Fringe Combines X-Files with Comedy


FOX’s Tuesday lineup starts with new series Fringe. The 90-minute
premier shocked America
in a few ways.  J.J. Abrams, who also
wrote Lost and Transformers, grabbed the reigns for this psychological
whiz-bang. I’ve never seen Lost, but have heard good things about it.

Fringe opens up with a terror on an airplane, similar to the
pilot of Lost. The plane does not crash, but everyone on board dies of some
face-melting compound.

FBI agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) heads up the
investigation when her partner gets caught in a blast. She becomes immersed
with a field of science known as fringe. Dunham has to learn quickly, because
her partner is slowing dying as his body crystallizes. Unfortunately for her,
the only fringe expert around has been locked in a mental institution for the
last 17 years.

Fringe, or Pseudoscience, “is defined as a body of
knowledge, methodology, belief, or practice that is claimed to be scientific or
made to appear scientific, but does not adhere to the scientific method, lacks
supporting evidence or plausibility, or otherwise lacks scientific status,”
according to BD Horror News. This realm of “science” believes in psychic
phenomena and other science fiction themes as more than just fiction. For
example, a water tank and a concoction of illegal drugs can be used to
synchronize brain waves between two people. This allows for memory transfer
between the two people.

Fringe has very serious undertones. Persons unknown are
performing strange experiments on people all around the world. Some of these
experiments involve chemical warfare and reanimation.

The show’s literal mad scientist, Dr. Bishop, randomly
throws in humor. John Noble, who played the steward of Gondor in The Lord
of the Rings,
plays the part well. He’ll be lucid one moment, and then
shout that he wet himself. Joshua Jackson (Charlie Conway from D3: the Mighty
Ducks) is the skeptic son of Dr. Bishop.

The first episode was a rollercoaster. It juggled between
the absurdness of people melting on a plane and trying to stop some sort of
terrorist group. No one knows if terrorists are even involved in the first
place. The mad doctor lists out chemical compounds he will need as he’s
watching children’s programs. Since he uses the full name of the compound,
viewers may miss the LSD reference.

Fringe shows promise. It tried to pack a ton of information
in while making the show enjoyable all in one 90-minute episode. This may have
proven to be too much, but it laid the foundation for the rest of the series.

Now that Abrams has gotten everything out of his system, Fringe
should be a very good show.

Fringe airs Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. on channel 6.