COMPLETE FIRST SEASON
Fringe: The Complete First Season (+ BD-Live) [Blu-ray] (2009)
Actors: Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Lance Reddick, Kirk
Directors: J.J. Abrams
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Number of discs: 5
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: September 8, 2009
Run Time: 1028 minutes
DVD Special Features Include:
Evolution: The Genesis of Fringe featurette - The creators of the show
discuss how the series unfolded and the qualities that make it so unique
Behind the Real Science of Fringe featurette - From teleportation to
re-animation, Fringe incorporates recent discoveries in science.
Consulting experts and scientists who are the authorities in their field
address the areas of science which are the inspiration for the show
A Massive Undertaking: The Making of Fringe (on select episodes) - An
in-depth exploration of how select episodes came to be made: from the
frozen far reaches of shooting the pilot in Toronto, to the weekly
challenges of bringing episodes to air
The Casting of Fringe- The story, as told by producers and cast, of how
Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble and others came to be cast in the
Fringe Visual Effects featurette - Goes deep into the creation of the
shared dream state with some of the biggest VFX shots of the show
Dissected Files: Unaired Scenes
Unusual Side Effects: Gag Reel
Deciphering the Scene
Roberto Orci Production Diary
Gene the Cow montage
Three Full-Length Commentaries from writers/producers, including J.J.
Abrams, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtman, J.R. Orci, David Goodman, Bryan
Burk, Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner
Additional Blu-Ray Bonus Features:
Fringe Pattern Analysis - Take a closer look at 6 select scenes from
Season 1 with experts who dissect each scene with notes, photos, and
BD-Live enabled features include Media Center, My Commentary, and
commentary on Season 1 finale episode
everything that Lost supremo J.J. Abrams
touches turns into gold: Cloverfield,
Mission Impossible III . . .
Well, maybe not Mission
Impossible III but Fringe, his latest TV series (the
second season premieres in the States on September 17, 2009), is no
exception. The show ? co-created by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the team
behind the popular Star Trek reboot -
is pure 24 carat gold.
The pilot kicks off with
all the passengers onboard an airliner dying under mysterious circumstances.
A female FBI agent named Olivia Dunham (played by Anna Torv) who is
investigating the case manages to free an "expert" to help her from a mental institution
where he has been languishing for the past twenty years. The "expert" is
Walter Bishop (John Noble), a brilliant but off-the-wall eccentric scientist
who is known for dabbling in so-called "fringe" science such as teleportation, mind control, invisibility, astral projection,
mutation, reanimation and so on. (Pseudoscience is a better description
actually.) Unlike The
X-Files there are no UFOs or ghosts in Fringe, but most of the
"science" in it is still pretty bogus. The most used line in the series is:
"It's theoretically possible." Actually it isn't, but that shouldn't get in
the way of all the fun.
Along for the ride is
Bishop's sardonic son Peter (played by Joshua Jackson) who is also his
father's legal guardian seeing as, well, Walter is nuts. After solving (sort
of) the case of the dead airline passengers, the trio becomes a special team
- pretty much like Mulder and Scully's X-Files
? who investigates bizarre and unexplained phenomena each episode. Fans who
gave up on Lost will be glad to know
that Fringe is less serialized, but more standalone in nature. A
conspiracy of sorts ? called "the Pattern" - involving an ominous
multinational (is there any other sort?) named Massive Dynamic ties the
various episodes together. However, unlike Lost
the viewer can however safely skip an episode or two and still safely follow
the general gist of things. Try doing that with Lost!
Not that you would want
to skip any episodes though: Fringe is a slickly produced, cleverly
written and well-acted show. Kudos should especially go to actor John
interpretation of ?mad scientist? Walter Bishop whose off-beat character
serves as more than mere occasional comic relief or someone who spouts
techno babble to advance the plot. Walter Bishop is a 100% original
character, excellently written and well-performed. The character's presence
elevates Fringe and prevents it from becoming a simple X-Files
is not to say that the show is without its flaws. Fringe often risks
becoming a victim of its own plot conventions. Just on how many hare-brained
science projects did Walter work on in his varied career as a
scientist for instance? These faults however become more apparent when one
tends to view many episodes in a row on DVD. The viewer might be
well-advised to spread episodes out a bit instead of packing them in one
after another. That will be difficult though: Fringe may take a few
episodes to get going, but once you do get into the swing of things you'll
find that Fringe is one of the more addictive science fiction
television shows out there!
THE DISCS: At
Amazon.com discount prices the Blu-Ray clocks in at $10 more than the bog
standard DVDs. (Under normal prices the difference is about $20!) Your call.
The Blu-Ray boasts all the features found on the standard DVD plus a handful
of extra, um, extras. And of course it's in high def. But still, in these
trying economic times you'd probably have to consider the budget. If you own
a Blu-Ray player or Sony PlayStation 3 we'd recommend you go for the Blu-Ray
and let the kids go hungry for an evening or two obviously, but that's just
us . . .
WORTH IT? Oh yes.
Fringe is an X-Files rip-off, but
it's a good X-Files rip-off!
Highly recommended . . .
Fringe is one of those shows you can afford to spread out instead of
OD'ing on episodes because the rental has to be back at the store tomorrow
morning. It's definitely worth a purchase to our minds. Buy it.