Let me make a confession: before Lost premiered on September 22, 2004, I had never heard of J.J. Abrams. Oh, I’d heard of Felicity, of course, but otherwise, J.J. Abrams could’ve been just about anyone. Lost served as a big ol’ wake up call. Even though he only worked on the series for the first season — a fact a lot of fans have yet to grasp, much to showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse’s chagrin — he got my attention. So when I heard that he was creating a new show for FOX called Fringe, I looked forward to the premiere with the sort of geekish glee that only a fangirl can manage. And, despite a few minor quibbles, it didn’t disappoint.
Starring Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson (Dawson’s Creek), and John Noble (The Lord of the Rings), Fringe is a science fiction series that follows the exploits of an FBI Fringe Division team based in Boston. As can be expected from Abrams, the show features an overarching mythology, in this case known as “the Pattern”, a series of unexplained and increasingly disturbing “scientific” occurrences happening all over the world. Fans of Alias might find this similar to the Rambaldi storyline, but the show has largely drawn comparisons to The X-Files and The Twilight Zone in terms of overall content. Co-creators Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Alias, Star Trek) have specifically cited Altered States as inspiration, making the casting of Blair Brown as Nina Sharp something of a coup.