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PHOTOGRAPHY

FRINGE The Complete First Season

DVD review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS:  1028 minutes (20 episodes on 7 discs), multiple behind-the-scenes featurettes, Massive Undertaking docupods, Deciphering The Scene featurettes, deleted scenes, gag reel, audio commentaries

VIDEO:  1.78:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO:  English, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles:  English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Thai

 

STUDIO:  Warner Bros. Television/ Bad Robot

RELEASE DATE:  9-8-2009

 

DISC 1- PILOT/ THE SAME OLD STORY

DISC 2- THE GHOST NETWORK/ THE ARRIVAL/ POWER HUNGRY

DISC 3- THE CURE/ IN WHICH WE MEET MR. JONES/ THE EQUATION

DISC 4- THE DREAMSCAPE/ SAFE/ BOUND

DISC 5- THE NO-BRAINER/ THE TRANSFORMATION/ABILITY

DISC 6- INNER CHILD/ UNLEASHED/ BAD DREAMS

DISC 7- MIDNIGHT/ THE ROAD NOT TAKEN/ THERE’S MORE THAN ONE OF EVERYTHING

FRINGE was the best new show to catch my attention last year.   It revolves around FBI Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), Dr. Walter Bishop, and Peter Bishop.  They are an unlikely team that is part of Fringe division to investigate fringe science caused by something known as The Pattern.   Walter has been in a mental hospital for 17 years and many of the cases in the first season are a result of the work Walter did with William Bell (the elusive founder of a big corporation known as Massive Dynamic).   Crazy technology leads to the escape of Mr. Jones who wants to prepare Olivia Dunham for the impending war with another universe.  

 

The first season of FRINGE is at its best when it rests on the shoulders of the characters and explores its mythology.  The creature of the week stories sometimes fall flat.  The series is stronger for its mythology.   The standalones aren’t the reason I tune into FRINGE.  It’s the developing core mythology that made me continue to be riveted by the series.   Dr. Walter Bishop steals many scenes with his quirks and dialogue.  Walter is a little crazy and loves to make his own drugs.  One episode even features some of my favorite music artists (MIDNIGHT).  The show continues to explore mysteries while bringing up new questions.  The show is like THE X-FILES for the 21st century.  I just hope the second season lives up to the promise of season one (the first two episodes of the new season don't stand out).

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

DECIPHERING THE SCENE featurettes analyze and go behind-the-scenes of one scene in each episode.  THE MASSIVE UNDERTAKING featurettes go behind-the-scene in more detail of select episodes (PILOT, THE GHOST NETWORK, THE TRANSFORMATION, and THERE’S MORE THAN ONE OF EVERYTHING). The best of THE MASSIVE UNDERTAKING featurettes is the one on the pilot.  When you pair that one with ROBERTO ORCI’S PRODUCTION DIARY and EVOLUTION: THE GENESIS OF FRINGE, the viewer is taken on a very detailed look at the making of the pilot from facing a very cold Toronto winter to special effects to locations to the car crash they had to get right on one take.

 

THE CASTING OF FRINGE looks into how the show was cast and the actors chosen for the roles.  GENE THE COW says it all while THE VISUAL EFFECTS OF FRINGE take a look at some of the key visual effects scenes (including the ones that have to appear unnoticeable).

 

Deleted scenes are included for THE GHOST NETWORK, THE ARRIVAL, POWER HUNGRY, THE EQUATION, and ABILITY.  It is interesting to see what was cut and some scenes for pacing (like one for ABILITY).

 

Three audio commentaries are on the set:

PILOT by J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Robert Orci (the three who created the series)

THE GHOST NETWORK by Co-Writers David H. Goodman and J.R. Orci, and Executive Producer Bryan Burk.

BAD DREAMS by Writer/Director Akiva Goldsman and Executive Producer Jeff Pinkner.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:  FRINGE has a great first season despite a few average monster-of-the-week episodes.   Bets extras are deleted scenes and the featurettes on the making of the pilot and the visual effects.

 

This DVD review is (c)9-24-2009 David Blackwell and it cannot be reprinted without permission.  All Rights Reserved.  Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com