Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Definitely. J.J. Abrams has kind of become the conspiracy theory go-to guy in TV these days. Founder of Bad Robot Productions, Abrams was the creator of "Alias" and the co-creator of "Lost." It seems fitting therefore that Abrams would be the guy called on to direct Fringe, a new show that is positioned to be this generation's "X-Files;" which was sort of the conspiracy theory show of its day. In the pilot episode, F.B.I agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) and her boyfriend, F.B.I. agent John Scott are called in to investigate when a plane lands and every single person on board has died a very gruesome death. Early on in the investigation John is exposed to the toxin that killed the people on the plane and Olivia sets off to find out if he can be saved. Looking for answers she finds scientist Walter Bishop (John Noble), the most brilliant mind of his generation. The only problem is that Bishop was declared crazy and has been in a mental institution for the last seventeen years. Olivia then tracks down Bishop's estranged son Peter (Joshua Jackson), who carries a 190 IQ and a grudge. And while I'd like to tell you more about the show, it's kind of hard to do so without giving up a bunch of spoilers-- I know because I tried. I don't know if this show was set up to be a deliberate "X-Files" replacement, but I suspect it was. That doesn't mean the show is a knock-off. Olivia Dunham doesn't start out as a Fox Mulder. She isn't on a mission to make anyone believe anything nor does she have a poster in her office that says "I Want to Believe"-- at least not yet. She's simply trying to save the man she loves. What happens next, however, sends her on a path that looks a lot like the one Mulder was on. The first episode seems fairly grounded in science, though it does ask you to suspend your disbelief quite a bit. But there are hints that future episodes are going to really broaden our horizons. I get the idea that dimensional travel, astral projection, mind reading and maybe even some religious stigmata may be the subject of some future shows. I'm in. For my part, I liked it. I found myself more than willing to keep my skepticism to myself for the duration of the show. I really liked the actors in the show, especially Anna Torv. It was fast paced, interesting, humorous and, so far, not too confusing. Part of me is a little afraid to get too attached since J.J. Abrams doesn't offer answers easily or quickly. But in the end, the characters won me over. I will most definitely be giving this show some more attention.