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"Fringe" More at IMDbPro »

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25 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

Disappointing X Files Imitator

Author: gookooko from United States
12 February 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Here's the basic premise of the show: the smartest man in the history of the world, a combination of Einstein Cubed/Scott from Star Trek, is left to rot for 17 years in a mental institution, even after he has worked on super duper top secret government experiments. An FBI agent decides she needs him to save her partner/lover and so she walks into the mental institution and he is released on the signature of his son and becomes part of her team, along with his son.

Almost every episode, at least in the first season, then involves this scientist "remembering" some experiment or invention he worked on 17 or 20 years previously which is being used in the present for some nefarious intent.

His son, meanwhile, in almost every episode, says things like, "it's just a dream," "that can't be happening," "think of what your saying," etc. etc.

One episode, late in Season 1, when you would hope the show would be reaching it's potential, will serve as an example. A group of animal lovers break into a lab to free animals used to test shampoo, etc. One of them sees a mysterious "door." He picks the lock on the door, and finds a, unlocked, second, big metal door, which he opens. That big mental door has a big, really big, genetically mutated monster behind it, which is released. The rest of the show is the team hunting down the CGI monster so as to save the human race and also another FBI agent who's been stung and implanted with monster offspring. Very stupid episode.

It all just becomes annoying and stupid.

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71 out of 139 people found the following review useful:

Don't worry about the logic, just enjoy the drama

Author: LouE15 from United Kingdom
22 October 2009

Incomprehensibly negative reviews here: what heights of TV brilliance were all these disappointed people expecting? Seriously, this is just 'mad science' packaged beautifully for mid-evening TV (after work, brain no longer required), and it does, I think, exactly what it says on the tin. I understand that creator J J Abrams was behind "Alias" and "Lost". OK, yes, pretty good. soaring expectations were based on what, exactly? (And no, I'm not counting his wonderful "Star Trek" - different medium, different ball game.)

The formula is familiar to us all from countless scientific exploration/forensic/detective shows, so to me there was no great leap to understand the setup, and definitely no questioning of it. It's not deep – add one part crime detection, two parts quirky "work family", one part dysfunctional father-son relationship, and four parts pseudo-science, conspiracy government plot science. Do we actually mind that it's "X Files" for a new generation? Or that the detecting conclusions leapt to through impossible scientific bounds are tenuous in the extreme? Who cares?! Does it actually need to make sense if it's addictive and well made?

I don't spend my mid-evening TV time worrying about continuity and logic, especially not for shows like this which make throwing logic out of the window sort of a point of honour. Provided - as in this case - it loosely ties together, the characters are not cardboard cut-outs and have interesting inter-relationships, and it looks pretty good and keeps the low-IQ part (of course it's only a part!) of my brain entertained, I pretty much got what I came for. I like Agent Olivia's fearless stares; I like Peter Bishop's murky past (a little at odds with his boyish face under the beard); I like the supporting cast, especially Broyles (forever Lt. Daniels in my mind!) and, crowning glory, I adore Dr Walter Bishop, bless his delightfully unhinged self-medicating cotton socks. I love it. And now despise me if you dare.

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137 out of 271 people found the following review useful:

Initial disappointment followed by continued disappointment

Author: bringmehere from United States
10 February 2009

I love The X-Files. I knew that nothing could replace The X-Files and I wasn't expecting Fringe to do this. But, I was expecting at least basic plausibility, decent writing, and at least someone that could act. I got none of these. Well, I should say, John Noble (Dr. Walter Bishop) does a good job. Other than that--good lord these characters are flat! Anna Torv's acting is a flat as her character.

One thing that made The X-Files addictive was that Chris Carter mixed up the episodes--a series of myth-arc/conspiracy episodes and then a series of single, self-contained episodes. Fringe tries for constant conspiracy tension all the time, which is simply...tiring and predictable. It's hard to get excited about something that is being constantly shoved in your face all of the time--and in the most obvious manner. Nothing is left unexplained. Like Astrid's character--she's only there to move the plot along. She's always asking the most obvious, simple-minded questions. This way another character can lay everything out for you just in case a person in a vegetative coma is watching and is having trouble keeping the plot straight. As for plausibility--why in the world is Joshua Jackson's character allowed to be in any of the FBI protected crime scenes he gets into without any questions? Oh, and they bring a former mental patient along too! Who also gets to have a lab--no questions asked--at Harvard where they can do very illegal medical procedures and experiments.

Blech blech blech.

I tried. I watched for weeks. But no more. I couldn't take it any longer. Don't wait for it to get better, because it won't.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

WOW Anna Torv and John Noble

Author: Ahmad Radi (
18 May 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I just finished watching this TV masterpiece today and I created an account on IMDb just to write my opinion. I had seen a couple of episodes in the original run, and being a fan of The X-Files I thought that one day I'll give it a shot. Before watching the series I read the reviews and I wasn't that happy but I still thought the few scenes I saw for John Noble deserved a chance. And God am I happy I did, it was wonderful. Of course to be honest, the science sometimes wasn't convincing, and being a doctor I was disappointed by the easy mistakes. Also as I have read in other reviews, Peter's history is a question mark (If the observers never existed, then September couldn't have distracted Walternate, who would have realized that he had reached a cure. So Walter wouldn't have taken him). But on the other hand we have the background story and the relationships that grew with every season to take over and become the main attraction. And boy did they succeed, the family that evolved throughout the series and the pure emotions were so enjoying to watch. Then we have the actors. I was not at all surprised to see the genius portrayal of John Noble to his character, it was Golden Globe level. And at last ANNA TORV, she is simply BEAUTIFUL. The way she understood Olivia's history and how it showed in every scene was amazing. The clear difference between the two Olivia's, made us all understand the pain behind "If you looked in her eyes you would've known she wasn't me". The transition in Olivia's character and how she gradually let down her guard when she became surrounded by the people she loved, was done perfectly expressed and easily perceived. ANNA TORV's brilliance will soon be recognized.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Why did it have to end???

Author: annie from Dallas, TX
7 May 2017

I loved this story and John Noble is just beyond amazing as an actor. You can almost think he must have a personality like Walter, because he is so convincingly a fragile genius, until the alternate world Walter. Just a captivating story! I think this is one of the best shows out there.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The story of Humanity)

Author: Engelberth
31 March 2017

J.J. is an amazing man. First I watched his "Alias" and was completely in love with Jennifer Garner) It's a kind of magic) What J.J. does and I'd like to thank him here) Thank you J.J. for making these shows that make some moments of my life truly magical))

Now... no spoilers at all. Just a hint) Tiny one) The choice for John Noble for this show was a hit) The thing is his Denethor character, in the Lord of the rings,how he was deeply... madly obsessed with his sons, and mostly, Faramir... this obsession and this character was somehow brought into this show.

But Walther Bishop is not Denethor he is a joyride)) This actor John Noble creates such an impossible character... deeply humane, deeply..hugely funny..and yet with a shakespearean tragedy inside.

You know, you can watch Fringe on a rainy day and get sunshine from this Walther)) Try it)

I actually prefer this show to Lost. The chemistry between the main characters is not just believable, it's alive) I think Fringe is the most kind, humane and really ... best thing J.J. did really)) There are some horror scenes, some FBI routine but this company of leading characters it... feels like family in a good way))

And this is what I would really like to stress out. The thing that J.J. does and always tries to do is actually not fantasy, sci-fi and twists in a plot. It is about people being together. Despite of all differences, all the controversies, offences and misconceptions... to be together and be happy.. simple and true... this is his message))

So... I guess I haven't made a very good review about the show because I'm kind of living in it...with it... with these very beautiful characters) But give it a try)) Do not compare it to X Files or other shows, just remember - this is a brilliant show, full of great stories , great twists, great people, but in the fist place, first and foremost it is about pepole being together, the story of Humanity

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Crazy and Hypnotic Dystopia-Utopia

Author: Dr Jacques COULARDEAU from Olliergues, France
16 September 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This series is fascinatingly obsessive and compulsive.

It is schizophrenic but it avoids any simple binary reduction. It is based on the binary existence of our world and a parallel universe that is nothing but our own world blocked so to say before the Twin Towers were brought down, hence before September 11. This other world has the same basic six characters but they are different because they live in a different system. Our world is supposed to be rational and democratic. So crazy scientists are put in some psychiatric institution or used in the wings behind the public scene and hidden away from public attention and view working for some marginal clandestine though absolutely official branch of the FBI. In the parallel world the crazy scientist is the Minister of Defense. Both of course are two versions of Dr Walter Bishop. This parallel world blocked in an ancient state of development is undemocratic. It is typically some kind of East German police industrial world with an ever present super security unit called FRINGE. But in this other world this security agency is visible, hyper visible and even overwhelmingly dominant.

If it were only these two universes it would be banal. But systematically the series is based on triads of characters and situations. The scientific pole of this utopia/dystopia is ternary: Dr Walter Bishop, Nina Sharp and Dr William Bell. The two scientists are in love with Nina who is the industrialist of this triad of crazy minds. She builds, constructs and realizes all the most undreamable fancies and plans of the other two. Then there is a third universe systematically referred to and never actually described in which David Robert Jones who escapes from his German prison by using some technology invented by the other two, Dr Walter Bishop and Dr William Bell. The first one is a thief for sure but without the other two he is nothing. He will even become the associate of Dr William Bell, when this one will have to leave the alternate universe of ours where he had taken refuge away from Dr Walter Bishop when he was institutionalized.

Such triads are quite common and basic. The two essential universe are under the observation and then finally under the colonization of another parallel world that is not specified. This world, a fourth world, the world of the Observers, is a world of utter genetic manipulation, artificial for plain humans who are implanted some enhancing device in the brain, and purely genetic afterwards with the child, Michael, who is produced without any sexual intercourse. In fact the world of the observers is a purely and entirely male universe and it will have to be defeated in a way or another because it is a dictatorship. This destruction is centered on another triad: Dr Bishop, Michael and Michael's father known as September when he was an observer and now Donald since he has been deprived of his cerebral enhancing unit. This triad is essential since one adult man has to take Michael to some point in the future where he will be able to change the past and reset the world to before the invasion of observers and at the same time get rid of them altogether.

This is the central theme in this series: the role, power and sacrifice of fathers. Michael's father, Peter's fathers (there are two Peters originally: the one in our universe who dies as a child and the one in the parallel universe who is dying but our universe's Dr Walter Bishop crosses the frontier and steals the second Peter from his parallel parents, bringing the other Dr Walter Bishop into his vengeful mood that will turn the other universe into a hostile fiend.) and even Peter when he becomes a father with the Olivia Dunham of the parallel universe (in fact his original universe) and even when he becomes a father with Olivia Dunham in our universe: and yet the first child (a boy) just vanishes from the series, sacrificed to Peter choice to remain in our universe, and the sacrifice of the second child (a girl) fighting against the observers will have to be reversed, and the girl saved. But a father has to be sacrificed (not a son: inversion of the Christian myth), one for the opening of a bridge between the two universes, one to accompany Michael to the future. There are always two fathers or father figures and only one will live the moment through, though in the end, in the final end, the survivor of the first pair will be sacrificed in his turn. No hope, dear fathers: you have to die.

And yet the last episode turns this dystopia into the most enlightened happy utopian ending. But this is a last scene or sequence and we know it is pure closing up time, last drink gentlemen and this last drink is heavily diluted in syrup: If time is brought back and the observers are gotten rid of, then at this happy moment somewhere in 2015 or so Dr Walter Bishop in our world should be alive and kicking. So his selfless sacrifice is in fact an extremely selfish nice little trip to the future to be healthy and happy when back to the present. We knew from the start that there is no possible trip back to the future if it is not aiming at blissfully surviving in the present. Never ever believe a mad scientist: crazy for sure but egotistically umbilical.

A series for people who really want to believe in phenomenal X-files and the existence of innumerable parallel universes. But be careful: it is hypnotic, hence habit forming


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

It's great !

Author: kuzubayan from Istanbul, Turkey
17 August 2015

this series is great that I have ever seen . I think that It make love science to people.Of course that use to well. And I think the main subject of the series that had to do with the relationship of father and it wasn't cliché relationship of mother and child. It take us messages about science and future.. everything would be in the world.possible. each chapter different is exciting. I am thinking about what I am watching now.Because Also my idol is Walter Bishop ! We'll miss Fringe family ! especially Charlie screamed 'FBI' where he entered and Walter's mind :) All the players was very successful.Thank you J.J Abrams !

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Lovechild of the best Sci-fi shows in existence (spoilers possible)

Author: Mark Green from United States
3 April 2016

Without a doubt the love child of The X-Files and Twilight Zone, two of the best sci-fi series to date. This show is full of amazing acting, great ciinematography and everything needed to keep you on the edge of your seat at all times.

Don't listen to the critics, this is one of those TV shows you have to watch for yourself to judge. While some TV shows that require you to only watch a handful of episodes to figure out if you want to continue or not, you need to watch a entire season possibly to figure out if the arc is going to head in the direction for you. It takes up to the middle or more of the second season to go into a full arc mode, as most of the episodes are cases of the week, or tell a story of a future arc in little pieces put together to tease you and keep you watching.

Not only is the writing great because of the science fiction and the main storyline of the series, but the acting is TOP NOtCH. This series contains some of the best acting and not only that but it contains a family style of story. These four end up being family and it;s obvious throughout the series that they get closer.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Scifi romance with action, adventure and time travel.

Author: steel_indigo from United States
13 September 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I generally watch movies because series shows always get canceled and many prematurely as this series due to flawed viewer tallies. I have watched all five seasons and loved this show but I am a big science fiction and fantasy fan and this was actually a mixture of the two with a romance threaded throughout the storyline. I felt this particular series was genius. I have read many of the negative reviews and I feel they are people that really don't care for science fiction or know much about fringe science. Anna Torv was excellent in the part of Agent Dunham. She had a lot to do with carrying this series off. She kept her character in line with the story. She wasn't a demonstrative person due to her childhood and that was well portrayed and when they changed to the alternative universe there was a distinct difference between the personalities of the two. Some have stated she can't act and I think that is a big stretch of the imagination to ever say that about this actress. She did a great job with her part as did John Noble who played the eccentric scientist, Walter. He had to play dual roles as well and did an excellent job along with Blair Brown who played Nina. Then there was Peter played by Joshua Jackson and the real reason I wanted to see the show since I love this actor.

This was a fast paced series except for the first few setup episodes before they established the theme. Since I am interested in Fringe Science I was delighted with the series. I was stumped by the cyphers they kept showing. I understand at least one person figured out the first one which was said to mean Observer. Some of the topics that came up in introduction like synesthesia is not considered as fringe and many universities are studying the condition which is sensory. I didn't see it presented in the story but it was in the lists of topics that appeared. I loved Jesika Nicole as Astrid especially the version from the alternate universe. Over time the characters became endearing. I don't find it anything like the X-Files at all and prefer Fringe to that show. Time travel, alternate universes and other topics mentioned are hot topics right now so you may see them in the story lines of many science fiction series. The 4400 investigated the topic as well but differently. It doesn't make the shows alike just because it has topical similarities. I believe the show was canceled too soon and I know it had a following with older people because many of my friends were watching it that are older than 49 where Nielsen has a cutoff. I recommend this series to any hardcore science fiction fan who doesn't mind a little romance thrown in and a lovable mad scientist. The last show was a pretty good ending to the series and for me brought tears but all the same if it had to end there it was satisfying.

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