Anna Torv as Special Agent Olivia Dunham in a sensory deprivation tank.
|Episode no.||Season 1|
|Directed by||Alex Graves|
|Original air date||September 9, 2008|
|Running time||81 minutes|
The pilot episode of the television series Fringe premiered on the Fox network on September 9, 2008.The pilot was written by series creators J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci, and directed by Alex Graves. The episode introduces the character Olivia Dunham, portrayed by Anna Torv, an FBI special agent drawn into the world of applied fringe science. John Noble portrays Dr. Walter Bishop, a scientist formerly incarcerated in a mental institution for over seventeen years. Joshua Jackson plays his son, Peter, who is hired by Olivia to assist with Walter's work.
Although the pilot was set in and around Boston, filming occurred in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The episode cost $10 million to produce, making it one of the most expensive pilots in television history. The pilot was leaked online three months prior to its broadcast on television. There was speculation that it was leaked deliberately to increase interest in the program; however, this was denied by executive producer Bryan Burk. The episode was generally well received by critics, and was watched by 9.13 million American viewers on its premiere.
A man on an international flight injects himself with an insulin pen, which releases a biological agent that quickly kills everyone aboard by causing their flesh to crystallize. The airplane's autopilot system lands the plane at Boston's Logan Airport, where various federal agencies create a task force to investigate what occurred during the flight. F.B.I. Special Agent Olivia Dunham (Torv) and her partner, Agent Scott (Mark Valley), are together in bed at a motel, where Scott says that he loves her. Dunham receives a call from her boss Charlie Francis (Kirk Acevedo), who tells her to head to the airport. Dunham is added to the interagency task force headed by Phillip Broyles (Lance Reddick).
Following a tip, Dunham and Scott are sent to a storage facility where they uncover a biochemical laboratory, which explodes when detonated by a suspect they are chasing. Scott is affected by the chemicals released in the explosion, and is placed into an artificial coma to slow the progression of the chemical reaction. While investigating a possible cure to Scott's condition, Dunham blackmails Peter Bishop (Jackson) to gain access to his father Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble), whose top-secret work at Harvard in "fringe science" resulted in him being sent to a mental institution. Dunham manages to release Walter from the institution; however, he becomes enraged when he discovers his laboratory in Harvard has been shut down. Broyles reopens the laboratory, where Dunham transfers Scott's body. To identify the man from the storage facility, Walter synchronizes Dunham's brainwaves with the comatose Scott's so that she can read his mind. Walter claims that syncing brainwaves, and even reanimating the dead, can be accomplished up to six hours after death. With the help of Dunham's assistant, federal agent Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole), the experiment succeeds. Dunham identifies the man in Scott's memory, Morgan Steig, as a passenger on the plane. The team learns Steig's twin brother, Richard Steig, was an employee of Massive Dynamic, a company founded by William Bell, Walter's old lab partner.
Dunham goes to Massive Dynamic headquarters and meets with executive director Nina Sharp (Blair Brown), who agrees to give her all the information on Steig. The suspect is arrested and initially refuses to provide a list of the ingredients present in the toxin, but Peter's threat of exposing him to the chemicals causes him to reveal the ingredients. The information provides a cure for Scott. The suspect reveals that he did not sell his chemicals, but was forced into what he did by someone from Dunham's office. The suspect leads Dunham to a buried tape recording of his phone conversations about the chemicals and the attack, where Dunham realizes that Scott was involved with the attack from the beginning. While she races back to the hospital, Scott awakens and kills the suspect. He is chased by Dunham, but crashes his car and is mortally wounded. Before he dies, Scott asks Dunham why Broyles would send her to investigate the storage units in the first place. Dunham convinces the Bishops to stay and help her with her new work, which Broyles describes as a task force to investigate events related to "the pattern". Elsewhere, Scott's dead body is brought to a Massive Dynamic high-tech lab, where Sharp orders that Scott be interrogated, since he has only been dead for five hours.
Co-creator J. J. Abrams' inspiration for Fringe came from a range of sources, including the writings of Michael Crichton, the Ken Russell film Altered States , and the television series The X-Files and The Twilight Zone.The specific story for Fringe was developed during long conversations between series creators Abrams, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. The team was discussing several different options, and the idea behind Fringe appealed to them most because it contained a long-term story and characters' backstories which were not "evident but alluded to in the pilot." The team spent a lot of time thinking about the "trifecta of characters" that they needed to have in the series, and why there were uniquely interesting. The creators decided on the idea of a father-son story because it was compelling and accessible, "you don't necessarily have to know anything about science, because everyone has a parent and everyone has issues with a parent. And I think for us it's always about coming into it through character." Orci stated that the series is a combination of a procedural and an "extremely serialized and very culty" series, quoting as examples of each, Law & Order and Lost.
The first actors cast in the pilot were Kirk Acevedo and Mark Valley in mid January 2008.John Noble and Lance Reddick were next to be cast, although it was incorrectly believed that Tomas Arana had been cast in Reddick's role. This was followed by the casting of Anna Torv, Blair Brown and Jasika Nicole. Abrams said that Torv was cast because she was a combination of "sophistication, great talent, amazing looks and a complexity that is the key to the character being an interesting central character." Kurtzman felt that she was someone "you want to spend time with", which was critical to a series about science. Joshua Jackson was the last series regular to be cast. Jackson auditioned for the role of James T. Kirk in Abrams' Star Trek and believed this is what impressed the producer to cast him in his television project. According to Abrams, Jackson's casting was "very last minute."
While the pilot was set in and around Boston, production was set in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The episode cost $10 million to produce, making it one of the most expensive pilots in television history.Following the pilot's filming, production for the series moved to New York. The producers were forced to hire a new cow for the remainder of the season because they were not allowed to transport the original cow from Canada to New York. Production team members noted that they were prepared to paint new cows if viewers noted the differences in spots.
Three months prior to its broadcast, an incomplete version of the pilot was released through BitTorrent clients, fueling speculation that it was leaked deliberately to increase interest in the program.Executive producer Burk denied the claims, saying that "we hate putting anything out there until it's done, and that's really the reason why you guys didn't get any advance copies." Abrams said that while the production crew "freaked out" about the leak, he was pleased that the "response has been much more positive than not, especially for something that wasn't completed yet." The broadcast version of the pilot had new scenes added while other scenes were removed; Abrams also said that there was "tightening and moving some moments here and there", and the ending was entirely different. Burk also stated that the composer, Michael Giacchino, had not finished his score at the time of the leak, and the most of the featured music was temp music. A variation of a piece of Giacchino's music called "Hollywood and Vines" used in the pilot was originally featured on Lost , as it was created for that show, also created by Abrams.
"Pilot" was watched by 9.13 million American viewers, with ratings improving over the course of the episode. The episode garnered a 3.2/9 Nielsen ratings in the key 18- to 49-year-old demographic, and was the 12th most watched series of the week. The 3.2 refers to 3.2% of all people of ages 18–49 years old in the U.S., and the 9 refers to 9% of all people of ages 18–49 years old watching television at the time of the broadcast in the U.S. The pilot officially premiered at the 2008 Television Critics Association tour, where it received mixed to positive reviews from critics.
Metacritic gave the episode a Metascore—a weighted average based on the impressions of a select 25 critical reviews—of 67, signifying generally favorable reviews. 's Robert Bianco said, "what Abrams brings to Fringe is a director's eye for plot and pace, a fan's love of sci-fi excitement, and a story-teller's gift for investing absurd events with real emotions and relatable characters." Travis Fickett of IGN gave the pilot 7.6 out of 10, calling it "a lackluster pilot that promises to be a pretty good series." Tim Goodman of San Francisco Chronicle remarked that despite "some flaws in it—mostly from a clash of tones—it still overdelivers on creativity, creepiness, fine acting and burgeoning character development." Chicago Sun-Times ' Misha Davenport called it an "update of The X-Files with the addition of terrorism and the office of Homeland Security.Barry Garron of The Hollywood Reporter found it promising because "it is reminiscent of better-of-the-sexes charm." USA Today
John Doyle of The Globe and Mail called the pilot "splendidly made." However, Doyle considered the instance of Torv stripping to a bikini "indulgent", and questioned the wisdom of making "her body an object of scrutiny" in the first episode. 's Robert Abele found Fringe is "a smorgasbord of a show, but one a little too synthetically engineered to allow you the chance to discover what it is." John Leonard of New York was skeptical of the premise and storyline, but found Torv "wonderfully played" her character. Heather Havrilesky of Salon.com felt the plot was too over-the-top, and described Abrams as "the ultimate boyish idiot-savant imaginator... He can't exercise a little self-restraint."Matthew Gilbert of Boston Globe wrote that "after the electrifying start, Fringe unfolds as an uneven, unwieldy piece of work that provides very few chills and thrills." LA Weekly
The pilot episode was negatively received by the conservative "family values" advocacy group Parents Television Council, who named the show the worst of the week and denounced the "excessive violence and gore."
Alexander Hilary Kurtzman is an American film and television writer, producer, and director. He is best known for executive producing the Star Trek franchise since 2009, co-writing the scripts to Transformers, Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with his writing and producing partner Roberto Orci, and directing and co-writing The Mummy.
Roberto Gaston Orci is a Mexican-American film and television screenwriter and producer. He began his longtime collaboration with Alex Kurtzman while at school in California. Together they have been employed on television series such as Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. In 2008, together with J. J. Abrams, they created Fringe. In 2013, they created Sleepy Hollow alongside Phillip Iscove. Orci and Kurtzman's first film project was Michael Bay's The Island, and due to that partnership they went on to write the scripts for the first two films of the Transformers film series. Orci first became a film producer with 2008's Eagle Eye and again with 2009's The Proposal.
Jeff Pinkner is an American television and movie writer and producer.
Jorge Richard "J.R." Orci is a Mexican television writer and producer.
Fringe is an American science fiction television series created by J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci. It premiered on the Fox network on September 9, 2008, and concluded on January 18, 2013, after five seasons and 100 episodes. The series follows Olivia Dunham, Peter Bishop, and Walter Bishop, all members of the fictional Fringe Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, based in Boston, Massachusetts, under the supervision of Homeland Security. The team uses fringe science and FBI investigative techniques to investigate a series of unexplained, often ghastly occurrences, which are related to mysteries surrounding a parallel universe.
Olivia Dunham is a fictional character and the main protagonist from the science fiction television series Fringe, which aired on the Fox Broadcasting Company in the United States from 2008 to 2013. The character was created by series' co-creator J. J. Abrams, and is portrayed by actress Anna Torv. Olivia is the series' protagonist, and was introduced as an FBI Special Agent, working for a multi-agency task force of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security called the Fringe Division, dealing with supernatural events that are linked to experimental occurrences. Having grown up with an abusive stepfather, Olivia struggles with the unexpected changes in her life, following her encounter with mentally unstable scientist Walter Bishop, and his son and an eventual love interest for her, Peter Bishop.
"Power Hungry" is the fifth episode of the first season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe. The episode was written by playwright Julia Cho and consulting producer Jason Cahill, and was directed by Christopher Misiano. The episode focuses on Fringe Division's efforts in finding a man with the uncontrolled ability to affect electrical energy, thanks to the work of a wanted rogue scientist. Meanwhile, Olivia Dunham sees visions of her deceased lover, John Scott.
"The Same Old Story" is the second episode of the first season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe. The episode was written by executive producer Jeff Pinkner and co-creators J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci. When developing the series, they sought to find a medium between serialized drama and the crime procedural. "The Same Old Story" was the first regular episode of Fringe, and journalists viewed it as an example of what they could expect from the series. It was directed by Paul A. Edwards.
"In Which We Meet Mr. Jones" is the seventh episode of the first season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe. The story begins when a FBI agent collapses from a parasite constricting his heart, and Olivia must meet with biochemist David Robert Jones in Frankfurt in order to find a cure. It featured the first appearance by Harris.
"The Equation" is the eighth episode of the first season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe. The episode follows the Fringe team's investigation into the kidnapping of a young musical prodigy who has become obsessed with finishing one piece of music. Dr. Walter Bishop returns to St. Claire's Hospital in an effort to find the boy's whereabouts.
"The Dreamscape" is the ninth episode of the first season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe. It centers on a Fringe investigation of a Massive Dynamic employee who, after believing himself to be under attack by a swarm of sharp-winged butterflies, jumps out of a window. Meanwhile, Olivia continues her visions of the deceased John Scott, and discovers how he related to a deadly psychoactive drug synthesized by Massive Dynamic.
"There's More Than One of Everything" is the finale of the first season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe. The finale followed David Robert Jones' attempts to open a doorway to the parallel universe, while the Fringe team tries to stop him. It ends with FBI agent Olivia Dunham discovering a startling secret about Massive Dynamic founder William Bell.
The first season of the American science fiction television series Fringe commenced airing on the Fox network on September 9, 2008, and concluded on May 12, 2009. It was produced by Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, and its showrunners were Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman. The first season introduces a Federal Bureau of Investigation "Fringe Division" team based in Boston, Massachusetts under the supervision of Homeland Security. The team uses unorthodox "fringe" science and FBI investigative techniques to investigate a series of unexplained, often ghastly occurrences, which are related to mysteries surrounding a parallel universe. FBI agent Olivia Dunham is portrayed by actress Anna Torv, while actors Joshua Jackson and John Noble play father-son duo Peter and Walter Bishop. Other regular cast members include Lance Reddick, Jasika Nicole, Blair Brown, Mark Valley, and Kirk Acevedo.
The second season of the American science fiction television series Fringe commenced airing on the Fox network on September 17, 2009, and concluded on May 20, 2010. The season was produced by Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, and its showrunners were Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman. Actors Anna Torv, John Noble, and Joshua Jackson reprised their roles as FBI agent Olivia Dunham and father-son duo Walter and Peter Bishop, respectively. Previous series regulars Lance Reddick, Jasika Nicole, Blair Brown, and Kirk Acevedo also returned, though with Acevedo in a limited capacity.
"Inner Child" is the 15th episode of the first season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe, and the fifteenth episode overall. The episode was written by co-producer Brad Caleb Kane and staff writer Julia Cho and directed by filmmaker Frederick E. O. Toye. It first aired in the United States on April 7, 2009 on the Fox Broadcasting Company.
"A New Day in the Old Town" is the season premiere and first episode of the second season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe, and the 21st episode overall. It was co-written by J.J. Abrams and Akiva Goldsman, with Goldsman directing. The episode followed the aftermath of Olivia's journey to the parallel universe in the last season's finale, while also introducing the idea of shapeshifters. It guest-starred actors Luke Goss, Ari Graynor, Meghan Markle, and Tegan Moss.
"The Cure" is the sixth episode of the first season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe. It followed two women suffering from a fictional disease, who are then given radiation drugs and exploited by a pharmaceutical company to cause nearby individuals' brains to boil.
"Bound" is the eleventh episode of the first season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe. It follows the aftermath of Olivia's capture in the previous episode, and subsequent efforts to identify and apprehend her kidnappers. Along with a double agent, Olivia's investigation is hampered by the appearance of Sanford Harris, an old adversary hired to audit Fringe Division.
"The Transformation" is the thirteenth episode of the first season of the American science fiction drama television series Fringe. Its storyline centers on the circumstances surrounding a deceased scientist, who was doped with a "designer virus" and transformed into a dangerous monster, causing his plane to crash. Fringe agent Olivia Dunham and FBI consultants Peter and Walter Bishop connect the event to an impending arms deal. Olivia must explore her mind for remaining memories of her former partner and lover, John Scott, in order to prevent the sale of the virus.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Pilot|