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RECAP: FRINGE’s The Consultant With Set Photos

Does David Robert Jones want to destroy both Fringeverses? Is that his ultimate game plan? In The Consultant he experiments with syncing the two parallel universes of Fringe.

Episode eighteen opens with the funeral of Captain Lee (Seth Gabel), killed on David Robert Jones (Jared Harris)’s orders with information from Col. Broyles (Lance Reddick), the mole in the alternate universe’s Department of Defence. I’d heard about this shoot filmed in Vancouver’s Mountainview Cemetary on a miserably wet February day with a hundred extras and now that I know what it was, I’m not sorry to have missed it.

Still in Manhatan (only one t), Fauxlivia (Anna Torv) confronts Meana (Blair Brown’s evil alt-Nina Sharp) in prison to try to get her to give up the name of the DOD mole, without success.

This week’s Fringe case starts at a business meeting in our universe where an executive is about to get fired when his boss suddenly levitates and then falls down on the conference table with such force that it breaks bones in his body.

Junior agent Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole) drives Walter Bishop (John Noble) to the crime scene in the Bishop wagon, while he complains about her “wild driving”. They meet up with Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) and Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), aka POlivia, as shippers have dubbed them. “Look. It’s my son and his girlfriend,” exclaims a giddy Walter. Our Fringe family is back together and outside of Walter’s lab, filming at CBC Vancouver in mid-February.

Inside the conference room, Peter Bishop notices seat belt marks on the body which leads to the discovery that the boss’s doppleganger in the alt-universe died in a plane crash. What is causing these in-sync deaths?

Walter decides to go to the Other Side to act as a consultant to their investigation. “I always like to empty my bladder before a long trip,” he declares, before crossing the bridge that links the two universes. Read More »RECAP: FRINGE’s The Consultant With Set Photos

BIG READ: FRINGE is Trending in Vancouver and Worldwide

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 Read More »BIG READ: FRINGE is Trending in Vancouver and Worldwide

BIG READ: Here is Peter Bishop on FRINGE

Published October 14, 2011 on Vancouver is Awesome

Delayed-viewing Friday night hit Fringe recently changed its promotional tagline from “Where is Peter Bishop?” to “Here is Peter Bishop” followed by “Witness the Return Soon”. Hopefully this signals the on-screen return of one of the show’s trio of main characters — the ceased-to-exist Peter Bishop — as well as Joshua Jackson, the actor who plays him. Perhaps that on-screen return will be as soon as tonight’s episode, Subject 9, filmed partly at the Brixton Cafe in Chinatown and the Sherburn building in the West End.

After all, Joshua Jackson made his first on-set appearance on August 23rd at that Sherburn building location where Fringe filmed part of Subject 9, the fourth episode of season four. Jackson filmed inside for half an hour wearing a shirt with motion-capture tags so that ghostly images of Peter Bishop could be inserted into the first three episodes of the season. But it’s also possible that the Sherburn building will be the place where Peter Bishop finally breaks through into the altered Fringe timeline. I’m hoping it will be at fictional Reiden Lake instead — in actuality Rice Lake in North Vancouver where Fringe filmed a couple of weeks later — because Peter Bishop returning to existence at Reiden Lake would provide symmetry in Fringe mythology.

However it happens on screen, Peter Bishop has been back on the streets of Vancouver for almost two months. For example, Fringe fans got to see Joshua Jackson filming a scene today as Peter Bishop with Seth Gabel as original-universe Fringe Division agent Lincoln Lee outside the Orpheum Theatre, where so many pivotal Fringe events have taken place.

Fringe fans have missed Peter Bishop on screen but his disappearance in the season three finale last May did lead to one of the most amazing expressions of fan love I’ve ever seen in a video called #WhereisPeterBishop?, uploaded on YouTube ahead of the season four premiere on September 23rd. “The following footage was shot on location by Fringe fans around the world” — it says in the opening.

These fans photographed or video-taped handmade signs saying Where is Peter Bishop? in Canada, the U.S., Brazil, Israel, Kenya, France, Germany, Russia, Thailand, Australia and 27 other countries. Over 500 fan submissions in total. Fan video editor Zoey M. used as many she could, as well as photos taken by Fringe online promotion head Ari Margolis of cast John Noble, Jasika Nicole and He-Who-Does-Not-Exist Joshua Jackson holding up 4 signs representing season four.

I had met some of these international Fringe fans at the West End and Chinatown shoots in August Read More »BIG READ: Here is Peter Bishop on FRINGE

BIG READ: Where is Peter Bishop?

Published August 30, 3011 on Vancouver is Awesome

Friday night delayed-viewing hit Fringe did something unprecedented with its third season finale: it made Peter Bishop, one of its trio of main characters, cease to exist and asked Joshua Jackson, the actor who plays him, not to appear in the show for an unspecified amount of time in the fourth season filming now.

It appears much has changed since Peter Bishop averted the apocalyptic future of season three and created a bridge where Fringe’s two warring parallel universes could cross over and interact. Early episodes of season four are said to focus on what the lives of his beloved Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) and “father” Walter Bishop (John Noble) , as well as their alternate universe dopplegangers Fauxlivia (also Torv) and Walternate (also Noble), would be like without him. Lives that are not necessarily worse in the two universes, just different, except for Walter, who is a very sad man without Peter, as you can see in the photo below of Torv and Noble filming a scene of the two of them sitting on the back of an ambulance.

FOX began promoting the upcoming Fringe season with a sublimal teaser which spelled out “Where is Peter Bishop?” backwards and there have been several more teasers since, as well as promos for the aptly-named premiere, Neither Here Nor There, the latest of which appeared last night during a FOX commercial break. And of course the Twitter-savvy Fringe has its own hashtag #WhereisPeterBishop?

Filming of the season four opener began in mid-July and included a stint inside the old Terminal City Ironworks compound in east Vancouver where the two universes overlapped in last season’s twisty finale. Props crew were inside for several days but what they built and what Fringe was filming remains a secret as does almost everything about the premiere, except that it’s big (Observers spootted on set along with Hartford police car). I had speculated Joshua Jackson snuck into town for this on July 21st until I read a report that he’d been briefly hospitalized in Santa Monica that same Thursday for an allergic reaction.

Fringe, needing someone to fill the gap left by Peter Bishop, did upgrade Seth Gabel to series regular. Gabel, who plays Fringe Division agent Lincoln Lee in the alternate universe, reportedly will spend more time as original universe Lincoln Lee and his thick black glasses this season.Read More »BIG READ: Where is Peter Bishop?

BIG READ – Working the Comic Con Craziness in 2011 – Updated

Published July 21, 2011 on Vancouver is Awesome

How’s this for Comic-Con craziness? Twihards starting lining up outside the San Diego Convention Center three days early (on Monday) to be among the six thousand lucky enough to get into The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 1 panel in Hall H, which took place just before lunchtime today. Breaking Dawn 1 was the first panel in Hall H so that Twihards couldn’t ruin Comic-Con like they usually do. What’s even more crazy? That the vampires and werewolves of the mainly Vancouver-shot Breaking Dawn 1 aren’t the most popular panel of the hundreds at Comic-Con 2011. Not even close. That honour belongs to the zombies of AMC TV series The Walking Dead.

Breaking Dawn 1 isn’t even among the most popular of Vancouver-filmed movies and TV series at Comic-Con, which has become less about big movies and more about cult television series in recent years. Locally-shot TV series Pscyh cracked the Top 25 most popular panels and Fringe, Eureka, Supernatural and Alcatraz are all in the Top 50. Breaking Dawn 1 and Underworld Awakening (the fourth in the movie franchise but only the third to star Kate Beckinsale and her vampire cat suit) barely made the Top 50 cut.

Psych presented today to standing-room-only, people-turned-away capacity, with Psych-os either dressed as pineapples or carrying them. Apparently series star James Roday (seen above directing a vampire-themed episode) improvised with a pineapple in the show’s premiere and there’s been one hidden in every episode since. Nominally a detective series, Psych knows how to play to a Comic-Con crowd, with several episodes in its sixth season (now filming in Vancouver) crossing over into genre stuff like vampires, super heroes and Star Trek. In a real casting coup, the original Captain Kirk — William Shatner — plays the father of one of the main cast in an episode filmed Read More »BIG READ – Working the Comic Con Craziness in 2011 – Updated

BIG READ: FRINGE Wraps an Epic Third Season

Published April 14, 2011 on Vancouver is Awesome

Sci-fi series Fringe began in its third season filming an alternate universe with the Orpheum Theatre digitally encased in amber and seems to have ended it filming a post-apocalyptic future with the Orpheum Theatre exploded into rubble and cars burning on Granville Street. In between, it’s been one wild nine-month ride of inventive location shoots, other-worldly lighting and set-signage-to-puzzle-over (Manhatan is spelled with one “t” and The West Wing is in its 12th season in Fringe’s alternate universe).

Is it any wonder that Fringe location shoots are my favourite to photograph? I recently joked about how hard it is to quit Fringe shoots on Twitter but Fringe solved the problem last Sunday when it wrapped its third season with an extra day of shooting: shutting down the Deltaport Highway near Tsawwassen (for the second time) to film more daytime doomsday aftermath of explosions and burning cars. Tempting as that sounds, I was one long ferry ride away on Vancouver Island.

Fringe’s final four episodes of the season begin broadcasting this Friday night. And it’s fitting that the first is a homage to Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi mind-trip Inception in an episode entitled Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD). As I watched it being filmed in the T intersection of Hastings and Hornby in downtown Vancouver on March 1st, I remarked that it looked like one of Dr. Walter’s acid trips. Three hundred extras dressed in grey and black kept running around the Vancouver Club and down Hornby Street as if caught in a vortex while Joshua Jackson’s Peter Bishop (wearing dark sunglasses) and John Noble’s Dr. Walter Bishop ambled through, sometimes cracking up after a take. Later I photographed John Noble standing on a ladder and others captured him sitting on a bus. If it wasn’t obvious already, a Manhatan subway station sign gave it away: Drugs are hard to take.

Fringe had shut down the same T intersection on Sunday, February 20th to film master shots of the extras running. And a Fringe fan blogged on Tumblr (Un Canadian Errant) about watching Joshua Jackson and John Noble filming a scene with Noble driving a taxi outside Bentall 5. She called it “How I Hung Around the Set of Fringe and Didn’t Die of GLEE” and it’s a hilarious account of her adventures on set.

The tone changed to post-apocalyptic when Fringe returned to the T intersection at Hornby & Hastings on St. Patrick’s Day for a night shoot with Joshua Jackson seemingly playing a future version of his character Peter Bishop with a receding hairline, lying on the ground amidst burning cars and explosions, the first of several shoots where Fringe blew stuff up and strewed wreckage. I swear I heard Joshua Jackson yell “Holy Frak” after completing that scene in front of hundreds of spectators, some drunk and not sure what they were seeing.

I also watched Anna Torv seemingly play a future version of her character Olivia Dunham with her hair cut to shoulder length in a separate scene a few weeks later. One of the dangers Read More »BIG READ: FRINGE Wraps an Epic Third Season