The Fall television series is finally upon is, so for the last two or so weeks, I’ve been getting loads of preview material for upcoming shows.
I’ll admit, while I love television I have a major commitment problem. I’ll DVR some stuff, then never get around to watching it; then when it comes on DVD, I’ll feel like it’s too much pressure to bang out a whole season at once. I’m working on these issues, but in the meantime, each season I will try to catch a new series right from the beginning and then watch it in “real time” — this happened for me with NBC’s The Office, SCI FI’s Battlestar Galactica, and NBC’s Heroes. For the 2008 Fall season, the new Fox series Fringe, created by JJ Abrams, is definitely my “real time” show of this season.
I didn’t know too much about Fringe until the other day when a large box and poster tube arrived from Fox’s publicity department. In it were Fringe promo items — lenticular notepad, backpack, t-shirt, poster, and the limited edition 2008 Comic Con comic book — and an envelope from the FBI marked “CONFIDENTIAL.”
Time to get viral! (Photos at right and here below.)
Aside from Abrams’ involvement, for the longest time the only thing I knew about Fringe was that Star Trek XI writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman were on the project and that Pacey from Dawson’s Creek was in it (two out of three ain’t bad). I did pick up that special convention comic book at Comic-Con in San Diego this past July, but didn’t read it (wasn’t sure if it would “spoil” anything).
The package from Fox came with a DVD of the pilot episode, which was leaked online at some point (missed that news apparently). I won’t get too much into what happens in the episode, because, well, there’s just tons of stuff going on, too much to get into here (I’ll work on a full write-up at some point). The star of the show is Anna Torv, who plays FBI Special Agent Olivia Dunham. Agent Dunham is assigned to investigate the mysterious deaths of the crew and passengers aboard an international flight that landed in Boston’s Logan Airport. During her investigation, she frequently butts heads with Homeland Security Agent Phillip Broyles and must get the help from Pacey and his father Walter Bishop (played by John Noble – “Denethor” from the Lord of the Rings movies). One things for sure: her life is forever changed by what she’s uncovers.
The “confidential” package also contained a file folder with photos and paperwork regarding mysterious deaths and phenomena, as well as a digital voice recorder (a SONY even!) with confidential audio files from Agent Broyles. At first I didn’t understand any of their meaning, but after I watched the pilot, I had a better idea. It wasn’t a major part of the pilot, but it does seem like a lead-in to the direction the series is headed. In a very small scene, Broyles shows the file to Dunham and explains what’s in it and what he wants her to do about it. After I watched the episode, I read the issue of the comic book and it’s more of the same “confidential” information.
According to the press kit, I’m supposed to use these materials to track “the pattern” while watching each episode on Tuesdays at 8PM ET/PT. The 95-minute pilot episode premieres on Fox on Tuesday, September 9, 2008 at 8PM ET/PT.
From J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the team behind “Star Trek,” “Mission: Impossible III” and “Alias,” FRINGE is a new procedural thriller that explores the blurring line between the possible and the unimaginable. In the series premiere, an international flight lands at Boston’s Logan Airport carrying crew and passengers decimated by a mysterious virus. The event brings together an unlikely trio – FBI Special Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), brilliant but formerly institutionalized scientist Walter Bishop (John Noble) and his scheming, reluctant son Peter (Josh Jackson) – who uncover a deadly mystery involving a series of unbelievable events that may be a part of a larger, more disturbing pattern.