Sci-Fi Wire: 7 Reasons Fringe Will Rule TV ~ Fringe Television - Fan Site for the FOX TV Series Fringe

Sci-Fi Wire: 7 Reasons Fringe Will Rule TV

      Email Post       8/13/2008 07:42:00 AM      

SciFi Wire has an story about the seven reasons why FRINGE will be "this fall's breakout success", which include: Anna Torv, J.J. Abrams, Mad scientist John Noble, Altered States' Blair Brown, Pacey (Joshua Jackson), Supporting cast (Kirk Acevedo, Lance Reddick, Mark Valley), and Goo!

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7 Reasons Fringe Will Rule TV

Here at SCI FI Wire, we pride ourselves on having our fingers on the bloody pulse of SF&F geekdom, especially the televised variety. We got the Spaced inside jokes in Shaun of the Dead before anyone knew who Simon Pegg was. We dug the new Doctor Who when Christopher Eccleston was still wearing the leather coat. And we saw the potential in Battlestar Galactica--the Lorne Greene version--way before Ron Moore turned it into a hit in its new, improved SCI FI Channel incarnation.

So that's why we think we're in the perfect position--i.e., out on a limb--to proclaim that Fox's upcoming SF drama Fringe will be this fall's breakout success: The show that will knock Heroes out of the sky and bury Lost like Nikki and Paulo on that irritatingly populated desert island.

From J.J. Abrams and his Star Trek writing team of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, Fringe centers on FBI special agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), who finds herself drawn into an investigation of a mysterious aircraft disaster in Boston. Olivia's desperate search for help to save her gravely injured partner leads to brilliant scientist Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble), who has been institutionalized for the last 17 years. And the only way to question him requires pulling his estranged son Peter (Joshua Jackson) in to help. The investigation gets weirder and weirder as Torv discovers that things--and science--are not what they seem.

Herewith seven reasons why Fringe will make you forget about Mulder and Scully and yearn for a cow of your own.

1. Anna Torv. This blond newcomer from Oz (Australia, not the Emerald City) radiates intelligence, spunk, anguish and drop-dead sexiness better than any federal agent since Gillian Anderson. And she's got one of those faces that morphs her into different people entirely, depending on the scene and scenario. One moment, she's as sunny as Without a Trace's Poppy Montgomery. Another, she's as somber as Galadriel. There's more going on in those blue eyes than in Teri Hatcher's entire body.

2. Creator J.J. Abrams. I know, I know. There's a mini-backlash against the Lost-abandoning, Tom-Cruise-loving Trek revisionist. But he's still our guy, and when he focuses his full creative powers on something, there's no one else who can better mash up genres, cook up truly scary scenarios or mix the mundane and the miraculous into such a funny, frightening, intriguing stew.

3. Mad scientist. When was the last time a show featured an honest-to-god raving evil genius? OK, Doctor Who doesn't count: Who can tell when an English person is being crazy or just English? In Fringe, the mad scientist is John Noble, another Aussie, who is best known to fanboys as the ill-fated Denethor in The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Here, he's Bishop, "the Einstein of his generation." (I thought Einstein was the Einstein of his generation, but whatever.) So how crazy is he? When we first meet him, he rambles about butterscotch pudding and peeing himself. When he gets sprung, he orders a live cow installed in his lab for reasons known mainly to himself. His deadpan non sequiturs boost Fringe into a lunar orbit of its own.

4. Altered States. Really? you ask. Who even remembers Altered States, the prototype of all hyper-verbal wacko science fiction to come? It's fitting that Fringe inserts its homage to the Ken Russell/Paddy Chayefsky classic in the middle of the pilot: Fringe is a worthy successor to the 1980 movie. It's whip-smart. It's got beautiful intellectuals arguing about insane science fiction with the gravitas of Shakespeare. It's psychedelic in a way that only Ivy League mushroom-eaters can be psychedelic. And it's not afraid to take the ridiculous and make it plausibly frightening. Oh, and Fringe even features Altered States star Blair Brown in its cast!

5. Pacey. Wonder what happened to Dawson's Creek's cougar-loving Joey stealer? Joshua Jackson has matured into a handsomely grizzled adult in sharp suits. In Fringe, he functions as the exasperated Greek chorus to Noble's mad scientist and gets many of the best punchlines as a result. We won't spoil the fun for you.

6. Supporting cast. Genre pieces like Fringe may live or die by their leads, but they soar on the strength of their supporting players. Abrams, always a canny discoverer of unknown talent, struck gold with the casts of his previous SF series Alias and Lost and again assembles a top-flight cast of relatively unknown character actors who bring their own quirkiness and reality to the otherworldly story. In addition to the sinister Brown, Fringe features Lost player Lance Reddick, prime-time soap fixture Mark Valley and all-purpose street cop Kirk Acevedo in its solid supporting cast.

7. Goo. The opening frames of Fringe may at first suggest Lost's Oceanic Flight 815, but that's only until the slime begins to flow. And it doesn't stop there: There's drool. There's cow poop. There's even an edematous body, like Scully's jelly-like fireman from The X-Files: Fight the Future. Abrams et al don't soft-pedal the gross-outs, and Fox lets 'em go there, and that's why we love Fox.

See for yourself: Fringe premieres Sept. 9 and will air Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.


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