Since Fringe (one of the best TV shows / series ever) ended in 2013, TV has never been the same, missing an integral and interesting sci-fi link.
Science-fiction has always had a special place on TV, captivating audiences all over the world for decades. Shows like Doctor Who and The Twilight Zone have been fan favourites since the late 1950s, the former even having started in black and white and only in later seasons moving to colour.
Although no longer a popular choice for many studios producing series, network TV was responsible for many of the most influential sci-fi storylines in pop culture today. For example, J.J. Abrams’ Lost gripped audiences all around the world for over six seasons airing on ABC. Many others followed in its wake, possibly even inspired by the influential Lost, such as Alcatraz, Revolution and Flashforward.
One of the more recent and biggest series that was genre-defining for sci-fi, is another TV show that was spearheaded by Abrams (along with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci): Fringe.
Fringe aired on Fox in 2008 and followed Olivia Dunham, portrayed by Anna Torv, who joined the FBI’s Fringe Division after investigating a plane that lands full of dead passengers whose skin has completely crystallized.
She and her team (which included Joshua Jackson as Peter Bishop, John Noble as Dr. Walter Bishop, Jasika Nicole as Astrid Farnsworth, Lance Reddick as Phillip Broyles) look into bizarre cases involving transhumanist experiments that have gone wrong, doomsday cults, giant parasitic worms being smuggled inside illegal immigrants and much more.
The impressive cast also included Blair Brown as Nina Sharp, Michael Cerveris as The Observer, Kirk Acevedo as Charlie Francis, Jared Harris as David Robert Jones and Leonard Nimoy as Dr. William Bell.
It’s practically impossible to mention sci-fi series and not think of Chris Carter’s The X-Files as that was a TV-redefining procedural drama that set one of the highest bars when it comes to mystery and intrigue. Fringe follows in its footsteps with an undeniably similar premise which the TV show is not afraid to flaunt. It’s almost surprising how much Fox let them get away with.
The X-Files sees Fox Mulder, portrayed by David Duchovny, and Dana Scully, portrayed by Gillian Anderson, investigating aliens, mad scientists, and the supernatural, yet while following a similar format to the iconic series, Fringe knows its limits and has never tried to outdo its predecessor, never trying to go too big and sticks to experimental science. They have never had to do any more than keep their focus there as they dive into many fascinating directions within those limits, each episode could seemingly sustain a full season-long story all on its own.
Rewatching the sci-fi series today makes it clear that this dose of mystery and weirdness is exactly what’s been missing from TV since Fringe ended in 2013.
Many fans hope for a reboot or continuation, however, many more feel that the show had a wonderful conclusion and are quite happy to rewatch the series, dreading that new episodes would break the wonder and mystery of the original. Don’t fix what isn’t broken, right?
What did you think about the TV show Fringe?