On the ?Fringe? of the future

David MacNeal

J.J. Abrams is that science-fiction-loving, all-knowing nerd on the weird end of the neighborhood block. The type of guy who archived a bug collection and sold us into manga; the type of guy that continually fantasizes about the tech-saturated future we’re inevitably nearing.

‘Fringe’ is the byproduct of that world of modern science, and the direction it’s headed. Satellite-induced tsunamis, robotic limbs, and suspended aging are marvels once met with reproach, but are now considered commonplace in our expectations.

Akin to predecessors such as ‘The X-Files,’ ‘The Twilight Zone,’ and ‘Twin Peaks’ the pilot episode of ‘Fringe’ proves that the series seems like it will offer more from the pseudo-scientific teat.

After witnessing an airborne pathogen spread over Flight 627, FBI agent Olivia Dunham, played by Anna Torv, investigates the lifeless plane at Boston’s Logan Airport. The plane is unscathed, but the bionic terror inside is akin to something David Cronenberg would cook-up in a dungeon. Passengers have been reduced to visible man anatomy kits’mdash;their guts, bones, and muscles clearly displayed.

The dramatic notes follow in that of an engaging mystery as Dunham coerces help from Joshua Jackson’s character, Peter Bishop and his father, Dr. Walter Bishop. Relocated to a lab beneath Harvard, the trio use unhinged problem solving, at one point using LSD to induce a ‘shared dream state’ as an order of interrogation, to find the bioterrorist behind the crime.

As expected, the clues begin to point to a multi-billion dollar corporation, in this case, Massive Dynamic. And due to Dunham’s success, her superior brings her in on mysteries classified ‘above top secret,’ setting the ground for a series of scientific abnormalities.

‘How can we protect people when corporations have higher clearances than we do?’ says fellow FBI agent Charlie Francis to Dunham, ruling out the agency as obsolete. This unorthodox reality and discouragement will be a major draw as to what methods for accessibility are implemented.

The only worry about ‘Fringe’ is that J.J. Abrams might attempt to tap the ‘The X-Files’ vein and re-use plot fragments. Other than that, Anna Torv’s acting is fresh and promising, unlike so many half-baked reappearing personas plaguing the current television landscape. Paired along with Joshua Jackson and sci-fi television veteran John Noble, the series promises to be DVD-collection worthy