On The 'Fringe': Scoop on tonight's new episode, The Observer, and the possible return of a 'Mad Men' villain by Jeff Jensen


Tonight’s new episode of Fringe takes us through the looking glass and into my favorite topsy-turvy wonderland currently on television. Fringe fans know it as "Over There" — a parallel universe realm that resembles our "Over Here" world but is distinguished by a few outré sci-fi touches and alternate versions of our history, our culture and ourselves. "Over There," there are daily flights to the moon. "Over there," Eric Stoltz starred in Back to the Future, not Michael J. Fox. "Over There" has no long-running musical named Cats — but there is one called Dogs. And in the New York City of "Over There," the Empire State Building isn’t just a tall building, but a docking terminal for dirigibles — which, by the way, was the original intention for the spire section atop the art deco Manhattan landmark. (Another pop culture fave of mine that brought this idea to life: the near-forgotten Jude Law/Gwyneth Paltrow retro sci-fi/cutting edge f/x marvel Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.) I’m told everyone over at Fringe HQ pitches in to help flesh out the Over There world — from the L.A.-based writing staff to the Vancouver-based art department — and I look forward to seeing what rich little throwaway details the show will give us tonight.

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