Fringe -- A new low in TV forensics...

Tonight’s episode of Fringe took the “Zoom in on a surveillance picture” cliche to a new low. Not only was the surveillance picture very conveniently focused directly on the perp and his victim, but it was so incredibly high def and high frame rate that they were able to zoom in and slow down the picture enough to watch a bullet in flight!

Wow. I really need to trade in my Canon 50D for whatever that park is using for surveillance cams!

I wonder if they have a surveillance cam that can pull finger prints from random stuff too. :slight_smile:

Was it done with “fringe” science or was it actually presented as real?

seriously, if you want realism, just watch Cops. It’s a Sci-fi thriller, who really cares about realism.

Well, this is my point. Is it a “fringe” moment?


I liked the part where Donald, the hit man for the Observers pulls a big clunky case out of the car trunk and what is inside…

An Okidata pin-fed dot matix printer. That’s some technology there.

You obviously haven’t been watching FastForward, since they’ve been able to resolve the features of a ring on the finger of a man who was filmed in the stands on the other side of a football stadium.

Now one of us has been whooshed. Yes, we have high-powered cameras who can pick up on things like that, but they cost tens of thousands of dollars. That’s not something you’d use for surveillance.

People continually mistake what they see on the screen for an attempt at imitating reality, a somewhat unfortunate consequence of moving pictures looking very similar to, well, reality. I find it’s far more rewarding to treat the pictures you see as visual symbols, inherently as abstract as words on a page or musical notes; what they show is not meant to accurately depict what happens, but rather to symbolize it, to capture underlying tones otherwise lost: the Observer’s bullet-catching merely showed his utter differentness, serving as an illustration rather than a faithful depiction.

And besides, it served to highlight his sacrifice in the end – those bullets shouldn’t have been a concern to him, yet he let them kill him.

Similarly, in an action film, cars may explode in a fashion utterly impossible in the real world, which just serves to highlight the main focus of the film, the complete mayhem and hullabaloo the action takes place in.

It’s not a mistake, as such, to not conform to ‘realistic’ expectations; the pictures on the screen are not what is ‘really happening’ any more than the words in a sentence are – both just serve as a codified representation.

Of course, I’m far more likely to apply this attitude with shows and films I happen to like… :wink: And in total, I think this episode was a really good one, with what we learned about the observers, and setting the scene for things to come; and once again, I really liked Walter, who was supremely low-key in this one, and managed to come across as more profound than ever.

The surveillance cam bothered you? Not the obviously photoshopped bald guys inserted into tapestries and old b&w photos? Cuz that knocked my suspension of disbelief for a few seconds.

Hey, Walter never did figure out his milkshake recipe, did he? DANGLING PLOT THREAD!!! Worst show ever!!!

Anyway… I bet the “gun” isn’t out of “ammo” so much as only Peter can use it, something to do with his suspected origins.

This show is so full of made-up techno-babble, paranormal nuttiness, and general pseudo-scientific trash, that the little thing in the OP sure didn’t bother me. It’s a FANTASY show, right? I watch for the characters, the acting, and occasionally some interesting writing. Not looking for realism here.

missed edit window - Half Man-Half Wit - that was a lovely post, you said what you said in a much nicer way than I did. (am shamed) I agree with about the episode. a good one

I was more offended that they needed CSI to distinguish hot sauce from blood.

Thanks. :slight_smile: In hindsight, I wish I’d been a little less snotty about it, though – I didn’t mean to talk down to anybody, I just wanted to show how I approach things like this.

I don’t get what you are saying. Yes, I do understand that what I watch on TV is not reality. But that doesn’t necessarily stop me from disliking when the rules of the particular tv show reality differs from ours in non-predictable ways. If they declare that a character has a super power, and the world is consistent with this, that’s fine. If we have a hospital that has one rapidly dying patient every week, and a lot of other unlikely hospital stuff, that’s also fine with me, since I understand that setting, and can see where the characters come from within this environment. But if you have a world, where for no predictable reason, some specific things just work completely different than in the real world, that throws me off. Such as here.

Also I find it less interesting to watch a process about catching criminals, if they have all sorts of overpowered extra help, compared to a universe where they have methods more in line with those of our own. (CSI vs The Wire.)

Yeah, that was pretty poorly done.

Next time I get sick, I’m gonna make myself a cough-syrup milkshake.

That is not a new low for the trope. The all-time low for “enhanced surveillance video” is and remains Enemy of the State, where the spooks use surveillance footage to see the bag on the other side of Will Smith’s body, and what’s inside it.

You know what makes this sort of thing completely inexcusable? I can understand when moviemakers get details about space wrong, say: After all, they’re not rocket scientists. But cameras are their entire livelihood! They work with them day in and day out; they darned well ought to understand how they work!

Thread hijack: I have a question about the same episode, although it isn’t about the surveillance camera. The title given for the episode was “August” – I can’t figure our the signifcance. Any ideas?

I believe that August is the name of the Observer who was shot. There are 12 Observers named after months of the year.