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Fringe: The Complete First Season (+ BD-Live) [Blu-ray] by Various Directors
Review by Charles Mohapel
Warner Home Video Blu-ray  ISBN/ITEM#: B001MS7IBS
Date: 16 September 2009 List Price $79.98 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: IMDB.com / Show Official Info /

In my opinion Fringe was one of the most distinctive shows of the 2008-2009 TV season. It reminded me very much of the first seasons of The X-Files, you never knew what surprises were just around the next corner. Knowing how unique it was I was really looking forward to watching every episode again, as well as savoring all the cool extras on the Blu-ray version.

Creators:
J.J. Abrams
Alex Kurtzman
Roberto Orci

Cast:
Lance Reddick ... Agent Phillip Broyles
Kirk Acevedo ... Agent Charlie Francis
Anna Torv ... Agent Olivia Dunham
Jasika Nicole ... Astrid Farnsworth
Joshua Jackson ... Peter Bishop
John Noble ... Dr. Walter Bishop
Blair Brown ... Nina Sharp

Of the three episodes available with commentary my favorite by far was that for "The Ghost Network" by J.R. Orci, David Goodman, and Brian Burk. It was less frenetic and more interesting than the commentary for "Pilot" and we got more insightful tidbits. The commentary for "Pilot" by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and J.J. Abrams was very much stream-of-consciousness and is very much the way the three co-creators work in collaboration, but their "three kids on Red Bull" pace quickly lost its appeal. The third commentary for "Bad Dreams" by Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner was reasonably interesting.

When it comes to "A Massive Undertaking: The Making of Fringe" on select episodes, it was very much a case of really liking them ("Pilot" and "There's More Than One of Everything") to only rating them as okay (neither good or bad - "The Ghost Network" and "The Transformation").

"Fringe: Deciphering the Scene" was a feature common to all 20 episodes, but most of them left me asking "Why did they bother?"

"Dissected Files" was their term for unaired scenes and the one for "Power Hungry" was the only one I agreed with completely. I wish that all the others hadn't been cut, but when a good scene has to be trimmed or deleted in order to keep the show moving, I'm glad they kept those particular scenes as extras for us.

The "Evolution: The Genesis of Fringe" featurette was a real treat. I loved the fact that the creators put a code into the show's icons like the apple, frog, butterfly, etc.

I quite enjoyed "Behind the Real Science of Fringe" since it featured eloquent articulate scientists discussing the real science behind the show, not a bunch of made-up pseudoscientific mumbo jumbo like on some other shows.

"The Casting of Fringe" rocked! The first of my two favorite segments were those where we learned that Kirk Acevedo read the script for Lost and passed on it, a choice he regrets. The second segment with Blair Brown - how many people remember that she played in Altered States?

"Roberto Orci's Production Diary" begins in late January/early February 2008 while they were shooting the pilot in Toronto and it was actually very interesting.

Not surprisingly "Fringe Visual Effects" with a show of this type, this featurette rocked.

"Unusual Side Effects: Gag Reel" was hilarious but WAY too short.

Who would ever have thought that "Gene the Cow" was hilarious, but it was.

My favourite episodes were "Pilot", "The Ghost Network", "The Arrival", "The Equation", "The Dreamscape", "Safe", "The Transformation", "Inner Child", "Unleashed", "Midnight", "The Road Not Taken", and "There's More Than One of Everything".

Timed perfectly for release 9 days before Season 2 begins, Fringe: The Complete First Season (+ BD-Live) [Blu-ray] is a Must Buy.

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