My Favorite New Character on Television

So, this Fall The Beloved and I have done some trial runs for a few new television series.   Each of them definitely has a “supernatural” spin to them and feature decent story telling but perhaps with even better character performances.

We’ve been watching ABC’s “Life on Mars”, about a inadvertently time-traveled detective which has been very well produced an interesting with some great performances by Harvey Keitel and Michael Imperioli (who may, just may make me stop calling him Christ-a-fuh after this) as tough 70s cops are great.

We’ve been keeping up with Showtime’s “True Blood” – a series that considers the “what if” world of vampires “out of the closet” among us.  I’m not really sure where the show is going but the supporting roles of Tara (Rutina Wesley) and Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) are really great characters.

But my favorite this season so far is FOX’s “Fringe” – JJ Abrams’ "X-Files" homage about an FBI agent’s investigations into the sinister paranormal.  Anna Torv is good (and rather cute) as Agent Olivia Dunham, but the character stealing the show is Doctor Walter Bishop – the somewhat crazy genius enlisted to help her.

Played by John Noble (most well-known to me as the also somewhat crazy, but not nearly as endearing Denethor from the Lord of the Rings films).  Noble almost effortlessly seems to transfer from very serious science-speak (well, almost science speak) to hilarious non-sequiturs – assuredly leading to the other team members' discomfort.  It’s a great mix of good writing and a great performance.

“Fringe” may not be a great TV (yet), but Noble’s Doctor Bishop always makes me want to watch.

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12 thoughts on “My Favorite New Character on Television

  1. I'm with you – Dr. Bishop is great. (And funny you should comment that Olivia is cute – I commented to Jen not long ago that I was rather fond of Peter Bishop.)
    On an unrelated and rather irrelevant note – you & I must have posted at exactly the same time. When I got the "Success!" screen that shows the other recent posts, yours was right below mine. This may be the fastest TAT you've ever had between post & comment. :)

  2. Luckily it's available on Hulu, which is the only way I keep tabs on any tele these days (which is essentially = Sarah Connor Chronicles and the new Christian Slater show)

  3. My mother-in-law asked me if we'd watched Life on Mars yet and the first thing I said was, "The English one?" Come on, America, stop taking British shows, copying and finally ruining them! (Just my two cents.) Anyway, her point was that my father-in-law, who was an undercover narcotics cops in the 70s in DC, Reno, and Sacremento, utterly loves it because it's so realistic.

  4. I've read really good things about the original "Life on Mars" from the BBC. My impression was that the story was told in a limited number of episodes, rather than just having the plotlines go on and on and on… I totally agree with that philosophy.

  5. I watched the first 4 eps of the US version of Life on Mars and then lost interest. My wife stopped after the 2nd episode. I'm giving the UK version a chance – at least so far (the first episode) it appears about 90% of the dialog is word-for-word and the actors are top-notch. If it really does get through the story in less episodes, I might just actually finish it off.

  6. My wife and I didn't make it through the season premiere of Fringe before turning it off. We got up to the part where whatserface was going to do the Vulcan mind-meld with whatsisface in whosisname's lab. You can tell I wasn't paying much attention to the characters because we just couldn't get invested in them. Not sure why, I was really hoping to like it, but just didn't.

  7. We've enjoyed it so much for the campy fun, that I worry that particular aspect is going to be its undoing. You can only keep that going for so long — and how do you go from "campy-fun" to "thrilling" — I'm not sure.

  8. I love, love, love this show!! It's like Alias meets X-files and has a cast with so much personality it's really refreshing. Although Ih ave noticed that my dreams are a bit on the "scary" side on Tuesday nights. LOL

    Mmmm, Pacey Whitter, I mean Joshua Jackson is awesome!

  9. i haven't watched the US version of Life on Mars… i'm kind of afraid to. i watched the BBC version and i really liked it a lot. i'm afraid that the US version will ruin it for me. hehe.

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