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Leonard Nimoy To Appear On ‘Fringe’ [UPDATED: Orci Answers Fringe Questions]

Leonard Nimoy is headed to another JJ Abrams production, this time on the small screen. EW is reporting that Nimoy will appear as what could be a recurring character on Fringe, the genre show created and produced by the same team who are bringing us the new Star Trek movie. This is big news for fans of Fringe and of Star Trek, and huge news for fans of both. [more below, including FRINGE spoilers]

 

Nimoy to play William Bell
According to the EW report, Nimoy will be playing the enigmatic William Bell, a character who has been discussed many times, but never seen on Fringe. Bell is the founder of the big creepy corporation Massive Dynamics and the former lab partner of Walter Bishop (played by John Noble). Although the report says that Nimoy has yet to sign, EW’s ‘insider’ says Nimoy will appear in the season finale in May.

As Bell is such a major character, it is possible this could become a recurring character. JJ Abrams brought Nimoy out of acting retirement for the new Star Trek movie and apparently the partnership worked out so well that Nimoy is ready to go back to TV too. Nimoy’s last television acting appearance was in 2001 on Becker. William Shatner had previously said he wanted to try to get Nimoy onto Boston Legal, but that never happened.

UPDATE: Orci Talks Nimoy and Bell
EOnline has a snap interview with Fringe co-creator Roberto Orci, talking about Nimoy and more, here are some excerpts:

On Fringe, is William Bell the answer to some of the questions we’ve been asking about the Bishops and Olivia?
Several answers will come outside of William Bell, and then William Bell will be the beginning of the answers to even bigger questions.

How do you see the relationship between Walter Bishop (John Noble) and William Bell (Leonard Nimoy)?
We always imagine that they were two of the smartest guys in their classes, and they went through the Ivy League together. At that point in college, you’re discovering yourself, but these guys, the intelligent geniuses they are, they might come to conclusions about what’s important in this world. So we always imagine that they were very much like each other, very much friends, and very much a team—brothers in a way, and that life took them in different directions, either complementary or not directions, and we’re going to find out.

Way back last summer, we talked about how the Pattern could be about either saving the world or destroying it. Do Walter and William take those different approaches to the Pattern?
That’s absolutely right. They have not only different approaches to the Pattern, but different interpretations of what the Pattern is. The Pattern is slightly in the eye of the beholder, you’re going to find out. And sometimes what you think is real can become real. In a way, these two are the top minds in the world attempting to figure out the Pattern and how to react to it, based on their world view.

…more at EOnline.


More on Bell

Here is what the Fringepedia says on Bell:

With his company’s total wealth in excess of $50 billion, he is considered one of the wealthiest men in the world. Evidently he also possesses great technical knowledge and expertise; Nina Sharp says her fully functional robotic arm was built by Bell himself. Since Bell shared a laboratory with Walter Bishop, it is likely he also has an in-depth knowledge of Fringe Science. Walter himself states that Bell was the only other person who really knew what their experiments were about.

Since founding the company in 1992, William Bell has played a key role in every aspect of the business, from R&D to marketing. His personal vision continues to guide the firm’s progress, and his ongoing research constantly yields new innovations and product lines. A seven-time honoree in Business Leaders Journal’s list of "America’s Most Inspiring Corporate Leaders," Dr. Bell is also a Fellow of the National Scientific Progress Council and the only two-time recipient of the Macro Genius Award.

MORE FRINGE NEWS

"Fringe" returned last night with the episode "Inner Child". You can watch it or a recap at FOX.com.

Here is a promo for next week’s episode "Unleashed":

and did you spot the Observer in the audience of Amercian Idol last night? (neither did I since I dont watch Idol, but FringeTelevision has the clip)

Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman Talk Fringe
Co-creators (along with J.J. Abrams) Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman spoke to SCI FI Wire about the show, telling the site that the series will begin to answer many questions as the first season wraps: "We are about to shoot our final two episodes of the season," Orci said, saying that it’s really just a matter of how fast the answers are given:

"This is something we discussed very much with the network," Orci added. "Sometimes they want answers, and then we’ll actually write a show in which everything is answered, and they’re like, ‘No, that’s too fast!’ So how slowly to dole things out is always the key question. But we definitely have answers that we’re dying to give, and it’s a matter of how quickly we get to them."

Here are some highlights of the interview:

  • We’ll learn of William Bell’s connections to the major characters by the end of the season.
  • Orci on The Observer: "You’ll get a deeper context of what he’s part of".
  • There’s no rush to get Peter and Olivia together.

Head on over to SCI FI Wire to read the rest. Orci also revealed that the title of the season finale will be "There’s More Than One of Everything"

More Fringe Interview links:

Promotional images for episode 16, "Unleashed" [more at Fringe Television]

Promotional images for episode 17, "Bad Dreams" [more at Fringe Television]

 

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Shane Zeranski
April 8, 2009 12:40 pm

Wow!

April 8, 2009 12:41 pm

Nimoy is William Bell… perfect!

Shatner_Fan_Prime
April 8, 2009 12:43 pm

Awesome! It is so damn good to have you back in the spotlight, Leonard!!! Now hopefully you and Bill will find one more good script you can co-star in!!!

The Spirit of Truth
April 8, 2009 12:48 pm

Nimoy back to TV…..yes, there is a GOD (or at least, Abrams has become a fan boy too)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am not Herbert
April 8, 2009 12:48 pm

EXCELLENT!!!

Steven
April 8, 2009 12:49 pm

That’ll be worth watching definitely.

God bless!

Selor
April 8, 2009 12:51 pm

Oh yeah! Another thing to wait for!

Julio
April 8, 2009 12:51 pm

Don’t watch “Fringe”… will be watching it now! Good to have Mr. Nimoy back on the tube!

Kirk
April 8, 2009 12:54 pm

I hope so that we’ll see Shat too in the Fringe (and in ST XII).

Capt Mike Of The Terran Empire
April 8, 2009 12:56 pm

Ok. Nimoy back on Tv. Now thats what Im Talkijg about!!!. The Great one himself Playing Bell. Now Fringe will realy do well in the Ratings.

Christine
April 8, 2009 12:56 pm

OMG!!!!!!!!!

I WATCH FRINGE LIKE EVERY WEEK. AND I LOVE IT.

THIS MAKES ME SO SO SO HAPPY.

(Okay, okay, I’ll stop abusing caps lock…)

Eeeeee!!!!!!!! :D

jas_montreal
April 8, 2009 12:56 pm

omg, i can’t wait !!!!

DGill
April 8, 2009 12:56 pm

I am not into “Fringe” at all. I tried watching it once but it felt too familiar and boring by extension (I’m actually surprised that it’s still on the air). Even Leonard Nimoy can’t make me watch it again, but I can’t wait to see Nimoy in “Star Trek”.

Capt Mike Of The Terran Empire
April 8, 2009 12:57 pm

J.J Must be one hell of a salsman to get Nimoy Not Only into Trek. But Back On Tv.

Dr. Image
April 8, 2009 1:00 pm

I think Fringe blows, but that’s cool!

Cafe 5
April 8, 2009 1:02 pm

The potential here for story telling is..astronomical ! Nimoy on Fringe. This very nice, very nice indeed.

Thorny
April 8, 2009 1:02 pm

“Fringe” was just too weird for my taste, but I’ll watch for Mr. Nimoy’s appearance.

Now that we know Mr. Nimoy will accept a TV role, he really, really, REALLY must do a cameo appearance on “The Big Bang Theory”.

richpit
April 8, 2009 1:04 pm

Fringe is awesome! It’s one of the best shows on TV currently, probably right under “Chuck”.

April 8, 2009 1:05 pm

So much for retirment, eh Leonard?

May be Bill Shatner can guest as a bad guy…

April 8, 2009 1:06 pm

IMDb disagrees about Nimoy not acting on TV since the late ’90s. His last TV role was in a 2001 episode of BECKER with Ted Danson and Terry Farrell.

SPB
April 8, 2009 1:06 pm

Anthony:

What exactly is this sentence supposed to mean:

“…but JJ Abrams brought Nimoy out of acting retirement for the new Star Trek movie and apparently the partnership worked so well, Nimoy is ready to go back to TV (something even his pal William Shatner was never able to make happen on Boston Legal). ”

Shatner was never able to make WHAT happen?

April 8, 2009 1:09 pm

Yeah, I’m with you Anthony. I still think it would’ve been genius to have him on Boston Legal. Missed opportunity. Guess I’ll try and catch some of these shows now.

CmdrR
April 8, 2009 1:12 pm

I guess some guys will do anything to get on TV, even agree to appear in some b-movie about spaceships and ray guns.
Oh well, I guess it could be good.

(Seriously, I idolize these guys more as they show us just how good life after 75 can be.)

April 8, 2009 1:14 pm

Rosario has updated the story with more FRINGE news and links. I have clarified the bit on Nimoy’s last tv role, and the thing about Shatner..

Shatner did want to get Nimoy on Boston Legal, I saw the pair talk about it at a con and I think Shatner has discussed it in interviews, but it never happened.

Devon Richards
April 8, 2009 1:15 pm

Nimoy did a two-episode arc, that he himself directed on “TJ Hooker”, why the hell would he need to show up on “Boston Legal”?

Daoud
April 8, 2009 1:18 pm

Good casting on Nimoy. All he has to do is replay his Mustapha Mond character from Brave New World! About the same characterization, I would expect…

Jef
April 8, 2009 1:20 pm

Fringe is the best thing going on TV. If the upcoming Star Trek movie is as good as this show, it’ll be a SUPER blockbuster

Spacehamster
April 8, 2009 1:26 pm

The actor playing William Bell needs to be somebody who can match John Noble (Walter Bishop) in acting gravitas. After all, John Noble did play Denethor in Lord of the Rings. I think Leonard Nimoy is a great choice.

April 8, 2009 1:29 pm

I can’t wait to hear Shatner razz Nimoy in August (Vegas con) about this. Nimoy never did Boston Legal cause he was “retired” — now this. ;)

Decker's Stubble
April 8, 2009 1:29 pm

Gratz to Fringe, although I no longer watch it. I gave a three episode trial, and it didn’t hold my attention. The main problem was that the episode plots were basically retelling of the same basic story line:

1. Something weird happens
2. Crazy Smart Guy develops a theory
3. His son, Jaded Smart Guy, argues about the theory
4. FBI agent(s) stand around and look bemused, whether it’s from the Smart Guys’ bickering or Blair Brown’s tiresome hints about “The Pattern”
5. Crazy Smart Guy figures out how to read minds of people in various states of consciousness or death, using a dirty lab and 1980’s equipment

That pretty much sums up the first three episodes of the series. Maybe the writing has improved since then. If so, good for them, and I may come back.

Spectrum of the Spock
April 8, 2009 1:38 pm

is he out of his Vulcan mind???

haven’t watched Fringe. Seemed to me to be a knock of of X Files. Guess i’ll have to check it out…

Thomas
April 8, 2009 1:43 pm

30. Decker’s Stubble:
” 4. FBI agent(s) stand around and look bemused, whether it’s from the Smart Guys’ bickering or Blair Brown’s tiresome hints about ‘The Pattern'”.

That pretty well sums up how I feel about Anna Torv’s character. She really only has two expressions: confused and bewildered. Whenever she came up on screen, the only thing that came to mind for me was “Was she the best they could get?” I only watched (most of) two episodes before I checked out completely. And what sucks is, I really wanted to like this show.

MvRojo
April 8, 2009 1:43 pm

Sweet!! Fringe is one of my favorite shows right now.

Derf
April 8, 2009 1:46 pm

Ironically, I’m watching Fringe off of fox.com on my big screen. I had to toss my DVR from last night because I started playing it and there was some sort of American Wife Millionaire Chef Swap Idol Dance crap on my screen.

Right Click – Empty Trailer Trash

Edwin
April 8, 2009 1:48 pm

So Leonard Nimoy wouldn’t come out retirement for a top quality show like Boston Legal to star with his best friend, but he will appear in Fringe! Ugh! There’s no justice in the world. I would love to see LN back on tv but I just cannot bring myself to watch Fringe every week, having given up on it so long ago.

Check the Circuit
April 8, 2009 2:09 pm

We’ve heard for years that Nimoy and Shatner are supposed to be best friends. BUT The Shat couldn’t convince his BFF to come out of retirement to be on Boston Legal. And JJ gets him for a movie and possiblly a recurring role on Fringe. Hmmmmm. That really doesn’t compute. Maybe the friendship so more for PR during the Star Trek TOS movie days? I wonder what that relationship is really like?

Radioactive Spock
April 8, 2009 2:32 pm

17. good call. big bang theory is great. i’d love to see his reaction to rock, paper, scissors, lizard, spock if he played himself.

Devon Richards
April 8, 2009 2:38 pm

36 – One of the things that fans seem to miss about the lifelong friendship of Shatner and Nimoy, is that Nimoy is an artistically more discerning person, and he doesn’t hold it against his friend Bill for not being so.
Face it – william shatner will do ANYTHING for money. He’s the George Foreman of classic TV icons. Hell, he sells cereal and that makes you crap more and emphasizes that as its selling point.

Now, try to imagine Nimoy pitching some ass-blasting cereal – Not so easy is it?

I’m sure for Nimoy, not appearing on “Boston Legal” is merely a question of artistic choice, and not snub against his old friend. If he wants to spend time with Bill, he merely has to call him up.

It’s not as though every time the two friends spend time together, they have to film it for our benefit.

Frankly, Mr. Nimoy’s artistic choices are none of damned business until it is time for us to watch them.

Closettrekker
April 8, 2009 2:40 pm

It doesn’t have to be an indictment of Shatner.

Perhaps Mr. Nimoy really does like working with Abrams/Orci, etc. alot. He has said so on many occasions. I understand that some may think that he is “just saying that”—but it is also possible that he is being quite sincere. It certainly seems that way right now.

Fringe is okay. It’s not “can’t miss tv” or anything groundbreaking, but I record it on TiVo and watch it when I have the time. Nimoy’s appearances could make it even more fun to watch.

bill
April 8, 2009 2:52 pm

Now even more of a reason to watch Fringe. I was feeling lonely with no Boson Legal, but now I feel better.

crazydaystrom
April 8, 2009 3:08 pm

Seen every episode of Fringe and love it. Look forward to Mr. Nimoy being part of.

Quatlo
April 8, 2009 3:24 pm

One of the few shows the wife and I both enjoy – when they show it. Ideally they will somehow actually string together three consecutive weekly episodes eventually. LN will be a welcome addition.

DGill
April 8, 2009 3:24 pm

#38

“Face it – william shatner will do ANYTHING for money. He’s the George Foreman of classic TV icons. Hell, he sells cereal and that makes you crap more and emphasizes that as its selling point.”

Hey, don’t diss The Negotiator! (TM) ;D

Kyle Cawley
April 8, 2009 3:30 pm

Fringe kicks ass – it will be awesome to see Nimoy on there, especially as such a potentially interesting character! Can’t wait!

Michelle
April 8, 2009 3:39 pm

Interesting. I haven’t checked out Fringe before, but I’ll definitely be viewing season 1 when I get the chance now since I’m a huge fan of Nimoy.

Helen Hill
April 8, 2009 4:08 pm

Kinda works because Nimoy did the “In Search Of” series in the 70s about the unexplained and the paranormal. So, all in all, Fringe is a nice tie-in and easter egg to “In Search Of”

I have a feeling that wasn’t lost on the producers/writers at all. They are fanboys. And Fringe is tied in as an homage to 70’s techy geek paranormal television. So it’s all cool.

Chris Roberts
April 8, 2009 4:36 pm

I never watched Fringe.Lost Is one of my 3 top Must see TV,and I was a big fan of Alias.Fringe seemed too much like the X-Files with no UFO/Conspiracy storyline(Which got me Into X-Files and IS a reason I didn’t go to threatres to see I Want to Believe) and only stranger.Big deal
they could get Leonard Nimoy to do a non Spock live action role.Hopefully Michael bay will listen to Robert Orci,and Alex Kurtzman and have Leonard do the voice of the Fallen In Transformers.Some may not remember he did the voice of galvation In the 86 Transformers film.I was one of the few who went to the theatre to see that.

Natalie
April 8, 2009 4:44 pm

Thus sounds awesome!!! Definitely something I’ll be tuning in for!

Montreal Paul
April 8, 2009 4:46 pm

Wow.. great news! Love to see Nimoy on Fringe… he is perfect for that role! Fringe is really coming into it’s own.. great scripts and the characters are getting nice development. Nice job JJ!!

starfleetmom
April 8, 2009 4:54 pm

I wasn’t impressed with Fringe in the beginning, but I kept recording it and watching when I was out of better things to look at. I eventually got hooked, although I do agree with most of the criticisms above…Anna Torv is a liitle more than a manequin, Walter is ridiculous, and Peter is sort of a jerk. And I hate those damn giant letters labeling everything.
I like the Observer and I like Astrid. I can do without the gore and the reading of dead minds.
I guess i keep watching in hope of something wonderful happening. But now that Nimoy will be on I MUST watch! lol

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