Last night's season premiere of Fringe proved that last year's amazing season wasn't a fluke -- this really is the greatest science fiction show on television. Teleportation, spontaneous human combustion, mutating monsters, and of course alternate universes -- the program is full of cool speculative fiction ideas and terrific performances by a great cast.
The show began as a decent X-Files wannabe, but with each episode built its own identity and rose to higher and higher levels, until finally reaching its cliffhanger ending that had fans buzzing throughout the summer.
During a recent conference call, Joshua Jackson, who plays Peter, commented, "As a fan, the things that I like most about our show, the genre that our show is in, is the bigger story rather than the individual creepy, gooey stuff. What we’ve done pretty well is to make each one of the creepy, gooey things add up into a much bigger story."
He talked about the new season and the repurcussions of the plot twist about his character: "The entire first season for Peter and Walter (played brilliantly by John Noble) was about this father and son reconnecting through the craziness of their circumstances and actually becoming something of a family, a very dysfunctional family, but something of a family. And Season Two has carried that forth. In the beginning Peter is really invested now in being part of this team and actually belonging to this fringe family, but eventually he’s going to find out that this horrible thing happened to him as a child and that’s going to blow up his relationship with Walter and probably with Olivia (played by the beautiful and talented Anna Torv), I would imagine. To me, that’s the great thing hanging over Peter the entire season and it gives me something to move toward as they go forward."
Fringe is produced by J.J. Abrams, creator of the fan-favorite series Lost (and last summer's hit Star Trek movie remake). Jackson discussed the obvious comparison between Lost and Fringe: "Everybody uses Lost as an example and let’s use it again because it’s J. J.’s show. Lost is a fantastic show, but each one of those episodes doesn’t really have a beginning, middle and end, it’s part of a continuing story. So if you don’t know the things that have come before it’s incredibly difficult to just drop in, which is just what Lost is. We should be so lucky to be as good as Lost on our show. The difference being that the format of our show lends itself to simpler storytelling, which is that every week there’ll be something that this group of people has to investigate. Sometimes it’s going to lead them to learn something about the larger story that they’re investigating that if you don’t know anything about that, you probably won’t be engaged by that. But regardless it will still come to an end that episode...If you want to pay attention every week, there’s a lot of story being told all the time, but if you just want to tune in, drop in for a fun hour away where you get to cringe at the bad stuff and root for the good guys and hiss at the bad guys, there’s that aspect, too. It doesn’t turn you away at the door."
He also addressed the X-Files comparison: "I think The X-Files is a...fair comparison, but even in the opening credits, The X-Files, by design, dealt with things that were supposed to be part of the paranormal. What Fringe is trying to say is that these things that we would normally classify as fantastical are actually part of the normal. They all have legitimate explanations in the scientific world; they can’t be chalked up to alien possession or fairies or Dracula."
Joshua Jackson is a self-described huge science fiction fan and he expressed his delight for the chance to work on Fringe: "It is a ton of fun for a guy who loves science fiction to be working on a science fiction show...None of the concepts that are raised on this show are entirely foreign to me or do they seem that far out there, but I’ve never worked on a show before where we get to actually explore those ideas."
If you are a fan of science fiction, or if you just want to see a program that's full of mind-blowing ideas, action, humor, and excitement, tune in to Fringe every week on the FOX Network.