In this era of abundant television shows, where gritty dramas and quirky comedies abound, selecting a new series to binge-watch can be quite overwhelming. The myriad of ways to consume content, be it through cable channels or streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and many others, only adds to the choices available.
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One television series that has recently garnered renewed attention due to its streaming availability is Fringe. This sci-fi drama, which originally aired on Fox from 2008 to 2013, is well-known for its unique blend of case-of-the-week storytelling and the intricate mythology it weaves over its five-season run. Not to forget its interactive engagement with fans through the use of in-episode glyph codes.
Fringe unfolds within the fictional Fringe division of the FBI, located in an off-the-books basement lab at Harvard University. Guided by Senior Agent in Charge Phillip Broyles (Lance Reddick), the team consists of FBI Special Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), scientist Walter Bishop (John Noble), and his son Peter (Joshua Jackson). Together, they embark on a series of investigations and attempts to solve perplexing, science-related crimes. From encounters with shapeshifters to delving into parallel universes and dealing with enigmatic beings known as Observers, this trio strives to uncover the underlying connections between these bizarre and unexplained events.
Fringe has been absent from our screens since 2013. So, if you’re contemplating catching up on this beloved sci-fi series or planning a nostalgic re-watch, here’s everything you need to know about the show, where to locate it, and how to stream it.
Is Fringe Available to Stream Online?
Yes, you’ll be pleased to know that you can currently stream all episodes of Fringe online. All five seasons are readily available for your viewing pleasure on platforms such as IMDb TV, HBO Max, Google Play, Vudu, Amazon, and iTunes.
For those seeking a cost-free option, IMDb TV offers the show for free, although you’ll need to sign in using an IMDb, Google, Facebook, Amazon, or Apple account. On the other hand, HBO Max is a subscription-based service, so access is granted to subscribers. Interestingly, you might already have access to HBO Max without even realizing it. If you’re subscribed to HBO through various service providers, you may already be entitled to HBO Max at no additional charge.
Now, if you prefer to own or rent episodes, Google Play offers episodes at $1.99 each for standard definition (SD) and $2.49 each for high definition (HD). Meanwhile, Vudu, Amazon, and iTunes all offer episodes at a consistent price of $1.99 each for SD and $2.99 each for HD.
Do You Need a Subscription to Watch Fringe?
When it comes to streaming Fringe, the simplest and most cost-effective option is to subscribe to HBO Max. You have a choice between two HBO Max subscription plans: one with ads, priced at $7.99 per month (or $99.99 per year), or the ad-free plan, available at $11.99 per month (or $149.99 per year). This provides you with access to all episodes of Fringe and a wide range of other content in the HBO Max library.
On the other hand, some other services offer Fringe on a pay-per-episode basis, meaning you pay for each individual episode rather than committing to a monthly or yearly payment plan.
How Many Episodes and Seasons Are There?
Fringe, over its five-season run, managed to deliver exactly 100 episodes to its dedicated audience. Seasons 1 through 4 featured varying episode counts, ranging from 20 to 23 episodes each. However, Season 5 was a bit of an outlier, as it consisted of a shorter 13-episode run. This decision was influenced by several factors, including declining viewership numbers and the substantial production costs associated with the show.
In fact, after the Season 4 finale, Fringe’s future hung in the balance. The show faced the possibility of cancellation due to these challenges. But, in a twist of fate, it was the passionate and devoted fan base of Fringe that played a pivotal role in shaping its destiny. Recognizing the show’s significance to its viewers, Fox chose not to cancel it outright. Instead, they granted Fringe a condensed final season, which allowed the creators to tie up loose ends, unravel mysteries, and provide satisfying character closures.
Do I Have to Watch All Episodes in Order?
While following the chronological order of Fringe’s seasons and episodes undoubtedly provides a richer and more immersive viewing experience, it’s not an absolute necessity. Those who opt for chronological viewing will gain a deeper appreciation of the series’ intricate mythology and the profound character developments that unfold. However, it’s worth noting that Fringe also offers plenty of self-contained, case-of-the-week-style episodes. These standalone stories are perfect for more casual viewers looking to enjoy some engaging sci-fi storytelling without delving too deeply into the overarching plot.
Will There Be a Season 6 of Fringe?
While the series finale neatly tied up the stories of its main characters, there remained tantalizing storytelling opportunities that could potentially breathe new life into the show. But is there any indication that a sixth season might explore these possibilities? Unfortunately, at least for now, it doesn’t seem likely. In a conversation with Collider’s Steve Weintraub, executive producer Akiva Goldsman revealed that while the idea of a reboot was on the table, it ultimately didn’t materialize. Goldsman mentioned, ‘We talked to Warner Bros. and we talked to ourselves… but we didn’t find a way through it.’ However, given Fringe’s resurgence on streaming platforms and its ability to attract new audiences, it might be premature to completely dismiss the idea of a continuation or reboot sometime in the future.
Are There Any Shows Similar to Fringe?
So, you’ve completed your journey through all 100 episodes of Fringe, and now you’re left craving more of that unique blend of sci-fi intrigue, case-of-the-week excitement, intricate mythology, and unforgettable characters. Fear not, because there are several other fantastic shows out there that can scratch that Fringe itch:
The X-Files: If you’re in the mood for another FBI-focused series delving into the world of paranormal mysteries, look no further than The X-Files. This spiritual sibling to Fringe follows FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully as they investigate baffling cases involving unexplained phenomena. With a whopping 218 episodes spread across 11 seasons and even two movies, there’s no shortage of intriguing cases to dive into.
Timeless: This series takes you on a thrilling ride through time with a history professor, Army operative, and pilot tasked with preventing a man from altering American history. With engaging lead characters, a clever use of time travel, humor, and a compelling mythology, Timeless will keep you hooked through its two seasons.
Wayward Pines: Set in a mysterious, cult-like town, Wayward Pines stars Secret Service agent Ethan Burke, who gets entangled in a complex web of disappearances, mutations, cryogenics, and enigmatic mysteries. With its blend of sci-fi elements, investigative intrigue, and deep mythology, this two-season series will pique your interest.
V: A hidden gem, this two-season revival of the 1980s alien invasion series offers a captivating mix of elements reminiscent of Fringe. From aliens and cunning antagonists to resistance groups and futuristic technology, V has it all. Plus, Morena Baccarin’s portrayal of Anna as the formidable villain is a standout.
Lost: If you’re seeking character-driven mysteries with a generous dash of sci-fi, Lost might be your perfect choice. This series follows a group of plane crash survivors stranded on a mysterious island, blending elements like time travel, the enigmatic Dharma Initiative, and stunning visual effects. Created by J.J. Abrams, one of the minds behind Fringe, Lost captures the essence of captivating science fiction.