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Fringe (J.J. Abrams) - General Discussion Spoilers and Speculation

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    Really enjoyed the premiere. I was expecting it to be a lot more X-Files like, but it really doesn't seem to have that much similarity at all. I liked how already from the get go we're seeing setup for the over all conspiracy arc.

    The agent, I forget his name, who was/is somehow involved too me by surprise which was nice considering most TV twists these days can be seen from a mile away.

    Only real problem I have so far is that nobody seems to bothered by the surreality of what is going on.

    That Variety review is nonsense. There are very few similarities so far with X-Files, and I see absolutely none with Alias aside from the fact it's from JJ Abrams. To me Fringe seems very fresh and not really directly derivative.





        As much as I wanted to like this show, I found it hard to stick with it by half way through. Bad acting, bad writing, ridiculous concept, man that was bad. I will tune in again next week to see if gets any better.


          I enjoyed the premiere a lot. I think you have to give a show at least a few episodes before you make a decision about it.

          The only similarity with the X-Files is the male/female team investigating strange events(I guess that's a big similarity, though). Fringe deals with weird medical/scientific research while the X-Files dealt more with the paranormal and extraterrestrial. But some of the stuff on mindreading that they showed in the clips for next week, could be considered X-Files territory.


            I found the pilot intrigueing, if a little slow to start. I do think it would benefit from a little more skepticism from one of the characters, but over all not too bad. Not sure if I'll stick around for the long haul, but will give it a few more episodes to find it legs.

            After all, I originally gave up on X-Files after 6 episodes, and only came back to it later and had to play catch-up, so I'll give this a chance to grab me.


              This was written in part by the people behind Transformers, right? That would explain the clumsy, over-the-top writing. Acting wasn't exactly miles ahead of what it had to work with, either, and I thought the music was about as cliche as it could get.

              The premiere was salvaged by occasional decency in line delivery and maybe ten minutes total of genuine intrigue. I'll give this series a few more episodes to warm up to me, as it does take many shows a bit of time to get good. But if it keeps up with what it had going for it last night, don't expect me to stick around for long.
              If you've seen a Jeff O'Connor or a JeffZero or a Jeff Zero or a JeffZeroConnor elsewhere on the net, there's a considerable chance it's me.


                Airing from 8-9:35 p.m., "Fringe" averaged about 9 million viewers and a 3.2 rating/9 share in adults 18-49, according to prelim Nielsens.

                Source: Spoilertv


                  Episode 1x03 Details

                  The Ghost Network

                  A man who has visions of the future is introduced. He sees a pattern-related terror attack and the team, led by Dr. Bishop, tries to prevent this event from occurring.



                    It was alright but didn't really hook me or anything. I'll keep checking it out since it's conveniently on after House and maybe it'll pull together.


                      Originally posted by ShadowMaat View Post
                      Well on second viewing the lead character didn't make me chew quite as many chunks out of my desk, but I still don't like her very much. I'm still hopeful that she'll soften up a bit as the show progresses.

                      Word. I saw the sneak peak at the Paley Center for Media in LA on Friday. The actress is very wooden, imho. A friend mentioned that when he was in boot camp most of the women there acted like her because apparently showing emotion of any kind isn't a good thing in the military. Who knows. I just know that I was sick of looking at her bitter face during the episode.

                      However, John Noble aka "Dr. Bishop" ROCKED! I'll give it another go to see if some of the acting improves. I also think it's trying a bit too hard to be like X Files...but that's just me.
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                        Originally posted by Starbase View Post
                        As much as I wanted to like this show, I found it hard to stick with it by half way through. Bad acting, bad writing, ridiculous concept, man that was bad. I will tune in again next week to see if gets any better.
                        me too good to see I am not alone

                        Originally posted by ShadowMaat View Post
                        Well on second viewing the lead character didn't make me chew quite as many chunks out of my desk, but I still don't like her very much. I'm still hopeful that she'll soften up a bit as the show progresses.
                        me too

                        I think I will watch it more but only because there is nothing else on for me
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                          I enjoyed the premiere enough to continue watching the show. For now, anyways.
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                            I really enjoyed this but Im not sure about keeping up with the bigger story. I kind of wanted more closure and resolve within the episode with a lingering backstory. I dont think I can keep up with another big story with lots of missing parts a-la Lost.

                            But then again I tend to prefer the stand alone eps for the xfiles and other shows.


                              Q & A w/TV Guide:

                              Fringe executive producer Roberto Orci (he of Transformers fame) gave me the official word on some of your burning questions about Tuesday's premiere episode. His answers were at times enlightening, at times frustrating, and, frankly, mostly kind of weird, all apropos for a show that sprung from the odd, fertile mind of J.J. Abrams. — Mickey O'Connor

                              What's up with those symbols (leaf, frog, etc.) that appear before commercial breaks? Are they some kind of puzzle that we're supposed to "figure out"?
                              Well, not exactly. "They are all things that look natural, but have more to them; they've been altered," says Orci. For now, he advises only that you note the order in which they appear on the series. For the record, so far we've only seen the leaf, which was floating around inside the Massive Dynamic handprint scanner in the final scene.

                              Why was Walter Bishop institutionalized in the first place? Sure, he's eccentric, but most of the time he seems perfectly lucid.
                              "He's certainly not cured of his ailments," Orci warns. "There will always be two steps forward, one step back [with Walter]." He said that viewers should be asking themselves: Was Walter's therapy in his best interest? How will being away from that therapy affect him? "If he seems lucid, it's just a fake comfort zone to put the audience in," he says.

                              Why do they have a cow in the lab? I know they said something about similar DNA, but why not a monkey or rats like they usually have in a lab?
                              "The question is, who is the cow really working for?" Orci jokes. He echoes what Peter Bishop says in the script: A cow is an ethical test subject, and its blood was used to synthesize the concoctions that saved Agent Scott's life. It probably doesn't hurt that walking a cow through the hallowed halls of Harvard makes for better TV than, say, a cage of rats.

                              Who is going to play Dr. William Bell? And when will we meet him? J.J. said it'll be before the end of Season 1.
                              "Even the actor who is going to play William Bell doesn't know that they're William Bell yet," he says, choosing his words very carefully and cryptically avoiding a gender-specific pronoun. (Note: He didn't say they haven't found the actor who will play Dr. Bell, although I suppose that could also be true.) Nevertheless, I press on. Has the actor been contracted for an unspecified role? "Not necessarily." Are they just overconfident that the actor will accept? "I think it's even more cryptic than that." Have we already met William Bell? "No." Um, OK, huh...? "It's a closely guarded secret," he says. Yeah, no kidding! My snap-judgment guess: Dr. Bell is now a cyborg.

                              When is Greg Grunberg going to show up?
                              He's not scheduled to appear yet, but never say never. Of course, Abrams' reputed good luck charm (he played the doomed pilot who gets eaten by the monster in Lost) has a full-time gig over on NBC's Heroes, so Orci jokes that he'll appear on Fringe "as soon as they kill him off."

                              Any chance the show's cool title cards ("Essex County, Massachusetts," etc.) were created by the same people who did the opening credits of David Fincher's Panic Room? They look similar.
                              Nope. As he did with Lost, Abrams designed the titles himself, which were then rendered by visual effects supervisor Kevin Blank, a longtime Abrams associate.

                              Will there be flashbacks to a) Walter's research days or b) Peter's unsavory past?
                              While Orci says that flashbacks are "not part of the DNA of what we've constructed," he allows that there might be episodes that deal with the Bishops' backstories anecdotally, but they will be contained, not a series of flashbacks over time.

                              What did they use to make Mark Valley's skin look so gross and translucent?
                              Like those long-suffering Sports Illustrated models who have their swimsuits painted on, Valley endured some time in the chair as the effects of his mystery illness were essentially (temporarily) tattooed on his skin. "We wanted to be able to see the actor breathing," says Orci.

                              While we're on the subject, Mark is a cast regular, despite his last scene ending with him on a gurney with a sheet drawn over his face. Is he dead, alive, or does it even matter?
                              Orci answers my question with a question. "Does [Agent Scott] live on merely in Olivia's mind, solely as a memory, or something else?" While Nina Sharp's final words — "Question him" — might indicate that Scott will be reanimated in some way, Orci says not so fast, Frankenstein. "She may have some technology to read his brain — while it's still fresh."

                              Do planes really land themselves at Logan Airport?
                              Apparently, planes can land themselves! According to Orci, the technology has existed since World War II, but isn't often used in commercial aviation.

                              I don't understand the twins' suicide mission... why would they want to kill everyone on board?
                              "Who says they're twins?" asks Orci of the two identical men, which makes my head explode. "Are they clones?" I ask. "I didn't say that!" he responds helpfully except not really at all. Clones? Oy, I need to lie down.

                              How did they film that scene with Blair Brown's cool robot arm? Does it have any unusual features or abilities?
                              Brown wore a "green screen" sleeve; the arm's Lucite casing and its intricate guts were rendered with CGI. Nevertheless, Orci assures me that there's nothing more to the quixotic Nina Sharp's iArm (it looks like Apple designed it, right?) than a standard medical prosthesis.

                              Is the Massive Dynamic headquarters a real building? Both the interior and the exterior looked way CGI to me.
                              Here's a tricky answer. In the early preview version of the pilot that I watched, MD's HQ looked an awful lot like the spiky forms of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto (see photo here). Orci says that since production has moved to New York City, Massive Dynamic has been recast, and will be played by a young, up-and-coming actor named World Trade Center 7 (photo here). He did say that the building's futuristic interior graphics and animation were their addition for the TV show. Hey, guess what? Massive Dynamic has a Web site! Let the conspiracy theories begin!

                              How often will Lance Reddick appear, and has his casting on Fringe changed his role on Lost at all?
                              Reddick is in every episode, says Orci, but will still have time to hop over to Hawaii to shoot his appearances on Lost. "We have a good relationship with those Lost people," he deadpans, about Abrams' other series. He goes on to say that Reddick's casting on Fringe was done with full knowledge of his Lost obligations.

                              Will Olivia Dunham ever crack a smile?
                              "Not if we can help it," snarks Orci. "As you know, we like to make women cry," an apparent reference to Jennifer Garner's teary Sydney Bristow on Alias.

                              To re-watch the premiere, either tune in to Fox on Sunday, Sept. 14 at 8 pm/ET or watch it now in our Online Video Guide


                                Massive Dynamics Website: