It’s The X-Files, without Scully and Mulder. Or, at least, this was my first thought when I stumbled upon Fringe, a Fox series that premiered back in September. It has all of the traditional qualities of The X-Files: Supernatural gifts, telekinesis, impossible occurrences and computer viruses that melt human brains through high frequency lights and sounds. Same-old, same-old, right? Well, not exactly.
For one, the series was created by the talented J. J. Abrams. Remember the Cloverfield monster from last year? Yeah, it’s that director. The series was also created with the help of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who both helped co-write Transformers and Mission Impossible III. Fringe also contains some familiar faces in its cast, including Joshua Jackson (The Mighty Ducks, Dawson’s Creek) who co-stars and John Noble (Denethor from Lord of the Rings) as the slightly insane fringe scientist.
This is where the show comes into play. F.B.I agent Olivia Dunham (Torv) uses Dr. Walter Bishop’s (Noble) slightly unorthodox “fringe” methods to solve unexplainable events in her line of work. Fringe science, an extremely unorthodox practice, involves using things like “voodoo,” “pseudoscience,” or “cult rituals.” As an audience, I didn’t know how to take the unusual methods of research and scientific discovery, but I bought it, accepted how it worked and that was the important part.
The character’s involvements with each other, the types of cases the characters face every week and the originality of the work is what I found impressive and original about the show. Overall, it does call back to shows like The Twilight Zone and The X-files, but there is a lot of story to be found and a modern take on the supernatural.
To catch up on the episodes before the next series premiere on April 7, check out http://www.fox.com/fringe/