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While “Fringe” remains on the bubble for renewal for a fourth season, sci-fi fans still have a character they can rally around on Thursday night (FOX 9 pm ET). Scientist Walter Bishop is a character for the masses – intelligent, humorous in a serious sort of way and absolutely lovable. Even someone watching “Fringe” for the first time can’t help but enjoy Walter and want to see what he does next.
Portrayed perfectly by John Noble (who was undeservedly shunned for an Emmy nomination), Over Here’s Walter Bishop is a blend of traits that keeps him human in a world of sci-fi madness. He steals the scene in almost every situation he’s placed and is an easy character to love. The GateWorld Forum has a thread devoted to the appreciation of all things Walter Bishop.
There are many but here are just a few of the reasons “Fringe’s” Walter Bishop is the best sci-fi character on television today.
Walter Bishop is brilliant and fragile
With a once reported IQ of 196, Walter Bishop is a scientific genius even if he does get distracted easily and often takes twisted routes to arrive at the answers. Sadly, it the small details in his life Walter struggles with – he can’t remember his son Peter’s telephone number and seems incapable of many of the small details most people take for granted.
Was it the 17 years in a psychiatric ward drug haze or the admitted use of LSD and other drugs in his early career? Possibly, the removal of sections of his brain by former partner William Bell plays a large role in Walter’s inability to stay on track.
Walter Bishop is funny
Science fiction fans don’t necessarily require humor with their plotline, but some of the best lines in “Fringe” are funny because Walter is completely serious when he says them.
From season one: “There was something important. . . Oh! I’ve decided on the pancakes. Blueberry.”
An exchange with Peter from season two: Peter: “How’s it going, Walter?”
Walter: “I plan to urinate in 23 minutes.”
Peter: “Good to know.”
Walter: “I’m telling you because I’m going to need help unzipping my fly.”
Walter Bishop is a mad scientist with a heart
Walter has been involved in some questionable projects and experiments including a drug study on several children including Olivia Dunham. However, his return to the real world from the asylum brought a remorse and conscience.
Most of the events involved in The Pattern have been linked to experiments Walter conducted during his early years as well as his means of saving Peter’s life. While accepting that he cannot change what has passed, Walter is often apologetic for his actions and makes many efforts to make amends.
Newer fans of “Fringe” can read recaps of every episode at the official website here.
Sources: Official Fringe Website ; TV By the Numbers ; ImDB Character Quotes ; GateWorld