A star is born in this bold, eerie new drama
By: John Griffiths
Crowd-pleasing JJ Abrams, cocreator of Lost, helped brainstorm this big-budget paranormal-slash-conspiracy series, and it shows. The intrigue starts with FBI agent Olivia Dunham (Aussie newcomer Anna Torv) and her partner/love (Boston Public's Mark Valley) investigating a bizarrely horrific plane crash. After he is infected while following a lead, Olivia seeks clues to save him -- and opens the door to a world of highly guarded knowledge. Helping her: a dotty genius (John Noble) and his son (Dawson's Creek's Joshua Jackson, initially stiff in his TV return). To say that the opener's last few minutes threaten to overcomplicate things would be nitpicking: Thanks to stupendous twists, brainy wit and instantly gripping characters, Fringe is bound to be a thrilling ride. And with Torv, it mints a major talent. She bristles with quiet intensity and palpable curiosity.