Pop Culture: Sci-Fi TV & Film’s Best And Worst Dads
Dr. Walter Bishop (Fringe)
Like most fathers, Fringe’s Walter Bishop (John Noble) is a bit of mixed bag. He means well — he always means well — but he’s also prone to massive-scale mishaps. This relates to both his relationship with his estranged son Peter (Joshua Jackson) and his work on the fringes of science, which fans of the show well know come perilously close to ripping apart the very fabric of multiple universes. A cold, driven man in his youth, he had little to no regard for the consequences of his actions, both in science and in larger life. An extended stint confined to a mental institution, along with all manner of traumatic treatments, changes his outlook on life.
Over the course of the show, the relationship between Walter and Peter grows and evolves into one of the sweetest, most earnest bonds of any recent science fiction TV show we can think of. Though Walter is, in various incarnations, a power-hungry scientist with a serious god complex, he becomes loving, frail, and totally adorable. The fact that he almost destroyed all of existence, multiple times, haunts and terrifies him, even to the point where he has pieces of his brain removed.
If He Was Our Dad: We’d likely be frustrated with Walter from time to time. Though he is warm and affectionate, he is also flighty, scatterbrained, and needs constant supervision or he’s likely to wander off, take a massive dose of hallucinogens he brewed up himself, and get in all kinds of trouble.
Ideal Father’s Day Gift: Red vines and pharmaceutical grade LSD. Simple. If we could track down a first pressing of “Seven Suns” by Violet Sedan Chair on vinyl, that would round out a perfect day for Walter.