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Fringe: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray Review - -

Feature 8.0
Video 9.0
Audio 9.0
Special Features 8.0
Total 8.1

Distributor: Warner
Running Time: 965 Minutes
Reviewer: James Wright
: MA15+


Fringe: The Complete Second Season

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 prevent this.

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. Leonard 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 & Special Feautres

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 speakers.

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.

Special Features:
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.

Final Thoughts

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! Brilliant!


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