Here’s a round of quick bits on Fringe since I’ve yet to post a proper review.
On last week’s episode we finally heard — but didn’t see — the mysterious William
Bell via an old videotape. Even if you weren’t aware of the recent casting news, it was easy to recognize the voice of Leonard Nimoy, soon to be seen as Spock for perhaps the final time in Lost and Fringe co-creator J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek film. (I couldn’t help thinking that perhaps Zachary Quinto should have spoken the part of younger Bell.)
Bell finally appears in the flesh on the season finale, with Abrams already confirming that Nimoy will be seen again next season. Who else is wondering if any of that flesh will be synthetic? For all we know the guy could be entirely made out of the sort of cybernetics we’ve seen in Nina Sharp’s arm at Massive Dynamics.
I’ve talked Fringe with some friends, but don’t have an online hangout for doing so as with Lost over at Nikki Stafford’s blog. Earlier this month at Tony Isabella’s message board [bad link], however, someone referred to Julian Sanchez’s essay on decoding the symbols that appear when Fringe goes to commercial. That piece and the next day’s follow-up, which includes the sentence “I’m going to go to the fridge rhinoceros teacup insipidly jellybean,” are dense but intriguing reading and remind me that it’s been too long since I read Douglas Hofstadter.
An equivalent letter in the English alphabet can be determined for each glyph, with
the five or six glyphs flashed on screen in each episode forming words — cells, taken, Olivia — but apparently a larger puzzle is also at play. (While there are only nine basic symbols, their rotation and placement of a yellow dot generates a greater number of unique images.) Upon closer inspection the symbols are curious in their own right. The fan-created Fringe Wiki’s page devoted to them [bad link] informs us that, for example, the “Fringe Apple glyph has human embryos instead of seeds.” More of the series’ motifs and mysteries are explored in Erica Sadun’s Ars Technica article that in turn prompted Sanchez’s codebreaking.
Related: Woman on the Verge • Swap Things • Across the Universe