JJ Abrams' Fringe - First look

Sorry this post has been a while coming - Geeky Tom has been on at me for ages (my excuse has been starting a new job, which has kept me butt-numbingly busy) but since I did finally get to see the pilot of FRINGE earlier this week, (along with a couple of other unremarkable shows) it's only fair that I share some thoughts with you and put all of us out of our misery.

You may recall that I was able to read the script a few months ago, and posted on it at the time - check this out if you want a plot summary, no spoilers of course.

I absolutely loved the script - it was exciting, intriguing and unpredictable. So while I was really looking forward to seeing it realised, I was also a little anxious about it potentially being not quite as magnificent as I'd imagined. In a nutshell, it was extremely good. I think. The opening tease on the plane, with people literally melting away, was a bit more B movie than I'd envisaged, but the effects were cool, especially later on when the main character's lover is infected with something that makes his skin go hard and translucent, so you can see all the internal organs and veins. Nice.

Joshua Jackson was fine - and went down well with a fair number of the female viewing audience - but for me, the real standouts were Anna Torv as Olivia Denham (the lead FBI agent) and John Noble as Walter Bishop, the eccentric and disturbed scientist whose research may hold the key to curing Olivia's lover. Noble (yes, you may recognise him as Denethor from Lord of the Rings - Return of the King) is sublimely good - funny and heartbreaking at the same time.

Torv is an Aussie actress who was in last year's BBC drama Mistresses (also being remade in the US fyi) as a hot lesbian mistress. She's beautiful, but in quite an understated way, and brings intelligence and guts to the part.

Although it was pretty long - clocking in around 80 minutes - my attention remained focused all the way through. Yes, there's loads of action, but there was also room to let the characters breathe and get a sense of who they are.

So overall, I think this has real potential. The only thing I would say - and this is probably more with my work hat on - is that it didn't quite give me the same rush I got when I first saw the pilot for Heroes, which was just so bold and different and immediately gripping that I was hooked from the get go. I really really like Fringe, but I don't quite feel it in my bones yet. Fingers crossed though...


Geeky Tom said...


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