20 Things We Love About Fringe
16 Alternate Broyles
How on Earth a character can be such a one-note cypher in our universe and a hard-edged, hard-assed hero in another is beyond us, but that’s Broyles for you. Over here, he issues orders, asks questions, wears suits and looks worried. Over there, he’s a ripped hunk who wears tight t-shirts, has a loving family and sacrifices himself to save Olivia. He’s done it brilliantly. And now he even gets to take a third swing at the character as a dubious sort who is working for the orange universe baddies.
17 Strange Deaths
Fringe Division investigate strange events that happen on the fringes of science (hence their name). Incidents include people on a balcony falling to their deaths after it phases out of existence for a few seconds, leaving them in mid-air; a group of unfortunate souls who are lighter than gravity so they’re in danger of floating off into space; robbers walking right through the walls of a bank vault; time speeding up or slowing down… it’s pure sci-fi nirvana.
18 Amber 31422
This chemical substance freezes things in “amber” – which comes in handy when the “things” in question are giant tears in the space-time continuum! Each rip, such as the one in the parallel universe’s Central Park, can be frozen inside this solid substance and contained. It’s a brilliant concept, but what makes it even more astounding is the fact that people are often caught inside the amber, too, and they remain alive while caught fast. Do they have rights? Should they be saved? Fascinating stuff…
19 They Expect You To Keep Up
There’ll be no slouching at the back when you watch Fringe, thank you. You either pay attention or you lose out. This is because the writers have no time for stragglers – particularly when they first rolled out the parallel universe, which was introduced to us so matter-of-factly you had to really stop and think about the fact they all wore communication earpieces like nothing we’ve got here, or that the Statue of Liberty was gold. Some of the concepts are staggeringly complex but delivered in a deliciously straightforward fashion, such as the antique typewriter which can be used to type messages across universes with the aid of a mirror.
20 The Big Giant Words
The typography on Fringe is not only striking but also important. Whereas, for example, The X-Files would tell us where we were with a polite label on the bottom of the screen saying “Miami, Florida”, on Fringe we get enormous, 3D type that screams “MIAMI, FLORIDA”. It’s not an original idea – these enormous words, interacting with their surroundings and casting luscious shadows, were put to excellent use during the opening credits of the 2002 film Panic Room. But they’ve become a vital part of the Fringe experience; how else would we know where the hell we were unless we could see those mammoth letters saying “MANHATAN” to indicate we’re not at home any more?