By Casey Lynn
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
My apologies for the unimaginative headline, but after reading several news stories yesterday with titles that involved Leonard Nimoy “beaming up” or “trekking over” to FOX’s show Fringe, I simply couldn’t perpetuate the lameness. (And I should note that what follows should not be considered any kind of spoiler for the show, as it has been fairly clear since the first episode that the character would show up eventually. Unlike recent Doctor Who casting spoilers.)
So yes, Nimoy has been cast as a peripherally important character that has yet to appear on-screen in the show – William Bell, the founder of the ominous Massive Dynamic corporation. My first thought was: isn’t he a little old for that role? But then I realized that though the character was once colleagues with John Noble’s Walter Bishop, I suppose there has been nothing to imply that they are the same age.
Still, I kind of dig the idea of him for that character; it makes me think of when he played Mustapha Mond in the made-for-TV version of Brave New World years ago… scientist-turned-all-powerful. Though my concern is that this might mean that the character gets short-changed, since I find it unlikely that Nimoy would be gearing up to be a regular on a TV series (though I could be wrong about that). I thought it was pretty tragic when Christopher Eccleston’s invisible man character on Heroes (one of the most interesting of the series, in my opinion) made a rather abrupt exit – and since it also seems unlikely that Eccleston will make a serious return to American television, it seems like a missed opportunity.
In any case, if you’re a fan of Nimoy and haven’t been watching Fringe you should check it out; you can catch up on Hulu, at least part of the way. The show’s really not bad at all – it’s been described as an X-Files wannabe, which is fairly accurate, but I think it’s entertaining enough to stand on its own. And Joshua Jackson is a decent enough actor that I’ve stopped having Dawson’s Creek flashbacks.