J.J. Abrams and co.
truly have some explaining to do. Why? The answer is Fringe... one of the
most compelling and original TV series since the X-Files. As opposed to
playing the safe card, Fringe has always been shuffling the deck with
quite a few jokers thrown into the mix. For those unaware of the Fringe
universe, it takes place in our world but unbeknown to its denizens, we
are just a drop in the ocean to what is out there.
Series two of Fringe
returns viewers to the impressive cliff hanger of season one that saw
Special Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), scientist (Walter Bishop) and
his son Peter (Joshua Jackman)
standing in one of the World Trade Centre towers. How? The reason is
that they are in an alternate dimension and outside our universe, a
multiverse exists that has countless parallel universes. At times, Fringe
may resemble Star Trek or Sliders but it definitely still stands on its
own with its strange plotlines that actually make you think while you
are enjoying the experience. To make matters worse, this parallel
universe threatens our own existence and only the Fringe team can
As opposed to the original series, the second season has definitely
expanded and although this lost a few viewers, it has actually made the
characters more relatable and interesting as you watch hem grow. I mean
what would you do if you discovered that you had a doppelganger from
another universe? But just like season one, season two throws in way
too many unanswerable questions that will make some viewers scratch
their head in confusion.
Without spoiling the season too much,
there are several highlights and great stand alone episodes. From people
being turned to ash or uncovering the people responsible for a bomb
explosion in Philadelphia, there are some great stories to be had. One more spoiler though, albeit a small one.
Nimoy is wonderfully casted as William Bell, an eccentric killer who
really make it hard for the Fringe crew, especially considering that he
was "tampered" by Walter. However the alternate universe themes were
definitely the highlight of season two and although some of the
scientific theories were a little far fetched, it's a fun ride from
start to finish.
Video, Audio &
The video quality of Fringe looks amazing due to the VC-1 encoded 1080
that boasts sharp images, vibrant colours and deep blacks. Add in some
amazing special effects for TV and you have one well made TV series. The
attention to detail is truly ridiculous at times, especially all the
subtle differences in this alternate universe that you have to be keen
to spot. The only issue with the video is that every now and then there
is some slight artifacting but considering the calibre of the story,
it's really a moot point. The Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound is quite
decent with clear dialogue and good use of the directional mix for your
As opposed to kick ass story, the next highlight of Fringe Series 2 are
the wealth of special features. You have commentary tracks and an
"unearthed episode" that was originally from season one that revolves
around paranormal activities. Quite a cool episode. There are some
featurettes from behind the scenes "Analysing the Scene", deleted scenes
(Dissected Files), a cool mythology documentary, another feature on the
gadgets of Fringe and Unusual Side Effects, my favourite... the blooper
reel. All in all, an A+ presentation.
The Mythology of Fringe,
Fringe: Analyzing the Scene Sidebars on 6 Key Episodes,
In the Lab with John Noble and Prop Master Rob Smith,
Commentary on 4 Episodes by Series Stars and Creative Team,
Unusual Side Effects: Gag Reel,
Dissected Files: Unaired Scenes.
If you're a fan of Fringe, than this is a must have collection. I'm
glad I did not watch this on free to air TV as it would have been
modified or mixed up in some way. On Blu-ray you can experience the
stories in all their glory and best of all, you're the boss when you
want to watch them. Fringe is easily the best science fiction series to
date and although it's universe (pun intended) has extended to add some
confusion, the stories are oozing with pure science fiction dribble!