It is impossible to resist the physics that this science fiction series offers us. It will take a long time to be overcome

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The fifth and final season of ‘fringe’ premiered at the end of September 2012. Almost a decade has passed, and fans of quality science fictiondespite the whirlwind of premieres offered by video platforms in streaming Currently, in a way we are still orphans. Of one thing we can be sure: the series starring Olivia Dunham, Peter Bishop and Walter Bishop is unrepeatable.

And it is for several reasons. One of the most obvious is how irresistible this trio is. Olivia, who is played by Anna Torv, and Peter, who is played by Joshua Jackson, are bound to grow fond of them, but in my opinion, the real heart of this series is Walteran eccentric and endearing character played with absolute believability by the one and only John Noble (he blew many of us away in 2003 by the way he appropriated Denethor in ‘The return of the King’from the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy).

In any case, this article is not a typical film review. What I propose is that we investigate the real reason why this series has made such a deep impression on many science fiction enthusiasts: its scientific basis. In ‘Fringe’ there is a lot of fantasy, it’s obvious, but some of the ideas that he proposes have a solid germ with which, in some way, current science is flirting.

Before we go any further, here’s a little warning for readers who haven’t seen this series yet: this article contains spoilers. I will try not to gut the plot of any chapter in particular, but it is inevitable that we go through the plot line that forms the backbone of the central story that it is telling us. If you haven’t enjoyed them yet, you may prefer to reserve this text and read it later. Whatever you decide, welcome.

The backbone of ‘Fringe’: the theory of the multiverse

Current science flirts not with one, but with several theories that propose the existence of a multiverse made up of a large number of universes that coexist. The bubble universe theory speculates on the possibility that each of them is expanding and may contain others inside. The one of the infinite universes defends the possibility that each one of them is expanding in an unlimited way through the space-time continuum and resides in a different plane that allows an infinity of them to coexist.

Qudits are the great hope of quantum computing to get where it is not possible with qubits

The main source of inspiration for the writers of ‘Fringe’ is the theory of parallel universes

However, the theory we are interested in dwelling on because it is the one that seems to have served as the main source of inspiration for the ‘Fringe’ writers is that of the parallel universes. Very broadly, it postulates the existence of multiple universes that coexist in the same space-time fabric, but that are housed in different dimensions that allow them to remain cohesive without coming into conflict. These are not the only theories that propose the existence of a multiverse, but the three that we have just briefly noticed are enough to illustrate the germ that inspired Walter Bishop. In the series, of course.

This all sounds very fanciful, yes. And, of course, we cannot ignore the fact that all of them are theories that have not yet been reliably confirmed by the scientific community. But, and here comes the most surprising twist, most of these hypotheses is supported by evidence and measurements collected in experiments involving instruments that have indisputable technical value, such as, for example, the planck telescope or the LHC at CERN.

Fringe 1

We cannot rule out that the interpretation of the data that has invited some scientists to develop these theories is wrong, but we must not overlook the fact that many physicists who enjoy great international prestige are involved in their formulation, such as John Archibald Wheeler, Richard Holman or Max Tegmark, among many others. In any case, there is no doubt that the writers of ‘Fringe’ have managed to get a lot out of this idea and have not avoided draw on your imagination when it comes to proposing an answer to some of the innumerable questions that science cannot yet resolve.

Other science fiction proposals have traveled the same paths that ‘Fringe’ travels before, but this latest one goes into them with an ingenuity and an ambition that have managed to captivate many enthusiasts of this genre

After all, and this is the main leitmotiv of this series, Walter Bishop demonstrates the existence of a parallel universe, and, to make matters worse, find a way to travel to it. This possibility gives rise to an infinity of bizarre and unprecedented situations, but tremendously entertaining. And all this takes place, and here comes another spoiler, under the intimidating gaze of beings whose humanoid appearance fails to hide capabilities that are out of the compression, at least initially, of the trio that stars in this series.

A brushstroke of science here and another more voluminous one of fiction there

‘Fringe’ has very marked cinematographic references. In fact, JJ Abrams, who is one of its creators, has openly acknowledged having been inspired by David Cronenberg’s films, and also having taken some ideas from other mythical series, such as ‘The X Files’ or ‘The unknown dimension’. And it is that in reality what this series proposes to us It is not new. Other science fiction proposals have traveled the same paths that ‘Fringe’ travels before, but this latest one goes into them with an ingenuity and an ambition that have managed to captivate many enthusiasts of this genre.

The first time crystals are ready.  And that's great news for quantum computers.

Anyone who has enjoyed this series knows that, as we have seen, its main plot line is based on the existence of parallel universes. However, this is not the only idea that Abrams and his collaborators have taken from current science with the clear purpose of shed shreds of credibility about the mountain of science fiction, and often even fantasy, on which ‘Fringe’ stands.

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The sensory deprivation chamber that Olivia is so often subjected to is unmistakably borrowed from the sensory isolation tanks used since the 1950s by some therapists due to its presumed beneficial impact on the nervous system. And the device implanted in the Watchers’ brains that gives them superhuman abilities it is nothing but a kind of implant clearly inspired by some of the devices that some supporters of transhumanism are already using today.

‘Fringe’ has many other ingredients that make it very attractive to science fiction enthusiasts. In this article we have investigated some of them, but for those who have not yet seen it, it will be good to be certain that, above all, this is an extremely entertaining series. Some chapters lower the quality bar defended tooth and nail by the most inspired episodes of this fiction, but all of them waste ingenuity. Any time is a good time to discover this series. Or for those of us who have already enjoyed it to revisit it. It is currently available in its entirety on HBO Max.

The fifth and final season of ‘fringe’ premiered at the end of September 2012. Almost a decade has passed, and…

The fifth and final season of ‘fringe’ premiered at the end of September 2012. Almost a decade has passed, and…

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