By Korbi Ghosh
July 14, 01:09 AM
A few weeks ago, I snagged a copy of FOX's Fall offering, Fringe, from a friend of mine. I figure I should share some scoop with you, in addition to an observation or two about the pilot...
From Lost and Alias creator J.J. Abrams, I couldn't help but notice the similarities between those shows and Fringe, which in case you didn't know, is being described as "a drama centered around a female FBI agent who is forced to work with an institutionalized scientist in order to make sense of a brewing storm of unexplained phenomena." Many of the common aspects I can't go into now, because they're too specific and would spoil the 82-minute episode for you.
I will tell you, however, a bit about the "mad scientist" character played by actor John Noble. Prior to his institutionalization almost two decades ago, he worked out of a major university and was part of a classified U.S. Army experimental program called Kelvin Genetics. They gave him the resources to do whatever work he wanted, which was mostly in an area called Fringe Science: mind control, teleportation, invisibility, astral projection (aka "out of body" experiences), genetic mutation and reanimation. Sound familiar? Could Kelvin Genetics possibly have something to do with the Dharma Initiative? I'm going to guess and say no, but it would definitely explain a lot about Lost Island if it did, right?
Of course, there's also the matter of the strong, female lead who works for a major government agency (Alias) and the fact that the pilot opens with passengers on a plane in trouble and what happens to them will be a main focus of the series (Lost). Plus, there are daddy issues going on between Pacey Witter (aka Joshua Jackson)'s character and John Noble's (Lost and Alias). Also, by the way, my illustrious intern Marisa tells me Fringe has quite a bit in common with The X-Files as well.
In case you are wondering though, I'd give this first episode a 7 out of 10. The 82 minutes pales in comparison to Lost's first season premiere. Still, word is Abrams and company are doing a bit of tweaking to bring everything to perfection right now, so I could be eating that statement before we know it.
FYI, today is FOX's day at the Television Critics Press Tour and Fringe Exec. Producers, J.J., Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman will be on hand for a midday panel. So if you've got questions for them about what comes up post-pilot, send 'em my way. And if you'd like to know more about what happens in that first two hours, I'm here for you. Just holler at me.