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Fringe: Season 1

4.7 out of 5 stars 4,800 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Fringe: The Complete First Season (DVD)

J.J. Abrams, the creator of Lost and Alias, teams up with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (Mission: Impossible 3, Transformers) to create this highly anticipated drama series. Featuring Australian newcomer Anna Torv, Dawson's Creek's Josh Jackson, John Noble and Lance Reddick, the first electrifying season of Fringe follows an unlikely trio who uncover a deadly mystery that may be part of a larger and more disturbing pattern that lives somewhere between science fiction and reality. As the season begins, FBI Special Agent Olivia Dunham (Torv) is called in to investigate a mysterious outbreak that nearly kills her partner. The only person with any answers is an institutionalized scientist, Dr. Walter Bishop (Noble) who can only be released under the care of his estranged son (Jackson). Together, the three discover that the answer to this mystery is only a small piece of a much larger, more shocking truth.

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Teleportation, mind control, astral projection, invisibility, precognition, spontaneous combustion, reanimation: these are among the peripheral sciences--or "pseudo-sciences," as one skeptic puts it--examined during the first season of Fringe, a Fox network TV drama debuting on DVD with the full first season (twenty episodes) offered on seven extras-laden discs. The notion that those phenomena could have a genuine scientific basis is intriguing enough. But co-creator J.J. Abrams (whose bulging resume as a director, writer, and producer includes Lost, Alias, and the 2009 Star Trek feature film) has even more on his mind. Along with the weird science, the series features a multi-agency task force investigating related acts of terrorism that may very well add up to a threat of unimaginable global proportions; people who are exactly what they appear to be (i.e., insane) and others who are anything but; plot twists galore; family drama, interpersonal relationships, corporate evil, cop chases... There's a lot in play here, and while it doesn't always hold together (and like any new series, it takes a while to hit its stride), Fringe is rarely boring, and never less than impressively ambitious.

The pilot introduces us to the main characters, principally FBI agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv, good but not great in the show's central role) and others on the task force brought in to investigate some gross goings-on aboard a jumbo jet (a "self-eradicating, airborne toxin" reduced everyone to blood and bones). Seems this is but one part of "The Pattern," a series of synchronous, similarly shocking events that unfold as the show progresses; in subsequent episodes, lots of people are killed in graphic fashion by all manner of horrors, including scary monsters (slugs as big as a football, teethed parasites that can crush your heart), a gas that freezes a busload of passengers "like insects trapped in amber," people so radioactive they can literally make your brain boil… it goes on. Helping Dunham and the rest of the force figure it all out are scientist Dr. Walter Bishop (an appealing John Noble), who's spent the past 17 years locked up in the loony bin and whose research may be responsible for some of the crimes we witness, and his son-babysitter Peter (Joshua Jackson). As for the "fringe" element, Dr. Bishop and other, less benign geniuses jump-start a dead man's brain, photograph another victim's cornea in order to access the last thing she saw before death, connect Dunham to her boyfriend so she can experience his memories of the incident that left him comatose, use high-frequency vibrations to enable bank robbers to pass through a solid vault wall, and much, much more. As for where and how all of this ends up, let's just that inquiring minds will have to hang in for the long, complicated run.

Bonus features are many and varied; among the best are "Deciphering the Scene" (brief explications of key scenes in every episode) and "The Massive Undertaking" (detailing how certain special effects sequences were pulled off). --Sam Graham


Special Features

Evolution: The Genesis of Fringe featurette - The creators of the show discuss how the series unfolded and the qualities that make it so unique Behind the Real Science of Fringe featurette - From teleportation to re-animation, Fringe incorporates recent discoveries in science. Consulting experts and scientists who are the authorities in their field address the areas of science which are the inspiration for the show. A Massive Undertaking: The Making of Fringe (on select episodes) - An in-depth exploration of how select episodes came to be made: from the frozen far reaches of shooting the pilot in Toronto, to the weekly challenges of bringing episodes to air The Casting of Fringe- The story, as told by producers and cast, of how Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble and others came to be cast in the series. Fringe Visual Effects featurette - Goes deep into the creation of the shared dream state with some of the biggest VFX shots of the show. Dissected Files: Unaired Scenes Unusual Side Effects: Gag Reel Fringe: Deciphering the Scene Roberto Orci Production Diary Gene the Cow montage Three Full-Length Commentaries from writers/producers, including J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtman, J.R. Orci, David Goodman, Bryan Burk, Akiva Goldsman and Jeff PinknerEvolution: The Genesis of Fringe featurette - The creators of the show discuss how the series unfolded and the qualities that make it so unique Behind the Real Science of Fringe featurette - From teleportation to re-animation, Fringe incorporates recent discoveries in science. Consulting experts and scientists who are the authorities in their field address the areas of science which are the inspiration for the show. A Massive Undertaking: The Making of Fringe (on select episodes) - An in-depth exploration of how select episodes came to be made: from the frozen far reaches of shooting the pilot in Toronto, to the weekly challenges of bringing episodes to air The Casting of Fringe- The story, as told by producers and cast, of how Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble and others came to be cast in the series. Fringe Visual Effects featurette - Goes deep into the creation of the shared dream state with some of the biggest VFX shots of the show. Dissected Files: Unaired Scenes Unusual Side Effects: Gag Reel Fringe: Deciphering the Scene Roberto Orci Production Diary Gene the Cow montage Three Full-Length Commentaries from writers/producers, including J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtman, J.R. Orci, David Goodman, Bryan Burk, Akiva Goldsman and Jeff PinknerEvolution: The Genesis of Fringe featurette - The creators of the show discuss how the series unfolded and the qualities that make it so unique Behind the Real Science of Fringe featurette - From teleportation to re-animation, Fringe incorporates recent discoveries in science. Consulting experts and scientists who are the authorities in their field address the areas of science which are the inspiration for the show. A Massive Undertaking: The Making of Fringe (on select episodes) - An in-depth exploration of how select episodes came to be made: from the frozen far reaches of shooting the pilot in Toronto, to the weekly challenges of bringing episodes to air The Casting of Fringe- The story, as told by producers and cast, of how Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble and others came to be cast in the series. Fringe Visual Effects featurette - Goes deep into the creation of the shared dream state with some of the biggest VFX shots of the show. Dissected Files: Unaired Scenes Unusual Side Effects: Gag Reel Fringe: Deciphering the Scene Roberto Orci Production Diary Gene the Cow montage Three Full-Length Commentaries from writers/producers, including J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtman, J.R. Orci, David Goodman, Bryan Burk, Akiva Goldsman and Jeff PinknerEvolution: The Genesis of Fringe featurette - The creators of the show discuss how the series unfolded and the qualities that make it so unique Behind the Real Science of Fringe

Product Details

  • Actors: Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Lance Reddick, Kirk Acevedo, Blair Brown
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Thai
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 7
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 8, 2009
  • Run Time: 1028 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4,800 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001C4CI8U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,973 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Fringe: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 12, 2009
Format: Blu-ray
I have dual suggestions for anyone thinking of trying FRINGE. First, definitely watch it. Second, be very, very patient. The show eventually gets very, very good, but it takes a very long time to get there. I have a theory as to why that is. FOX has a tendency to micro manage many of its shows. DOLLHOUSE is an example. After Joss Whedon brought them his initial pilot, they nixed it and asked for a new one, and then dictated that the first several episodes be standalone episodes. And guess what. In the sixth episode DOLLHOUSE became one of the best shows on TV, with multiple delicious plot twists. The weakest part of the series? The first five stand alone episodes. I have not heard similar things about FRINGE, but given that the first half of the season tends to be almost all stand alone episodes and that they are far and away the weakest part of the show, I suspect more FOX interference. FRINGE has been compared to THE X-FILES in many ways, but one way that they are dissimilar is that THE X-FILES standalone episodes were far superior to FRINGE's standalone episodes. So the viewer has to be patient for the payoff for watching the show to come to fruition. But the payoff does finally come. About halfway through the series a "mythology" arc emerges in a most satisfying way, resulting in a string of deeply satisfying and exciting episodes in the second half of the season. At the end of the first year, it hasn't yet quite become a great show, but it shows all the potential of becoming one. But perhaps only if FOX will get out of the way and let them get on with the story.

The show also suffered from internal problems, the main one being casting. I came to like Anna Torv in the lead role of Agent Olivia Dunham, but she remained in many ways the show's weak link.
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Format: DVD
Brainchild of JJ Abrams, this show is loaded with all the vitamins a good series needs: an exciting and innovative plot, along with well-scripted characters. Some episodes are a bit of a fill-out but the overall plot, much like the show Lost, is very interesting and has one at the edge of their seat. Anna Torv is a bit of a newcomer without much experience, but portrays her character very well. John Noble does a cracking job as the somewhat looney Einstein-inspired Dr Walter Bishop. The biggest surprise is Joshua Jackson who's getting a bit of a fresh start in his career with this show. He does an excellent job as the intelligent Peter Bishop, son of Walter Bishop. Another brilliant choice actor-wise is Lance Reddick, known from The Wire (which by the way probably is the best show in TV history).
The main plot? Well, strange incidents are occuring, perpetrated by a mysterious terrorist group using the world as their experiment lab. The events are investigated by the characters named above. As the story unfolds, the motives of this terrorist group start to emerge and the question rises: Who is the real enemy?
Scripted and created by the same guys who wrote the new Star Trek film, this show is the new Lost. It has been picked up for a season 2, and will probably go beyond that. Brilliant stuff.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have dual suggestions for anyone thinking of trying FRINGE. First, definitely watch it. Second, be very, very patient. The show eventually gets very, very good, but it takes a very long time to get there. I have a theory as to why that is. FOX has a tendency to micro manage many of its shows. DOLLHOUSE is an example. After Joss Whedon brought them his initial pilot, they nixed it and asked for a new one, and then dictated that the first several episodes be standalone episodes. And guess what. In the sixth episode DOLLHOUSE became one of the best shows on TV, with multiple delicious plot twists. The weakest part of the series? The first five stand alone episodes. I have not heard similar things about FRINGE, but given that the first half of the season tends to be almost all stand alone episodes and that they are far and away the weakest part of the show, I suspect more FOX interference. FRINGE has been compared to THE X-FILES in many ways, but one way that they are dissimilar is that THE X-FILES standalone episodes were far superior to FRINGE's standalone episodes. So the viewer has to be patient for the payoff for watching the show to come to fruition. But the payoff does finally come. About halfway through the series a "mythology" arc emerges in a most satisfying way, resulting in a string of deeply satisfying and exciting episodes in the second half of the season. At the end of the first year, it hasn't yet quite become a great show, but it shows all the potential of becoming one. But perhaps only if FOX will get out of the way and let them get on with the story.

The show also suffered from internal problems, the main one being casting. I came to like Anna Torv in the lead role of Agent Olivia Dunham, but she remained in many ways the show's weak link.
Read more ›
29 Comments 154 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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In 2001, when a little show called Alias hit the airwaves, I was instantly hooked on the creative genius that is J.J. Abrams. Since Alias, Abrams has become a household name for TV and Film geeks worldwide with such gems as Lost, Mission Impossible 3, and Cloverfield under his belt. For months now Fox has been brainwashing its viewers with promos of Abrams's newest TV creation, Fringe. With a reported $10,000,000 spent on the pilot alone, not to mention the eye-catching "from the creators of Lost" tagline, expectations have certainly been high for fans and critics alike. Would it, could it possibly live up to the hype? This past Tuesday was our chance to find out.

Episode Synopsis:

When an international flight lands at Boston's Logan Airport and there are no signs of life, FBI Special Agent Olivia Dunham, a scientist, Walter Bishop, and his son Peter uncover a deadly mystery involving a series of unbelievable events. ([...])

Right out of the gate, the Fringe pilot makes a strong case for being worthy of all the preceding hype. J.J. Abrams' formula for success is all over this thing and it works:

1. A seemingly unknown female lead that will undoubtedly be turned into a star? Check. Australian actress Anna Torv is perfectly cast as FBI Agent Olivia Dunham. She has the strong screen presence and subtle charm needed to be able to carry this series.

2. A somewhat has been actor that will no doubt be reinvented into a rising star? Check. Joshua Jackson (aka Pacey) wooed teen girls for years on the 90's WB sensation, Dawson's Creek. Here he gets a fresh new start as Peter Bishop, genius estranged son of Dr. Walter Bishop. I was pleasantly surprised with the depth of Jackson's performance and the welcome comedy relief he brings to the show.
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