We miss Fringe and we’re always on the lookout for news from the former cast members. Now it looks like star John Noble is joining the cast of Fox’s new supernatural pseudo-historical drama Sleepy Hollow. We’re not talking about a guest spot either, he’s going have a “major recurring role” and be part of a large story arc that occurs later in the first season.
This reunites Noble with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who created both Sleepy Hollow and Fringe. Noble played Dr. Walter Bishop on Fox’s embattled sci-fi police procedural, a brilliant but eccentric scientist who has a kind heart, but who was responsible for things like inadvertently tearing holes in multiple universes. While he may have been on the hook for horrible, horrible things happening to multiple worlds, Walter was the heart and soul of the show, the gooey emotional center of the complex narrative.
While Walter was soft and cuddly, the Australian actor also has a knack for playing hard-edged and evil. You’ve seen this side of him on display in Fringe, playing Walternate, a version of his character from an alternate dimension, as well as in his turns in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies. But fortunately for Fringe fans, it sounds like his gentler aspect of his personality will be on display in Sleepy Hollow. When Noble shows up, it will be as a character named Henry Parrish. He is a described as a “kind and reclusive man.” But, perhaps in a not to his last major role, Parrish also has supernatural powers, powers that will be a big time help to Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) as he hunts the Headless Horseman.
All of this assumes one fact, that Sleepy Hollow actually lasts long enough for Noble’s character to arrive on the scene. Based on Washington Irving’s classic short story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” the series debuted earlier this week to strong ratings, with more than ten million viewers. The action follows Crane, a soldier under George Washington’s command in the Revolutionary War. When he is injured in battle, Crane wakes up in modern New England, and not only is he in for quite a culture shock, a man he though he killed—by beheading no less—has also made the jump in time. Crane, along with Abbie Mills (42’s Nicole Beharie), a cop, must track this man, who may be one of the biblical Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. That may sound like a hard sell, but Abbie takes it all in stride.
I just watched the first episode, and while it isn’t great, it’s something I’ll give another shot. It’s available on demand or streaming on Fox’s website if you want to take a gander for yourself. The two leads have a nice chemistry, it’s an unusual fantasy premise with some promise, and as we approach Halloween, you’ll appreciate the spooky, apocalyptic atmosphere.
Check out the promo for next week’s episode. Sleepy Hollow airs Mondays at 9:00 pm on Fox. We’ll keep an ear out for when you might see Noble.