Fox has begun releasing a number of recap videos to get audiences ready for the upcoming fourth season of Fringe. The eventual series of 12 videos will cover all of the important points of the last three seasons.
Fringe has an interesting mythology. For most of its first season, it seemed simply like another weird-thing-a-week show with a pretty protagonist, but the dynamic of the retired mad scientist working with the FBI on fringe-science cases was interesting enough to keep the show going through to the end of the first season, when the audience was introduced to the real secret behind what they call "The Pattern."
The audience discovers that one of the major characters, Peter Bishop, is from another dimension, a parallel universe where almost everything is the same, with the exception of certain technological differences.
The second season dealt mostly with exploring the effects of this parallel world on ours, and on the show’s major characters, culminating in another major development, as the protagonist was maliciously switched with her double in the other world.
The third season explored the ramifications of this dramatic shift, and when the season closed, we ended with yet another dramatic shift, as, in the process of saving both worlds, Peter Bishop seems to have vanished from the timeline, as if he never existed.
The build-up to this point in the series has been slow, and I think that’s where a lot of the show’s magic comes from. We’ve spent the last three seasons making discoveries about the show’s story world and its parallel near-copy, but it’s been done in such a way as the audience knows that there is more to learn, but they are not blatantly left with ‘questions’ about what is going on.
With each season, the show, and its mythology get deeper and more interesting, but also less accessible for new audience members, which, especially because it changed time-slots, is a dangerous point for a sci-fi show to be sitting on. This brings us to the new clips which help long-time viewers recall the details, surely, but mostly, this will help any new viewers get a handle on what’s going on without too much exposition within the show itself.
The videos, which will total up to around an hour of clips, are narrated by John Noble, who plays Walter (and Walternate) in the show. Fox is calling the web series Fringe: Past + Present + Future.
The first one is here:
You can check out the remainder as they are released on the Fox website.