Walter's Lab Notes: Fringe 118 Midnight

      Email Post       4/30/2009 10:48:00 PM      

Walter's Lab Notes from the Fringe episode MidnightWalter's Lab Notes from the Fringe episode Midnight include...lots of syphilis talk (which reminds Walter of an old flame), a cajun recipe for crawfish, and the fermentation of lager and penicillin.

Scattered around the notes are:
  • A crime-scene photo of one of Valerie Boone's victims
  • Moldy pieces of bread
  • A piece of the Fibonacci puzzle
  • Dr. Boone's tape for Olivia

Fringe Improv Comedy

      Email Post       4/30/2009 01:40:00 PM      

In a strange bit of viral marketing, Fox has been "sponsoring" various filmmakers on YouTube to create funny Fringe videos.

The latest is by POYKPAC, a Brooklyn-based comedy quintet, entitled "Fringe Comedy: Episode 1". Hopefully this means there will be more to come.

Fringe Episode Review: Midnight

      Email Post       4/30/2009 01:25:00 AM      

Greetings, Afringeonados! I'll be honest: I wasn't too excited about Midnight after last week's promo, which made it look like standalone filler that might try to appeal to American Idol holdovers with club music. But I should've known better, as the creative minds behind Fringe delivered another solid hour of television.

There were a few rough spots (Two Singles Together?), but fans got plenty of Walterisms, gross-outs, and mythological teasers to keep us happy until next week's penultimate showdown.

"Maybe we're looking for Dracula..."
The writers did a nice job playing with our expectations in Midnight's cold open (the in media res scenes before the opening credits). Fringe's usual "pattern" is to introduce a villain early and follow him on a crime spree, and we were certainly led to believe Captain Britain was a killer (thanks to casting, wardrobe, and that knife). He's even a predatory creep at the club, and we're led to believe his intentions are criminal. That is, until Valerie Boone breaks his neck.

I literally clapped. It was so unexpected, just like the scene where she opens up a mouth full of shark's teeth and feasts on another poor guy. She's an interesting mix of vampire and succubus, thanks to another "dosing" by ZFT, who've previously infected civilians with super-sized cold cells, orifice-sealing goo, and porcupinesque monster genes. Makes for some thrilling standalone threats, but how do these dosings fit into the big picture?

"Why would ZFT want you to create something like this?"
Well, according to Dr. Boone, XT43 was synthesized to "create a human show off." The biggest question being, to whom? It seems more and more like the Pattern is ZFT's attempt to demonstrate their technological prowess, a warning to the denizens of the parallel universe who will soon fight us for survival: "Don't mess with us. We can do some freaky stuff."

It's analogous to the old space race between the United States and the Soviet Union, as each faction vies to prove itself technologically superior to the other. That would make The Pattern an inter-dimensional Cold War.

"I was able to gather some names..."
Talk about a last-second revelation: now we've got a tangible link between Massive Dynamic and the Pattern, via William Bell's funding of ZFT. It's becoming clear that calling ZFT a "bio-terrorist organization" is a bit of a misnomer. Ostensibly, their goal is to intimidate the enemy in order to save mankind. To borrow a line from Spock (!), "logic dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." For the followers of ZFT, sacrificing a few innocent civilians is necessary to protect the human race as a whole.

Questions: are we certain that the Observers are the citizens of this parallel universe? If so, do we have "Observers" of our own in their world? Reconnaissance usually goes both ways!

Stray Thoughts
  • Best Line of the Night: Astrid. "When you finally meet a nice girl, I would avoid bringing her home for as long as possible."
  • I can't listen to the opening theme anymore without hearing Dujeous' lyrics.
  • How come the first special effects shot of Valerie's teeth was so cool, yet the second time (when she attacks Olivia), they looked so...fake?
  • Ari Graynor was great in this ep, but what's the deal with Greg? Will Olivia's family wind up playing a larger role than we think?
  • Loved seeing Walter show off his lab to a fellow mad scientist. And did Dr. Boone's voice remind anyone else of Benjamin Linus? Only slightly, of course.
  • I think my favorite part of Midnight, other than the neck-snap and that first teeth-attack, was when Broyles burst into the interrogation room. A small moment, but I'm desperate for Lance Reddick to get more physical.
  • Also loved how Astrid's knowledge of the Boston club scene wound up solving the case! And Jasika's really coming into this role, doing a lot with the little the scripts give her. I hope she gets a gun next season.
  • Anna looks good in a leather jacket. Definitely enhanced the Gothic atmosphere. And who knew Liv could speak Mandarin?
Adam Morgan is a writer for the page and screen in Chicago who blogs pseudo-daily at Mount Helicon.

Exclusive: Jasika Nicole Interview, Part 2

      Email Post       4/29/2009 11:49:00 PM      

Jasika Nicole was cool enough to speak with me again yesterday morning, this time about the Season 1 finale, Astrid's superpower, and her plans for the (short) summer hiatus (among other things).

Click here to read the transcript
Adam Morgan
Do you have any fun plans for the hiatus?

Jasika Nicole
Well, I'm going to be driving to Vancouver. That's my exciting road trip for the summer. I think we'll take like ten or eleven days and camp in some national parks. I'm not really a camper, so I'm excited to see how I...function. I've never done it before, and I can't say no if I haven't tried something at least once. I think it'll be cool to see the country, I just don't know what it'll be like to sleep in a tent.

Adam Morgan
Why is the finale your favorite episode?

Jasika Nicole
Because, I think there have been a lot of super-creey factors in all of the episodes we've done, but with the finale...the idea that they propose in the finale is like the biggest, all-time creepy thing ever. We've touched on it in really, really tiny pieces throughout the season, but it comes to a head in the finale and explodes. I cannot wait to see what it looks like on TV. It's one thing to read it or have someone describe it, but to actually see it...I'm always impressed by what the special effects people have to do, and then every week it's like "Wow, can they really keep doing this, can they keep impressing me and the other viewers?" But I'm sure they're going to pull this one off, and it's gonna be...awesome.

Adam Morgan
If Astrid could have a superpower, what would you want it to be?

Jasika Nicole
Ooo...I think I'd want Astrid to be able to fly. And that is not a superpower that I would personally like to have, because I'm terrified of heights. But see, that's the difference between me and Astrid. She's braver than I am with a lot of things, and she's smarter than I am. Flying would be way more important to her, but if I personally could have a superpower, it would be something like...being able to eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and not have it affect my figure!

Adam Morgan
Maybe that'll be in your spin-off!

Jasika Nicole
I already have a title for it. It's called Fringe: The Farnsworth Chronicles.

Adam Morgan
That's perfect! Is there a particular memory you have from shooting season one that will always stand out?

Jasika Nicole
The one I can think of off the top of my head is when we were filming the Pilot in Toronto. And we had a different Gene at that time. I wish I could remember her name...I'm such a bad castmate. We shot that scene where we're all sitting down in front of the TV and watching Spongebob, and we're all eating Chinese food, and the cow is right behind us. We were shooting the scene at like three or four o'clock in the morning. We were all exhausted, but also loopy and delirious and having a good time. So we have to film this scene, and all the actors are keeping it together and doing really good, but the cow kept on licking us, and rubbing its big wet nostrils in my hair while we were filming, and I was like, "I have to pretend like this doesn't bother me while I'm eating Chinese food!" As it's blowing snot on me! And I don't know if you've ever felt a cow's tongue, but it's got a lot of saliva on it, and she licked my hair...I mean, straightened the curls on the back of my head, so it was all sick and gross and matted. But the really funny thing is that none of the actors moved or anything, we just sat there and kept watching and eating our Chinese food!

Adam Morgan
Have you heard the hip-hop remix of the Fringe theme song ["Beyond Imagination" by Dujeous]? They mention you specifically!

Jasika Nicole
No! Oh my God, what do they say?

Adam Morgan
Something about experimenting with Astrid in the lab...

Jasika Nicole
I've gotta go look it up online. I promise I'm gonna do that today.

Adam Morgan
Will we ever get to hear you sing on the show?

Jasika Nicole
I really hope so. I have a few ideas on how that could happen. Now here's my first one, and you can let J.J. [Abrams] know this if you want.

Adam Morgan
Oh yeah, he and I are really good friends...

Jasika Nicole
Haha yeah, you're probably closer to him than I am.

Adam Morgan
I'm just kidding...

Jasika Nicole
Ok, my first idea. Walter has a breakdown, and the camera is in the lab, looking around. You hear something, but you don't see anybody. They pan over, and you see Walter. He's just had a breakdown, and the only way Astrid can calm him down is to sing. Like, the greatest 70's hits. So he's got his head in her lap, and she's going...[Jasika sings!] Boogie Wonderla-and! And he's like "Thank you so much, Miss Farnsworth."

Adam Morgan
What's it like to watch an episode once it's edited. Do you watch it by yourself, or with friends?

Jasika Nicole
I watch it with my partner, because she's generally scared of all the creepy stuff, so she's fun to watch it with!

Adam Morgan
That's right, I read she's not a big horror fan, right?

Jasika Nicole
No, she does not like horror films or television shows or anything. [Fringe] is kind of right at the brink of what she can handle. But I love watching the episodes, I never miss it. Because it's such a different piece of art than what you get when you read the script. Sometimes it's hard to even connect the two, because the first script will be so different than the final script after it's had many, many revisions. So I end up learning way more things than you would just watching it, and I make more connections than I would just reading the script. And it's also really entertaining. It's the kind of show that I would watch even if I wasn't in the show, if my mother wasn't calling me after the episode to tell me her own conspiracy theories. And it never fails, even though I know all the jokes, all the dialogue, every time Walter says something, I start laughing.

Adam Morgan
Yeah, his timing is just perfect.

Jasika Nicole
Yes, he has the best delivery ever. And I hope that I can get a pinky-nail's worth of information about how to do that in my life!

And just today, Jasika was nominated for an MTV LOGO NewNextNow Award, in the category Brink of Fame: Actor. Congrats, Jasika! Head over to the NewNextNow site to vote!

Fringe Comic #4 - Best-Laid Plans / Space Cowboy

      Email Post       4/29/2009 06:33:00 PM      

The Fringe #4 comic book was released today. It contains two Fringe stories as usual: A "Bell and Bishop" story titled "Best-Laid Plans", and a stand alone "From The Fringe" story titled "Space Cowboy".

To get your own copy of Fringe #4, head out to your local comic shop.

Fringe #5 comes out May 27, 2009
Fringe #6 comes out June 17, 2009

Here is a sneak peak at the "Best-Laid Plans":

Fringe Comic Book #4Fringe Comic Book #4Fringe Comic Book #4Fringe Comic Book #4

Fringebusters 118: Science of Midnight

      Email Post       4/29/2009 02:52:00 PM      

For each episode of Fringe, Popular Mechanics asks experts to analyzes the science of Fringe, and separate the science fact from the science fiction.

For "Midnight," PM brings in Dr. Justin Sattin, an assistant professor of neurology at the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Wisconsin, to discuss the science behind spinal fluid–drinking monsters.

PM: Fringe Takes on Spinal Fluid: The Science Misses the Mark

Fringe Scenemaker 118: Midnight

      Email Post       4/29/2009 12:21:00 PM      

Scenemaker is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Fringe. This episode shows the making of the car fight scene, from the Fringe episode Midnight.

You can watch previous episode's scenemaker videos here.

New Fringe Gallery at

      Email Post       4/29/2009 10:39:00 AM      

You may have noticed recently that the galley epicly failed, so we have started using a new gallery of Fringe high-definition screenshots at The new gallery currently only has the last four episodes (but that includes last night's episode "Midnight"), but it should have all the back episodes and other Fringe photos soon.

Now that we have a working gallery to use, you'll see a lot more activity in the Fringe Easter Egg section, so be sure it check back soon!

And if there's a screenshot you want to see that is not in the gallery, let us know in the Request A Screencap Thread.

Fringe Episode 118: Midnight - The Last Scene

      Email Post       4/29/2009 01:48:00 AM      

If you Tivo'd Fringe tonight, you might have found that the last minute or so was cut off due the American Idol running long (again!). If that happened to you, don't worry - FringeTelevision has got your back! Here is the final scene from Fringe episode "Midnight" in glorious HD.

You can also see the preview for next week's episode "The Road Not Taken", in the Fringe Spoilers section.

Fringe Music: Songs From Midnight

      Email Post       4/29/2009 12:47:00 AM      

Here is the music from last night's Fringe Episode "Midnight":
  • "Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus (Download from iTunes, YouTube)
  • "Tear You Apart" by She Wants Revenge (Download from iTunes, YouTube)
  • "Closer to You" by Daniel Ash (Download from iTunes)
  • "Candy Darling" by Daniel Ash (Download from iTunes)
  • "Discipline" by Nine Inch Nails (Download from iTunes, YouTube)
  • "Burning Up" by Ladytron (Download from iTunes, YouTube)
  • "Once You Say" by Nitzer Ebb (YouTube)
You can also find all of the other music used in Fringe over at the Fringepedia music page.

Fringe Promo Photos 118: Midnight

      Email Post       4/28/2009 10:50:00 PM      

Here are the promotional photos for Fringe episode 118 Midnight (for those that avoid the Fringe Spoilers section.)

(Hover over each of the photos for a full description.)

FRINGE: Peter (Joshua Jackson, R) and Olivia (Anna Torv, L) search for clues while tracking a killer in the FRINGE episode 'Midnight' airing Tuesday, April 28 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Craig Blankenhorn/FOX FRINGE: Peter (Joshua Jackson) tracks a killer in the FRINGE episode 'Midnight' airing Tuesday, April 28 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Barbara Nitke/FOX
FRINGE: Olivia (Anna Torv, L) spends some rare quiet time with her sister Rachel (guest star Ari Graynor, R) in the FRINGE episode 'Midnight' airing Tuesday, April 28 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Craig Blankenhorn/FOX
FRINGE: Peter (Joshua Jackson, R) and Olivia (Anna Torv, L) search for clues while tracking a killer in the FRINGE episode 'Midnight' airing Tuesday, April 28 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Craig Blankenhorn/FOX
FRINGE: Olivia (Anna Torv, R) and Peter (Joshua Jackson, L) track a killer in the FRINGE episode 'Midnight' airing Tuesday, April 28 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Barbara Nitke/FOX
FRINGE: Olivia (Anna Torv, C) leads the raid on a killer's home in the FRINGE episode 'Midnight' airing Tuesday, April 28 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Craig Blankenhorn/FOX

Fringe Episode 118: Midnight

      Email Post       4/28/2009 09:00:00 PM      

The Fringe Division is on the case when severely mutilated bodies drained of spinal cord fluid begin to pile up. After their investigation leads them to a scientist (guest star Jefferson Mays) with possible ties to the Z.F.T. bioterrorist cell, they are shocked to discover the identity and motive of the killer...

Midnight links:
Rate Midnight (*Stars)

Fringe LIVE Chat Tonight: "Midnight"

      Email Post       4/28/2009 08:36:00 PM      

Happy Fringeday! It's time for another LIVE Fringe chat from 9:00 PM to 12:00 PM ET, if you want to talk with other Fringe fans during or after the show. We'll try to get there a little early if anyone has questions they want answered.

To join the chat, visit the Fringe chat roomenter your name or a nickname, and join the fun! (please don't use the default mib_xxxxx nickname!)

I will be there (as FringeTelevision) along with AdamMorgan. In the past we've been joined by people from the show never know who might show up!else might join us...

Fringe Episode Preview: Midnight

      Email Post       4/28/2009 07:35:00 PM      

Can tonight's episode live up to Bad Dreams' greatness? Midnight is definitely more of a standalone, as you can probably tell from the previews. Here are a few bread crumbs to get you hungry (no spoilers). Or maybe "thirsty" is more appropriate...
  • Broyles will pop up in an unusual locale. Well, unusual for Broyles, but not for Lance Reddick. I think you'll see what I mean...
  • Standalone or not, Midnight does tie into Fringe's core mythology.
  • Be sure to stay tuned for a last-second revelation, not unlike Bad Dreams' shocking tag scene.
Feel free to join us in our LIVE Chat before, during, and after the episode tonight, and look for my review tomorrow!

Fringe Podcast Roundup: Bad Dreams

      Email Post       4/27/2009 09:54:00 AM      

Here's a list of all the podcasts for the Fringe episode "Bad Dreams":
You can get all of the Fringe podcast in one feed by subscribing to the Fringe Podcast Network iTunes feed.

Video and Photos From PaleyFest09

      Email Post       4/26/2009 08:32:00 PM      

Here is a video from PaleyFest 09, which shows the introductions of all the stars in attendance.

Here are some pictures from PaleyFest website:

Plus, there's a whole bunch of mostly Joshua Jackson photos at:

And here are some more reports of what happened at the panel:

Exclusive: Jasika Nicole Interview, Part 1

      Email Post       4/25/2009 08:54:00 PM      

The always charming and fun-loving Jasika Nicole, who plays too-cute lab assistant Astrid on Fringe, recently took the time to answer some of your very own submitted questions in an exclusive interview with Here's part one!

Adam Morgan
Lots of fans want Astrid to get more screen-time, to be developed more as a character, like Charlie was in Unleashed. Will we get to see more of Astrid in future episodes?
Jasika Nicole
I can't really say, 'cause I have no idea what the plans are for any of the characters beyond what we have shot in season 1. Astrid doesnt go through any life-changing transformations before the season ends, but she does get out of the lab again, which was exciting for both me and Astrid...I bet she gets lonely cooped up in that lab all the time, and even though she is learning a lot and certainly excited to be under Walter's wing (or have him under hers, depending on how you look at it), she probably has days where she just wants to be in the sunshine.
Adam Morgan
Tell us one thing about Astrid that we don't know.
Jasika Nicole
She and Walter perform improv musical numbers for each other when Peter isn't around. 
Adam Morgan
You've stated in other interviews that you believe Astrid could be a double-agent of some kind. What gave you that idea, and do you still believe it?
Jasika Nicole
Anything is possible with this show; just 'cause it hasn't happened in this season doesn't mean it isn't something that won't happen in the future. That's the great part about working on a television show where you don't know what the end is supposed to look like--so many things can happen (have to happen) in the middle, and as an actor you just have to be ready for everything. Sure, Astrid could still end up being someone working on the "other" side of the Pattern at some point. Either that, or she will have to bust through like a superhero when the main team's options have all been exhausted and save everyone's life. I think she has access to way too much information for her to not be integral in a life-or-death situation at some point. The question is, is she going to be rooting for the life or the death part? Can you tell you I'm putting feelers out for a spin-off already? Something like Farnsworth: The Fringe Chronicles.
Adam Morgan
What's been your favorite scene to shoot so far? How about your favorite episode?
Jasika Nicole
My favorite scene is the episode with the animal rights activists [Unleashed], when the worms bust out of a cadaver's chest after he has been  impregnated by the monster. During the first take, my instinct was to catch myself mid-hurl, but on the next take I wasn't sure if it read for the camera so I didnt do it anymore. Then when I saw the episode weeks later, I was super excited to find that they had kept my hurl! Ha! It was a small victory for me; I usually play Astrid very safe, 'cause she is always so calm, collected and cool. But she has to have a breaking point, you know? Worms oozing out of a dead guy's chest? That seems as good a breaking point as any, and when the director was editing, I guess he agreed.My favorite episode is the finale, which has not aired yet, but the script was so good and I am dying to see what its going to look like after the VFX.
Adam Morgan
What's the funniest thing that happened on set this season?
Jasika Nicole
No way I could come up with one funniest thing. We have a good time on set every single day without fail, so it's easier to pinpoint the least funny thing that happened on set. And that would be when our AD, Gary Rake, slipped on some ice during an outside shoot, passed out and broke his ankle in several places. 
Adam Morgan
Is Lance Reddick really a gigglebox?
Jasika Nicole
Who told you that? I can't say I have ever seen him "giggle", but he is a beautiful man with a warm, comfortable kind of energy, so he's always smiling. Several weeks ago Lance and I were at the premiere party for the Gen Art Festival and they had the most amazing DJ there, and before long we were both out on the dance floor dancing to Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. He's got some nice moves, very graceful and lovely to watch. I wish I had more scenes with him so that I could challenge him to a dance fight on set. [Click here to watch Jasika and Lance dancing!]
Adam Morgan
We know Olivia was recruited by Broyles for specific reasons. Do you think Astrid has similarly unique qualifications for her position?
Jasika Nicole
She definitely brings something special to the team, because not only is Astrid qualified in regards to her skills, but she is also a very fast learner, and because these horrific things that are happening all the time are usually ticking time-bombs, quick thinking is certainly an asset. But I started thinking this week after I saw this last episode...what if Broyles knew about Olivia's special Cortexiphan powers even before she did, and thats why she is involved with the Fringe team in the first place? If that ends up being true, I dont think Astrid's connection is as similar as I initially thought. But at the same time, there must be a reason that Astrid has been entrusted with this powerful information by this powerful man. I wonder when I (we!) will figure that out?
Adam Morgan
Describe a typical day of shooting in the lab set for us. It sounds like you guys have a lot of fun!
Jasika Nicole
Animal trainers, buttons to push, knobs to pull, lots of fried food, John Noble dancing a jig, and brand new script pages.
Adam Morgan
What's the biggest difference between you and Astrid?
Jasika Nicole
Astrid is smart in exactly all the ways I am not. And I would imagine that I am smart in all the ways she isn't; together we would make one completely awesome curly-headed person. She is my doppleganger who didn't doodle in science class and made it through calculus with flying colors. But she's got nothing on my Show Choir awards and AP English skills.
Adam Morgan
How do you feel about the move to Vancouver?
Jasika Nicole
I'm not a native New Yorker, I moved here six years ago from Birmingham, Alabama. I don't want to leave because New York is where I am comfortable and where I've grown a lot, but I'm also very excited for the adventure of living in a new place and experiencing new things. I'm hoping Vancouver will turn me into an outdoorsy person. I'm also hoping that living there and not being concerened with the social obligations one has when they are in their favorite place with their favorite people, will give me much more time to write and draw. 
Adam Morgan
How's Gene doing? Will you miss New York Gene when he's invariably replaced by a Vancouver Gene? And what's your favorite Gene memory?
Jasika Nicole
Gene, I'm sure, is fine, on a farm somewhere and enjoying her life like she does every other day...she only comes to set once in a while, so while her presence seems heavy in certain episodes, she only takes a day to film her work. We had one cow in Toronto, a different cow in New York, and now we will have a different one in Vancouver. The cows are all sweet, but so far they haven't really had any distinguishing characteristics for me, maybe cause I don't work with them all as closely as John does.

Fringebusters 117: Science of Bad Dreams

      Email Post       4/24/2009 02:14:00 PM      

For each episode of Fringe, Popular Mechanics asks experts to analyzes the science of Fringe, and separate the science fact from the science fiction.

For "Bad Dreams," PM brings in Doug Kirsch, a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School and Regional Director of Sleep Health Centers in Boston, James C. Harris, a professor of Psychiatry of Behavioral Sciences, Pediatrics and Mental Hygiene at The Johns Hopkins University, and Dr. William Jack, a parapsychology expert at Franklin Pierce College, to discuss Sleep Science and Parapsychology.

PM: Fringe's Parapsychology and Sleep Science are Slim on Facts

Fringe PaleyFest09 Recap

      Email Post       4/24/2009 11:08:00 AM      

Roberto Orci, Joshua Jackson, Alex Kurtzman, Anna Torv, JJ Abrams, Jeff Pinkner, and John Noble at PaleyFest09
The Fringe panel was at PaleyFest09 last night. First they showed The Transformation then did a Q&A with moderater Ken Tucker from Entertainment Weekly.

The PaleyFest twitter feed has a great account of last night events:
Roberto Orci on the orgin: "It kind of went back and forth between a mad scientist show and "Hart to Hart".

J.J. Abrams came up with the impressive name "Massive Dynamic", apparently was already taken.

J.J. Abrams: "We wanted to do a show without dumbing it down and that would allow people to tune in to episode 4 and without going "What?!"

Anna Torv on the pilot script: "The story was so clear and so precise and I found it kind of easy to track Olivia's story."

Anna Torv on Olivia's relationship with her sister/niece: "Those little bits, they're beautiful pay offs."

A big discussion ensued tonight when someone in the audience questioned whether Walter Bishop is a cross-dresser, all in good fun!

Ken Tucker (moderator): "Mr. Jackson?" Joshua Jackson: "If you're nasty!"

Joshua Jackson: "I don't think Peter is a moral character himself. He doesn't really engage on a moral level."

Joshua Jackson on playing Peter Bishop: "He's the one who stands back and watches THIS world."

J.J. Abrams on the crazy stuff in the show: "I think as an audience you want to go there, you want to go to the crazy place."

Joshua Jackson: "I would rather be a part of a show that aims for the best ever and comes in second best than aim for mediocracy."(clapping)

Ken Tucker, our fearless moderator, just compared Walter Bishop to Timothy Leary, agree or disagree?

John Noble on the pilot: "I actually didn't read the script until that day". J.J. Abrams is shocked by this....

Roberto Orci on the title cards: "Things of nature that have hidden technology in them."

John Noble: "When I first read Walter Bishop it read like a dream role".

Apparently John Noble was originally deemed too young for the role!

According to Ken Tucker's daughter the German title of the show is "Fringe: Worst Cases of the FBI".

I am happy to report that according to J.J. Abrams, Leonard Nimoy has signed on for more than one episode.

Jeff Pinkner on finding out the show made German fans nervous: "By the way, scaring Germans!? We win!"

Roberto Orci on the beginnings of the show's manifesto: "I think part of it was from studying a Harvard student who was the unibomber."

John Noble on the 1960s: "It was an amazing time to grow up. There was a mental freedom at the time that was unique."

Ken Tucker: "Is Walter a hippie who's mind was blown by science as well as drugs?"

Anna Torv desperately wanted to give the Star Trek hand sign to Leonard Nimoy while filming their first scene together.

The original cow was recast. Upon hearing this Joshua Jackson responded: "But the hamburgers we're great!"

Possible future careers for the cow, voice over narrator for the show or undercover agent. What do you think?

Roberto Orci on the symbolism of the cow: "Something that symbolizes that science can be good or bad."

The Observer has appeared at sporting events and FOX even wanted him at the [Obama] inauguration but it didn't work logistically.

Joshua Jackson's email to producers re: Peter & Olivia's sister: "I don't understand why I'm calling her if I'm not sleeping with her."
TheFutonCritic has a little more in-depth coverage, but it's also slightly spoilery.

The Hollywood Reporter also has a short piece on the event.

Check back later, as we'll have more coverage, plus photos and video.

Fringe Theme Song Rap

      Email Post       4/24/2009 09:33:00 AM      

NYC's premier live hip-hop crew Dujeous has created a rap version of the Fringe Theme song, titled "Beyond Imagination".

UPDATE: I just got an email from Mojo The Cinematic, who provided us with a clean version of the song. The unrated version of "Beyond Imagination" is still available here.

The song is also available for download at, plus, he sent along the lyrics for those that are interested. Thanks Mojo!

Click here to read the lyrics

(Written by L. Hammonds, J. Miller, T. Rivelli, & J.J. Abrams)

Me and the Puzzler got the Agency advantage

we're Massive with Dynamics

while these passive ni**as panic

lost their city like Atlantis

our mechanics won't allow us to lose

prepare to vanish

yeah you blew up, but you got shrunk, kids

Rick Moranis

I'm fit to manage

investigations on the unexplained

I could tell that you've been lying after only one exchange

...and i'm not the only one, I'm saying

Jigsaw get on the mic and tell these fools that we ain't playing

You can search but you won't find

another with this rhyme design

it's for the mentally inclined

it's about that time to expand your mind...

leave simplicities behind lets take it to another level

read between the lines, don't believe everything they tell you..

anything is possible when I pick up the pen,

welcome to the outer limits that's the realm I'm dwelling in...

you can think it, it can happen, through this mic I've seen it all

and I project it right back, I'm a mystery unsolved


It's just beyond your imagination

it's not far-fetched

you might say it's a little too complex

that type of sh*t you got to see to believe

Jig & Mo

Wax Po

Got some tricks up their sleeves

This the day the earth stood still, you dropped your jaw in awe

looking like you just saw something you ain't ever seen before

an unidentifiable phenomenon you can't explain

take the victims to the lab and analyze their remains

hope you practice fringe science cause this sh*t is very strange

if I told you everything I thought you might think I'm insane

I just know too much, I just flow too much

I open my mind......while y’all keep yours shut

I think that I've observed the pattern

ready to climb the ladder to the echelon

our shows got more ladies on weekends then a hair salon

f*ck your grind, we get our mortar and our pestle on

might even figure out what flew into the Pentagon

Alien spacecrafts? Surface-to-air-missles?

I'm 'bout to teleport above the game, sorry I missed you

experiment with Astrid in the lab without a doubt

no disrespect

I hope my ni**a Don Will loan her out


It's just beyond your imagination

it's not far-fetched

you might say it's a little too complex

that type of sh*t you got to see to believe

Jig & Mo

Wax Po

Got some tricks up their sleeves

Lyrics Copyright 2009, Dujeous Publishing (ASCAP)

What Would You Ask: Nina Sharp?

      Email Post       4/23/2009 02:48:00 PM      

The brilliant Blair Brown (who's one year older today), will be doing an exclusive one-on-one interview with FringeTelevision on Monday. You guys always have great questions, so let's hear 'em!

On a related note, the interviews with Jasika, J.R. Orci, and Jeff Pinkner were slightly postponed, but still in the works, so keep your eyes peeled. They should be up in the next week or so.

Deep In The Lab by Walter Bishop

      Email Post       4/23/2009 11:38:00 AM      

The Fox's official Fringe website has a new video featuring Walter Bishop spoofing "Deep Thoughts", in this first of hopefully many Deep In The Lab by Dr. Walter Bishop videos.

FYI, "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey" was a skit on Saturday Night Live in the 90s, featuring humorous and absurd insights. Here's one of my favorites:

Happy Birthday Blair Brown!

      Email Post       4/23/2009 02:45:00 AM      

Everyone's favorite redhead, Blair Brown, celebrates her birthday today. Other than her slick performance as Nina Sharp on Fringe, Blair's known for her co-starring role in the groundbreaking Altered States, a film the Fringe producers often cite as a major inspiration.

Blair also won a Tony award for her Broadway performance in Copenhagen.

Fringe Episode Review: Bad Dreams

      Email Post       4/23/2009 02:29:00 AM      

Judging from the previews, you might have expected another fun standalone episode this week, and the first few acts of Bad Dreams may have lulled you into the same conclusion. But after the introduction of ZFT-recruit Nick Lane, fans were rewarded with a huge mythology download to propel us towards this season's finale.

Academy award winner Akiva Goldsman did a wonderful job writing and directing this eerie episode, bolstered by gorgeous location shooting in gothic New York City. The script was a huge change of pace from Unleashed's horror-fest, but this week's subtlety was thoughtful and effective. I especially loved the way Goldsman chose to insert the dream sequences directly into the narrative without transitional cues, leaving us in constant suspense as to whether a scene was real or dreamed. My opinion doesn't really matter, but Bad Dreams currently ranks third on my best list, behind only Ability and Bound.
"Sometimes an intense bond could form..."
Nick Lane looked like another throw-away villain until Act IV. Turns out, Nick was broadcasting his consciousness to his childhood lab-experiment partner, Olivia, in a desperate cry for help. I'm assuming Nick's cortexiphan exposure heightened his hyper-emotive personality into the lethal psychic contagion we saw in Bad Dreams, but that it remained dormant in his consciousness until he was "activated" by "the man in the glasses." There are two easy targets for Nick's recruiter: Mr. Jones--a passionate ZFTer who, in a sense, activated Olivia in Ability--or William Bell himself. My money is on Mr. Jones. What do you think?

And what aspects of Olivia's personality--like Nick's hyper-emotiveness--will manifest themselves as unnatural abilities? Her willpower? That could explain how she turned off those lights to defuse the bomb (and the Green Lantern allusion in Inner Child, a superhero whose willpower is the source of his strength). It would certainly tie in to Peter's comment tonight that "reality is both subjective and malleable."
"Is the incident contained?"
Hands down, the best tag of the season, (tag = script-talk for the final, twisty scene before the credits roll), as well as the most mythologically fertile. We finally hear the iconic voice of William Bell, which was a great surprise (even if you knew about his casting), and John Noble did a great job making himself sound twenty-five years younger. Could the female voice have been a younger Nina Sharp?

Poor Olive. Looks like captive drug experimentation didn't sit well with three-year-old Dunham. HD screencaps confirm that the room on the tape has been burned, except for the walls around little Olivia. But don't be quick to label her a "firestarter." I doubt her abilities are that limited. I imagine Olivia--consciously or not--psychically manipulated her immediate environment, not unlike Nick Lane. After all, fire's just the oxidation of combustable material.

But there may be more--much more--to this scene than I originally suspected. During our weekly FringeTelevision Live Chat, a particularly clever fan named Batshade made a brilliant connection: could the fire Olivia started when she was three years old have been the same fire that killed Walter's lab assistant? Perhaps the lab assistant was "Brenner," the individual mentioned on the tape whose whereabouts are unknown after the fire.

Walter wasn't institutionalized until 1991, but the lab assistant fire wouldn't necessarily have to directly proceed his internment in St. Claire's. (Olivia's thirty years old, meaning her videotaped pyrotechnics occured in 1982, assuming Fringe takes place in 2009). Also, Walter specifically reminded viewers of his lab assistant's death in Bad Dreams, with his "where's the fire" joke. Interesting coincidence? Or intentional plant?

I'll leave you with a burning question: in the prophesied war between our world and a parallel universe, why does it have to be us or them? ZFT claims it won't be out of anger or hatred, but one of survival. Why can't our worlds coexist?

Stray Thoughts
  • Best Line of the Night: (Walter's response to Nick's mental institute) "Well I'm not going there." John Noble made me laugh out loud at last five times in this ep.
  • Lots of great supporting performances, especially Nick Lane, Mouse, and the NYC cop played by Lost's Mrs. Klugh.
  • Lots of possible pop-culture allusions as well. The stroller bouncing down the stairs in Grand Central? The Untouchables. The red balloon and red door on Nick's apartment? The Sixth Sense.
  • I can't believe Fox didn't use Anna Torv's steamy kiss with the dancer in their previews! Mistresses, anyone?
  • Michael Giacchino's score was perfect tonight, especially the cue when Liv and Peter realize Nick's a ZFT recruit and we cut to Astrid in the lab.
  • The rooftop scene reminded me of the worst movie I've ever seen: The Happening. Loved Walter's nonchalant reaction to the stray jumper!
  • Two rants. One, I wish Ella could be more than just a narrative device for the writers to insert foreshadowing and analogous commentary on each ep's premise. And two, Peter doesn't work for me when he's reduced to a string of constant one-liners. And has Joshua Jackson sounded a little congested to anyone else lately?
  • Anna and John really brought their A-games. Olivia's nuanced conflict was moving, while Walter's comedic timing was perfect. I can see now why the hotel room scene was Anna's favorite. It really brought Olivia further into the Bishop family dynamic.
Adam Morgan is a writer for the page and screen in Chicago, and he blogs daily at Mount Helicon.

Fringe At PaleyFest 09, This Thursday Night!

      Email Post       4/23/2009 01:33:00 AM      

Fringe will be at this year's penultimate night of PaleyFest 09. In attendance will be J.J. Abrams, Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Anna Torv, and other Fringe cast and crew to talk about the show and to answer questions. Who knows... maybe Leonard Nimoy will show up....?

Tickets are still available, which is not surprising considering they are $45 each, but if you are in the Southern California area (sadly, we are not), you might want to check it out. And if you do go, send us your pictures, videos, etc.

Fringe Scenemaker 117: Bad Dreams

      Email Post       4/22/2009 11:48:00 AM      

Scenemaker is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Fringe. This episode shows the making of the rooftop suicide scene, from the Fringe episode Bad Dreams.

You can watch previous episode's scenemaker videos here.

Walter's Lab Notes: Fringe 117 Bad Dreams

      Email Post       4/22/2009 10:38:00 AM      

Walter's Lab Notes from Bad Dreams include Nick Lane's news clippings, including the two-headed goat story, a very melted red candle, and the fourth piece to the "Walter puzzle".

Walter's notes take the form of a poem, where he essentially recaps the episode. There doesn't appear to be anything new in his notes, but the numerous news clippings may contain something. I don't see anything at first glance, but like the JJ Abrams edition of Wired, there may be clues hidden within.

The folks at Fringepedia have been playing with the puzzle pieces, and it looks like they may fit together like Fibonacci squares, forming a Golden Spiral. Here are the first four pieces arranged in the 1,1,2,3 format.

Happy Earth Day from John Noble

      Email Post       4/22/2009 02:51:00 AM      

John Noble is featured in Fox's Green It. Mean It. Earth Day campaign, discussing how nice it is to ride you bike to work.

You can discover other ways to stay green at

Fringe Promo Photos 117: Bad Dreams

      Email Post       4/22/2009 01:22:00 AM      

Here are the promotional photos for Fringe episode 117 Bad Dreams (for those that avoid the Fringe Spoilers section.)

(Hover over each of the photos for a full description.)

FRINGE: Olivia (Anna Torv) finds herself in some strange situations in the FRINGE episode 'Bad Dreams' airing Tuesday, April 21 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Craig Blankenhorn/FOXFRINGE: The Observer (Michael Cerveris) is spotted near a disturbing crime scene in the FRINGE episode 'Bad Dreams' airing Tuesday, April 21 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Craig Blankenhorn/FOXFRINGE: Olivia (Anna Torv, L), Peter (Joshua Jackson, R) and Walter (John Noble, C) arrive at a disturbing crime scene in the FRINGE episode 'Bad Dreams' airing Tuesday, April 21 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Craig Blankenhorn/FOXFRINGE: Olivia (Anna Torv, R), Peter (Joshua Jackson, C) and Walter (John Noble, R) arrive at a disturbing crime scene in the FRINGE episode 'Bad Dreams' airing Tuesday, April 21 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Craig Blankenhorn/FOXFRINGE: Peter (Joshua Jackson, R) follows Olivia (Anna Torv, L) to a crime scene in the FRINGE episode 'Bad Dreams' airing Tuesday, April 21 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Craig Blankenhorn/FOXFRINGE: Olivia (Anna Torv, L) attacks a restuarant manager in the FRINGE episode 'Bad Dreams' airing Tuesday, April 21 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Craig Blankenhorn/FOX

Fringe Episode 117: Bad Dreams

      Email Post       4/21/2009 09:00:00 PM      

As a suicide incident occurs at New York's iconic Grand Central station, Agent Dunham simultaneously witnesses the event while asleep and dreaming in Boston. Rattled by the extraordinary and coincidental circumstances, Olivia, Peter and Walter investigate further,...

The Observer: Hot or Not?

LIVE Chat Tonight for Fringe: Bad Dreams

      Email Post       4/21/2009 07:51:00 PM      

UPDATE #2: We're back online!

Tonight we will be hosting another LIVE Fringe chat from 9:00 PM to 12:00 PM ET, if you want to talk with other Fringe fans during or after the show. We'll try to get there a little early if anyone has questions they want answered.

To join the chat, visit the Fringe chat room, enter your name or a nickname, and join the fun! (please don't use the default mib_xxxxx nickname!)

I will be there (as FringeTelevision) along with Adam Morgan. You never know who else might join us tonight!

John Noble, Part 2: More Fringe Mysteries Tackled!

      Email Post       4/21/2009 03:53:00 PM      

Here is part two of the TV Guide interview with John Noble. You can see Part 1 of the interview here.

I can see why they split this up, as this half of the interview talks about Inner Child.

Fringe Episode Preview: Bad Dreams

      Email Post       4/21/2009 02:04:00 PM      

Jacob dreams of a ladder to heaven
Tonight's episode of Fringe is another series landmark, in the vein of Bound and Ability, my two favorites eps so far. Want some non-spoiler hints to chew on?
  • Bad Dreams was written and directed by Akiva Goldsman, known for his feature screenplays like A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man, The Da Vinci Code, and this summer's Angels and Demons.
  • We'll finally see Anna Torv's favorite scene of season one.
  • After two ostensibly stand-alone episodes, Bad Dreams returns to the core Fringe mythology.
  • Peter and Olivia's relationship will deepen.
  • We'll learn more about Olivia's mysterious past.
Tune in to FOX tonight at 9/8c, and please join us in the live chat! Oh, and for those of you who TiVo, don't forget to record an extra 15 minutes or so in case American Idol runs over again.

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