May 29, 2008 7:44 PM
Fox kindly screened an unfinished version of J.J. Abrams' “Fringe” pilot today. Yes, on the same day as the heavily anticipated “Lost” two-hour finale. Somehow, we at the Daily Blink don't think the 7 p.m. screening was as full as the 4 p.m. one.
The drama contains a heavy dose of the Abrams staples—a doe-eyed female, a plane crash, a mysterious mythology full of conspiracy theories. At the center of it all is FBI Agent Olivia Dunham, who could be the younger sister of “Without a Trace's” Samantha Spade.
The intrigue picks up when Olivia is called to investigate a mysterious plane crash, but it's not Oceanic Flight 815, although there is a passenger 108, which is the sum of the reappearing numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 on “Lost.”
But back to the plane crash. It eventually leads Olivia to an airborne toxin that causes people to turn into something from Body Worlds and the brilliant but unstable Dr. Walter Bishop.
Lucky for “Dawson's Creek” fans, Dr. Bishop has a son, Peter, played by Joshua Jackson. Slacker Pacey is all grown up, with a genius IQ, a gambling debt and a falsified degree from MIT. OK, maybe he hasn't changed that much. Peter would be the Jack to Dr. Bishop's Locke. He calls the fringe science his father studies "pseudo-science."
The show also features some nifty graphics introducing the location of new scenes. They're kind of like “Alias'” location title transitions on a stakeout. You'll get it when you see it.
The pilot clocked in at 90 minutes, but is expected to air as a two-hour premiere during Fox's new Remote Free TV , which will feature limited commercial time. So what about the other 30 minutes? Expect some expanded scenes. We hope it means more cows.