Since the closing of the X-files back in 2002, Sci-philes had been clamoring for something else to “believe,” or at least the next big thing to fill that blacker-than-dark-matter void.
Fleeting series’ such as “Journeyman,” “Bionic Woman,” “Night Stalker,” and “New Amsterdam” attempted unsuccessfully to fill the void left by the X television titan, but on September 9th, 2008 J.J. Abrams – riding the last highs of the end-is-in-sight wave from his wildly successful series “Lost” – introduced viewers to his beautifully skewed and Sci-Fi infused Fringe unit, neat and complete with enigmatic airplane landing, a charming mad scientist, a killer infection, and an even more killer bikini-clad Anna Torv. Every image a greedy treat, and every image blazing a trail that would carry the series through its five season run. Even in its initial season Fringe fired on all cylinders, following the familiar foundation formula set by the X-files years earlier – that loose formula being great storytelling set ablaze by pitting a reluctant relationship bait pairing against fantastical, and seemingly unsolvable, events – while strengthening the compound with the additional draws of a quizzical and quirky father figure, an impending and ‘massively’ mysterious corporation, and; just because he can, Abrams stacks the deck with the mother of all Sci-Fi cards by writing in Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy. Fringe events being what they are, the series had an almost unlimited bank of science to draw from, and with Abrams, Kutzman, and Orci signing on for all 100 episodes while the cast relentlessly reinforced their rock-steady roles, Fringe was destined for, if not iconic, then at least cult classic status. And while Fringe never attained a completely comfortable coast driven by ridiculously high ratings; especially during its last few seasons, its can-do crew and ceaseless ingenuity left behind a legacy of truly massive dynamics.
The final season of Fringe discs bring with them a nice array of extras, though keeping in low-key stride with past season releases. Season one being the extreme exception to this pattern, given the enviable bulk of its menu, not to mention an elusive commentary from Abrams which has not been offered since. After the season one set, Fringe discs became notorious for their limited commentary tracks, and season five is no exception, offering up insights from Executive Producer J.H. Wyman and Editor Jon Dudkowski – who put in a fine effort with “Black Blotter” – but play as poor second choices to what might have been in a cast/director combo. Season five offered a great opportunity to finally address what fans have been petitioning for over five seasons, but unfortunately the opportunity wasn’t seized. I could be wrong, but perhaps Fringe’s themes and theories may just be too intimidating for cast impressions. As it sits, John Noble and Blair Brown are the only cast members ever to brave the commentary fray – jointly in the season two set – but there may just be something to Torv, Jackson, Nicole, Reddick, and even Nimoy staying in character and sticking to the shadows. Providing a nice slice of redemption; however, is the heartfelt “A Farewell to Fringe” feature, which amasses the entire core cast; as well as Abrams, executive producer J.H. Wyman and co-executive producer David Fury, in a respectable tribute to the wrapped series, complete with reminiscences, interviews, and a look into the filming of the final episode. And while the supplement’s twenty-plus minutes seem to speed by, this is a nice meaty bone thrown to fans and a gracious last meal. Additional season five features include a pair of deleted scenes, an all too brief gag reel, and some great insights and stories tucked away in the 2012 Comic-Con panel. So with incessantly intriguing and enigmatic events, and a tailored style that left few viewers on the fence, “Fringe: The Complete Series” is Sci-Fi private eye at its utmost edge.
Studio Synopsis: Fringe revolves around three unlikely colleagues – a beautiful, young and determined FBI agent (Anna Torv), a brilliant but off-the-wall scientist (John Noble), and his sardonic, roguish son (Joshua Jackson) – who team up to investigate a series of peculiar deaths and disasters.
Studio: Warner Bros.
Running Time: 4552 minutes
Number of Disks: 20
Newest Season Five Special Features:
- Audio Commentary for “Black Blotter” episode with Executive Producer J.H. Wyman and Editor Jon Dudkowski
- A Farewell to Fringe
- Digital Script for the series finale “An Enemy of Fate”
- Fringe 2012 Comic-Con Panel
- Gag Reel
- Deleted Scenes:
*Behind the Story: Walter‘s Brain
*Behind the Story: Observer in the Closet
Central Cast: Anna Torv | Joshua Jackson | John Noble | Leonard Nimoy | Jasika Nicole | Lance Reddick | Blair Brown | Seth Gabel
Creators: J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci
Central Writers: J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci
Television Premiere: September 9, 2008
Blu-Ray/DVD Release: May 7, 2013
Genre: Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
Supporting Cast and more Writers found HERE
Get it on Amazon! ($197.50 MSRP – price will vary by retailer)