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109 of 112 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly hit and miss, but mostly excellent
There's no denying it, really: Fringe treads precisely the same ground as The X Files. Except, where X-Files was almost uniformly supernatural or alien-y, Fringe approaches it all with science. Or, rather, "fringe science". So while it deals with the same topics, (such as telekinesis, telepathy, ghosts, "alien" parasites, spontaneous combustion and even vampires) each is...
Published on 15 May 2009 by Anna

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Supernatural, this is not.
Tried this series as it's one of the most commonly watched, according to IMDB, when people have enjoyed watching Supernatural. I didn't like this at all, which is a shame. It's really well reviewed and highly thought of, but I was quite disappointed. Shame, really.
Published 7 days ago by R. Willis


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109 of 112 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly hit and miss, but mostly excellent, 15 May 2009
By 
This review is from: Fringe - Season 1 [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
There's no denying it, really: Fringe treads precisely the same ground as The X Files. Except, where X-Files was almost uniformly supernatural or alien-y, Fringe approaches it all with science. Or, rather, "fringe science". So while it deals with the same topics, (such as telekinesis, telepathy, ghosts, "alien" parasites, spontaneous combustion and even vampires) each is given an entirely earthly scientific explanation. The explanations are, of course, as fanciful as any explanation given in the X-Files, and that's a part of its charm.

It has 3 leads, really: Anna Torv as Olivia Dunn, an FBI agent, Joshua Jackson as Peter Bishop and John Noble (the unmitigated gem and joy of the entire series) as mad scientific genius, Walter Bishop. Walter is Peter's estranged father, and watching their relationship gradually develop is really very lovely.

Fringe is a complex and wildy twisty series, so describing any one part of it is immensely tricky as it's a little like a knotted ball of string, so everything is connected to everything else.

Each episode is stand alone in terms of topic, ie, telepathy, but arcing throughout the series are multiple threads and you need to watch every episode to keep a handle on them. There's the mysterious, unseen William Bell, Walter Bishop's former lab partner; there's a shadowy, seemingly emotionless, hairless man who seems to be everywhere you look; Nina Sharp, the secretive face of "Massive Dynamic", a huge science and technology conglomerate started by William Bell; Olivia Dunn's past: the tests she went through as a child, and Bell and Bishop's involvement; the big mystery about Peter's childhood and "death"... on and on it goes, everything inextricably linked with everything else, and everything revolving around Walter.

Some of the episodes are phenomenally good and some are terribly lacklustre, making the series so far quite hit and miss. Without John Noble as Walter Bishop, Fringe would be mediocre - he is absolutely its heart and soul - so everything combined, so far so watchable.

However. The final episode is breath-taking. Actually, that needs to be condensed even further: the final scene is breath-taking. I can't possibly overstate how powerful it is. The entire episode is hugely intriguing, and asks as many questions as it hints the answers to. Plus there's a lovely cameo from a sci-fi legend, so it was already rubbing the elbow of greatness. Then the final scene came, and I watched it blithely and contentedly, thinking nothing of it. The camera pulled back slowlyslowly for the big reveal and when realisation sunk in, my skin literally prickled. It was eerie, and it made my head fuzzy for about an hour.

I find myself thinking of it, and wondering, "What if?" The entire series is almost worth watching for that one scene alone. Luckily, the entire series is, overall, really very good, so it won't be a big ole waste of your time. Yes, Fringe is most certainly an homage to X-Files. But it's done well, so no harm done. I Can't Believe It's Not Butter is an homage to butter... but it's still lovely on toast.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There's more than one of everything, 14 Sep 2010
This review is from: Fringe - Season 1 [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Great series, I think, and friends I've passed it on to / watched episodes with agree.
Yes, you're a bit more likely to enjoy it if you like sf-type shows, but the acting is good and the ever-building narrative is terrific - always enough momentum to get over the sporadic holes in the plot!
Plus if you like this, you will certainly want to get Season 2 ...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and imaginative series, 9 April 2011
This review is from: Fringe - Season 1 [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
This series is well worth watching. As an X-Files fan there hasn't been anything close to being as good as that series until Fringe came along. The first season does take a while to get going but boy when it does it grabs hold and doesn't let go!

Mystery, intrigue and well rounded characters you care about, not forgetting Gene the cow. It has a whole series story arc so it works better watched as a box set rather than episodic tv with concentration breaking adverts.

Give it a go, and to all you Bowie fans there is obviously a Bowie fan on the writing staff...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TANTALIZING AND ADDICTIVE, 4 April 2011
By 
Mr. D. L. Rees "LEE DAVID" (DORSET) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fringe - Season 1 [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Scientific genius Walter Bishop specialized in experiments which extended the boundaries. The work took its toll. For seventeen years since he has been in a mental institution. Now extraordinary events are baffling the experts. A department is set up to investigate, Walter's great talents again in demand....

Yes, there are reminders of "The X Files", but "Fringe" stands firmly on its two feet - intriguing cases, a fine cast, much excitement, lots of gore and, perhaps surprisingly, many laughs.

The three central characters are well off the beaten track: Walter himself, still a genius but badly affected by all the time locked away; Peter his son, initially wanting nothing to do with him but gradually softening (and putting his own dodgy skills to far better use); FBI agent Olivia, severely shaken by the loss of her partner and allegations he was a traitor. Dispirate they may be but their chemistry is good, a major reason why everything works so well.

20 episodes - pilot eighty minutes, the others around fifty. In fact this boxed set is exceptional value, especially well endowed with bonuses. One of those bonuses tells how some seemingly preposterous storylines are not as farfetched as may be thought - mindboggling projects far more advanced than publicized. Surely these cannot include men walking through walls, butterflies causing a business executive's death plunge, someone dying of old age within hours of his birth, a hand emerging from a computer to boil the user's brain? We can but speculate.

Much grabs the attention and thoroughly entertains, especially the hints we have seen nothing yet - Season 1 representing just the tip of the iceberg, something far more substantial about to be revealed. What has The Observer to do with it - he the bald man so often around, in some episodes glimpsed for only a second or two?

Again I have to thank fellow reviewers for alerting me to a worthy series that would otherwise have been missed.

Great!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Witty, well plotted and entertaining., 20 Feb 2011
By 
Willy Eckerslike (France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fringe - Season 1 [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Despite its conceptual similarity to the X-files, this series manages to avoid being a re-hash of an old format. The `science' is without doubt `fringe' (more like totally far-fetched) so it doesn't do to watch this with a rational scientific head on but it is still entertaining and the Massive Dynamic and `the pattern' back plots are sufficiently engaging to keep a hint of conspiracy running through the series. As with most TV series' there are, of course, a few duff episodes but the fine performance of John Noble (the nothing-like-mad-enough Denethor from Lord of the Rings amongst other things) as the scatty Walter Bishop and the I've-just-walked-off-the-set-of-The-Wire performance of Lance Reddick maintain the strongly character based storylines thus ensuring that the pseudo-scientific nonsense does not intrude on the central narrative. It's a well written and entertaining TV show with a clever bit of plotting and we're very much looking forward to the arrival of series two.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stick with it, 18 Jan 2011
This review is from: Fringe - Season 1 [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
I'm never one to quit a TV series after a copuple of episodes, but i have to admit i very nearly did with Fringe. If it wasn't for Joshua Jackson and John Noble's characters i probably would have.

But i persevered and i'm glad i did because this does pick up the pace (and series 2 is even better). Then you suddenly find yourself thinking back to the earlier episodes and realising "hey, they weren't so bad!). It borrows heavily from the likes of CSI, X-Files, Twilight Zone etc but not much is original these days. And if you liked Lost, then you know Abrams won't let you down (ok, well maybe a little bit!).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fringe Series 1 DVD, 5 Nov 2010
By 
Mr. N. Sutcliffe "Norm" (Gorleston, Norfolk. UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fringe - Season 1 [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
This is a truly brilliant series. One of the best to come from America in a long while.
It has a bit of everything. Thought provoking, intrigue, suspence, shock, comedy moments and funny one liners from Walter Bishop (Joshua Jackson). Supurb acting throughout from all concerned.
A cut above the rest, don't miss it, highly recommended, Anna Torv is hot!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Show of Infinite Possibilities, 9 Aug 2010
The show explores a myriad of scientific concepts, and builds a narrative around them that is compelling. Characters develop within complex and sometimes poignant relationships, while investigating the tense thread that ties each episode together. Good acting and a good show.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely enjoyable and exciting television, 29 July 2010
By 
A. Watts "aceofspades2345" (Bournemouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fringe - Season 1 [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
This show has real promise! A must for anyone who likes a good conspiracy/mystery, this show rockets along with a self sustaining momentum. The set up is simple enough, FBI agent Olivia Dunham goes about her job, falls in love with her all american partner and is a damned good cop. But everything is not as it appears. Her partner John Scott is injured in an explosion triggered by a man he's chasing in relation to a very unusual plane crash. Then his skin goes see through. This calls for a scientist! But not any scientist will do, the only one who seems like he could possibly help worked for the government doing very unusual, top secret and morally dubious experiments in the seventies in a field called fringe science (basically anything weird like hypnosis, ESP, teleportation, etc). The only problem is that he's properly mental, and has been in an asylum since that time!

This scientist is Walter Bishop, a quixotic and capricious character, who can only be released under the supervision of his only living relative, his estranged but equally brilliant son Peter Bishop. Olivia convinces Peter to get Walter released so he can save John. We find that Walter's ex lab partner, William Bell, is the founder of the biggest company in the world, Massive Dynamic, which is at the forefront of scientific development, and Massive Dynamic seem to have a hand in John Scott's transparent skin. A shan't ruin the end of the episode, but this is the basic template for the rest of the show. We have the triumvirate of Olivia, the passionate, but by the book police officer, with a knack of spotting things others miss, Peter, a snarky and cynical boy genius with temper issues, and Walter, often distracted, always inappropriate, but invariably on the nose with his analysis of whatever pseudo-science in on show that week. The interplay between them starts off ok and gets better and better as time goes on. Every week there is a new case of seemingly impossible things happening, normally involving dangerous or gruesome crimes, all of which we learn are linked in something called "The Pattern", and Olivia is recruited to a top secret FBI division tasked with getting to the bottom of it. She enlists Walter as a consulting scientist, and Peter as the only person who "speaks Walter" who help explain how the strange things happen, and suggest novel ways in which she can find out who is doing them.

The reason this show doesn't get 5 stars is due to Peter. For about half the episodes, he feels a little bit superfluous, as if the producers thought it would be a good idea for there to be someone to be dubious about some of the more ridiculous ideas Walter comes up with, and someone to punch someone every so often, but decided to make these minor roles a major character. However, towards the back end of the series he becomes more useful, and his sarcastic comments (which were annoying, to be frank) become less frequent, and more pertinent.

As you should expect from a J.J.Abrams production, it's very well acted (especially John Noble as Walter and Anna Torv as Olivia), slickly produced, and the intrigue and plot twists come thick and fast (though it's not quite so unanswering as Lost, which is a definite boon). However, many of the episodes, as well as the overarching story are genuinely exciting, as opposed to just intriguing. This program has a lot of potential, and I have already preordered the second series for September. And after the double whammy reveal at the end of the last episode, I can't wait!
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative, well written sci-fi, 29 Mar 2010
This review is from: Fringe - Season 1 [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Being a massive fan of the sci-fi genre, I picked up this boxset just last week (good decision too as it has now gone back up in price!). However, I had already watched the first season. In fact, I am currently watching season two, which will be coming to an end soon.

Firstly, the show is just great. It's refreshing to see a show perfect the sci-fi genre so well. The explanations for each scenario are complete nonsense but when you're watching, it just passes you by and you forget to care about it. The cast is fantastic, a great ensemble of characters that you would never think to see working together yet are thrust into the same team.

The show focuses on a team of investigators (an FBI agent, genius scientist who spent 17 years in a mental institution and his wayward son) working on mysterious, odd cases which are all part of "The Pattern". These include mind control, teleportation, alternate universes, astral projection, mutation and many other situations that are simply out of this world. Some of the episodes are genuinely gory and creepy, so this is probably not something to let the young ones watch! The show also has a very interesting story arc that continues through each episode and also into season two.

The stories are great, the writing is great, the cast are great. To put it simply, if you like sci-fi and enjoyed watching the x files when that was on television, then Fringe is certainly for you. It's modern, funny at times and genius at the same time.

However, there is one thing I must bring up that is not a positive. It is not regarding the show itself, but again, the packaging it comes in. My packaging might simply be a one off but the first time I opened each DVD case, a handful of small pieces of black plastic came tumbling out. These pieces of plastic are what holds each disc in place. The prongs are very loose and although it may be simply a case of bad luck, I fear that if any more fall out, the discs will be unable to remain still and slip about inside the case. On a more positive note, the front cover of the DVD set is great. It is that material that changes picture depending on how you tilt it, which is a nice touch.

P.S. Look out for a mysterious bald man in each episode. Buy this DVD and you'll know what I mean ;)
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Fringe - Season 1 [DVD] [2009]
Fringe - Season 1 [DVD] [2009] by Anna Torv (DVD - 2009)
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