.
I would admit that in the first few episodes, the stories/plots and suspense was a little lower than I expected; I had to work harder to enjoy it but then suddenly, around the 6-7th episode, it began to pick up at an extraordinary rate and became very exciting to watch! Either the writers took a different angle or JJ Abrams employed different ideas to keep it fresh and running with lots of creativity; it has seemed to have worked.
The show is essentially where a crime pops up deemed to be part of the pattern, Dr Bishop throws around a lot of scientific words and there isn't much action, except at the end where they apprehend the subject. But it is still a pretty damn entertaining watch and is done rather professionally.
In its first season, the show has grabbed me for the first time in 6-7 years now, thinking back to CSI's first season which was original and packed with tight script writing. Even with its flaws, it is a pretty damn entertaining show to watch. It is now in the second season and I cannot wait to get my hands on it!
Fringe is a relatively new American science fiction drama from the creator of lost, J.J. Abrams. It has been described as a mix between Dark Angel, The X files and The twilight zone. Fringe started on September 9th 2008 and the season finale was aired on May 12th 2009. The first season was supposed to have 22 episodes but was cut back to 20. Fringe has a longer running time of 6 minutes than every other show like this because it airs with half of the commercials.
Fringe follows an FBI team in Boston who investigates the crimes which seem to be based on Fringe Science like reanimation, invisibility and mutation. The 3 main characters are Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), the FBI agent who's lover was dramatically hurt by something strange, mad scientist who has been locked away, Walter Bishop (John Noble) and his son Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson).
Walter is the only person who can help the FBI with their investigations so he is released with the condition that his son is in charge of him, which Peter is reluctant to do. Strange things are happening all over the world and has something to do with the research that Walter used to do. Although each thing seems to be a one off at the time, it seems that they are all part of something on a much larger scale.
Unlike Lost, Fringe is relatively easy to follow so if you miss an episode it doesnt matter all that much but the ending of each episode left me wanting more and i was desperate to find out what was going on.
I'd heard that this show was slightly on the crazy side and a little unrealistic but i have an open mind so i generally believe anything is possible. One of the main things that i loved about Fringe was that it was completely unlike any other show. It has a great mix of humour, excitement, intrigue, emotion and paranormal activity.
I only really started watching this because of Joshua Jackson but im completely hooked now. The acting is amazing from most of the main cast. Anna Torv got on my nerves at first but shes growing on me now and she kind of reminds me of an older version of Blake Lively from Gossip Girl for some reason. Joshua Jackson plays witty and comecial but sensitive and serious when needed very well. He's done some movies since Dawsons Creek but nothing has shown off his talents as well as Fringe does.
I dont really have any major negative points about this show yet but the only thing i wonder is, how long can they carry this on for? Im unsure if it will be able to go as long as the X Files did.
One thing that slightly bugs me while watching this is the main character, Olivia and how she is ALWAYS wearing matching black underwear. I know this is me just being silly, but i notice wierd things like that. Real women dont always match, unless maybe thats all she owns.
One thing i will advise you of while watching this, is try not to watch while you are eating. Some scenes are pretty gross and made me want to put my food down.
I think this will be one that you'll want to own on DVD because im sure there will have been bits that you missed watching it the first time around. I know ill be buying it.
This new series from J.J. Abrams (creator of Alias, Lost, and director of the new Star Trek movie) follows the work of FBI agent Olivia Dunham and her team as they investigate strange goings-on that all seem to be part of the same 'pattern'.
This show is very much a modern X-Files. Most of the storylines could have come from that iconic show, and there is an overarching plot (the aforementioned 'pattern') much like the overarching 'alien invasion' plot which ran through The X-Files. These are strong storylines.
My only problem with the show is the cast. Anna Torv plays Agent Dunham and she has only one expression that she use throughout, which I can only really describe as 'pained'. Her main sidekick, Peter Bishop, is played by Joshua Jackson who looks, sounds and acts just like he did as Pacey in Dawson's Creek all those years ago.
Despite this the plots are strong and makes the show worth watching. I am currently on the 7th episode of the first season and am still enjoying it and plan to continue watching, so that is definitely a positive.
I adore J.J Abrams, what he's done with Lost and Cloverfield is fantastic. When I heard he was working on a new show called 'Fringe' I knew had to watch it. Admittedly my first reaction was, 'That's a terrible name!' but none the less Fringe has turned out to be a brilliant series. This is essentially a review of the first series; the second series comes out on the 17th September this year so there's plenty of time for people who have never seen the show to have a catch up session.
Fringe follows a special division with the FBI known as Fringe division, who unsurprisingly cover cases to do with Fringe science. Fringe science is essentially the study of the unknown or the impossible. It covers aspects such as teleportation, advanced viruses, robotics, alternate realities and walking through walls. These are just a few examples of some of the weird and wonderful things that come up in Fringe. Fringe focuses on the role of Olivia Dunham within Fringe division who regularly works with mad scientist Walter Bishop, who was in a mental institution for 17 years, and his son Peter Bishop. Other important characters are Phillip Broyles (the head of fringe division), William Bell (A scientist who worked with Walter many years ago who founded a company called Massive Dynamic) and Nina Sharp (The assistant of William Bell). Other regular characters within the show are Charlie Francis and Astrid Farnsworth who both work for the FBI.
I don't want to give too much of the plot away but on a simple level there are unexplainable and catastrophic events happening around the world. These events are believed to be part of the 'Pattern' controlled by a group of people who are using the world as a scientific lab to test out new technology and discoveries. The plot is much deeper than this but I don't want to give anything away. Fringe division must attempt to stop these people from harming innocent people but need the help of Walter Bishop to explain the events. Walter spent the last 17 years in a mental home due to a lab accident many years ago and can only be let out if under the supervision of a relative, this is where Peter comes in. Walter and William Bell used to work together on secret projects before Walter went crazy and together they made great improvements in science and technology.
Fringe accomplishes so many different affects all at the same time which what makes it a fascinating watch. Each episode normally focuses around a new problem or event which Olivia and the team must work on whilst the overall story is progressed a small amount each time. The cases the team works on are incredibly cool, if a little bit graphic and gory. Be warned, this show is not for the faint hearted. You won't be getting any horror film style blood and guts but it is certainly a step up from anything else on TV at the moment.
The episodes are just interesting, but also tense and thrilling. They will have you on the edge of your seat and never slow down. The episodes have a good pace to them and never is there a dull episode which large series like Lost and Prison Break have fallen to in the past. Each episode will leave you wanting more, the story that develops throughout the series is very intriguing and it develops at a nice pace building up to a fantastic finale. Each character has their own back story which slowly comes out as the show goes on, you will begin to feel for these characters and understand the situations they are in.
What makes Fringe stand out from other similar shows is Walter Bishop. He brings humor and comedy to the show. It doesn't seem right when you talk about it but believe me it is a refreshing change to the intense pace each case has. The 17 years he spent in a mental institution may have made Walter a bit loopy, but it's also made him a comic genius. I can't stress how much of a likeable character he is; you will come to love Walter throughout the first series. Anyone who keeps a cow in their laboratory is an instant genius in my eyes! The relationship he develops with his son, Peter, is cleverly written. At first Peter cannot stand Walter but they begin to bond and towards the end start acting like father and son. It's a heart warming feeling seeing the two together.
Special mention must go to Anna Torv who plays Olivia. She is fantastic in playing a strong minded woman who doesn't let anything stop her. Fringe is one for of the women as it's an example of a woman in a position of power and never lets anyone speak down to her. In saying that, it's also one for the men and she is incredibly attractive. It's not normal for a woman to lead a big show like this however it works incredibly well and gives Fringe a new twist compared to its competitors. A clever touch by the writers was to introduce Rachel and Ella, Olivia's sister and niece. They enter the show about half way through the series and add another touch to the show. Here we see the softer side of Olivia; it's possible to forget about reality with the likes of teleportation going on but Rachel and Ella give the show a sense of realism.
These are things you may or may not find, it all comes down to the individual however I think it's only fair they are mentioned. It is possible you will find the show a bit wishy washy, by this I'm talking about Walter. He pretty much has the answer for everything, god knows what he did at University but he must have about 5 or 6 degrees as he is that smart. It's not a particularly bad point to the show but some have found a bit silly how intelligent Walter is.
I mentioned the pact of each episode being quick and intense however this doesn't quite apply to the whole series. Being written by J.J Abrams it is similar to Lost in the sense Fringe is here for the long run. You will learn a lot throughout the first series but you can feel like you've not progressed very far. There are tones of unanswered questions and loads of story lines to be covered in future series. You do get the feeling the first series is more of a scene setter, this is just a build up for the next series (Or more) where the show will really kick into gear.
The format of the series may become repetitive for some. The process of each episode starting with a weird and wacky story followed by the team having to solve it can become a bit repetitive towards the end of the series. For a large bulk of the episodes there is little variation in the layout of the episodes. Hopefully for the second series this will change
A weird and wonderful TV show. It's intense, thrilling, interesting, funny but also emotional. I highly recommend Fringe to anyone out there. The first series is 20 episodes long with each episode about 50 minutes long (Without breaks). The second series is set to be a cracker and I can't wait for this September when our TV screens are graced with Olivia and the fringe team once again.
Fringe is a Sci Fi drama from the creator of lost, the brilliant JJ Abrams, following the exploits of the FBI solving weird and bizzare incidents. The basis of the show revolves around the subject of Fringe science. The show as just finished its premier season on Sky 1.
The show has FBI agent Oliver Dunham drafted in to the Fringe division of the FBI, headed by Agent Broyles. The reason that she is derafted is becuase of an incident that her and her FBI partner witnessed. After this she says and works in the Fringe division; while bringing other people to help her from outside the Fringe division, Walter Bishop who is an expert in Fringe science and his Peter Bishop who cares for his father Walter.
Before I go futher into the story and characters of the show, I will try to explain and answer an important question about the show, what is fringe science? Fringe science is outside of the normal realms of science that we come to think of, as it departs from the mainstream theorys. The way that this is translated on to television is, by people have rare diseases brought about by genetic manipulation, or psychic abilities and teleportation. Although it may seem weird and grusome, it actaully makes for good TV.
The main focus of the show is Dunham and how she solves the problems and figures out who is responsible for commit the crime in that episode. Dunham is the traditional crime tighing character, that we see all the time, as she is this lonely character, that at time isolates her self and her main focus is her work. Although she has the natural skills to solve crime she needs the help of experts in the field, and they come no better than Walter Bishop.
Walter Bishop in the show is one of the leading mines in the area of Fringe science that previously worked in secret for the government, although there is one caveat to this, he has been in a mental institution for the last 20 or so years. This has lead him to become disconnect with the world, as when he talk it can often be seen as rambaling, that only his son Peter, can seem to decode. The best way that I have seen to describe the character of Walter, that I will borrow is, the archetypal Mad Scientist.
Although he is seen as a person that is losing his mind, he still retains the knowledge that helps the team to solve the crimes. With some of the time Walter being the cause of the problem, as sometimes it is one his theories that he hypothosised before his institutionalisation that has been used. Although through all, the character at time can seem endeering and almost child like, that needs caring for.
One of the best characters on the show is Peter Bishop, who is called in by Dunham, as the mental institution will relase Walter into the care of. Peter is not the typical hero character, as he is outside of the FBI and is more of a criminal, as show by the activites that are discussed about before he joined, and his associates that he uses to solve crimes with Dunham. Although he initially joins the Fringe division, to continue he is given the choice of signing the American version of the Offical Secrets Act to continue and become an advisor for the FBI, or go back to his old way of life and let his father go back into institutional care. I won't give out this secret, in case you have not watched the show before.
Although these are the three main characters there are a number of supporting character. The first is Agent Charlie Francis, who starts as a supervisor and later becomes second in command of the Fringe division. Although higher up than Dunham, Francis is a close friend of Dunham and are almost treated as equals and Dunham relys on him for help a lot. Althgough there have been unconfirmed reports that the actor that plays Francis, Kirk Acevedo, will not be reprising his role for the second series.
A second support character that is important is the head of the Fringe division, Agent Boyles. Boyles is a straight laced character that drafted Dunham into the Fringe division. Although throughout the show it would appear that he does not like Dunhams unique approach to solving crimes and the fact that she gets to involved in the cases personally. But saying there is an element of respect between them, as although Boyles views Dunham initially with caution he began to warm to her, because of her getting the job done attitude.
Another character that is in the show is the representative if Massive Dynamic, Nina Sharp. She is a member of the Fringe division, but is also the contact in Massive Dynamic. Massive Dynamic is a global leading research company that holds the patents to many of the worlds lead technology, and is the United States leading contractor and because of this fact pulls a lot of weight. Although we actually see little air time of this character in series one, I have included her in this review as through the series, when one is watching the show one is never actually to sure who side she is on.
One of the most important support character in series one that is to be given a bigger role in series two is William Bell, played by the legendary Leonard Nemoy. The character is mention through out the show as the former lab partner of Walter Bishop before was instutionalised. In the early part of the series we are not told the fate of Bell, untill the end of the series in which there is a twist.
A minor character that helps in the show is Agent Astrid Farnsworth, who acts as assistant to Dunham. Although she is seen more of the time looking after Walter when Peter is not in the lab, and acts as the lab assistant to Walter, while trying to get the best out of him.
Through out the show the main plot follows the Fringe divisions solve the crimes that are committed by what are classed in the show as a terrorist organisation. Although within the show, it does touch on the notion that one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter.
One thing that will be made of the show is the comparison between Fringe and Abrams other show, Lost. The best way to describe the realationship is that Finge contains all the good points that are found within Lost, but all the bad points have been left out. It is almost as if Abrams has learnt from his mistakes in Lost, as while the plots of each episodes are entertain and engaging they do not need massive amounts of attention to follow the show. Second to this is that unlike Lost, a person does not have to watch every episode religiously to be able to understand the show, as I have missed the odd episde and have been able to get back into the follow of the show, unlike Lost where I missed one episode and completely lost interest in the show.
Something that is a bit puzzling is inbetween shots in the show, a weird symbol appears in the screen. These can come in the form of frog or leaves. Abrams has stated that there is some inportance to this and there is a cryptic message in there that can be cracked. Although so far I have been unable to and have so far have not found any answer in them.
I would recommend the show to anybody that enjoys good though provoking detective style programmes. As this is what this show is, a classic detective type show that has been given a Sci Fi edge and feel to the show. Although the show has been given this Sci Fi back drop to the show, do not let it put you off as the show, is mainly a character driven show while crime solving. While there is still enough Sci Fi containt to interest people like that do enjoy their SCi FI shows.
While the first series has just finished it premier run on Sky 1 in the United Kingdom, a second series has been commissioned and is due to start this autum in America, so I wouldn't expect it to be to long after series two is shown here. What I do expect is for the second series to be even better as Abrams has stated he wants to push the boundaries even further.
I have been watching Fringe for a while now and it is a good series, I think I missed some of the first episodes but it is the kind of programme that you can get into even if you have missed a few episodes. Basically it is about the FBI or should I say a special Fringe department that has been setup to investigate strange unexplainable cases, I suppose it is kind of like an X-Files and CSI combined. It centers around the special agent, a scientist who helps them investigate each case and his son (Joshua Jackson). As you would expect from a programme like this it is all a bit far fetched but still quite interesting, most of the strange occurrences seem to stem from a company called massive dynamic which was setup by the scientist Walter Bishop's former friend who he used to share a lab with. So most of the time it turns out that Walter either developed the problems or had something to do with them many years ago. It is pretty much the same thing each week but it is still a very watchable series.
In September last year, after Heroes, Smallville and Prison Break started to dwindle in my favour and still a long wait for both 24 and Lost to return I was at a crossroads. What do I do? Where do I turn to?
Fringe came ... Fringe saw ... Fringe conquered ... my favour that is!
Admittedly I only watched the pilot because of the JJ Abrams (the guy who brought us MI3, Lost, Alias and Star Trek) name plastered all over it. It was billed as the new X Files.. I was dubious to say the least. After the opening scene of a plane crash (yes very Lost-esque!) I was hooked! Abrams certainly knows how to grab my attention through gore and mysterious unexplained phenomena.
Fringe follows the story of FBI agent Olivia Dunham and her 'special' team that specialises in Fringe science. This team is headed by the loveable and hilarious Walter Bishop (brilliantly portrayed by John Noble - Lord of the Rings). He is everything a crazy but brilliant scientist should be, his random comments are popular amongst big fans and provide the comedy in an otherwise serious show. His son Peter Bishop is also a rebelious genius (rebelious as in doesn't want to admit it) who has many greviances with Walter as he has been locked up in a mental institute for 20+ years leaving Peter to grow up father-less.
The show uses a simple X Files 'freak of the week' formula with people experiencing seemingly impossible circumstances only for Walter to identify and cure it within 40 minutes. This show makes the most complicated issue easy to follow and to understand. It also has an overarching mythology comprising of a mysterious ZTT organisation who believe in advancement through technology , Massive Dynamic - a fictional multi national company who are involved in most of the storylines, and the main character's own past that seem to relate to many of the unexplained events.
This show is different and unique, like the best are. Give it a few episodes and you should be enthralled too. I was ecstatic to find out out that it had been renewed for a second season starting in the fall 2009. This will replace Heroes and Prison Break in one show.
Fringe is yet another series brought in from America to be shown on Sky One but this is one series that I'm glad I decided to watch! Fringe is largely based around the scientifc research work of Dr Walter Bishop (John Noble). His research into areas of fringe science leads to some very weird discoveries. However, Walter was since locked up in a mental home and was only released to help the police work to try to figure out what is causing all these strange and unusual crimes. All seem to be linked to the work started by Walter many years ago...
Walters's son, Peter (Joshua Jackson) was brought in by Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) to help look after his father and his strange habits. They are also ably assisted by Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole) under the supervision of Lance Reddick (from The Wire) as Phillip Broyles.
The programme still hasn't finished its first series but has already offered some very unique ideas and situations that you won't have seen before. From monsters to teleportation and every sci-fi feature you can think of in between, Fringe has them all.
Unfortunately, this wide variety of weirdness can also be seen as a negative point. As with any sci-fi programme you will have to suspend your belief, but there are times with Fringe that it can be difficult! The fact that everything that happens all leads back to one man who just happens to be working with the police is also a stretch.
However, when the one man is the flawed genius that is Walter Bishop then all is forgiven. While he is portrayed as being a very smart man with a deep scientific background he is also prone to saying the most inappropriate or irrelevant things as well...with hilarious effects. Every week I don't fail to get a laugh from the things he comes out with. As a result, he quickly became one of my favourite characters on TV currently.
Overall, Fringe is a really good and interesting sci-fi programme. It won't confuse you like Lost does but its well produced so it has a similar feel. The actors are all brilliant and the characters themselves are intriguing too. Its currently on Sky One on Sunday nights but the series is nearing the end I think so you'd probably be better picking it up on DVD or checking if it will be shown anywhere else because trying to start watching it now would mean you missing out on a lot of important details...and Walterisms! I'd recommend it to Sci-Fi fans and to anyone who just enjoys a good TV programme if they're not put off by unrealistic events.
This new series follows the exploits of FBI Special Agent Olivia Dunham, scientist Walter Bishop, and his son Peter as they investigate aspects of unexplained phenomenas.