I think a lot of new viewers are most intrigued by them.
I've had several changing theories about them. I used to think they were just autonomous entities who answered to no one, but last season I started to wonder if they were "First People" - until of course we found out the First People weren't as weird as we thought they were. Going into this season, my new theory is that they might be William Bell creations - maybe something he made to counterbalance his other creation, the shapeshifters.
Is that so?
I myself have been watching since the Pilot back in '08, but it comes to no surprise that many newcomers to the show are intrigued by the Observers.
I've always suspected that the Observers were 3D+ dimensional in nature, as it is the most comprehensive explanation for their nature. I am undecided whether they were created by a human/were once human themselves or if they've always been, though, for due to their temporal nature, the date of their inception is ultimately trivial.
Although, I've come up with other theories for the fun of it, including that the Observers are anthropomorphized manifestations of Existence's desire for self-preservation (but that's another thread ;).
I actually thought that the First People were an actual bona fide race of advanced, ancient humanoids. Given my knowledge of New Age mythology, I thought it would be totally awesome to explore that in the context of Fringe; but alas, it never came to be (though the actual explanation for the First People is pretty cool regardless).
Yes, last season we definitely got the vibe that December and September were doing some sort of wagering, or at least were in contention with one another. December just seems to me to be the oldest Observer and the one with maybe the most hardened viewpoint (as Observers go). The apparent age may not be true age, but rather an outward manifestation of his inner nature.
That's an interesting thought.
I read a theory somewhere that the Observers are all the same person at different points in their lifetime, with the child from 1.15 being the youngest and December being the oldest version of this person. This probably isn't close at all, but it's certainly bold.
But yes, it seems that the Observers are more of a collective than a hierarchy.
Perhaps they are like the Overlords in Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke, serving a greater transcendent consciousness collective. O.o
Not familiar with those - can you explain?
In Quantum Mechanics, there are two major Interpretations on the nature of realities.
In the Copenhagen Interpretation, every single outcome exists, but upon observation, the waveform (i.e. range of possibilities) ultimately collapses (i.e. snaps) to only one possible outcome, and the rest don't manifest, existing only as unrealized potential states.
In the Everett Interpretation, not only does every single outcome exist for an event, but every one of these outcomes manifests as its own physical reality, giving rise to a true Multiverse.
Since Fringe borrows a lot of its scientific notions from Quantum Mechanics, the ultimate explanation for the nature of the Fringeverse is bound to include elements from either of these two views.
My view of the Red Universe is that it represents a different timestream, not just a "parallel reality." It represents a what-if world - what if someone had died, or had made a different decision, etc. Obviously, the split-off point between the Red and Blueverses must have occurred at least as far back as the 1930s - whenever zeppelins were invented, or even earlier. In that sense, the universe we're going to start with in Season 4 might rightly be given a new color, because it's a new timestream/reality consisting of two timestreams that have been forcibly jammed together by Peter.
I theorize that the split in the Original Reality that gave rise to the Blue/Red Worlds occurred 250 million years ago, the point in time where the Vacuum components were sent via the 2026 Central Park Wormhole. Not only did this event cause the divergence that birthed both realities, but it made it so that the two worlds were Quantum Entangled, or "inextricable", as was explained in the show; this is why the two histories have unfolded so similarly despite having diverged so long ago.
By the way, I don't think the Blue&Red worlds are literally "Blue" and "Red"; these are just thematic markers, IMO (I theorize the colors are inspired by the cosmological Red/Blue Shift properties of light in space).
I guess a new colour can be given, but it would only serve as a marker to differentiate it from the two other realities.
And I don't think the two worlds were "jammed" together; rather, it's more like Peter joined them at the hip so to speak, with the Bridge comprising of an "overlap" between the physical space of both worlds.
I admit my brain starts to shut down when it comes to pondering time loops, so I prefer to think of a "Time Tree" instead - where there's a trunk - an original timestream - with zillions of possible futures branching off into infinity. All of which the Observers presumably can see. On another topic, someone brought up the confusion over September's comment in "The Firefly" about "Many futures are happening simultaneously, but I cannot see which one will come to pass." Well, in that context, what does "come to pass" mean? My guess would be that the branches of the "Time Tree" are destined to be melded together once again into a single trunk timestream, perhaps with one future path being the chosen one for this purpose, but that September is unable to know which one will be chosen (because the choice involves the human element).
oy... who knows though?
This particular problem has puzzled me a great deal in my theorizing.
Walter theorized that each possible choice gives rise to its own reality, which adheres to the Everett Interpretation; however, September says that while all possibilities exist, only one will collapse/come to pass, which adheres to the Copenhagen Interpretation.
These two explanations are obviously contradictory, but I am inclined to side with September, given that he is likely fare more acquainted with the true nature of existence.
If we are to take September's explanation, then yes, your Time Tree analogy would be appropriate. Although, instead of things being melded together, it's more like each "branch" or outcome that comes to pass is highlighted, and every branching outcome that collapses into reality is also highlighted, thereby forming a kind of winding "path" among the infinite branches of this Time Tree.
And I agree about the human element, though I have no doubt the Observers themselves have quite a bit of a say in how things will unfold through observation...
Lastly, I don't think that there is an "inherent" natural course of events, so much as there exist a course of events the Observers are working towards bringing about (which they call the natural course of events).
At this rate, I'll be talking all night about them Observers. XP
Edited by Uroboros75, Sep 3, 2011 @ 11:37 PM.