The TV Addict on the set of FRINGE, August 2008
Last month, this TV Addict was given the unique opportunity to tour Dr. Walter Bishop’s FRINGE laboratory with none other than Junior Agent Astrid Farnsworth [Played by the delightful Jasika Nicole] as my guide.
The set itself is a fairly precise replica of the Church basement in Toronto where FRINGE shot the pilot. “You’ll notice that the lab looks really old because it hasn’t been utilized in seventeen years.” Explained Nicole as the tour commenced, “I think one of the cool things they [the set designers] did was make the Lab really old, but bring in all this new technology illustrating the clash between the old and new technology.”
“We often use this table to examine the bodies and cadavers that come into the lab. Because most of the people aren’t necessarily dying of natural causes.”
Who says television can’t teach you anything. For instance, this TV Addict was surprised to learn that Cows can’t walk up or down stairs. Which is why the FRINGE Farmhouse is easily accessible via smooth ramps so that ‘Jean,’ the FRINGE cow can safely arrive in time for her close up.
And in case you’re wondering, it was revealed at the recent Television Critics Association Press Tour that the cow was the one Canadian cast member from the pilot that did not join the cast when the show re-located to New York. “The cow is a regular,” confirmed J.J. Abrams, “but it’s a new cow. Turns out we weren’t able to transport the (original) cow down from Canada. We had to recast. There was even some discussion of (disguising it with) makeup, so people wouldn’t notice that it wasn’t the same cow.”?
One of the coolest aspects about the FRINGE set visit [well, aside from bumping into actor Eric Mabius, whose show, UGLY BETTY, shoots right next door!] were the little details that one picked up on. Like the fact that the mysterious Dr. William Bell’s name was scratched off the door to the office he used to share with Dr. Walter Bishop. “Dr. William Bell will become very important as the show moves forward,” Teased Nicole. “He was privy to all of Dr. Walter Bishop’s research which will probably lead to some conflict.”
Needless to say, this TV Addict wasn’t about to let Nicole off that easy and decided to follow up her somewhat ambiguous answer with whether or not they’ve cast the role of Dr. William Bell. Suffice to say, Nicole was on to me and not nearly as hung-over from the previous night’s FOX FRINGE party as I was! Cleverly answering, “We don’t know who Dr. William Bell is. He could be anybody. Given the technology and information that’s out there, there’s a whole world of opportunity for people to be who they’re not.”
Just as Sydney Bristow had her red wig, Anna Torv’s iconic scene from last week’s FRINGE pilot involved the incredibly creepy Altered States Tank. It turns out that acting isn’t an endless parade of glamorous opening night parties and free swag/ “We filmed this scene in Toronto in either February or March. We were in the basement of this Church with all the windows open [for lighting purposes] and it was absolutely freezing,” explained Nicole. “Anna [Torv] was lying in this tank, filled with water in her skivvies. She was a real trooper.”
You can catch Jasika Nicole in a brand new episode of FRINGE tonight on FOX at 9PM, following the season premiere of HOUSE at 8PM.