Leonard Nimoy To Appear On ‘Fringe’ [UPDATED: Orci Answers Fringe Questions] | TrekMovie.com
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Leonard Nimoy To Appear On ‘Fringe’ [UPDATED: Orci Answers Fringe Questions] April 8, 2009

by Rosario T. Calabria , Filed under: Celebrity,Fringe,Nimoy , trackback

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.


"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:

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]



1. Shane Zeranski - April 8, 2009


2. thorsten - April 8, 2009

Nimoy is William Bell… perfect!

3. Shatner_Fan_Prime - April 8, 2009

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!!!

4. The Spirit of Truth - April 8, 2009

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

5. I am not Herbert - April 8, 2009


6. Steven - April 8, 2009

That’ll be worth watching definitely.

God bless!

7. Selor - April 8, 2009

Oh yeah! Another thing to wait for!

8. Julio - April 8, 2009

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

9. Kirk - April 8, 2009

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

10. Capt Mike Of The Terran Empire - April 8, 2009

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.

11. Christine - April 8, 2009




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

Eeeeee!!!!!!!! :D

12. jas_montreal - April 8, 2009

omg, i can’t wait !!!!

13. DGill - April 8, 2009

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”.

14. Capt Mike Of The Terran Empire - April 8, 2009

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

15. Dr. Image - April 8, 2009

I think Fringe blows, but that’s cool!

16. Cafe 5 - April 8, 2009

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

17. Thorny - April 8, 2009

“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”.

18. richpit - April 8, 2009

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

19. MC Doctor - April 8, 2009

So much for retirment, eh Leonard?

May be Bill Shatner can guest as a bad guy…

20. Christopher L. Bennett - April 8, 2009

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.

21. SPB - April 8, 2009


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?

22. Andy Patterson - April 8, 2009

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.

23. CmdrR - April 8, 2009

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.)

24. Anthony Pascale - April 8, 2009

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.

25. Devon Richards - April 8, 2009

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”?

26. Daoud - April 8, 2009

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…

27. Jef - April 8, 2009

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

28. Spacehamster - April 8, 2009

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.

29. krikzil - April 8, 2009

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. ;)

30. Decker's Stubble - April 8, 2009

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.

31. Spectrum of the Spock - April 8, 2009

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…

32. Thomas - April 8, 2009

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.

33. MvRojo - April 8, 2009

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

34. Derf - April 8, 2009

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

35. Edwin - April 8, 2009

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.

36. Check the Circuit - April 8, 2009

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?

37. Radioactive Spock - April 8, 2009

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.

38. Devon Richards - April 8, 2009

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.

39. Closettrekker - April 8, 2009

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.

40. bill - April 8, 2009

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

41. crazydaystrom - April 8, 2009

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

42. Quatlo - April 8, 2009

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.

43. DGill - April 8, 2009


“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

44. Kyle Cawley - April 8, 2009

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

45. Michelle - April 8, 2009

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.

46. Helen Hill - April 8, 2009

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.

47. Chris Roberts - April 8, 2009

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.

48. Natalie - April 8, 2009

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

49. Montreal Paul - April 8, 2009

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!!

50. starfleetmom - April 8, 2009

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

51. Chad N. - April 8, 2009

I haven’t seen one episode of Fringe. But I will start to watch it if Nimoy is a recurring character. (^_^)

Nimoy = Win

52. boborci - April 8, 2009

Actually, that picture of the script that reveals the title was twittered or flikkred or whatever the hell you call it by my brother, J.R., who writes and produces the show with us.

53. Dif - April 8, 2009

Bah. He can show up on Fringe but not Boston Legal? Pfft.

54. Ensign Fox - April 8, 2009

I dunno, I’ve always imagined William Bell as being played by William Shatner…

55. jamesmctrek - April 8, 2009

hey bob i love fringe , i also love that you post here :O thanks for all the great tv you have given us:)

56. S. John Ross - April 8, 2009

I’ll do my best to tune in for the Nimoy appearance; I’m sure this site won’t let us forget when the time comes :)

57. boborci - April 8, 2009

55. jamesmctrek – April 8, 2009

Thanks for watching! Truly.

58. krikzil (aka Lixy) - April 8, 2009

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

Nimoy has done his share of commercials over the years.

As for Boston Legal — Shatner won several Emmys for it as did others. David E Kelley isn’t exactly chopped liver when it comes to TV and success.

59. tribble farmer - April 8, 2009

SO pumped. I’m a huge Fringe fan so this will be EPIC.

60. Rosario T. Calabria - April 8, 2009

Boston Legal was a great show and I would have loved to see Leonard Nimoy in it. But a possible recurring role on Fringe? That’ll do just fine. :)

61. GaryS - April 8, 2009

PERFECT casting!

62. VOODOO - April 8, 2009

Great news.

The world is a better place with Leonard Nimoy more involved.

63. Ken - April 8, 2009

Leonard Nimoy has an amazing and unique voice. It seems to get better with age. Everything he does (whether it is acting or narration) is more interesting and special because of the way he sounds and speaks the lines. When you hear him, you immediately know it’s Leonard Nimoy without seeing the credits. I look forward to seeing (and hearing) his contribution to this new Trek movie.

64. Iowagirl - April 8, 2009


Yep – I’ll be in Vegas, too, and looking forward to seeing the matchless pair. Ah, the things you do to see Shatner + Nimoy together, at the same time on the same stage…:)

65. Dave - April 8, 2009

I really wanted to love Fringe but just couldn’t get into it.

66. Christian S. - April 9, 2009

I love the idea of Leonard coming back to television but I honestly had already given up on Fringe. I’ve watched it almost every week, but my level of excitement dropped on a weekly basis aswell. I find most of the stories either predictable or so far out, that even I (SciFi-Fantasy-Geek-Boy) cannot bring myself to believe them. Unfortunalely this is not the most convincingly written show on TV and ESPECIALLY with a show like Fringe, which at its core has a story that is, by nature, utterly rediculous, do I need a convincing argument to believe that it, no matter how ludicrous the idea might really be. The X-Files (yes, I cannot helpbut compare the two) did that. Rediculous alien ships, hybrid experiments, alien occupation plans.. all that stuff utterly rediculous but so convincingly and coherently written that I dove into that world for 9 years. And during that time, at least for the 45 minutes every week, I believed every word, plot point and twist that was presented to me. That is where Fringe failed for me.

That being said, I will obviously watch the episodes with LN and probably, in order to not be totally lost at that point, the episodes leading up to the S1 finale! :-)

67. Tom - April 9, 2009

Bob Orci

Get Shatner on Fringe. Then have the 2 ride out in the sunset on Star Trek 12. It’s obvious Leonard would come back. He got the itch again thanks to you guys. Your time here is much appreciated. hope you enjoy it.

68. richpit - April 9, 2009

I don’t get all the comparisons of Fringe to X-Files.

I was never an avid X-Files viewer (I can’t stand David Duchovny), but it was mostly aliens and UFO’s and stuff, wasn’t it? Fringe doesn’t have any of that.

Plus, anyone ON THE PLANET can act better than Duchovny, even Anna Torv…who I like very much in this role.

69. Christian S. - April 9, 2009

I love Duchovny! He rocks in X-Files and in Californication!
And on the comparison to X-Files thing: They both deal with paranormal activities and in case of the X-Files UFO’s played an important part in that. Who knows what will turn out to be behind all these things in Fringe!

70. Thorny - April 9, 2009

richpit…”I was never an avid X-Files viewer (I can’t stand David Duchovny), but it was mostly aliens and UFO’s and stuff, wasn’t it?”

Not really, although it did have a recurring storyline about them. The best episodes (such as “Squeeze” and “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose”) actually had nothing to do with aliens or UFOs. Rent or Netflix the first season some time. “X Files” was an outstanding show in its prime (like many other shows, it went on much too long.)

71. Kathryn Janeway - April 9, 2009

OMG, kewlness!!! I LOVE Fringe! And he’s going to be a recurring character! Fantastic…

72. Closettrekker - April 9, 2009

#70—“X Files was an outstanding show in its prime (like many other shows, it went on much too long.)”

I liked the first 3 or 4 seasons or so, but it got bogged down, and I stopped watching completely by the time “The Sopranos” debuted.

I’m glad that “Lost” is wrapping it up soon. Too many people in the business don’t know when to call it a good run.

I still haven’t seen an episode of “The X-Files” since around 1999 (totally missed the Robert Patrick years), and never bothered to watch the second movie. When it makes its way to HBO (or the like), I’ll probably check it out.

“Fringe” is okay—nothing special, but I watch with casual interest.

73. helenofpeel - April 9, 2009

Fringe is NOT x-Files. Fringe is “In Search Of” with a lot more pizazz!

74. Andy Patterson - April 9, 2009


I’ll back you on that. I heard them too. They spoke of it at the 40th in Chicago.

75. Locke for President - April 9, 2009

In regards to the dude being on American Idol, are you talking about a stern-looking bald guy? My kids saw him the other night on A.I., and they asked me, “Who was that weird guy?”

I had no clue. I told them to stay away from creepy bald dudes.

Signed, John Locke

76. Daoud - April 9, 2009

Anthony… tsk tsk, that UPDATED: Orci Answers Fringe Questions led me to believe our beloved Most Supreme B’Orciiii was answering questions here in the thread about fringe!

And I so wanted to ask him if he preferred his fringe made of of wool, silk, linen, or narrow strips of leather! (Of course, I wouldn’t want to tassel him too much!)

#75 Good advice while watching TNG with the kiddies too! ;) Never can get that British-accented “het het Beverly” from “The Naked Now” out of my head.

#74 You know… William Bell could always end up having a Boston-based attorney on his speed dial. ;)

77. krikzil (aka Lixy) - April 10, 2009

“Yep – I’ll be in Vegas, too, and looking forward to seeing the matchless pair. Ah, the things you do to see Shatner + Nimoy together, at the same time on the same stage…:)”

We need to have a get together at Vegas for all the posters who frequent the site. I’m so with you on the “things we do” part. I have spent decades roaming the country for trekish events.

78. Colorado_Gamer - April 11, 2009

I married a wonderful woman who has an open mind but never watched X-Files or Star Trek growing up…
Now she is hooked on Lost, Fringe and wants to see the new Star Trek.
I am really happy people with the same good taste and sense of storytelling have made an impact in Hollywood for me to relive my youth with my wife.

79. FS9/Sarah - April 11, 2009

I will so be watching Fringe! I haven’t seen every episode, but I will definitely tune in to the ones Nimoy will star in.

80. Captain Charbles - April 21, 2009

Leonard Nimoy was kind of in Fringe tonight (4/21/09)!! His voice was heard on a video tape at the very end of the episode. This shows getting better every episode!

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