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Walter Bishop: The Lunatic Fringe


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#1

Anlyn

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Posted Sep 10, 2008 @ 8:32 AM

We can change the subtitle later, if need be. Perhaps there will be a naming thread.

I really liked Noble's subtle nuances to the character, and just in the first episode. I think Walter will be my favorite character. He teetered precariously between sanity and insanity, yet made perfect sense the whole time.

Also, Noble and Jackson really play well off each other. I'm very interested in both of them.

#2

DigificWriter

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Posted Sep 10, 2008 @ 9:49 AM

I mentioned this elsewhere, but Noble's character reminds me of part Denethor, part Bobby Goren, part Gil Grissom, part Hannibal Lecter, and part Alex Cross. It'll be interesting to see how he fits into things as the series goes on, since he doesn't really seem to have a place at the moment.

Edited by DigificWriter, Sep 10, 2008 @ 9:49 AM.


#3

rove3

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Posted Sep 10, 2008 @ 2:40 PM

I think he provides some unintentional (on his part) comedy. I liked his "Humans are better than cows...unless you want milk, then you really need a cow" line.

#4

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Posted Sep 10, 2008 @ 2:48 PM

Yes, I think that he will be the comic relief but also the genius of the show. I loved, "I just pissed myself."
Heee!

#5

janie jones

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Posted Sep 10, 2008 @ 4:07 PM

It was just a little squirt.

I think he's going to end up not being crazy, though.

#6

Meshakhad

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Posted Sep 11, 2008 @ 1:47 PM

I think he'll become slightly less crazy, but still crazy.

#7

akiwisgirl

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Posted Sep 11, 2008 @ 8:45 PM

I too loved John Noble. In fact he was a big part of the reason I tuned in to watch. I wanted to see him do something other than an anti-hero like Denethor and the Russian character he played on 24 (can't remember his name). I too really hope he finds a permanent place that doesn't make him seem like they just sort of tacked him on out of pity. He was the best part of the show as far as I'm concerned.

#8

Sunshine64

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Posted Sep 11, 2008 @ 10:26 PM

Just watched this off my DVR and I agree with all the praise for John Noble.

I couldn't place him immediately, as I hadn't read any of the pre-premiere stuff, but about half way through his first scene I rememgbered. It's Denethor.

He was the best for me as well and I hope they let the character grow beyond crazy, comic relief.

#9

devans00

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Posted Sep 17, 2008 @ 2:23 AM

I think as time goes by, the fog from being institutionalized with slowly lift and Walter will be more lucid more often. He's smart enough to see the benefit in being underestimated and not seeming so bright.

I don't think Walter is inherently evil. He just doesn't put Humans at the top of the value chain. He likes science and experimentation more than he values every human life.

I'll be interested to see what they do with his character. If the let Walter have a girlfriend or life outside of the lab or whatever.

#10

LonePirate

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Posted Feb 3, 2009 @ 9:40 PM

Not there is a lot of competition this year; but Walter is the most interesting character on a new show for this season. He brings a unique mix of intelligence, social obliviousness, humor and slight craziness to the show. This show would not work if it was simply the Peter and Olivia hour.

#11

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Posted Feb 3, 2009 @ 10:07 PM

He finally brings some unexpected humility, too. With him not knowing what the clear disks were and the limitations of his porcuHulk antidote in this last episode, it's nice to know that he won't have all the answers.

#12

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Posted May 12, 2009 @ 9:48 PM

Walter visiting the grave made me think of something but I couldn't remember which episode I saw it in. Anyway, didn't we see Walter's father's grave in an earlier episode? Did that ever turn out to be significant?

#13

kitmerlot

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Posted May 17, 2009 @ 11:38 AM

Walter is the best character on the show: his observations can run from the wacky to the banal, and yet JN playes every scene with a beautiful realism.

He is a joy to watch!

#14

jupiter62

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Posted Oct 20, 2009 @ 4:38 PM

I liked the idea of john Noble being in Fringe, but it wasn't until I watched that I realised he was one of the main reasons I tune in. He cracks me up, he breaks my heart, Walter is brilliant, and I just want to see what an AlterWalter would be like like.

#15

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Posted Oct 20, 2009 @ 9:31 PM

I heart Walter. I love that he likes to eat at what seems like the most inopportune moments. I like that he basically says exactly what he is thinking, even if it means he often says inappropriate things. His honesty is refreshing. And being a big fan of CSI, I rather like the glee Walter gets over getting to examine dead or dying bodies. Solving the mystery is his drug, almost as much as LSD I suspect. Would love to see John Noble break into the Emmy nominations next year for Best Supporting Actor. It would be well deserved. His Walter is one of the most fascinating and watchable characters currently on television. His only equal in my eyes is Michael Emerson (Ben Linus) from LOST.

#16

Maka

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Posted Mar 28, 2010 @ 12:48 PM

I only recently started watching this show, (I'm nearing the end of Season 2 so far, I just finished "Grey Matters"), and I'm surprised there isn't more talk about Walter! He's just the most amazing character. Deepest kudos go out to the actor, because he's given Walter such a complex and moving spirit, I don't know how many times he's made me tear up because of Walter's fear, or grief, or sweet awe at the world. He's the best part of this show, I think. And I actually full-on cried near the end of "Grey Matters" when Peter saved him. I'm a sucker for their evolving father/son relationship.

I'm going to power through the rest of the Season 2 epis I've missed so I'll be all up to speed when the show returns. I'm excited to see what happens next with him!

ETA: I'm all caught up now, so I'm dying to see how Walter got Peter from the other side and how this is all going to pan out. How will Walter deal with Peter's, most likely, overwhelming anger and distrust that's going to be coming when/if he finds out?! Oy, I'm scared to see everyone turn on Walter. What he did was terrible. I keep thinking about the grief alt-Walter and Wife might have gone through when their Peter disappeared, and it's so awful. But I still love our Walter, and worry about what'll happen.

I feel like this show, ontop of all the mystery and twisty storytelling, is also about redemption - for Peter and Walter. If Walter isn't the same man he was and has since worked to be a better man, does he deserve forgiveness? I hope so.

Edited by Maka, Mar 28, 2010 @ 9:51 PM.


#17

Lizcat12

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Posted Apr 12, 2010 @ 7:57 AM

I know this sounds strange, but Walter kind of reminds me of Dr. Felix Hoenikker from the book Cat's Cradle. The wikipedia description of him says:

The "Father of the Atom Bomb", Felix Hoenikker was proclaimed to be one of the smartest scientists on Earth. An eccentric, emotionless man, he is depicted as amoral and apathetic towards anything other than his research, just as long as he had something to keep him busy, as in his role as one of the "Fathers of the Atomic Bomb", and in his creation of "ice-nine", something he saw as a mental puzzle (a Marine general suggested developing a substance that could freeze and compact mud so soldiers could run across it more easily) which ends up destroying life on Earth.


To me, this sounded a lot like what Walter was somewhat like in the early days of his research (or maybe Walternate?). The Walter we know now is much more caring, but who knows? Maybe if he had never gone "crazy", something like this could have happened.

Edited by Lizcat12, Apr 15, 2010 @ 4:03 PM.


#18

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Posted Apr 27, 2010 @ 7:58 AM

So, is Walter the druggiest TV character we've seen in recent years?

Seriously, in every other episode he's either taking some kind of drug for his mental condition, injecting himself with something (or at least, speaking of doing it in the past), or injecting somebody else with something.

What's more, the show itself blinks not at the idea that drugs (illicit and non) are the key to expanding one's knowledge of reality.

Not judging... just noting, with amusement. Tune in, turn on, cross over...

#19

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Posted Apr 27, 2010 @ 12:30 PM

Lizcat12, anyone who mentions Cat's Cradle makes me happy, whether I agree with them or not! And Felix and past-Walter do have a couple of things in common, anyway - a childlike quality, and a kind of amoral fascination with technical problems or just information. For that matter, some of the guys who helped to invent the atom bomb had that attitude. I remember some movie - The Day After Trinity? - in which one of the scientists describes the attitude of some of the others after Hiroshima and Nagasaki as (paraphrasing) "Oppenheimer has no business repenting in public for our sins; what we were doing was an honest piece of technical work." The change in Walter does point to the uncomfortable value of a guilty conscience.

#20

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Posted May 10, 2010 @ 1:35 PM

I'm really curious about Walter and Peter's relationship after Walter brought Peter back from the other side. What did he do that made him so awful to live with that Peter absolutely despised him, and wouldn't even go to see him in the mental institution? This is a question that hasn't really been answered for me. I mean, at one point Walter talked about how he used to sing to the dog when the dog had nighmares, you know, which really made me wonder: If he was sweet enough to sing to the dog when the dog had night terrors, what the hell did he do to Peter, who he loved so much that he went to the other universe to save him? And yet in the pilot Peter says something like, "He is without a doubt the most brilliant, abusive, twisted, myopic, self centered son of a bitch on the planet." What the hell happened?

#21

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Posted May 11, 2010 @ 7:57 AM

I've imagined that the guilt Walter felt after stealing Peter and the fear that he would be found out prevented a closer bond between them. Think about it, every time Walter looked at Peter, there was a bevy of conflicting emotions: he could see he looked just like his son, but wasn't; he knew it was wrong to take someone else's child, but did it; he wanted to recapture what he lost, but couldn't, and was reminded of it daily. It must have been torture for him (and his wife) to live out this weird illusion.

It must've been a huge mind-bend for Walter, whose mind is pretty bent to begin with.

#22

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Posted May 11, 2010 @ 8:10 AM

It's finally hit me what this show actually is: it's not science fiction. It's fantasy - wizard-based, Lord of the Rings type fantasy in sci-fi dressing.

Think about it: the most compelling, strong, central characters who drive the narrative are powerful, elderly, often-mad scientists, who play the role of the wizards. Mostly it's been Walter and William Bell, but we also saw Alistair (another basically good wizard like Walter, the Peter Weller character, who I bet they'll find a way to bring back occasionally thanks to the Magic of Time Travel), and now we have Walternate who seems a bit like Saruman.

We have elixirs by the score (all the drugs and potions), ridiculous "science" that is more like magic, and we even have a familiar (Gene the Cow) and an Ariel (Astrid), if you want to talk Shakespearean wizards (Prospero).

We have a "War of the Worlds" brewing that is more Good vs. Evil than Mars vs. Earth. And we have a prince stolen from the cradle (Peter), which is a very old fairy-tale/mythical trope. Characters with hidden magical powers abound (Olivia, and maybe Peter too).

#23

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Posted May 11, 2010 @ 8:58 AM

One of the reasons I love the story of Fringe is that it's a classic "monomyth" -- a standard Hero's tale -- complete with a call to adventure (Peter is summoned in the Pilot/Olivia is recruited to the Fringe division); supernatural aids (lots of drugs/weird science); an aged mentor (Walter, who must die, according to the monomyth, for the young hero to succeed), etc.,.

It's a classic form of story a la King Arthur, Star Wars, Harry Potter and more.

Edited by fedorafadares, May 11, 2010 @ 9:00 AM.


#24

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Posted May 11, 2010 @ 2:36 PM

The best thing about Walter is that he's a sweet, lovable, nasty son-of-a-bitch, and it still comes out at times. His dependency upon Peter was the thing that changed their relationship. Peter, in the role of the provider, is quite comfortable, and I think he bonded with Walter for the first time. People frequently love people who make them feel needed, I suppose. Now, of course, Peter feels terribly betrayed and confused. He is, I think, still fond of Walter and Olivia, but thoroughly pissed at them both, understandably, I think. Walternate is an absolute loose cannon. One of the reasons Peter finally bonded with Walter is that Peter had more power in the relationship for once. We don't know whether Walternate has any feelings for Peter at all (it appears his wife does). But it doesn't follow that Walternate does, because some of the feelings you have for your children are years of shared experiences, which they don't have. Certainly, Walternate has made no previous attempt to retrieve Peter, which is rather strange.

#25

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Posted May 11, 2010 @ 2:42 PM

One of the reasons Peter finally bonded with Walter is that Peter had more power in the relationship for once.


Definitely. And at the end of "Northwest Passage" the look on Peter's face was tinged with father-fear. No more wisecracking and sarcasm from Peter for quite a while, methinks...

Edited by jipijapa, May 11, 2010 @ 2:42 PM.


#26

Zeke33

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Posted May 17, 2010 @ 6:26 PM

I wonder if naming him Walter was a shout out to Walter Gilbert and his lab team at Harvard in the 70s.

#27

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Posted May 17, 2010 @ 7:24 PM

One of my 5th graders today mentioned that "Walter" sounded like smart, newscaster's name (Walter Cronkite was mentioned in one of our novels, and they didn't know - but guessed - who he was). Anyhoo, it made me think of our Walter. :)

#28

justtired

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Posted May 18, 2010 @ 9:52 PM

fedorafadares

One of the reasons I love the story of Fringe is that it's a classic "monomyth" -- a standard Hero's tale -- complete with a call to adventure (Peter is summoned in the Pilot/Olivia is recruited to the Fringe division); supernatural aids (lots of drugs/weird science); an aged mentor (Walter, who must die, according to the monomyth, for the young hero to succeed), etc.,.

It's a classic form of story a la King Arthur, Star Wars, Harry Potter and more.


jipijapa

It's finally hit me what this show actually is: it's not science fiction. It's fantasy - wizard-based, Lord of the Rings type fantasy in sci-fi dressing.

Think about it: the most compelling, strong, central characters who drive the narrative are powerful, elderly, often-mad scientists, who play the role of the wizards. Mostly it's been Walter and William Bell, but we also saw Alistair (another basically good wizard like Walter, the Peter Weller character, who I bet they'll find a way to bring back occasionally thanks to the Magic of Time Travel), and now we have Walternate who seems a bit like Saruman.

We have elixirs by the score (all the drugs and potions), ridiculous "science" that is more like magic, and we even have a familiar (Gene the Cow) and an Ariel (Astrid), if you want to talk Shakespearean wizards (Prospero).

We have a "War of the Worlds" brewing that is more Good vs. Evil than Mars vs. Earth. And we have a prince stolen from the cradle (Peter), which is a very old fairy-tale/mythical trope. Characters with hidden magical powers abound (Olivia, and maybe Peter too).


It is all of these things because the basic story at its core is familiar to us - the story of the Changeling, a mirrored world, etc.

BUT I would also suggest it is also how despite being a powerful force for good, love can lead to some terrible decisions and actions. Consider that Olivia got things rolling when she sprung Walter while trying to save John Scott - (or was she manipulated into this?) And of course Walter may have messed started this whole mess while trying to save Alt Peter.

#29

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Posted May 25, 2010 @ 9:34 AM

A friend told me that she finds the sheer number of experiments that Walter was involved with to be unrealistic, but I disagree. Many pharmaceutical companies today have a small group of scientists within the larger research and development section. These scientists' sole purpose is to brainstorm new ideas. They do some basic testing to see if their idea is feasible, and then pass on the work to the rest of R & D. I think Walter may have worked in a similar situation, which would also explain why he often has experience with a scientific aspect of a case, but is surprised to see that his work has been carried out further.

#30

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Posted Jun 7, 2010 @ 1:56 PM

I'm disappointed because John Noble wasn't suggested as a potential Emmy nominee by the TWoP folks. I think he's been spectacular this season. At times I honestly believe there are two Walters. Olivia/Bolivia is good, but I know it's Anna Torv in a wig at all times. With Walter I actually forget that it's one actor.

Edited by jenniferes, Jun 7, 2010 @ 1:57 PM.