What’s it about?
The Fringe Division of the FBI investigate bizarre and unexplained events with a view to finding out if they are part of some bigger picture. This leads to some shocking truths and startling revelations about the very notion of reality.
Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Lance Reddick, Blair Brown, Jasika Nicole, Leonard Nimoy
An Introduction to Fringe
Special Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) is tasked with setting up the FBI’s Fringe Division, a small team with the remit of using ‘fringe science’ to help shed light on bizarre occurrences the FBI is investigating.
Top of the list of recruits is eccentric scientist Walter Bishop (John Noble), the only problem being that he is in a mental institution, apparently as a result of a lifetime of experimenting with unusual scientific methods, including taking hallucinogenic drugs.
In order to win Walter round, Olivia must locate and get his wayward son Peter (Joshua Jackson) on board. To make matters trickier, Peter has major unresolved issues with his father.
Assuming they can stand to work together, the Fringe team is overseen by Phillip Broyles (Lance Reddick) who is able to authorize funds and equipment. Walter’s original laboratory at Harvard is re-opened, with assistance provided to Walter by stoic agent Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole).
In Walter’s past he had a lab partner named William Bell, who subsequently set up a company called Massive Dynamic, involved in everything from advanced weaponry to genetic engineering. In Bell’s absence, the enigmatic Nina Sharp (Blair Brown) heads the huge corporation at their New York hedquarters.
Circumstances lead Olivia to call on Nina and Massive Dynamic, whose seemingly unlimited resources and technology could provide answers… but do they have their own agenda?
Fringe might initially appear to be a procedural show (one story resolved per episode), but don’t let that put you off. Given time to settle in, a huge multi-stranded story arc begins to reveal itself which makes for a great binge-watcher show.
Mind-expanding concepts such as the possibilities of a parallel universe, multiple timelines and conspiracy elements feature strongly, keeping the viewer on their toes and building into an epic tale with plenty of surprising reveals. And then there’s the mysterious men in hats…
The main trio of Olivia, Peter and Walter are a likable crew and all have huge personal challenges to deal with alongside team demands. Walter is a wonderfully enjoyable ‘mad scientist’ and often provides light relief in the form of out-of-the-blue observations, such as, “Either a green unicorn just raced across the lab or I accidentally took some LSD.”
Fringe is much more than another X-Files-style show and even now, has a large and loyal following. Follow it to the end and there’ll be answers, resolutions, and a fitting finale.
Check out the Season 1 Trailer here: