Friday, May 29, 2009

Fringe - I Want To Believe

Just before I start off on my rambling, I should pass a warning that I will be discussing series one and therefore this entry will include spoilers, especially concerning the final two episodes. Saying that I wonder when you are allowed to not caveat possible long after a series/ film has aired are you allowed to forgo spoiler warnings. Is it still too soon for Battlestar Galactica? Buffy? The Usual Suspects? The Sixth Sense? M*A*S*H*? I wonder if there is a criteria somewhere....

Anyway enough of that, I was going to talk about Fringe.

I started watching because of the involvement of Abrams, the production values and the early hype. I was pretty disappointed after the early episodes which appeared to point towards something resembling X-Files-lite. I quite enjoyed Joshua Jackson's somewhat rebellious (though cliched) character but the other characters appeared boring or unlikely to develop. I thought I would give it a few more episodes and slowly it appeared to be more engaging and the development of the main characters, especially John Noble's Dr. Walter Bishop really came on leaps and bounds. From a textbook eccentric scientist to a confused, frustrated genius trying to come to terms with his past, and with some excellent dark humour.

A lot of the individual storylines would certainly seem familiar to watchers of the X-Files, but it was the overarching storyline, a necessity for modern day TV series, that kept me watching. Initially it seemed the series story arc revolved around "the pattern" a series of unusual events which were being investigated. Then around two thirds of the way through the series talk of a war against denizens of an alternate universe caught my attention. I am sucker for epic sci-fi, especially one which has spent a series with such a slow build. The last two episodes offer a brief glimpse into the alternate world and a taster for future series.

Alternate worlds have provided a lot of fodder for science fiction TV since Star Trek's 'Mirror Mirror' offered us a barbaric version of the Enterprise (including a bearded Spock).

It has been used across a myriad of stories, almost rivalling time travel as a platform....from Back To The Future to Fatherland to the O.C.

Anyway the signs are good and I will certainly be tuning in for series 2.

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