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Fringe is the next big thing. So says FOX. So assumes the television media. But, if we were to judge the excitement for a series based solely on its attendance, then we might surmise that the future is bleak for Fringe. In the expansive Ballroom 20, many a large panel had been held. Battlestar Galactica filled the room to capacity. Following that, Chuck held on to a good part of that audience. But, unlike most things J.J. Abrams, Fringe did not incite a high level of excitement. The room was maybe half-full, probably less. For the first time ever in my experience at Comic-Con, they actually ran out of fans who wanted to ask questions before the panel was over. It was a little bit embarrassing. Being fair, the long Saturday at Comic-Con was coming to an end, the Masquerade was about to start, and everyone was probably tired (I know I was). What they missed was a fun little panel about one of the best new series of the upcoming season.
On the panel were creator/writer J.J. Abrams, writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Bryan Burk, Jeff Pinkner, and cast members Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, and John Noble. J.J. Abrams gave off an interesting vibe during the panel. He was excited about Fringe, very much so, and he’s getting more involved than one would suspect given how busy he is with film work (specifically, Star Trek). However, he’s noticeably bitter about Paramount delaying Star Trek until May from its original December release date. In response, because it seems that he’s mostly waiting on visual effects to get done on Trek (whose editing is near finished), he’s really putting all of himself into Fringe. He even said that he’s in the process of writing his third episode of the series.
Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman are big names in the screenwriting business these days, and that makes it somewhat surprising that they’re sticking around on Fringe. They’re the team who wrote Transformers, its upcoming sequel and JJ’s Star Trek. The entire writing staff of Fringe, in fact, is almost an exact replica of the Alias writing staff. This means that Fringe fans are in good hands and, as Abrams pointed out, is also good because they’ve learned their lessons in terms of storytelling and should be better prepared this time around.
Fringe will be a mythology/procedural hybrid, much like X-Files.
Josh Jackson came back to television after a five year break because of how much he loved the script. He didn’t really want to come back to TV, but just couldn’t resist Fringe. He also got a number of Pacey questions, to which he wasn’t entirely enthusiastic about responding to.
The leaked version of the pilot was not the final version. There were scenes missing, stuff was re-shot, and there were unfinished effects. Good to know.
There will be a Fringe comic book about the history of William Bell and Walter Bishop.
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(Image Courtesy of FOX)