Tag Archives: Fringe

Mad Science: The Science Behind Science-Fiction – Fringe, Eureka! and Caprica

This was a fun panel with representatives from Eureka!, Caprica/Battlestar Galactica, and Fringe, moderated by Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy.

Some interesting moments:

After they talked about the ethics of interrogating a corpse, one of the guys from Fringe (I think Rob Chiappette) remarked that he wanted to see a Law & Order: Fringe show. I think I’d watch that!

One of the reps from Eureka revealed that they’d planned an episode that would take the Attack of the Killer Tomatoes concept and play it seriously, but it didn’t make it. Jamie Paglia said “It’s so good we didn’t do that episode.” Either Glenn Whitmann or Rob Chiappetta remarked immediately, “You’ll see it on Fringe!”

Phil Plait asked why there wasn’t more astronomy on Fringe, and Glenn Whitmann explained it was because it was a horror show, and it’s easier to creep people out with biology & neurology than astrophysics.

A fan asked the panelists whether they had ever done something dangerous on their show that made them worry about people trying the experiments at home (“Don’t try this at home, kids!”) For the most part they figured the level of technology, gadgetry and genius that their characters had made things impractical to imitate, though Rob Chiappetta added, “If you see Walter [Bishop] do something on screen, don’t do it!”

Another audience member mentioned that he worked in robotics, and was concerned about the way robots were portrayed as good or evil. If too many robots were portrayed evil, he might lose funding… Jane Espenson explained that “Killer robots are a lot more fun to watch.”

And of course Phil Plait plugged his book, Death from the Skies! “I love having a microphone!”

Photos will be on my Flickr account later tonight, once they trickle through the incredibly-slow hotel wifi. Update: They’re up! The trick was apparently waiting until 6am when no one else was using the wifi.

Midseason TV Watching

Battlestar Galactica
As we move into the second half of the final season, will all really be revealed? Season Four has been good, definitely better than Season 3 (which IMO got bogged down by the Starbuck/Apollo “plot”), though the logic of the Final Five Minus One doesn’t make much sense.
— Returns Friday, Jan. 16 @ Sci Fi 10pm

Bones
I’m not the one watching this, but Katie’s still hooked, so I guess it’s still good.
— Returns Thursday, Jan. 29 @ Fox 8 pm

Fringe
We both gave up after something like 4 episodes. It seemed like they were trying too hard to be The X-Files, too focused on the conspiracy and everything fitting “the pattern” and being tied to work in this one lab…and then there’s the problem with not bothering to research the regular science or think through the consequences of the totally-made-up “fringe” stuff that gave the show its title. The only thing worth watching for was John Noble’s mad scientist, Walter Bishop.

Lost
After a couple of seasons of floundering, Lost came back very strongly last year. Having an end point to work toward certainly helped, as did opening up the format from present with flashbacks to present with both flashbacks and flashforwards. At first the flashbacks were great for showing what motivated the various characters, what brought them to the island, what issues they were still working through, etc. But after a while they started answering questions no one asked (“The secret of Jack’s tattoo!”) or re-treading old ground. Adding flashforwards to post-Island events really added to story possibilities, and they made thorough use of it.
— Returns Wednesday, Jan. 21 @ ABC 9pm

Heroes
Alternately fantastic and infuriating. I’ve gone into this recently, so I won’t repeat it here. That’s what links are for. With luck, Volume 4 will fall more on the fantastic side.
— Returns Monday, Feb. 2 @ NBC 9pm

Pushing Daisies
As good as ever. They managed to somehow maintain the tone while moving forward with character development and further exploring the consequences of Chuck’s resurrection.
— Sadly, canceled. Word is that ABC may show the last three episodes next summer. SUMMER. *grrr* Just show ’em in a 5am marathon so they can be released to iTunes, Amazon Video and DVD, willya?

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
This still hasn’t totally grabbed me the way Heroes or Pushing Daisies has, but it’s been an interesting, intricate take on the Terminator mythos. And oddly enough, I’m far more interested in the second half of this season than I am in the upcoming Terminator: Salvation movie. Sadly, Fox has moved it to the Timeslot of Death.
— Returns Friday, Feb. 13 @ Fox 8pm

Dollhouse
Not much to say about this one, since it hasn’t aired yet, but I’ll at least take a look at just about anything developed by Joss Whedon. Eliza Dushku and Amy Acker won’t hurt, either. Unfortunately, Fox has placed it in the Second Timeslot of Death, right after SCC
— Starts Friday, Feb. 13 @ Fox 9pm

(TV Guide via Blog@Newsarama)

Fringe at Two Episodes

Somehow, we’ve found ourselves watching a lot of shows on Fox this fall. And two out of three are returning, so we can be confident that they’ll actually finish out the season. The third is Fringe, and I’m still trying to decide whether I want to keep up with it.

So far it basically seems to be The X-Files as done by J.J. Abrams, with a corporate conspiracy replacing the government conspiracy. Which is fine, except I wasn’t particularly interested in The X-Files. I think I saw about 5 episodes plus the first movie.

One thing I’m not thrilled about is the implication that everything they investigate is going to be part of “The Pattern.” It seems awfully convenient that all the weirdness stems from one lab’s experiments back in the 1970s, with (presumably) one partner causing and the other investigating the weirdness. I’d actually prefer it if they sometimes ran into things that were weird and bizarre, but came from other people’s work.

They also seem to be big on body horror, which is not my favorite topic to watch on a weekly basis. Though that could just be the first two episodes.

The most interesting character so far is the mad scientist Dr. Bishop, played by John Noble. Oddly enough, I didn’t recognize the actor until the second episode.

The pilot episode actually got to a point about 2/3 of the way through where I wanted it to end. I found myself thinking, “Okay, the story’s done, you can wrap up the episode now.” Kind of like The Talented Mr. Ripley, it just kept going. Still, it was a pilot, and it was trying to do setup, so they get a pass.

Something I’ve noticed is that it’s easier for me to suspend my disbelief on things that are completely and totally “out there” than things that are just a little bit past normal. For instance, to bring up some spoilers from episode 2: Continue reading