Fringe The Complete First Season Review-Own it on Blu-Ray September 8th, 2009
- Genre: Sci Fi, Drama
- Price: $51.49 on Amazon
- Run Time: 1272 Minutes
- Publisher: Warner Home Video
- Starring: Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Lance Reddick, Kirk Acevedo, Blair Brown, Mark Valley, Jasika Nicole
- Special Features: Genesis, Casting, Visual Effects, and Real Science Behind Fringe; Deciphering the Scenes; Unaired Scenes; Massive Undertakings; Gag Reel; Robert Orci’s Production Diary; Gene the Cow; Fringe Pattern Analysis
Being a huge fan of Lost, I was eagerly anticipating Fringe’s premiere last fall. Since I have pretty much liked everything that J.J. Abrams has ever made I thought there was no chance that I wasn’t going to love Fringe. Well I was a little disappointed by Fringe’s first couple of episodes. It was still a good show but it failed to be a great show. Then the second half of the season came around and Fringe quickly became a great series. Now fans of Fringe can relive the season on Blu-Ray or people who have never seen Fringe or gave up on it too quickly can catch up on Fringe for what appears to likely be a great season two.
Like sci-fi shows such as the X-Files, Fringe examines the strange and mysterous happenings of the world. The show mainly follows three characters. Olivia is a FBI agent that gets involved with investigating the group of odd occurrences referred to as “The Pattern”. Olivia is joined by two brilliant minds in Walter (a recently released psych patient) and his son Peter. Together they try and figure out what is behind the strange events that appear to be happening at an increasing rate.
Fringe mostly disappointed me in the beginning because I came in with too high of expectations. The show took some time to grow. More time was focused on the characters and weekly cases rather than the overall case in the first half of the season. This lead to the show not reaching its full potential. That is corrected by the second half of the season where there is a larger focus on the strange events as a whole which leads to a unsurprising but fantastic season finale. If you gave up on Fringe after a couple of episodes and generally like these type of shows I would highly recommend that you give the show a second chance.
Since this is a Blu-Ray release I am obligated to bring up the video quality since that is a major reason why most people purchase Blu-Ray in the first place. In Fringe’s case, the video quality is excellent for a television series. Obviously a movie is going to look better in HD than a TV show, but Fringe is one of the better shows on television for HD. With quite a few action scenes along with special effects, Fringe truly does shine in HD.
If the episodes alone weren’t worth a purchase of the first season of Fringe, the special features make it a must buy as long as you like the series or the genre. The special features really shocked me. You usually have to take quality or quantity but for Fringe you get both. You get twelve different special features with most having multiple parts. Most of them are also very entertaining. Fringe fans should not be disappointed at all. A more detailed look at the special features:
- Commentaries on four episodes-The DVD version has only three commentaries while the Blu-Ray has four commentaries. The Blu-Ray’s additional commentary is on the season finale. The other three commentaries are on the “Pilot”, “The Ghost Network”, and “Bad Dreams”. Overall all the commentaries are pretty good.
- Deciphering the Scene-For every single episode of season one, this special features looks at how a scene in the episode was created. For the most part they are good and entertaining. Length: 3 Minutes
- The Massive Undertaking-Similar to the Deciphering the Scene features except longer and more detailed. These are provided for four episodes. Length: Around 4-5 Minutes
- Dissected Scenes-Just your typical deleted scenes. In Fringe’s case they aren’t particularly good since the episodes were longer than usual to begin with so even fewer scenes were worth watching. Deleted scenes are included for five episodes. Length: Varies
- Roberto Orci’s Production Diary-A very entertaining behind the scenes look at making the pilot for Fringe. Usually I don’t enjoy behind the scenes features but Fringe’s is different since it is entertaining and surprisingly funny at points. Length: 15 minutes.
- Evolution: The Genesis of Fringe-A look at how Fringe was created. It mostly focuses just on the pilot which is a bit of a disappointment. Length: 10 Minutes
- The Casting of Fringe-Take your typical casting special feature and apply it to Fringe and you pretty much know what to expect from this feature. It was kind of interesting that several of the cast actually auditioned for different roles on the show. Length: 10 minutes
- Gene the Cow-A pretty funny but short look at the difficulties of making a cow a character on a show. Length: 3-4 Minutes
- Behind the Real Science of Fringe-A look at how Fringe is surprisingly based more in real science than most people would believe. This feature mostly looks at how weekly cases were developed based on real science that is being developed today. Length: 10 Minutes
- Unusual Side Effects-A gag reel. Length: 4 Minutes
- Fringe Visual Effects-Fringe did have some impressive visual effects in season one and this feature looks at just a couple of them and how they were created. Pretty much you typical special effects feature. Length: 15 Minutes
- Fringe Pattern Analysis-This special feature is exclusive to the Blu-Ray release of Fringe. This feature looks at six cases (“The Ghost Network”, “Power Hungry”, “The Equation”, “Safe”, “The Transformation”, and “Unleashed”) and has expert scientists help describe the feasibility of what happened in the episode and how similar science today is being used. Overall the feature is interesting and it is a nice bonus for Blu-Ray purchasers but it isn’t good enough to make the difference in your decision to buy either the DVD or Blu-Ray version of Fringe. Length: 3-5 Minutes for each of the six cases.
The only complaint I could have as far as the special features comes down to the fact that all but the Fringe Pattern Analysis were in what appeared to be standard definition. That is disappointing since I think the featurettes could easily have been filmed in HD as well as standard definition. This will annoy some more than others but don’t let it stop you from picking up the first season of Fringe.
While the first half of the season was somewhat a disappointment, the second half of the season made up for it. If you are a fan of Fringe I would recommend that you pick up either the Blu-Ray or DVD version. Your decision should be based on how important video quality is to you. The extra special features are nice but are not worth the extra money that you will have to pay for the Blu-Ray version. If you have never seen Fringe before and like the concept, or gave up on Fringe after a couple of episodes I would highly recommend that you pick up Fringe and give the show a chance.
Fringe The Complete First Season is a great DVD set. Combining some great episodes with a plethora of great special features makes the first season of Fringe almost a must buy. While I am giving Fringe only a 4.5 out of 5, trust me that it is as close to a perfect five as possible.