Fringe- Comic Con 2008 Report

July 31st, 2008

Fringe Panel Discussion Review by Kate Blake , Admin MV

J.J. Abrams Fringe Showrunner at Comic Con Panel

I really wasn’t sure what to write about this panel. Fringe was the main event earlier in the convention premiering their extended pilot for the new series from J.J. Abrams that is the big FOX show for fall. Earlier this summer Abrams stated that if the show flops it will not be because FOX has not supported the show- it will be the fault of the producers and writers. Multipleverses can support this argument without any problems- we have over 25 Fringe promos in our video library showing the extensive marketing effort Fox has invested in the series. You can view our Fringe Promo Library HERE.

Joshua Jackson at Comic Con Fringe Discussion

In attendance were producers J.J. Abrams, Robert Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Jeff Pinker and Bryan Burk. The primary actors Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson and Lord of the Rings actor John Noble were also there to promote the new series. The panel was scheduled for the end of a very long day in Ballroom 20 which is the second largest room at the San Diego convention center. The room had been packed earlier for Dollhouse and Battlestar Galactica, and Chuck held over a pretty decent sized audience. When the Fringe panel got ready to start the room cleared out. Barely 1/4 of the room was filled. It did not bode well that after seeing the preview two nights earlier so few people turned out for the panel discussion.

The session did not get off to a good start and things went downhill from there. Bruce over at Screen Rant gave a great description of the muck up that launched the hour, the clip did not get a great viewing and the panel moderator seemed to be brought in without any idea of what he was doing. What should have been an opportunity to generate some buzz for a greatly anticipated new series fell flat. Personally I thought J.J. Abrams should have just shut up and let the rest of his panel talk. We heard a lot about everything else he has worked on and very little about what makes Fringe something new and why we want to tune in every week.

I am not a Lost viewer, did not watch Alias and Cloverfield was not on my must see movie list. What attracted me to Fringe was the cool paranormal scifi vibe that has come across in the trailers and in the initial leaked pilot which I saw. The producers all made a point of stating that the leaked pilot was not complete, there were scenes missing and editing to do which made me happy because I really felt the pilot had some pacing issues where it ground to a halt about 1/2 hour before the end of the pilot. That said- I had spoken to people all day at the con about Fringe and everyone who I spoke to who saw the pilot that was screened had the same pacing issues that I did- so apparently even the newly edited version is not perfect.

The Q & A session was poorly managed with few questions of any substance getting answered, the best moments were the few times when the cast were allowed to speak about their parts and characters on the show. The news that they had about the show that I thought was important was that senior X-Files writer Darin Morgan is joining Fringe as a senior writer - coming off of last year’s big flop The Bionic Woman.

On the spoiler front on other projects which every one of the producers on the panel have many- Robert Orci and Abrams were upset that things had slowed down so much on their Star Trek revival. The new movie has been pushed to a MAy 2009 release by Paramount and apparently they only have 70 of the 1000 special effects frames for the film completed at this time. To watch Orci talk about Star Trek- see the video from the April SciFi Slam that is in our video channel.

You can listen to the panel in its entirety- I have loaded the audio on iMeem.

Fringe Comic Con 2008 Panel -

Or you can download the video to watch from Veoh- again this is my own video footage of the panel. My final thoughts are that the producers of this show may have taken on more than they can handle right now and if they don’t give Fringe priority it will be gone by Christmas with no one to blame but themselves.

For the highlights of the panel- I have them here- the actors got very little actual time to answer questions- but their responses were the best of the afternoon.

There were two actual questions for Joshua Jackson

J.J. Abrams discussed Mark Valley and his role on the series

J.J. Abrams talks about his good luck charm- based upon the attendance at the panel and initial reviews- I think he will be wishing he had cast his BFF in the pilot….

Interview with Abrams about Fringe