Mad Science Is The Best Science: Our 14 Favorite Crackpot Geniuses

WalterDr. Walter Bishop (Fringe)
By most, if not all definitions, Fringe’s Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble) is a mad scientist. He experimented with sensory deprivation and LSD, spent decades in a mental institution, and even had pieces of his brain cut out at his own request. Oh, and he managed to tear a hole between two universes and generally disrupt the very fabric of reality as we know it. If that doesn’t earn him a place at the all-star table, I don’t know what does.

Walter has something that sets him apart from many of his mad kin, especially those who fall in the evil camp. Over the five years where Walter, his son Peter (Joshua Jackson), and FBI Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) ran all over the globe, hopping dimensions left and right, saving the world more times than you can count, the elderly scientist formed the emotional core of the series. At times driven, power hungry, and neck-deep in a serious god complex, he is also fragile, sweet, loving, and afraid. The notion that he may be responsible for the end of multiple worlds, that he was once so blinded by ambition that he performed medical experiments on terrified children, absolutely haunts him. How do you cope with the fact that you may be responsible for the end of existence? That’s not an easy one to wrap your mind around, no matter how brilliant or crazy you may be.

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Almost Human Creator J.H. Wyman Talks The Future, Hope, And His Five-Year-Plan

almost human
Though Fringe is dead and gone, showrunner and writer J.H. Wyman wasted no time getting back on Fox with Almost Human, yet another sci-fi themed police procedural. The genre leanings and the general cop-talk are about the only thing the two shows have in common, at least on a surface level. One has a ton of monsters, weird science, and alternate universes, while the other is set in the future and imagines a realistic progression of technology. Wyman recently sat down with Collider and discussed, among other things, his idea for the setting, his vision for the future, similarities between Almost Human and Fringe, and his plan for the show.


A Giant Freakin’ Thanksgiving 2013

Brent’s Thankful For…

AHumanAlmost Human
Fringe may be dead and buried, but showrunner J.H. Wyman wasted no time getting back on the broadcasting horse with his new robo-buddy-cop series Almost Human. On the surface these two shows have little in common aside from their procedural nature and sci-fi leanings, but the two are similar in the way they approach the well-worn tropes of a cop drama and use speculative fiction to turn them on their head. We’re only three episodes into our relationship with Almost Human, and I don’t want to jump the gun, but guys, this could be the one. There’s a grim future, mismatched partners who push each other, sex ‘bots, mysterious criminal networks, and action. What else can you ask for? This year we’re definitely thankful that there’s good, gritty sci-fi on TV, and that we get to see Karl Urban (Dredd) on a weekly basis.

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So Now What? Five Streaming Shows To Soothe Your Doctor Who Withdrawals

Today Doctor Who fans all over the world finally got to see the much-ballyhooed 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor. Since I’m writing this some time before I finally sat down to watch it, I’ve got no idea what surprises the special has to offer, aside from the ones already revealed. I’m going to guess it will probably have plenty of thrills, possibly some chills. I’m pretty much certain it will make us laugh, quite likely everytime David Tennant and Matt Smith are onscreen together. I will probably get a little choked up somewhere toward the end of it.

But after all these months of anticipation, there’s bound to be a sense of anti-climactic frustration. Now that we’ve seen The Day of the Doctor, the wait for the Christmas special — and with it, a new Doctor — has begun. So now what? I know several Who noobies who have been frantically marathoning their way through at least the modern episodes of the show so they’d be caught up in time for the special. If that’s you, or if you’re just a loyal fan looking for a new bit of entertainment (or an old one to revisit), here are several excellent choices to fill your eyeholes with. And they’re all available streaming online, because that’s just how much we love you.


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Four Parts Almost Human Borrows To Build Its Robots

AlmostHFox’s futuristic buddy cop drama Almost Human hit the air tonight, and I know this was only the pilot—and the first night of a two-night premiere—but I’m on board this train. Right out of the gate, the show has a ton going for it. Not only is the cast, headlined by Star Trek’s Karl Urban, top notch, but the creative team includes Fringe showrunner J.H. Wyman and J.J. Abrams, who created shows like Lost and is directing Star Wars: Episode VII.

There’s some power behind this particular program. That said, Almost Human totally delivers. Set in 2048, the show partners Urban’s tough detective John Kennex with Dorian (Michael Ealy), a humanoid robot. Kennex resents the intrusion into his life, but this particular model, most of which have been mothballed or employed as manual laborers in space, were designed to be as human as possible, with their own quirks, personalities, and emotional baggage.

The two main characters have a fantastic chemistry together, and there’s a nice mix of humor, heart, and badass action. Overall the show is bursting with potential, but one of the things Almost Human does best is render the world. Sci-fi fans will notice a whole host of obvious aesthetic influences in every facet, taking bits and pieces from its various genre predecessors and building something new. What are those bits and pieces? We uncover them all here. Read on…

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Before Watching Almost Human: 5 Shows And A Movie You Must See

AlmostHumanFox’s futuristic police procedural Almost Human premieres this Sunday and Monday, November 17 and 18 respectively, and not only does it look like a badass new sci-fi joint, the show boasts a ton of big time creative power as well. Behind the scenes you’ll recognize names like J.J. Abrams, who is directing a little movie we like to call Star Wars: Episode VII, and J.H. Wyman, the showrunner behind Fringe. On screen, there’s Bones McCoy himself, the new incarnation of him anyway, Karl Urban, Lily Taylor from The Conjuring, and Friday Night Lights’ Minka Kelly, among others.

Before you dive head first into a brand new series, we thought you might like to spend the weekend preparing, stretching your mental facilities as it were. You don’t want to pull a hammy on game day, do you? With that in mind, here are a few series, and one movie, that may serve as a good jumping off point for Almost Human. Many of the shows are short-lived affairs, or at least lived lives where they burned the proverbial twice as bright, but only half as long. Let’s hope Almost Human doesn’t go that route, we could use some long, sustained sci-fi on our televisions.

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