Published February 17, 2012 on Vancouver is Awesome
A Skype discussion early this year led to an amazing social media campaign by Fringe fans to make sure people knew their ratings-challenged show was returning in mid-January with a Winter Premiere after a long two-month hiatus. For five consecutive Friday nights, their unique episode hashtags have trended on Twitter worldwide, in the U.S. and in Vancouver. You may have seen #crosstheline, #enemyofmyenemy, #observeitlive, #takethelead and #breakingout trending and wondered what they were. Feel free to join in tonight by tweeting this week’s hashtag #BeaBetterMan after 5 p.m. our time.
The Fringe Campaign organized by @Fringenuity is smart. Audience isn’t just about Nielsen ratings anymore. Fringe has proved itself a social media success with a big presence on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook. I’ve participated in all five Twitter campaigns to date by live-tweeting during the west coast broadcast but not in the GetGlue campaign, where fans check in to Fringe and the show’s sponsors — Nissan Leaf and Sprint — live during commercials. Fringe is topping the trending charts at GetGlue too on Friday nights, with over ten thousand checking in. The ongoing campaign helps decision-makers see how much reach the unmeasured Fringe fandom has coming up on discussions between broadcaster FOX and production company Warner Bros TV about whether or not to renew the cult show for a fifth and final season.
Season Four began dramatically with one of the show’s trio of main characters — Peter Bishop — erased from existence and the absence of Joshua Jackson, the actor who plays him, from his hometown. See my YVRShoots series post Where is Peter Bishop? He returned to existence with a big splash at Reiden Lake in the Fall but as a stranger to his beloved Olivia Dunham played by Anna Torv and to his “father” Walter Bishop played by John Noble. See my YVRShoots series post Here is Peter Bishop. Peter remembers them but they don’t remember him in this altered timeline. Are they not his Olivia and his Walter?
We still don’t know about this Olivia and Walter but it was wonderful to catch a glimpse of the Fringe trio acting more like themselves this week at a CBC Vancouver shoot for an upcoming Spring episode, along with junior Fringe agent Astrid Farnsworth played by Jasika Nicole.
Fringe’s fourth season is divided into three acts — the Fall, Winter and Spring episodes. When World Series baseball on FOX unexpectedly pre-empted the eighth episode showrunners planned as their big Fall Finale it hurt the dramatic arc of the show and disappointed viewers.
So the Fall Finale became the Winter Premiere. In Back to Where You’ve Never Been, Peter Bishop decides to cross over to the alternate universe to convince the Walter doppleganger Walternate to help him get back to his own timeline since Walter refuses to help him get home. Olivia convinces Peter to take our Lincoln Lee with him, hoping to find out who’s behind the shapeshifter threat in both universes. Fringe fans got their “social media on . . . with a vengeance” tweeting the unique hashtag #crosstheline until it trended worldwide and in Vancouver, while “Fringe” trended in the U.S.
Peter and our Lincoln Lee, played by Seth Gabel, crossed over at the Orpheum Theatre, where I photographed them filming in mid-October last year. In the photo below, Lincoln Lee is staring in shock at the Twin Towers of New York (CGIed into a view looking south on Granville Street), which still exist in Fringe’s alternate universe.
I also photographed local guest star James “Bam bam” Bamford rehearsing a stunt fight with Joshua Jackson and Seth Gabel in a parking lot off Arch Alley downtown and used some of the photos to illustrate my Fall post, not expecting it to take three months for the episode to air.
I’m a sucker for alt-universe episodes and this Peter-centric one did not disappoint. It opens with Peter dreaming about his Olivia and his Walter at home, with Walter cooking breakfast naked except for an apron. Of course on the other side, the Olivia doppleganger Fauxlivia greets Peter with a snarky “Who the Hell are You?” And the Walter doppleganger Walternate confounds our expectations by not being the big bad behind the shapeshifters. That is revealed to be old Fringe foe David Robert Jones, played by Jared Harris of Mad Men and Sherlock Holmes fame. (I live-tweeted some of these observations and later found to my surprise that I ranked as one of the bigger Fringe influencers –through tweets and RTs — along with episode writer David Fury. I’m pretty sure I was a one-episode wonder.)
In the next episode, Enemy of my Enemy, Fringe Division in both universes must deal with their new common enemy David Robert Jone