There’s something about original programming that really gets my attention. Shows that stray from the norm are usually my favorites, and God forbid I ever watch any ‘reality’ TV. So when I first saw “Fringe”, I was intrigued. Not so much by the format at first, but the fact that the TV wasteland has actually convinced the great John Noble to join its ranks. Generally, if Noble is involved… it’s gotta be good.
“Fringe” came to my attention early on, but as I always tend to do I waited until the eventual Bluray release to check it out. To say it caught my interest immediately would be an understatement. My wife and I tore through that first season in a matter of days. This was TV at its creative best and we couldn’t get enough.
The series, which at times feels like an updated “X-files” (but far less confusing) stars Anna Torv as Special Agent Olivia Dunham, an FBI agent who finds her world turned upside down by the inexplicable.
She is called upon to work with an institutionalized scientist (John Noble) and his son (Joshua Jackson) to investigate a seemingly random series of inexplicable crimes. Of course it turns out these occurrences weren’t so random, and within the first few episodes it becomes clear that we are going to be dealing with doppelgangers, alternate universes and who knows what all.
I thoroughly enjoyed the first season and the mythology that was created. That season finale was exceptional, especially within the closing moments. I couldn’t wait for the second season, thrilled that there was even going to BE a second season since great shows like this don’t tend to last. But I had to be patient and wait for the Blu-ray release. I’m now a total fan of the series, having now watched seasons two, three and four!!
The second and third seasons really cemented my admiration for the show. Both Joshua Jackson and Anna Torv continued to improve and evolve their characters, and of course John Noble never failed to steal each and every scene he is in. The writers kept pulling out every stop and molded what could have been a very hard to follow series into an amazing weave of inter-dimensional travel and time laden ripple effects. All you had to do was catch each episode and watch closely and carefully in order to catch every minute puzzle piece that made up the whole of “Fringe’s” mythos.
I was beyond ready for season four to be released as the previous season finale once again left viewers hanging and the fate of the worlds in balance against the fate of a single, very important character. Once the Blu-ray set arrived, I planted myself and began to watch.
There wasn’t a disappointing moment in any of the 22 episodes I sat through. Three days (on and off) of stunned viewing once again proved that “Fringe” is one of the finest and most well-thought our Sci-Fi on television. The writers were able to take a season where HUGE changes had occurred… changes that altered the time streams we had become familiar with… and still give us a show and plot line we recognized up until and past the resolution of the previous season’s end. And never was it confusing or muddled.
Of course, coming to the end of the season we are faced with yet another earth shattering cliffhanger that I cannot even begin to guess how it will be… or even can be… resolved in the fifth (and as I understand it, possible the final) season.
As for the Blu-ray release, once again Warner Brothers did not disappoint. This edition of season four of “Fringe” offers up a magnificent transfer. The image is quite simply gorgeous, clear and free of a single blemish. It truly enhances the entire look of the show, which is already shot in high definition. The effects and lighting never fail to impress. The audio is perfectly mixed throughout as well.
Mahor kudos to Warner Brothers for not scrimping on the special features, either. First and foremost is a thirty minute roundtable discussion of the science of the series with executive producers J.H. Wyman and Jeff Pinkner, actor John Noble, and scientists Nicholas Warner and Shlomo Sher , both from USC. Informative, fun and entertaining, this discussion makes the mind reel.
Additionally, there are several featurettes focusing on the Peter’s plotline (or lack therof), the Observers, and the limited series comic book. Viewers also get a look at a few pages from the comic. Rounding out the features are brief ‘Walter Moments’ and a hysterically funny Gag Reel.
I wish I could write at length about the series “Fringe”, but it is simply impossible without giving away spoilers. And going into this series knowing anything ahead of time would ruin the fun of watching. This is one of the most intelligently written sci-fi shows I’ve seen in a long time.
Neither Here Nor There
One Night in October
Alone in the World
And Those We’ve Left Behind
Back to Where We’ve Never Been
Enemy of My Enemy
Welcome to Westfield
A Better Human Being
The End of All Things
A Short Story About Love
Nothing As It Seems
Everything In Its Right Place
Letters of Transit
Brave New World (Part 1)
Brave New World (Part 2)
Starring: Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Lance Reddick, Blair Brown, Jasika Nicole, John Noble
Extras: Beyond the Fringe comic book; "A World Without Peter" featurette; "The Observers" featurette; Peter Bishop audition tapes; Gag reel; Deleted scenes; Blu-ray exclusive featurettes: "The Scientist Roundtable" and "Fringe Decoded"
Specification: Widescreen 1080p (1.78:1); Dolby Digital 5.1
Studio: Warner Brothers
Release Date: 9/4/2012
MPAA Rating: NR