Posts Tagged ‘Fringe’

Fringe was in Maine

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

I’ve spoken in the past of the television show Fringe. It started out a 21st-century X-Files, but then it went all parallel universe and really came into its own.

Anyway, two weeks ago episode 6, titled “6955 kHz”, started out in Maine!

Here’s the Stockton Harbor intertitle, in the show’s 3D graphic style:

Fringe Episode 3x06 "6955 kHz"

Now, to be picky, Stockton Harbor is actually only a body of water; the land near the harbor would probably be Stockton Springs or maybe Searsport.

Anyway, we meet our intrepid lighthouse keeper, who I have named “Mr. Bad Accent”:

“You cahn’t get theyah from heeah …”

Then the lighthouse keeper turns on his MacBook and all hell breaks loose:

Just as we think he’s dead, he pops up; but something’s wrong. He’s all slack-jawed and confused, and thus we begin tonight’s episode …

I don’t want to make fun of Fringe, it’s a clever show, but I have a few squabbles with the portrayal of my state in the show.

First off, bad accent. Baaaaad. But that’s almost to be expected when Maine’s on film. The majority of the audience won’t even know it’s bad.

Besides, the next location for the episode was Chinatown, and I have no idea how their accents were. Probably laughable. But I don’t know!

Secondly, lighthousekeepers? Didn’t that go the way of dial-up internet years ago?

Thirdly, his outfit. Why does everyone think that Mainers wear knit hats and wool sweaters all of the time? I blame L.L. Bean. Outdoorsman bastards!

Overall, it was a so-so episode, borrowing heavily from its cousin Lost (seriously, a radio loop of pre-recorded numbers? You barely explained that shit in Lost!) But I like the ideas of The First People. Very Zecharia Sitchin-meets-fifth sun. I like.

Fringe Finale

Monday, May 17th, 2010

I’m going to let my geek flag wave here today – over the weekend I watched the first part of the Fringe season finale. Sorry it’s so closely on the heels of a similar post just last month (see Back to the Alternative Future).

So this week we’re back in the Fringe alternate universe, but it’s the present day this time. First off they started out with an alternate red tinted credit sequence:

Hey, waitaminute, “First People”? In the normal credits it’s “Parallel Universes”:

Interesting …

Alternate New York City still has the World Trade Center and airships up the yin-yang (likely they didn’t have a Hindenburg disaster) but they also have a fairly esoteric early 20th century architecture reference – Antoni Gaudí’s proposed Grand Hotel:

The hotel was designed in the early 1900s but (obviously) never built. It actually looks quite a bit like a super-sized version of London’s Swiss Re Building:

Apparently there’s an architecture geek on the writing or production staff.

This New York still has a Statue of Liberty, although somehow theirs has retained its original copper-bronze hue:

Also, as you can see from the title, it appears that Fort Wood is the home of the alternate universe Department of Defense.

I’m still taken aback by the lack of Verdigris on the Statue; we can either assume that the science behind corrosion works differently in the alternate universe (which is unlikely), that the Statue has been rebuilt (perhaps their September 11th attacks had different targets) or a third, unknown reason.

Moving on, my favorite jokes of the episode are the numismatically inclined. The defense forces in the alternate world find a dead human from our world and go through his wallet. They’re particularly confused by our money:

“Who’s ‘Jackson’?”

Wow, so either the guy doesn’t know who his seventh President was, or someone else was their seventh President. Naturally this, in conjunction with the “First People” bit above, leads me to wonder about that universe’s Creek War and Seminole Wars – with no Andrew Jackson were Native Americans treated more humanely in this universe?

Or maybe I’m overthinking this.

The next one blew me out of the water, though; in wanting to compare their $20 to ours, they asked for “a Junior”.



So either Martin Luther King, Jr was a President, or they’re keeping in line with the Hamiltons and Franklins and put influential non-Presidents on money.

Either way, bad-ass.

They also use dollar coins over there:

Shocking, I know. The front was even moreso:

So Reverend King and Richard Nixon made it onto the money in this world?!


Honestly I took this more as a homage to Watchmen, where Nixon was still President in 1985 (after the repeal the 22nd Amendment and the suspicious murders of Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein).

This next thing, it’s just weird and funny:

Yup, The West Wing season eleven. Why the The West Wing? Maybe because both it and Fringe are produced by Warner Brothers Television?

Maybe they’re just fans?

The last one was startling, check out the map in the background:

Time to turn to the internets for help. I found an article at SciFiWire: “Secrets of the alternate U.S.A. from Fox’s Fringe.” They saw the map in-person on set and say this:

California has clearly suffered a major catastrophe; half of it is gone, presumably underwater.

The state of Washington is called “Southern British Columbia.” (A wink to the crew of Fringe, which is shot in Canada’s British Columbia?)

Nevada is called “Independent Nevada.”

Texas is divided into two states: North Texas and South Texas.

Oklahoma and Kansas are combined into a large state called “Midland.”

North and South Carolina are combined into a single state called simply “Carolina.”

Louisiana is called “Louisiana Territory.”

The area around Washington, D.C., is called “District of Virginia” instead.

The upper peninsula of Michigan doesn’t exist.

The map designates red “quarantine areas” and blue “incident areas,” presumably either places that have been cleared of all life or areas of unusual “Pattern”-related activity. The biggest red quarantine areas are in Delaware, eastern New York and southern Maine.

I’d say it’s more Eastern Maine, say Hancock County?


Sorry Bar Harbor, MDI. You lose. Better luck next alternate universe …

Back to the Alternative Future

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Last week the show Fringe had a plot that took place in an alternate reality 1985.

Of course, the guys who write and produce the show are genius, so they threw in a little time travel joke that only a geek could love:

Back to the Future, as we all know, was released in 1985, but many non-geeks out there might not realize that Eric Stoltz was Marty McFly for the first month of filming, until he was replaced by Family Ties’ Michael J. Fox.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a photo of Stoltz as McFly:

Damn are those Fringe guys clever …