This week, Amber West and I are flipping channels over to FOX and sharing our Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday reviews of the new sci-fi hit, Terra Nova, and the returning favorite, Fringe.
Fringe science is a type of scientific study whose hypotheses and conclusions differ significantly from mainstream theories. Creators J.J. Abrams (creator and writer for Alias and Lost, as well as executive producer for the new CBS hit Person of Interest), Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci (both writers and producers of Alias and Hawaii Five-0) used this unorthodox technique to create Fringe, a science fiction television series on Fox.
After Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) witnesses extremely strange events involving her partner and boyfriend (played by Mark Valley, Human Target), she joins the Fringe Division of the FBI. Olivia tracks down Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson, Dawson’s Creek) and asks for his assistance in releasing his father, Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble, The Lord of the Rings trilogy), from his seventeen year incarceration at an insane asylum.
Why? Walter is known as a “mad scientist” and the FBI needs him to experiment and explain the unusual events taking place all around them. Not long after his release, Walter introduces the parallel universe to the team, and only he, Peter, and Olivia can safely transport back and forth between worlds.
Why Walter and Peter? In the world as we know it, Walter’s son Peter died when he was a young boy. Distraught, Walter used his portal creation to transport over to the parallel universe where he took Walternate’s (Walter in the parallel universe who also happens to be the Secretary of Defense in that world) son, Peter. As expected, Peter didn’t take the news that he was from another world so well, and spent some time quite angry with Walter.
Why Olivia? As a small child, Olivia participated in a scientific research program and drug trial led by Walter in Florida . Confused by bits and pieces of memory, Olivia returned to the facility where she spent her childhood and eventually remembered all of the events that took places years before. She and the other children of the trial possess the ability to transport back and forth safely to the other universe. Oh, and before we forget – Olivia’s identity in the parallel world is known as Feuxlivia in our world, while she is Olive over there. That’s right – two Olivias: our world’s Agent Dunham and the parallel universe’s Feuxlivia/Olive.
Let’s not forget about Massive Dynamic, the company created and founded by Walter’s former partner William “Billy” Bell (Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek). Nina Sharp (Blair Brown, The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd) runs Massive Dynamic and knows all of Walter and Billy’s secrets as they pertain to the parallel universe. Nina diverts Olivia and Peter from the truth as long as she can, but she can’t hide it forever.
Sound confusing? It kind of is, but the show is amazing! Fringe is sci-fi at its best. We watch as our world and the parallel universe go to war, and as previously unexplained events involving shape shifting, teleporting, and the intricacies of neuroscience, to name a few, are investigated.
The team is also assisted by recurring characters: Phillip Broyles (Lance Reddick, The Wire), Fringe Division’s leader; Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole), a junior agent with the FBI who serves as Walter’s assistant and confidant; Charlie Francis (Kirk Acevedo, Band of Brothers), senior FBI agent and Olivia’s friend; and agent Lincoln Lee (Seth Gabel, Nip/Tuck), the newest addition to the team.
This may come as a shock to many who know me, but I must award Fringe with a GTV rating. Fringe is literally the first science fiction television program of its kind that has me tuned in on a weekly basis to see what the writers and creators will throw at us next (well, the first not involving the usual supernatural creatures like witches, werewolves, and vampires).
It certainly doesn’t hurt that I have a minor crush on Walter (why hasn’t John Noble won an Emmy for his performance?) and a bit of a larger crush on Peter (Joshua Jackson isn’t Pacey any longer – and did I mention his voice is fabulous?).
What do you think? Have you watched Fringe? Who is your favorite character? Do you think the government has a Fringe Division we don’t know about? Do we have a parallel universe out there, somewhere? I’d love to hear from you!
Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her review of Terra Nova, the TV show with time travel and dinosaurs.
Come back next week when Amber and I switch channels again – this time we’re moving over to ABC and reviewing Body of Proof and Desperate Housewives.
Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.
A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:
GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech