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Exploring the science fiction barely beyond our own reality, Fringe is an extremely entertaining new show about science run amok. Every day it seems as if there are new scientific breakthroughs that defy the laws of what we know to be true, and creators J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci have crafted a fascinating mythology around this concept.
Centering on what is referred to as “The Pattern,” the show explores a seemingly random series of disasters all somehow linked through “fringe science.” Anna Torv plays Olivia Dunham, the newest addition to the Fringe Division of the FBI. She is teamed up with Walter Bishop (brilliantly played by John Noble), who’s work is directly responsible for many of the incidents in “The Pattern.” As the show begins, he is in a mental institution, and is released to his old lab in order to assist Olivia. The third main cast member is Walter’s sarcastic son Peter (Joshua Jackson). The interaction between these three provides the backbone of the show and gives it the human element a global story like Fringe needs.
Very much in the vein of The X-Files, Fringe alternates it’s stories between the seemingly stand-alone and those based on the show’s central mythology. As the season progressed, the long-term story became more of a focus, and this is when the show really began to come into it’s own. I personally found Episode 10, entitled Safe, to be a major turning point for the show. It was in this episode that they really began exploring the larger scope of the story, setting up a season ender that completely redefines what the show is about.
Exclusive Clip from the DVD:
On September 8, the entire first season comes to Blu-Ray. One of the most cinematic shows on television, Fringe works perfectly in this format. Frequently shot on location, and featuring a wide variety of practical and computer generated effects, this is the type of show that needs to be seen in the best format possible. Every episode looks gorgeous and watching in this new technology only enhances the experience.
The set also features some really compelling bonus features. One of the more interesting ones showcases six individual scenes, which are then analyzed by “experts who evaluate with notes, photos and diagrams.” This feature doesn’t entirely pertain to the show itself, but it is fascinating to see just how close the concepts of the story mirror real studies happening today. There is also a really fun feature on the visual-effects, as well as short behind-the-scenes segments on each episode.
My only real complaint with the set is in the layout of the extras. They are all scattered throughout the discs, either attached to the episodes or in their own sections. Personally, I would have preferred to have everything together instead of having to hunt down each segment individually. This is a minor complaint, however, for what is a great set. I thoroughly enjoyed Season 1, and the cliffhanger has me genuinely excited for Season 2. If you haven’t seen the show yet, I definitely recommend catching up for the new season, and Blu-Ray is a great way to see it.