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Arts & Culture

J.J. Abrams Brings Fringe to Comic-Con

The pilot starts with a plane landing in Boston. Everyone on board is dead and their flesh has been turned to gelatinous goo. A multi-agency task force is assigned to investigate. There we meet FBI Special Agent Olivia Dunham ( Anna Torv ). Her investigation leads her to research done by the genius, Dr. Walter Bishop ( John Noble ). The only catch: & he's been locked up for 17 years in an asylum. He is only allowed family visitors, so Agent Dunham tracks down his estranged son, Peter Bishop ( Joshua Jackson ), and he doesn't exactly want to help.

The Cast of Fringe by KPBS, on Flickr
The pilot introduces us to a world mapped on top of the world we live in -- a world where & ldquo;fringe science & rdquo; has been researched extensively. Breakthroughs have been made in all manner of fantastical areas, but that information is classified at the highest level. Strange and horrible things are happening all over the world. Government agencies are investigating them and covering them up. These strange events are referred to as & ldquo;The Pattern." & At the close of the episode, Agent Dunham is asked to join a special division of Homeland Security to keep following The Pattern.

J.J. Abrams suggested that he wants Fringe to appeal to both hard-core (comic-con) fans and casual viewers. They don't want their show to be unviewable if you haven't seen every episode. He said that if they get to be on the air for 5 seasons, it will be easier to include a lot of mythology. At the same time, he said that it won't be like the X-Files , one-shot episodes followed by mythology during sweeps.

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I liked the Fringe pilot quite a bit. I especially enjoyed the relationship between John Noble ( Lord of the Rings ) and Josh Jackson ( Shutter, Dawson's Creek ). Dr. Walter Bishop is a great character. His history, his institutionalization, and his old partner are a treasure trove of story lines. There are already fan and forum and reference sites up. I don't think the show is a sure thing, they are going to have to work for it. I'll need to see three solid episodes in a row to be sold. Fringe begins on Tuesday, September 9th on Fox.