Fringe is basically X-Files spun through the J.J. Abrams (Alias, Lost, MI3) machine. This is a very solid and cinematic pilot, with a very un-TV feel. It’s J.J. Abrams’ best pilot since Alias, much better than the uneven Lost pilot. The setup for the show is a very strong monster of the week/unknown conspiracy formula, with a lot of room for character growth and plot arc progression. They also seemed to be hinting at something like the Singularity, which would be very cool if done right.
All of the actors do a great job, especially Lance Reddick, essentially playing Daniels from The Wire as a Homeland Security agent. Even though the science is pretty out there, the show manages to keep a feeling of high realism throughout, much more so than Lost for example. It also manages to hold on to an unsettling ambiance very unusual for a TV show.
I am cautiously optimistic about the show, even though Abrams shows have a track record of starting off fantastically and then falling off the horse in a season or two. If they can manage to pace the revelations well (and make them interesting and believable) while developing the characters, this show could have a good long run. Hopefully the monster of the week element will give them focus where they were unable to find it in Alias and Lost. It does bode well that quite a few of the questions brought up earlier in the pilot were answered by the end, maybe they have learned from their mistakes.
This is definitely on my must watch list.