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Fringe: Complete First Season [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Fringe ~ Season 1
Easily one of the most interesting and unusual science fiction shows of recent times, Fringe comes from J.J. Abrams, the very same man who had a hand in Lost, Alias and the quite brilliant recent Star Trek movie reboot. And while this may be lower profile than some of those projects, it’s nonetheless equally as worthy of attention.
The central concept is actually quite similar to The X-Files, with a core of three main characters investigating what they call ‘fringe science’. This manifests itself with a series of unusual situations and happenings, that the team proceed to investigate and try and get to the bottom of.
The Fringe crew consists of FBI Special Agent Olivia Dunham, Peter Bishop and the quite brilliant creation that is his father, Walter Bishop. Walter, played expertly by John Noble, is like every mad scientist in the world wrapped into one wonderful character, and Fringe is often at its strongest when he’s is stage centre.
This first season of Fringe runs for 20 episodes, all of which are included on this set, and it does occasionally struggle to find its feet. That’s no surprise given the show’s infancy, but it also hits some spectacularly good highs, including a marvellous cameo in the season finale that’d be remiss to spoil here. It also throws in a smart underlying narrative, and leaves things finally poised for the already-commissioned second season. In short, a strong show, and one with real potential to get even better. --Jon Foster
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As per the Amazon description there are some similarities to the 'X files' but the series has a faster pace and the characters are warmer and more likeable. Walter Bishop, the scientist emerging after 17 years spent in a secure mental institution is the 'archetypal' mad but inspired scientist, who is very endearing yet clueless on a social level. The part is played quite brilliantly and injects a much needed element of humour which really sets the show apart from the intensity of the 'X files' The rest of the cast are also convincing, no wooden acting here as so often found in Sci-fi.
Unlike the 'X files' where the underlying narrative is often obscured by episode after episode focussing on the particular investigation to hand, the characters, the individual cases and the central precept are developed hand in hand so by every third episode or so you move closer to an understanding of the bigger picture. This is quite ingenuously linked to the gradual recovery of memories long since buried as Walter Bishop recovers from his long incarceration and comes to terms with his past.
A highly recommended series for all Sci-fi buffs, can't wait to see how the story develops in Series 2!
Even if you are not particularly a science fiction fan, that need not matter. This is not just for nerds.
Although naturally squeamish I was able to cope with the scenes of blood and strange mutations. However, some people may find a few scenes too strong.
It is interesting in the DVD extras to hear the actress and actor playing two of the three central characters (all of whom are very good) speaking in their natural Australian accents, rather than as the American characters they play. It was pleasant also to see one of them, Anna Torv (Australian of part Estonian ancestry, apparently), actually smiling a lot in the DVD extra interviews. As so often in anything vaguely science fiction, when playing her character she has to look serious and concerned most of the time.
As one reviewer here suggested, I am sure the average FBI agent, expecially after leaping into a back alley to chase and fight a dangerous criminal, would not look as glamorous as Anna Torv; but so what, this is fiction and entertainment, not a documentary!
Amazing, with great stories both individually and as part of the ongoing arc.
(Just bought this first series for my brother too!)
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