Fringe: crossing the line between sci-fi and reality

Fringe: crossing the line between sci-fi and reality

Is Fringe something for you?

Let’s start from the basics, as they say.  Fringe is an American science fiction television show. J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci teamed up to create this supernatural (mystery) drama.

It aired on the Fox network from September 9, 2008 till January 18, 2013. The show ran for five seasons with 100 episodes.

One of the adjectives of the word Fringe is “unusual,” what perfectly describes this TV show.

This is not the usual CSI or NCIS crime investigation style you’re used to at all. In the story the agents at the fringe division of the FBI under supervision of Homeland Security will come across some very weird and interesting things.

And no, it’s not an exact copy of the X-Files either but it may have some similarities where supernatural incidents occur and only a specialized task force is capable of dealing with them. It’s more like CSI meets X-Files with some weird science beyond our imagination.

About the show

Fringe takes elements from Star Trek, the X-Files, the Twilight Zone & others and incorporates them all into one story.

Fringe TV Show Fabric poster 32" x 24" Decor 17
Fringe Poster on Products Page

From parallel universes to time travel to human experimentation and even monsters the creators incorporated everything they could in the story.

The show began as a traditional episodic mystery of the week but changed gradually as the show progressed.

Most of the episodes are thrilling and are full of mad science. You have to watch every episode to know what is going on.

Each episode shows progression the story-line as the mystery unfolds. You will never know upfront of what’s really going on, just as the characters in the show. But at the same time, you will get clues and hints to solve the mystery and every episode reveals a new lead.

Fringe Soundtrack (back cover)
Fringe Soundtrack (Back cover) on Products Page

The ambient music influences how you perceive the scenes that would normally be tense already, and become completely chilling: another example of great “Sounds in Sci-Fi”. The theme song of the show: Amazing!

When this show first came out it had very mixed reviews. But the bad reviews were the most prominent highlights in the media, most of the times comparing it to shows like Lost and the X-Files in a negative way. And this was after seeing just a few episodes.

Look, no show starts perfect but it seems that this is expected and that writers should get everything right from the beginning. Why? It’s a creative process! Meaning that mistakes could happen during the process.

Contrary to what the initial negative reviews indicated and predicted the show got better and better. The show has smart story line. Clearly it was a TV show that was ahead of it’s time.

Why season 1?

You have to start from the beginning. It’s sound logical right? But believe it or not many people have chosen not to start with season 1, mainly because of what’s been said the reviews, which was not a good idea.

010 Fringe - Alien Supernatural Hot TV Show 32"x24" PosterAs it’s expected, with many shows, the first season starts building up the story (mysteries).

It’s not that the first few episodes aren’t good (they are), it’s just that the story gets more interesting once the inter-connectivity of the occurrences of “The Pattern” take form. In other words when the series makes the jump from feeling episodic to serialized. Once you get into that main story-line… it’s great.

Getting into the first season you’ll have to know that the main plot of the show is about resolving a big mystery. The story unfolds as the episodes progress. You should think of it as a big puzzle, you will need all the pieces to complete it. The story builds up to about mid season when the plot gets more interesting.

Resolving mysteries and weird science is not everyone’s preference. For that reason I’ll be doing a review of the first season DVD box set. Fringe is one of those shows that even if you’re not into mysteries and weird science has many other layers that still attract people to watch it.

Fringe TV Wall Print POSTER DecorNow why did I choose to start with season 1 and make a review of the DVD box instead of the whole series DVD set?

To be honest I fell in love with this season 1 DVD box.

It’s a very unusual DVD box with inter-place images on the box cover and good DVD production value: a collectible for fans.

Don’t get me wrong the quality of whole series DVD set is great but the box design is simple compared to the box design of the individual seasons (especially season 1).  In other words, they have put more effort in the box design of the individual seasons and they look great. Of course there are people who don’t really care about box design and have no dilemma of buying the complete series.

How it all started…

Fringe TV Show Fabric poster 36" x 24" Decor 07FBI agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) and others on the Fringe Division, a joint federal task force of the FBI, came in to investigate some strange happenings aboard a jumbo jet.

It seems that these strange happenings are part of “The Pattern.”

The Pattern is a series of similarly shocking events that unfold as the show progresses; lots of people are killed in graphic fashion by all manner of horrors, including scary monsters, a gas that freezes a bus load of passengers, people so radioactive they can literally make your blood boil and so on.

Fringe Anna Torv Joshua Jackson John Noble TV Series Gigantic Print POSTERInstitutionalized scientist Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble), who’s spent the past 17 years locked up, (and whose research may be responsible for some of the crimes encountered) and his son/babysitter/caretaker Peter (Joshua Jackson) will be helping Dunham and the rest of the team to figure it all out including  handling family drama, interpersonal relationships, corporate evil, cop chases and so on. There’s a lot in play here, and while it doesn’t always hold together (and like any new series on their first season, it takes a while to get it right), Fringe keeps you on your toes while you’re trying to figure out what is happening.

Final thoughts

Today, the show is still relevant and has been carried on in books and there have been several talks from the cast (which could be just rumors eventually) about the possibility of having it turned into a film franchise. The show’s fan base has grown over the years as more and more people are having access to it on streaming services like Netflix.

The mythology of the show has drawn criticism but the quality writing was always good, you cared for these characters and it was so well made. Every episode unfolds something new (a new lead) but its main story-line also progresses. The story-lines are intriguing. It really makes you think and some episodes are just so emotional. I personally liked John Noble’s performance as Walter Bishop.

Fringe is not only about the strange and unusual, it’s also about family, action, love and humor. If your into sci-fi, this show is an absolutely must see, it definitely crosses the line between sci-fi and reality. If you’re not info sci-fi, there is enough material for you to enjoy. To anyone thinking of watching this fantastic show, I highly recommend it. It is also a great way to introduce sci-fi to some friends. 

What do you think of Fringe so far? Is it something you’ll be interested in? Or are you already a fan? Feel free to leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.



12 thoughts on “Fringe: crossing the line between sci-fi and reality

  1. My wife loves this show. I never had the time to sit and watch it. If you made this website to convert people to watch this show than a job well done. I’ll be looking for it on Netflix!

    1. Hi Darin,

      hahahaha…that’s not exactly the goal but you’re very close. This site is for sci-fi fans and everyone else interested in sci-fi (even if just a little bit). I would like to change the way most people think of sci-fi by showing how much the genre has evolved and how many options there are now.
      I appreciate you taking time to read my post. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. My friends suggest Fringe all the time. I really think of starting it in future. I just really like science fiction things a lot. I think Supernatural will finally finish. It can’t last forever. When it finishes I will probably start watching Fringe 😉

  3. hi Dira, thank you for your very detailed review. You got me hooked with the way you write and you actually made me want to watch it. I am a big fan of the sci-fi genre (thanks partly to growing up with Back To The Future Trilogy, X-Files, The Matrix, Lost TV series, and many more). Now, I have something I have to look forward watching because this is actually my kind of TV show, or genre in general that I am very much into. Thanks for sharing this. – JR

  4. Hi Dira,

    I have never watched ‘ Fringe’ but it is definitely on my ‘to watch’ list.
    As far as I understood it is a mixture of sci-fi, mistery and horror?
    If that’s the case then I will like it.
    Is it similar somehow to ‘X-files’?
    My sister is a huge Fringe fan and she always asks me ‘Are you nuts. Why are you waisting your time and still not watching the freakin’ show?’ 🙂
    When I finish watching the TV series that I watch now (‘Outlander’) I will start with Fringe.

    1. Hi Asen,
      Yes a mix of sci-fi, mystery and horror but also drama, action and a bit of romance. But yes the first three are the core.
      No, its not exactly like the X-Files but has a few elements of it. It’s more realistic in a way, where every episode presented has some kind of actual theoretical basis in science. Think of it as CSI meets the X-files.
      Now I want to ask you the same questions too…LOL..:)

  5. Wow, this was an amazing show, I actually watched it a few years back and I loved every bit of it.

    Right now I am thinking about watching it one more time to freshen my memory.

    The actors were great, the plot was amazing, and it contained no fillers at all.

    I highly recommend it to sci-fi maniacs 😛

    Xaric

  6. Saw the trailer it provides many reasons to see this series – I’m really excited to see this series. Just a thought have you ever thought about ‘The Lost’ tv series, I’m not sure whether that may come under sci-Fi but an brilliant one to consider if it is? Thanks for the information Dira

    1. Hi Manasir,

      I am glad you liked and thanks for the recommendation. I only saw season 1 many years ago and then left it there. (its on my pending to finish list).

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