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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.
More Fringe Interview links:
- Interview with John Noble
- Anna Torv (i09) / Anna Torv (SCI FI Wire)
- Producer Jeff Pinkner
- Visual effects supervisor Andrew Orloff
Promotional images for episode 16, "Unleashed" [more at Fringe Television]
Promotional images for episode 17, "Bad Dreams" [more at Fringe Television]