I caught the Fringe series premiere last night, just like many other sci-fi fans and JJ Abrams followers. And I was struck by the familiarity of some of the themes, put together in slightly unexpected ways.
Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) and her lover John Scott (Mark Valley) are called to duty in the middle of the night to Dulles when an entire airliner from Hamburg, Germany, lands with no one alive on board. Some sort of biological agent perhaps? The investigation leads to a storage facility, in which Scott is badly injured in an explosion of chemical agents while chasing a suspect.
The episode takes us on Duham’s investigation of what happened to the passengers on that Hamburg flight, as it also afflicts Agent Scott.
Along the way, we meet Dr. Walter Bishop (played brilliantly by John Noble, who was Lord Denethor in the Lord of the Rings trilogy from Peter Jackson) and his son Peter Bishop (a great, sarcastic role played by Joshua Jackson best known for his role in Dawson’s Creek). Walter has been out of the world for a while, locked in an institution after the death of one of his assistants. But before his time in the asylum, he was exploring science on the fringe…
Fringe will be exploring these “Fringe” sciences — telepathy, teleportation, mutation, dreams, and so on — and how all of this weaves into The Pattern, a series of strange happenings around the globe all tied to Bishop’s research 20 years ago.
I look forward to seeing how all of this plays out. Alias was one of my favorite series for a long time. I watched the first season of Lost, but lost interest after that. I am also looking forward to Abrams’ take on Star Trek to see if he can reboot that now mostly dead franchise.
Abrams’ series all have one thing in common – strong characters. The plot and story are important, but it’s the characters that drive the action and keep me interested. Dr. Bishop, locked away for so many years, is a very intriguing character to me. His affectations, quirks, and ramblings just make him that much more interesting. Peter Bishop also holds some mysteries. What is he running from? What all has he done in the past? And Agent Dunham, now sucked into the mystery, is also a curious character. Strong, dynamic, yet feminine. She’s almost a cross between Scully and Mulder from the X-Files with the physicality and tenacity of Indiana Jones.
Will I be watching? You bet. This series holds many more secrets and is just waiting to reveal them all in due time…
What did you think?