Just the di­men­sion for de­mented sci­en­tists

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv -

TAKE The X Files, re­move the aliens, scotch the FBI’s deep scep­ti­cism about any­thing un­usual and give both sides their own mad sci­en­tists, and you pretty much ar­rive at Fringe . Things have changed at the bureau since the days of Mul­der and Scully and the FBI’s new para­nor­mal in­ves­ti­ga­tors no longer base their op­er­a­tions in a for­got­ten base­ment.

There is now an en­tire Fringe Divi­sion and agent Olivia Dun­ham ( Anna Torv) is one of its crack op­er­a­tives. Dun­ham has re­united bril­liant but loopy re­search sci­en­tist Wal­ter Bishop ( John Noble) with his son Peter ( Joshua Jack­son) as part of a team aimed at in­ves­ti­gat­ing fringe sci­ence.

In this case, fringe sci­ence doesn’t mean the kind of left-handed surf­board thingie pop­u­lar with the peo­ple who dole out gov­ern­ment grants but se­ri­ous stuff such as telekine­sis, ge­netic ma­nip­u­la­tion and tele­por­ta­tion.

The prob­lem for the forces of law and or­der is that the good guys are not the only peo­ple in­ter­ested in this kind of re­search; a small army of Dr Evils is out there do­ing it, too.

And they’ve been a busy bunch of de­mented sci­en­tists. They’ve got a col­lec­tive plan, known as the Pat­tern, and, as you would ex­pect in the land of free en­ter­prise, there’s even a com­pany tak­ing out patents on all this rogue re­search.

In tonight’s episode, an FBI agent is struck down by a mas­sive coro­nary. When doc­tors crack open his chest they dis­cover a large and un­pleas­ant crea­ture has wrapped it­self around his heart. It’s up to Dun­ham and the Bish­ops to solve the mys­tery and get the par­a­site out be­fore the agent dies.

But life is never sim­ple. Clev­erly, the team man­ages to find the sig-

Para­nor­mal­ity: na­ture of the crea­ture’s cre­ator em­bed­ded in its DNA and it turns out to be a sci­en­tist al­ready im­pris­oned in Ger­many. But he will tell them the an­swer only if he can talk to a man the FBI has, in­con­ve­niently, shot dead.

The good news is that it’s ex­actly this kind of sit­u­a­tion for which you have a mad sci­en­tist on the team.

I missed Fringe when Nine first started show­ing it. Co-cre­ator J. J. Abrams ( of Lost and Alias fame)

stars Joshua Jack­son, John No­bel and Anna Torv read­ily ac­knowl­edges the in­flu­ence of The X Files and also throws in the late Michael Crich­ton, the Ken Rus­sell movie Al­tered States and The Twi­light Zone for good mea­sure. How­ever, this episode in­di­cates the end prod­uct is strug­gling to match any of its in­flu­ences.

His­tory also sug­gests the fact that it’s on Nine weighs against the chances that the re­main­ing episodes of this first se­ries will get an un­bro­ken run. On the other hand, it is sum­mer.

Steve Creedy

Fringe

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.