A little bit X-Files and a little bit Lost, Fringe puts a little more fun and quirkiness in its sci-fi conspiracy theories. Taking its name from the fact that it explores the “fringes” of science, teleportation, mind control, and mutation are just the tip of the iceberg for the wild ride series that shot out of the gates last year with a lot of critical praise.
The show follows Special Agent OLIVIA DUNHAM (Anna Torv) of the FBI, and her investigation of some of the oddest cases you’ll ever experience. In the series opening, she must enlist the help of scientist WALTER BISHOP (John Noble), who has been institutionalized for the last 17 years. A “fringe” researcher himself for many years, Walter, though a genius, is at this point not all there. Moreover, he doesn’t want visitors, and Olivia needs his son, PETER (Joshua Jackson) in order to get him out of the hospital.
The series continues with our unlikely team following the truly bizarre in a string of cases that all seem to connect to multi-national mega-corp Massive Dynamic, whose spokesperson, NINA SHARP (Blair Brown), not only portrays creepiness with reckless abandon, but apparently has a secret connection to Olivia’s boss, FBI Agent PHILLIP BROYLES (Lance Reddick).
In something like the play we find on J. J. Abrams‘ other hugely popular show, Lost, the more things seem outlandish and unrelated, the more it turns out that it is all a part of someone’s grand design… maybe.
As the season rolled on, the show managed to solidify itself into a cohesive package that played its strengths off one another in a surprisingly adept way. Using the tension, oddity, and comic interplay brought forward via Walter, Fringe showcases a number of talents working in a fun and intriguing mix.
Both versions of the DVD release are above-and-beyond packages, and that probably isn’t a surprise if you’re familiar with J. J. Abrams and the norm of other productions he’s involved with. If there’s one thinig he seems to make sure of, it is keeping his fans in mind, and this loaded release is just one more example.
DVD Special Features Include:
- Evolution: The Genesis of Fringe featurette - The creators of the show discuss how the series unfolded and the qualities that make it so unique
- Behind the Real Science of Fringe featurette – From teleportation to re-animation, Fringe incorporates recent discoveries in science. Consulting experts and scientists who are the authorities in their field address the areas of science which are the inspiration for the show.
- A Massive Undertaking: The Making of Fringe (on select episodes) – An in-depth exploration of how select episodes came to be made: from the frozen far reaches of shooting the pilot in Toronto, to the weekly challenges of bringing episodes to air
- The Casting of Fringe- The story, as told by producers and cast, of how Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble and others came to be cast in the series.
- Fringe Visual Effects featurette – Goes deep into the creation of the shared dream state with some of the biggest VFX shots of the show.
- Dissected Files: Unaired Scenes
- Unusual Side Effects: Gag Reel
- Deciphering the Scene
- Roberto Orci Production Diary
- Gene the Cow montage
- Three Full-Length Commentaries from writers/producers, including J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtman, J.R. Orci, David Goodman, Bryan Burk, Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner
Additional Blu-Ray Bonus Features:
- Fringe Pattern Analysis – Take a closer look at 6 select scenes from Season 1 with experts who dissect each scene with notes, photos, and diagrams.
- BD-Live enabled features include Media Center, My Commentary, and commentary on Season 1 finale episode.
As you can see, this is a massive collection of features that will let you explore the show to your heart’s content. Of particular note, the Behind the Real Science of Fringe featurette is a great addition and it is really put together well. The experts who give you some background on what is going on in the real world, and where it connects with what you see on the show is a fun treat for a DVD release, and I can’t imagine fans of the show won’t enjoy it.
Also, the commentary tracks are easily above-average in their level of interest and insight. Abrams fans will love his additions, and the collective writers and producers do a great job of leading viewers through the episode while mixing in general bites of trivia. The Blu-Ray inclusion of the finale commentary makes the upgrade well worth it, and that’s before you get to the Pattern Analysis feature which is a nice touch and surprisingly complex.
All in all, Fringe is easily at the upper-tier of DVD releases, and for fans of the show is absolutely a must-own.
Below check out some clips from the show, and pictures and videos from the DVD release party. Be sure to leave a comment and include the word, “Win,” and you will be entered to win your very own Blu-Ray copy of the series. U.S. and Canada only. Winner will be randomly selected October 1st.
Also be sure to Check out the Official Site!
An event was held to kick-off the release of the DVD in Vancouver, and much of the cast and crew were in attendance. Below check out some photos and video clips from that event.
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