Streaming Finds: Tracking down sci fi and fantasy shows of interest available on the streaming services.
What Is It? A Joint Federal Task Force known as the Fringe Group is put together to investigate fringe science and strange occurrences known as “the Pattern”. Ultimately they discover a parallel universe and find themselves at war with their counterparts.
Starring: Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Jasika Nicole, Lance Reddick
The Skinny: Fringe was the next big television project for J. J. Abrams after Lost and he also brought onboard Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci who would become frequent collaborators. The show started out with very much of an X-Files vibe, though with more of a group dynamic as opposed to the Mulder / Scully point counterpoint approach. By its second season, the show diverged from its case-of-week formula to a degree as the alternate universe was introduced along with all the implications it presented. Overall, Fringe put together a pretty good sci fi drama with interesting characters and well-written stories along with a first-rate cast (including occasional appearances by Leonard Nimoy). It was also given the opportunity to complete its story arc, running five seasons despite low ratings. Some might debate whether it can be counted as a sci fi classic, but it was a good series and is definitely worth checking out. If you don’t care for the procedural format in the first season, stick it out to see if you like the show better once it hit its stride in its second year.
The entire series is available to stream for free (with ads) on IMDb Freedive (you do have to create a username and password or login with your Amazon account). IMDb Freedive is a free, ad-supported streaming video channel available in the United States on the IMDb website and on all Amazon Fire TV devices (IMDb is owned by Amazon and that company will own you and me soon unless Disney or Google buys as all). I’m not really certain how they decide which shows can air on Freedive because it looks like the sci fi entries there are also on Prime Video (but not vice versa). Of course, with Freedive you don’t have to pay but you do sit through commercials (about the typical amount for an ad-based streaming service). The selection is not too extensive, but there are several shows of interest to sci fi fans and I have a list of those below. If you have not seen Fringe before or it has been a while since you watched it, IMDb Freedive is a cheap and easy way to give it a look. If you decide you want to keep watching but don’t want the commercials, the show is also available on Prime Video with Amazon Prime membership.
More Sci Fi and Fantasy TV on IMDb Freedive: