When FOX canceled “Firefly” ten years ago, there was an uproar among science fiction fans everywhere. Created by Joss Whedon, father of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and its subsequent spin-off, “Angel,” the show was guaranteed cult status among his leg
ions of fans. However, that didn’t seem to convince network executives of its staying power, and the series’ poor ratings translated to a quick demise.
Six years later, the J.J. Abrams-produced “Fringe” debuted on FOX. Like “Firefly,” the much-anticipated show wasn’t the ratings darling the network hoped for. However, it did attract what could be considered a niche audience. And this has made all the difference.
Not only have the network executives held off pressing the cancel button for four years, but they’ve also granted “Fringe” a fifth and final season consisting of just 13 episodes. This has allowed the series to wrap up all its story lines and prepare for a series finale, giving fans the closure “Firefly” was never able to.
Often likenedto“The X-Files,” the show follows FBI agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv of “The Pacific”) as she investigates a series of unexplained and often paranormal events with the help of civilian scientists and father-son duo Walter and Peter Bishop (John Noble of “The Lord of the Rings” and Joshua Jackson of “Dawson’s Creek”). The team forms the FBI’s Fringe Division as they use a combination of fringe science and investigative techniques to solve their cases, which mostly revolve around the discovery of a parallel universe.
Over the past four seasons, the show has grown broader in scope, delving into mythology and exploring alternate timelines and parallel universes. In doing so, it has garnered a lot of praise for its imaginative and highly detailed storylines along with high-quality special effects, making it one of the best-produced science fiction shows currently on the air.
Fans seem to recognize this, with “Fringe” television panels being a big hit at science fiction conventions all over the country. The show’s popularity with its audience, in addition to its growing complexity, has led to its translation into other media. Last September, DC comics released the first issue of the “Beyond the Fringe” comic series, which has become quite popular. There is also talk of a possible feature film in the future.
Fringe airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on FOX. The series will conclude with a two-hour finale on Jan. 18, 2013.
A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Dec. 6 print edition. Nivea Serrao is a contributing writer. Email her at email@example.com.
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