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October 13, 2015

Why John Noble Should Win an Emmy for 'Fringe' (VIDEO)

by Jane Boursaw, posted May 28th 2010 3:30PM
Fringe, John Noble, Walter BishopJohn Noble has done some outstanding work on 'Fringe' this year, and I really hope he ends up with an Emmy for it. The nominations will be announced on July 8, and the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards will air on Aug. 29 on NBC.

I've loved Noble's portrayal of the brilliant scientist Walter Bishop since 'Fringe' premiered in 2008, but he really raised the bar during season two. 'The Man From the Other Side' included a heartbreaking scene where Peter told Walter that he knew he wasn't his son, that Walter had stolen him from the other universe, and that it was a horrible betrayal that Walter had kept from him.

You could just see the panic on Noble's face as Peter's words pierced his heart. And my heart broke for Walter.

But as we know, "there's more than one of everything," and when we finally met Walternate, his alter-ego in the other universe, we met a completely different Walter. The Walter we'd come to know and love was scattered and timid, and he possessed a childlike curiosity of even the smallest things in his world. He also loved root beer floats, onion soup and Red Vines.

In contrast, Walternate was stern, cold, calculating and ... tall. Yes, even his body seemed completely different. Our Walter was fluttery and a bit crumpled over, probably from having spent 17 years in a mental institution. Walternate, on the other hand, was smooth, well-spoken and carried himself tall and confidently. When he looked at Peter, he didn't see the son he'd lost earlier in life. He saw a doorway into the other universe.

Of course, 'Fringe' isn't Noble's first time at the rodeo. The veteran actor has been working in film and theater since the 1970s, but only came into my consciousness as Denethor in the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy. His portrayal of the steward of Gondor brought an emotional pathos to the character that forever secured his place in the annuls of Tolkien history. The scene where Denethor feasts on meat and other juicy tidbits as Pippin sadly sings for him is what film-making is all about. Noble's work in the extended scenes, like this one with David Wenham (Faramir), are master classes unto themselves.

There aren't a ton of embeddable videos of Walter, but I've compiled a few below. Also, check out this one on YouTube; it's one of my favorites of Walter dancing to quell the fears of the mysterious child on 'Inner Child' (S01E15). And here's one where Walter calls Darwin a moron.

Season 2, Episode 22 - 'Over There, Part 1.' Walter tries to explain his actions to the Cortexiphan kids, now adults seeking answers.

Season 2, Episode 20 - 'Brown Betty.'
What Walter just smoked isn't your basic run-of-the-mill marijuana. It's super-nova pot that he calls Brown Betty.

And because he doesn't take anything too seriously, here's 'Deep in the Lab' by Dr. Walter Bishop. The real question is whether to wet the toothbrush before or after application of the paste. Is there a right or wrong answer? If there is, I'm sure Walter will figure it out.

(Follow @jboursaw on Twitter.)

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Agreed. He excels at this character.

June 01 2010 at 10:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great article on why John Noble should win an Emmy! We at The Fringe Report totally agree and are rounding up a petition supporting a nomination for John Noble. Please help us! Check it out here: http://www.gopetition.us/petitions/john-noble.html

May 29 2010 at 2:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's amazing we get to watch an actor of his caliber in our livingrooms each week. Emmy for the man, please!

May 29 2010 at 9:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tony DIMeo

IM sick of SCI-fi dramas

May 29 2010 at 4:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If he isn't at least nominated it will be absolutely shameful and just downright wrong. He acted rings around most other tv show offerings this year.

May 29 2010 at 1:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pat L.

John Noble gives the show such humanity and depth, which is unusual for cold slick sci-fi shows, where the characters are so one dimensional. Emmy YES!

May 28 2010 at 11:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I never care about stuff like this, but John Noble definitely deserves an Emmy. His range this season has been like nothing I've seen.

May 28 2010 at 9:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I so agree. he has been great the entire run if the show but the episodes from when they came back from their break were OUTSTANDING! the agony he had while trying to get up the courage to tell Peter was great acting. when Olivia showed up to tell him had left & Walter was standing there,with the pecan pie,the agony in his eyes was heartbreaking. I couldnt stop crying.then when he played the "other Walter" it was like 2 different people. he walked/talked/held himself different. the last scene were he pulled down the shade while Olivia was screaming was bone chilling. give him the Emmy!!

May 28 2010 at 6:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I totally agree about John Noble's Emmyworthiness. However, can we also take a moment to give the rest of the cast their due? Joshua Jackson does a wonderfully mature job supporting Noble with some very skillful underplaying, even though his part is underwritten. Anna Torv is also turning out to be far better than she promised to be in the early going of the series. I'd be thrilled to see Noble win the Emmy, but even though the other players don't have Emmyish roles, they are ALL doing a great job.

May 28 2010 at 6:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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