I'm starting to think I've seen Fringe before...
When Fringe premiered last September, critics around the country distilled the new sci-fi drama down to one simple sentence: it's like a cross between Alias and The X-Files. At the time, that's what pretty much guaranteed I'd tune in. I still found that assessment a little odd since I always thought Alias had a healthy dose of influence from Mulder and Scully to begin with.
Regardless, Fringe clearly took a few cues from both shows in many ways. However, after this past Tuesday's episode ("Bad Dreams", S01E17), I stared to get a little annoyed. I've seen this before.
Blame JJ Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci for that. It's one thing to draw ideas from a show you already worked on, but this is bordering on total rip-off. The similarities between Sydney Bristow and Olivia Dunham are so strikingly aligned that it's starting to feel like only names have changed in the hand-off from Alias to Fringe.
From their gifted childhoods shrouded in conspiracies that unfolded during their adult years to being placed in positions that afforded them the opportunities to uncover it all, they might as well be the same person!
The CIA sanctioned tests that Jack Bristow ran on his daughter are the same as the Florida Cortexaphan trials that Olivia was subjected to. Milo Rambaldi and his long list of "before their time" inventions is the same thing as Massive Dynamic and William Bell. Sydney lost Danny and Olivia lost John - both as a result of their jobs. While it hasn't been revealed yet, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if Broyles knows more about The Pattern than he's letting on, just in the same way that Arvin Sloan misled Syndey early on. Hell, even Walter looks like Marshall Flinkman with an extra 30+ years tagged on and they certainly share the exact same laboratory quirks.
Like I said - names have changed, but at its core, Fringe is playing out awfully similar to Alias. I'm thrilled that Leonard Nimoy was cast as William Bell and I'm excited to see how the final three episodes play out - I'd love to be proven wrong. All we need now is some creepy familial connection - any takers on Olivia being related to either Walter or Peter?