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April 3, 2010 4:35 PM   Subscribe

When TV's Fringe dipped into an episode-long flashback to 1985, the opening title sequence flashed back with it. Sequence creator Andrew Kramer discusses how a 1985 version of the opening title was made; VHS tracking distortion, CyFy font, and all.

Fringe isn't the first TV show to change its title sequence for a special occasion. TV Tropes has a long list of other examples.
posted by Servo5678 (98 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
Another great 80s-style opening in the one for Garth Merenghi's Dark Place.
posted by Ian A.T. at 4:43 PM on April 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


This was just icing on the cake for the awesomeness that was Thursday's episode.
posted by reductiondesign at 4:55 PM on April 3, 2010


This video contains content from Channel 4, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.

Oh for fuck's sake! Channel 4 are a public broadcaster in the UK. I live in Northern Ireland, part of the UK.

I mean, Britain go to all the trouble of holding onto six counties of Ireland for over 800 years, and I can't watch a Channel 4 video on YouTube. Bastards. Will the oppression never end??!
posted by knapah at 4:56 PM on April 3, 2010 [51 favorites]


That would be the Garth Merenghi's Dark Place video by the way.

The Fringe sequence was nice, I think I liked it more than the 'modern' one...
posted by knapah at 4:57 PM on April 3, 2010


I would definitely watch the spin-off Fringe 1985 if it were a weekly series.
posted by Servo5678 at 5:00 PM on April 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


I first I thought I'd forgotten the opening credits, and then I realized what was happening. Very cool indeed.
posted by rtha at 5:04 PM on April 3, 2010


This video contains content from Channel 4, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.

Oh for fuck's sake! Channel 4 are a public broadcaster in the UK. I live in Northern Ireland, part of the UK.


Same issue here and I'm as about as UK as you can get in Kent, just south of London!
posted by lemonfridge at 5:05 PM on April 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I didn't know they had HD in '85.
posted by delmoi at 5:05 PM on April 3, 2010


I didn't know they had HD in '85.

You can pretend the title sequence is from the other universe where they're 30 years ahead of us in technology if that helps.
posted by Servo5678 at 5:13 PM on April 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Andrew Kramer is my hero.
posted by bstreep at 5:19 PM on April 3, 2010


I mean, Britain go to all the trouble of holding onto six counties of Ireland for over 800 years, and I can't watch a Channel 4 video on YouTube. Bastards. Will the oppression never end??!

I read that in a Scottish accent, for some reason.
posted by dirigibleman at 5:27 PM on April 3, 2010


The DVNO titles seem more authentic to me.
posted by shii at 5:28 PM on April 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I meant to link to this video.
posted by shii at 5:31 PM on April 3, 2010 [12 favorites]


The "Fringe" title music has always strongly reminded me of the music from the game "Myst." JJ Abrams (producer) has said that he's a fan of the game, so I've wondered if that was intentional or what.
posted by Electrius at 5:32 PM on April 3, 2010


While I'm not normally a fan of minimalist opening title sequences for TV shows, I do love the opening for Fringe. Would love to see the show go to 1995, and have the credits mirror the opening for The X-Files.

Now I'm exiting the thread because I'm so totally not caught up on Season 2 and want no further spoilers. I am also not a fan of months long hiatuses for TV shows!
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:35 PM on April 3, 2010


Never watch fringe, but that was cool. Dark Place is amazing. I think i am part angliphile to be honest.
posted by djduckie at 5:48 PM on April 3, 2010


I know I complain about people doing this in LOST threads, but I stopped watching Fringe part-way through the first season because it bugged me that every single case was solved by the doctor eventually remembering that it was the result of something he'd done decades ago, and each episode seemed samey in a dull way. I have heard that the second season is better. Is this true?
posted by shakespeherian at 5:50 PM on April 3, 2010


I actually couldn't make it through the first episode of Fringe, to be honest. Something about injecting someone with LSD and Ketamine and then walking around 20 minutes later as if nothing had happened.
posted by empath at 5:55 PM on April 3, 2010


I meant to link to this video .

That was awesome.
posted by delmoi at 5:57 PM on April 3, 2010


empath: Something about injecting someone with LSD and Ketamine and then walking around 20 minutes later as if nothing had happened.

Fictional TV show is fictional.
posted by axiom at 6:01 PM on April 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, (almost) everything in the first season is explained by reveals later on (several of which are hinted at for a long time). All the seemingly random crap that they throw at you... well, it's not random. (It's the exact opposite of Lost, which is nice.) Season 1 doesn't pick up until episode 10 or so...before then it is almost exclusively monster-of-the-week with wacky Walter, agreed. But Walter is absolutely central to the show's story, not a deus ex. It's definitely worth giving a chance; I promise you'll be hooked before the end of the first season. The wait for season two was unbearable...but so worth it.

Fringe is worth watching for the character development alone - the actors are all extremely talented and the writers are smart enough to let them do their thing. Abrams has his weaknesses but in this show he's easily outdoing Whedon.
posted by mek at 6:03 PM on April 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Actual 80s sci-fi openings:

Twilight Zone

HBO (okay, not sci-fi, but whatever)

V

Greatest American Hero

Incredible Hulk
posted by empath at 6:07 PM on April 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


mek: Thanks. I'll give it another shot. It was probably because I was expecting another LOST-ish thing, but the (seemingly) stand-alone-episode format was really a let-down for me. Good to know that there's more to it than that.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:07 PM on April 3, 2010


Fictional TV show is fictional.

Yeah, but the whole show was like that. It was just one long, wtf this isn't right. Kind of annoying, like listening to someone sing out of tune. That was just the last straw for me.
posted by empath at 6:08 PM on April 3, 2010


I like fringe and hated this episode. Sure, it explained the mysteries, but it was classic "Stretch out the answer everyone already knows from 5 minutes into 40"

Dug the credits though.
posted by Lord_Pall at 6:09 PM on April 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks, that was cute. Even better it reminded me of the existence of "Probe", a short-lived, Asimov-inspired 1988 tv series starring Parker Stevenson and some wildly improbable hair. The full series appears to be available on YouTube.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:11 PM on April 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I actually would have been fine with: "Let's inject her with a cocktail of dimethyl-unobtanium and adamantium-chloride" or something. It's the pretense that the show is going to use 'real science' and then just completely making shit up that annoyed me. Though I watched a later episode and I was kind of intrigued by the conspiracy sub-plot they had going on, so I might pick up the DVDs later and take a second shot at it.
posted by empath at 6:12 PM on April 3, 2010


Abrams has his weaknesses but in this show he's easily outdoing Whedon.

Funny you should say that, because younger Whedon brother Zack is an occasional writer for Fringe.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 6:19 PM on April 3, 2010


empath: It's the pretense that the show is going to use 'real science' and then just completely making shit up that annoyed me.

I don't read the show as having that pretense at all; it's called Fringe because they use fringe science which is basically meant to be understood as TV land sciencish bullshit. Maybe that's why I wasn't annoyed in the way you were. The show's worth a second shot, for sure.

It's much better than Lost, which I gave up on somewhere during season 2 for just being so much random crap that never gets resolved or explained, and doesn't even seem internally consistent. I realize many people like Lost, I'm just not among them, and I actually stuck with it for a while.
posted by axiom at 6:21 PM on April 3, 2010


It's the pretense that the show is going to use 'real science' and then just completely making shit up that annoyed me.

Meh, I think you should have a bit more credulity when you're watching a show about a secret government team that tracks down evil psychic alien serial killers who time travel through alternate states of consciousness. It's like 'How come there's earth-caliber gravity on the Millennium Falcon?'
posted by shakespeherian at 6:27 PM on April 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ugh. "Fake 80s video" via After Effects is the new HDR.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 6:33 PM on April 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Clearly, I didn't make it that far into the show. It doesn't bother me when sci-fi shows use woo-woo handwave-y science and just make up materials, etc. It just bugs me when they use real things in ways that they just don't work. It's like the uncanny valley of sci-fi or something.
posted by empath at 6:35 PM on April 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


The Totally Rad Show did a whole episode of theirs as well where they reviewed Short Circuit, Ghosts 'n Goblins, LA Law, and ALF. It was very silly the whole episode, the intro was fantastic as well, and more campy.
posted by Del Far at 6:42 PM on April 3, 2010


Oh for fuck's sake! Channel 4 are a public broadcaster in the UK. I live in Northern Ireland, part of the UK.

Ditto, in fucking Birmingham.
posted by phrontist at 6:47 PM on April 3, 2010


Are you guys saying you can't see the Dark Place link on Youtube? Cause i can see it fine in the US.
posted by empath at 7:02 PM on April 3, 2010


Are you guys saying you can't see the Dark Place link on Youtube? Cause i can see it fine in the US.

Yeah, regional protection idiocy.
posted by knapah at 7:04 PM on April 3, 2010


In an eerie foreshadowing of the V to come, the V opening titles end with Marc Singer teabagging a dude. (No, really, they do -- scroll up and watch it.)

Never watched Fringe, loved the titles, also thought immediately of Darkplace. I'm curious, though -- was nanotechnology really a thing in 1985? Isn't that more an early '90s thing?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:04 PM on April 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


The original V was rebroadcast on basic cable just a few days ago. The early-80s mouse eating scenes and puppet reptile babies were pretty hilarious in retrospect.
posted by gimonca at 7:12 PM on April 3, 2010


God, kittens for breakfast, I just watched the V intro and that looks like the most painful way possible for a guy to attack.
posted by zippy at 7:13 PM on April 3, 2010


Oh my god 80s HBO intro is STILL BRILLIANT! I got goosebumps.
posted by fusinski at 7:19 PM on April 3, 2010


I read somewhere that Tim and Eric do their VHS effects by transferring digital video to a VHS cassette and beating on it until it gets jumpy and then transferring it back.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 7:28 PM on April 3, 2010


I vaguely remembered thinking the original V was kind of scary when I saw bits of it on TV as a kid, then the other day I happened to catch 5 minutes of it on TV and was like, lol.
posted by adamdschneider at 7:28 PM on April 3, 2010


After watching the DVNO video then the HBO intro video (in that order), I suddenly realized why certain bits of the DVNO video looked familiar. Of course, there are bits of it that look familiar I still can't quite place, but...
posted by axiom at 7:51 PM on April 3, 2010


The regular wussy Enterpeise tiles. (warning: horrible sounds)
The Enterprise titles from the utterly rocking Mirror Universe 2 parter.

(Yes there was a thing about Enterprise that rocked. No, it was only just the once, everything else you assumed about the total suckage of Enterprise is correct.)
posted by Artw at 7:57 PM on April 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


My wife and I gave up on Fringe halfway through the first season. Basically, we hated all the main characters, and the sheer incorrectness of the science bugged us to death.

Like, I'm actually fine with made-up science doing made-up things. I'm totally down if you ask me to believe that someone has a machine which can read thoughts. HOWEVER, you then have to use that made-up tool in a believable way. If you can read surface thoughts, for instance, the LAST thing you want to do is cause your target excruciating pain. Pain shuts down memory centers, prevents coherent thought; memory is mostly automatic, so all you have to do is TALK ABOUT what you want them to think about. They won't be able to help but give you the answers unless they're in a complete Zen trance to start with (in which case excruciating pain won't do you much good either.)

It was THAT sort of crap that annoyed me. Taking perfectly good imaginary science and failing to treat it as anything other than "magic." Star Trek had more internal logical consistency, for pity's sake.
posted by Scattercat at 8:15 PM on April 3, 2010


Despite the fact that the episode was so heavily foreshadowed that it felt like watching a repeat, it was well done.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:32 PM on April 3, 2010


If I wasn't such a chickenshit, I'd open up my SOCKS proxy just to screw with YouTube.
posted by wierdo at 8:53 PM on April 3, 2010


I've watched every episode of Fringe with grim determination, and this is the first episode I really liked. Walter Bishop's 1985 backstory is so much more fun than the Scientific Anomaly of the Week template that seems to be driving the show.

On the subject of awesome retrofitted credits, I recommend the opening of Ti West's The House of the Devil. Released last year, its faux 70s/80s low budget slasher intro—complete with 16mm stock, clumsy orange typeface, and synthy soundtrack—is a masterclass in media nostalgia.
posted by hot soup girl at 8:54 PM on April 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oddly enough, despite being just as nonsensical as Fringe, if not more so, I have absolutely no problem with the sci-fi in Lost. I think it rests comfortably in the same part of my brain that got me through watching Akira.
posted by empath at 9:39 PM on April 3, 2010


Star Trek had more internal logical consistency, for pity's sake.

Not the best comparison to make your point with!
posted by mek at 9:44 PM on April 3, 2010


The regular wussy Enterpeise tiles. (warning: horrible sounds)

D-:

What the hell is with that song?
posted by adamdschneider at 9:53 PM on April 3, 2010


I love Fringe, loved the opening titles, loved the episode, loved the wig, loved everything. But I'm here because I squealed like a little girl at the Doctor Who reference. My mother was oblivious so the moment was lost. I've been waiting for days for someone to mention Fringe so I could bring it up....*deep breath* Thank you.
posted by Partario at 10:14 PM on April 3, 2010


Speaking of which... season 5 of Doctor Who started today.
posted by mek at 10:16 PM on April 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Speaking of which... season 5 of Doctor Who started today.

And I'm already in love with 11.
posted by Partario at 10:17 PM on April 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


General reaction seems to be that the Moff/Smith combo is a huge success.
posted by Artw at 10:23 PM on April 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


In other SF television news, I actually kind of liked the Stargate:universe half season opener.
posted by Artw at 10:24 PM on April 3, 2010


I watch Fringe fully expecting everything to be campy awful in the way that the most campy (early) episodes of X-Files could be. I also always expect wooden acting by Anna Torv and something that makes me go "Huh wtf?"

But the intro was definitely the highlight of the latest episode, and agree with the 5-minutes-dragged-out-to-40 complaint. I like episodes that can stand alone and still be entertaining. Every episode (of every show, in my opinion) should have at least a little absurd humor.
posted by that girl at 10:33 PM on April 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am loving Fringe in spite of myself. It's totally silly, and yes, a lot of the episode plots resolve with a phone call from the mad scientist (off screen) reporting something that he suddenly remembered explains everything, and then it's over. BUT... characters who do massive amounts of psychedelics, sometimes just for fun! King Théoden as a mad scientist! A meta-plot that moves forward on a regular basis (unlike X-Files)! Creepy / clever things happening in the background of scenes in every episode (The Observers are always there)!

and sweet scruffy faced Peter really needs my phone number

It's silly, but I'm enjoying it a lot more than most SF-ish shows I've watched in the past decade. I do recommend it to people quite frequently. Only 4 more episodes left to this season, and I can't wait to see what they have in store.
posted by hippybear at 11:17 PM on April 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Thanks for the FPP. I was unaware that Fringe started again, and would totally miss it if it weren't for this. Now I'm off to ignore the contents of this post until I watch it.

BTW, I watched the '85 opening. It's tubular.
posted by qvantamon at 12:08 AM on April 4, 2010


I live in Northern Ireland, part of the UK. Will the oppression never end??!

Now you know what you have to do.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:32 AM on April 4, 2010


5-minutes-dragged-out-to-40 complaint

I don't exactly understand this complaint, because I will bet $100 this single episode has framed (and explained) the dimensional war. You can't spend 5 minutes hand waving the show's core mythology.
posted by a. at 2:12 AM on April 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


It may be extremely important to the plot. But it still felt overdramatic and drawn out. They could have spent more time arguing about how it could destroy the multiverse and less time being sappy, especially since we already more or less know what happens.

I think this is the same reason I never watched Titanic.
posted by that girl at 2:50 AM on April 4, 2010


It worked great for me until I got to the last frame, and noticed the names of the three creators were in ... Verdana.
posted by Xere at 2:56 AM on April 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


that aside... i like it!!
posted by Xere at 2:56 AM on April 4, 2010


It's much better than Lost, which I gave up on somewhere during season 2 for just being so much random crap that never gets resolved or explained, and doesn't even seem internally consistent. I realize many people like Lost, I'm just not among them, and I actually stuck with it for a while.

Much of life fits that bill, as does Metafilter.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:35 AM on April 4, 2010


FRINGE IS BETTER THAN LOST!
NO WAY - LOST IS BETTER THAN FRINGE!

Actually I have a theory that Fringe and Lost are more closely related than many people would expect. More than that I shall not say; risking spoilers for both shows.
posted by ErikaB at 8:24 AM on April 4, 2010


I almost gave up on Fringe for the reasons everyone cited above - Walter remembers something, solves monster-of-the-week problem.

But season 2 really did start tying a lot of that up, and I remember thinking, "Aha! You guys aren't quite the no-talent assclowns that I thought you were! Now I can keep watching the show for a reason other than the spooky attractiveness that is Anna Torv!"

And sure, the science is wrong, but that's part of the fun. It's incidental. To me, I've always thought of this show as a perfect cross between CSI and the X-files. And what other show is going to give you a milk cow in the lab? At Harvard?

If you watch the show enough, one of the fun things to do is try and spot The Observer in every episode. Even in the "throwaway" eps that don't move the story arcs along, he still pops up for a second in at least one shot. Love that.

But then, I also love watching Chuck to catch the spy movie references they make in almost every episode.

Silly fun, indeed. But fun nonetheless.
posted by Thistledown at 8:24 AM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Okay all these lack-of-immersion comments about Fringe are fine. I still cackle whenever Walter announces he has an erection.
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:34 AM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is cool.

When the episode started I cried out to my husband, "Hey! They changed the theme! Look! 'Fringe' became 'Quantum Leap!' It's kinda cool!"

I didn't realize (doh!) that it was specifically due to the 1985 throwback. Loved it, loved it, loved it! So much more is explained. I mean, sure we all knew the core premise of what this episode would be about since the start of the break, but what I didn't realize was the way the Observer played such a significant role in what happened. It was far more deliberate than I thought.

On the other hand, I am rather annoyed that an early subplot about Peter knowing-people-who-know-a-guy-who-know-people and having a shady past while Walter was in the hospital was dropped. Like, there was the guy in Season 1 who called someone and said Peter was back in town and things should be taken care of. And then it was dropped! Hopefully that will play a part in this season as Peter's character unfolds, but I have a feeling this one was just let go.

Other than that complaint, I love the show!
posted by zizzle at 10:05 AM on April 4, 2010


I love alternate title sequences. I particularly enjoyed when Supernatural (which normally has a very short opening title card) did a completely over-the-top 90s style cheesy-sitcom opening.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:09 AM on April 4, 2010


I hadn't seen that Justice video before. That's fantastic.

What was the Doctor Who reference in Fringe?

The first episode of the new Who season was clearly great, but I hope that they give 11 more of his own personality. All the differences between him and 10 seem to be cosmetic. He doesn't like apples. Other than that, Tennant could have played the exact same episode. I'm hoping they make him a little less funny (let that be 10's shctick) and make him serious, scholarly, and action-oriented but calculating, kind of like Pertwee. Amy Pond is wonderful though.
posted by painquale at 10:28 AM on April 4, 2010


I like how Fringe is the inverse of the X-files; the mythology/conspiracy episodes are where it shines and the monsters-of-the-week are rather lame.
posted by aldurtregi at 10:41 AM on April 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


I also came in here to complain about Verdana.
posted by aparrish at 10:51 AM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I agree that the mythology episodes are stronger in Fringe than they were in the X-Files, though I love me some cheesy monster-of-the-week, too. And I love Walter.
posted by rtha at 11:26 AM on April 4, 2010


It didn't really help that the X-Files had a horrible mythology.
posted by Tenuki at 12:32 PM on April 4, 2010


Speaking of which... season 5 of Doctor Who started today.

I hadn't seen it yet. Thanks for the link. Currently watching, ecstatically.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:13 PM on April 4, 2010


I loved Walter and wanted to like Fringe... but didn't. I'm heartened by all the comments that it picked up after the beginning of season 1. Maybe I'll give it another shot some day.
posted by Zed at 4:01 PM on April 4, 2010


What was the Doctor Who reference in Fringe?

Zeppelins from another world!
posted by Servo5678 at 4:56 PM on April 4, 2010


I also like Fringe, It's a guilty pleasure, but I like the pseudoscience nonsense. I liked Lost a lot better when it was about the Dharma Initiative pseudo-science than now, when it's about pseudo-spirituality. There's something about Fringe, it seems like the sci-fi comes from the 1950s when we were all going to have nuclear powered cars but telephone books would still be printed on paper.

Anna Torvs acting bugged me a bit at the beginning (there's this weird mannerism she does with her mouth every time she asks something dramatic, as if she were gulping something foul) but the writers have recalibrated the show perfectly so that she doesn't have to carry the more emotional scenes.
posted by Omon Ra at 6:30 PM on April 4, 2010


> X-Files had a horrible mythology

The X-Files' biggest myth was the idea that they had a mythology; actually, the show-runners seemed to have no idea where they were headed. That show ended ugly.

As for Fringe, it's lightly entertaining. At least its dialogue doesn't seem to have been written by people who had never heard actual human speech, as was clearly the case with X-Files. And Abrams and crew seem to have a very clear idea of where the ultimate plot arc is going... even if each individual episode seems like something sketched out on a napkin ten minutes before filming. ("Okay... now throw in an Oh That Crazy Walter joke. GREAT. And... that's a wrap.")
posted by darth_tedious at 6:54 PM on April 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


I gave up on Fringe after a few episodes initially, but recently gave it another try and watched all of the episodes online. I'm glad I gave the show another shot, because now I really love it.

For all of those complaining the science is off, you can justify it by imagining that the universe the show takes place in isn't the same as our own, and the laws of nature may be different there. Maybe their ketamine and LSD are very short-acting, and pain sharpens memories. Or you can just relax and remember that you're watching a work of fiction.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 6:56 PM on April 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Mr. Papaya, The Friendliest of Fruits
posted by Omon Ra at 7:03 PM on April 4, 2010


That 80s intro is very cool but not entirely convincing. It starts off very well, but it gets a bit too wobbly and the way the 3D "FRINGE" comes in is very 90s. The font used for the "CREATED BY" section is also particularly 90s/00s in terms of common usage.
posted by wackybrit at 8:00 PM on April 4, 2010


(Yes there was a thing about Enterprise that rocked. No, it was only just the once, everything else you assumed about the total suckage of Enterprise is correct.)

Well, twice. Two-parter. :)

Artw, the music in your link was dubbed from the original. This is how it aired.

That episode ("In a Mirror, Darkly") was deeply frustrating to a lot of ST fans. The producer was a fan of the old series, and said that he wanted to do an episode specifically tailored for Star Trek fans, who had been hoping to see the show do something that nodded to the universe's history and continuity. Suddenly followers got a chance to see what the show could have been, after it had been canceled for what it was: a lifeless dud. The producers had a vast universe to work in and near limited potential, and what they came up in the series with was just terrible. But this specific two-part show was done decently well.

Spoilers follow:


They re-filmed and revamped the opening sequence of Star Trek: First Contact. They recreated the entire Constitution class bridge set, and many TOS props, costumes and other sets. They took special care to preserve continuity, and even paid attention to where the dead crewmen were seen on the Defiant's bridge in the original "Tholian Web" episode, then took care to place them where they were supposed to be.

On the other hand, the CGI Gorn was pretty awful. But they tried. Fun concept, badly executed.

The entire two episodes are available on YouTube:

Part 1
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI
Part VII
Part VIII (Crappy CGI Gorn can be seen at start of this video)
Part IX
Part X
posted by zarq at 8:00 PM on April 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


It is a thing of weird and unlikely beauty, almost like a visitor from another reality itself.
posted by Artw at 9:28 PM on April 4, 2010


darth_tedious: "The X-Files' biggest myth was the idea that they had a mythology; actually, the show-runners seemed to have no idea where they were headed."

To be fair, the show-runners knew exactly what the mythology was, what the end-point was, and they played out how the show got there pretty well. The downside was that they got there like five seasons and two films too early, and had to completely scrap their original ending in favour of something much less fun that made much less sense; they then proceeded to tread water for five years.

At least, that's the impression I got from zipping through the plot episodes from the first few seasons (there's like two per season, the show was nothing but monster-of-the-week) and then watching the first movie.

Artw: "General reaction seems to be that the Moff/Smith combo is a huge success."

General reaction seems to be that this new series actually feels like Doctor Who, and not just a sequence of excuses for a Scottish man to yell Allons-y! and magically fix things with his laser pointer. I really enjoyed it and I'm actually looking forward to more Who, which seems like a strange thing to say.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 9:05 AM on April 5, 2010


Argh, the first six words of my last para are the same as the first six words of the quote, so it looks like I'm trying to correct you. I'm not, I'm just rubbish.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 9:07 AM on April 5, 2010


I dunno, even by the movie it started seeming like they were making it up as they went along... Still, I'm a big fan of the monster of the week stuff.
posted by Artw at 9:11 AM on April 5, 2010


General reaction seems to be that this new series actually feels like Doctor Who, and not just a sequence of excuses for a Scottish man to yell Allons-y! and magically fix things with his laser pointer. I really enjoyed it and I'm actually looking forward to more Who, which seems like a strange thing to say.

I love ten, but I have to say, that first episode was fucking fantastic. Had a really cinematic, magical feel to it. Very scary and well-acted. I was worried that eleven would be nothing more than eyecandy, but he seems much more than that--a little stern, a little goofy, a lot of depth, which is just what we need in a doctor, I think.

Not sure what I think of the steampunk TARDIS, though.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:43 AM on April 5, 2010


I really am going to be the last person who could conceivably be interested in it in North America that has not torrented it by the time it shows on telly, aren't I?
posted by Artw at 9:55 AM on April 5, 2010


I have to say, comparing Fringe to X-Files... Fringe has yet to have an episode which affected me like X Files Season 1, Episode 13, "Beyond The Sea" where Brad Dourif played a death row inmate who claimed to have psychic powers and completely sucked Scully into a role reversal with Mulder as far as belief in the paranormal. It was creepy and dark and incredibly effective, and is what made me into a fan of that particular series. I've not seen an episode of Fringe which worked that kind of magic yet, although the emotions in this retro episode came very, very close.
posted by hippybear at 9:59 AM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Who was it that would do the odd insanely good-but-weird episode? IIRC there was one guy in particular. He was like the X Files Moffat.
posted by Artw at 10:00 AM on April 5, 2010


Artw: I've torrented it (along with the new episode of Jonathan Creek, which has me thrilled to see is back), but haven't watched it yet.
posted by hippybear at 10:00 AM on April 5, 2010


PhoBWanKenobi: "Not sure what I think of the steampunk TARDIS, though."

Yeah, I'm kind of waiting to be sold on that myself. I'm half-expecting to see a rubber ducky on a spring and an alcove where there must always be a fresh sandwich or the TARDIS will not work: it feels a little too self-consciously wacky.

Artw: "I dunno, even by the movie it started seeming like they were making it up as they went along..."

It feels to me like the movie was supposed to be the end of that whole story, but since the end of that whole story would have been either the comprehensive defeat of the aliens or the colonisation of Earth, there wouldn't have been much of a tense mystery-thriller to go back to; at least, not on a TV budget. So they backed out and made some incomprehensible garbage instead.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:06 AM on April 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think this was the guy: Darin Morgan.
posted by Artw at 10:34 AM on April 5, 2010


I've been liking Fringe since I accepted that the "science" was complete nonsense, and I just tuned it out focusing instead on the characters. Really glad I did too, because the characters are a lot more layered than I expected to find in a goofy show like this. Walter, in particular, is having an interesting arc. (Hell, even Astrid is turning into someone kind of cool, in a background character way.)

Plus I like the badass that is Olivia Dunham. I want to live in a world of supremely competent blond cops like her and Mary Shannon (In Plain Sight), and I was really excited of the potential of yet another one in V's Erica Evans, but lord that show is fucking unwatchable.
posted by quin at 2:39 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I like how this thread has kind of devolved into a general sci fi TV thread, but I am aching for the next Who thread to pop up so I won't feel quite so spammy talking about the show. The last few Who threads continued for weeks.
posted by painquale at 7:01 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Darin Morgan as The X-Files' Moffat is a great analogy. Imagine if Morgan had got creative control of the show....
posted by painquale at 7:04 PM on April 5, 2010


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