Olivia Dunham (played by Anna Torv) is a young FBI agent who is assigned to investigate the spread of unexplained phenomena and work with Dr. Walter Bishop after her partner, John Scott, is exposed to a flesh-dissolving agent. She and John were lovers prior to his apparent death. Both Agent Broyles and Nina Sharp consider her to have much potential and talent, the latter even hoping to bring her on as an employee of Massive Dynamic.
An experiment by Dr. Bishop to link her to the dying John Scott's mind in order to learn what he knew about his condition was successful, but with side effects.
She appears to currently have trouble differentiating her own memories from John Scott's, which are beginning to mix with hers. Both Nina Sharp and Mr. Jones wanted her in their custody, Nina Sharp because of the memories of John Scott, and Mr. Jones for currently unknown reasons. She was captured at the end of "Safe", and while Mr. Jones is seen in the episodes previews, it's unknown whether Mr. Jones is connected to Nina Sharp.
Olivia has a strong sense of justice, which drives her to solve a case by any means available. It is this quality which both impresses and annoys Broyles, as it makes her a good agent but also makes her prone to biting off more than she can chew when it comes to pursuing suspects.
The progression of the series currently provides a dilemma for Agent Dunham in the "person" of the recurring images of John Scott that she keeps seeing, as well as the fact that she is starting to confuse John's life and memories with her own, even up to the point that she briefly believed herself to have served in the Marines (she recently and adamantly insisted to the spouse of one of John Scott's associates that she was present at a dinner, and even recalled the scene in minute detail -only to find out that it was Scott, not her, at that dinner years ago).
There also seems to be some attraction between herself and Peter Bishop.
Dr. Walter Bishop (played by John Noble) is a former government researcher into fringe science who was institutionalized after a lab accident which resulted in manslaughter charges. Having been locked up for 17 years in Saint Claire's, a mental institute, Walter often expresses wonder at modern technology, and seems to be disconnected from the world, sometimes leaving his son to decode his rantings for others. He often says things which seem obvious that no one else wants to say, or thinks necessary. He also seems to derive joy from this.
Born in Cambridge in 1946, Walter was educated at Harvard University and conducted postgraduate study at Oxford and MIT. From the 1970s until the late 1980s/early 90s he operated from a basement laboratory situated under a building in Harvard University. Walter is a former biochemist and scientific researcher, once hailed as one of the most brilliant scientific minds of his generation with a recorded I.Q. of 196, who conducted experiments with his partner William Bell and several assistants. After an accident in 1991 which resulted in the death of at least one of these assistants, and amid accusations that he was using humans as guinea-pigs for his experiments, Walter was charged with manslaughter but was deemed mentally unstable and admitted to a psychiatric institution. Only Walter's immediate family was permitted to visit him in person.
Walter would spend 17 years institutionalized before finally being released by his son Peter on Olivia's behalf. The institutionalization, however, has left him socially lacking. Walter speaks in a disjointed fashion and often appears distracted. His moments of concentration are interrupted by lapses into silence and tangents into different thoughts. Being around Peter seems to stabilize him to a degree, as does being allowed to work in his old lab. One thing he is consistent about is his wish not to return to the institution where he was contained. During a temporary return visit to the institution, he appeared to hallucinate a duplicate version of himself.
Peter Bishop (played by Joshua Jackson) is Walter's son. He is a genius with an I.Q. of 190, a high school drop-out with gambling debts. His presence is often necessary to keep his father lucid and to explain the confusing, scientific speech his father uses when explaining his discoveries. He was also responsible for keeping his father in a mental institution for 17 years. He is not very fond of his father, as he wasn't around much during his childhood, but has warmed up to him after he starts to take care of him. He is given the post of civilian consultant to Homeland Security to make him officially part of the special investigations team. Several events regarding Peter's personal affairs suggest that he's involved in more than he is aware of. He is possibly part of one of his fathers experiments, as he remembers Walter wiring car batteries to his head and shocking him when he was a child. He appearently almost died from a rare form of bird flu when he was young, but he doesn't seem to remember this.
Phillip Broyles (played by Lance Reddick) is a Homeland Security agent who runs the Fringe division, which is established to investigate a series of terrorist/unexplained phenomena. In the pilot episode, he has an initial dislike for Olivia, calling her "Liason". Apparently, this was because a friend of his, a high-ranking U.S. Marines officer, got drunk and sexually assaulted three female Marine privates and was put away by Olivia. He warmed up to her later in the episode due to her profession and skills, sharing information about the Pattern to her.
Charlie Francis (played by Kirk Acevedo) is one of Olivia's close friends in the FBI, who helps her with her investigations. He is Broyles' immediate subordinate and as such second-in-command of the Fringe Division.
Nina Sharp (played by Blair Brown) is a high ranking employee of Massive Dynamic who is part of the Fringe division. She has worked for the company for 16 years and literally owes it her life, as their research helped remove her cancer and replaced her arm with a technologically-advanced prosthetic. In The Cure she claimed to have known Walter (presumably before he was institutionalized) and to have met Peter when he was a toddler.
Astrid Farnsworth (played by Jasika Nicole) is a federal agent and assistant to Olivia Dunham. She is usually seen in the lab with Dr. Bishop, who can never remember her name, having called her "Astro," "Asteroid," or any number of variations thereof. She seems to be accepting of her position, watching over the Bishops, and also seems sometimes in awe of Walter's intellect. She is seen to have special knowledges of things, such as cracking different kinds of codes, speaking Latin, and hacking computer hard drives.
John Scott (played by Mark Valley) was Olivia's partner and lover who was revealed to be financing the creation of a deadly flesh-dissolving toxin. He apparently dies in the pilot episode, but is delivered to Massive Dynamic and prepared so his memories can be examined -a recurring element in the series is the existence of neuro-technology that can scan the brains of the recently-deceased as long as they have not been brain dead for more than a few hours. He also appears to Olivia at random times, which is explained by Dr. Bishop as traces of memory lingering from the shared dream in the pilot (in that first episode, Agent Dunham subjected herself to a machine which partially superimposed the comatose Scott's brainwaves into her mind as part of a last-ditch effort to track down the owners of a bioweapon). The progression of the series has his memories slowly melding with Agent Dunham's, leading her to confuse that Scott's life and memories with her own (in the episode "Safe," she even briefly -and mistakenly -thought that she served in the Marines).
The episode entitled "the Transformation" removes a reoccurring question about the nature of John's 'existence' within Olivia's head.
In episodes previous to this one, it is unclear to both Olivia and the viewing audience whether or not John can actually see the 'real' Olivia on her deliberate and repeated excursions into her own mind. The episode "The Transformation" reveals that not only can the 'fake' John, within her memories, see the 'real' Olivia (in her excursions into John's memories, she frequently sees her 'fake' self in past romantic interactions with him), but that the John inside her head exists as a separate consciousness, and in fact has the same abilities as she does -namely, to selectively alter the environment in order to access specific memories.
Whether or not he will continue to increase the scope and extent of his presence within Olivia Dunham's mind remains to be seen.
David Robert JonesEdit
David Robert Jones (played by Jared Harris) is a biochemist, at first imprisioned in a German jail, then set free by Mitchell Loeb through teleportation back to the US. He first appears in the series when Olivia contacts him in order to find the antidote for a parasite in Loeb's body. He agreed to help her, but only in exchange for the opportunity to ask an associate one question ("Where does the gentleman live?" The response is a coded message.). He was sprung from jail by Loeb via a device created by Walter Bishop, and received word of his planned escape from an associate in the form of a code word (Little Hill, referring to the location he is teleported to). In "Ability," ailing from side effects of his teleportation, he turned himself into the FBI and presents Olivia with a series of tests, the first of which is the challenge to turn off a series of lights with her mind (made possible by a chemical she had supposedly been treated with) in order to prevent a biological bomb from being detonated. She is able to do this, but Jones then disappears again, leaving only the cryptic message "You Passed."
Mitchell Loeb (played by Chance Kelly) is an unscrupulous, rogue FBI agent working with Jones to further their goals. He sets Jones free with Walter's untested teleportation device, stolen from several individual safe-deposit boxes, using a mathematical equation and a device that allows him to temporarily disrupt the particles in a solid object (In this case, bank walls) and pass through them. Following his and Jones' abduction of Agent Dunham, Dunham shoots Loeb's wife Samantha (Trini Alvarado) in self defense. Loeb is currently in federal custody.
The Observer (played by Michael Cerveris) is a mysterious figure seen at the scene of many Pattern-related events. He is constantly seen in a suit, with no hair and no eyebrows. He doesn't appear to visibly age, and has a number of odd habits (such as ingesting a ridiculous amount of spicy foods without a single reaction, suggesting he needed the spicy food to even taste the raw burger he put it all on). He met Peter in one episode, copying everything Peter said, at the same time he said it, before shooting Peter with a device. He has appeared (albeit very briefly) in every episode thus far. Near the end of the episode "Inner Child" it is hinted that there are many Observers. Evidence includes the appearance of a child with similar features as the Observer, who shares an ominous glance with the real Observer in the last scene. Earlier in the episode, the C.I.A. agent mentions "we may have found another one" on his cell phone. The Observer is also seen on occasion in other Fox programs. For example on April 7, 2009 the Observer was seen on American Idol. He was on the front row and blatantly shown near the beginning of the episode. He was also seen on the sidelines of Super Bowl XLIII and at a NASCAR race on April 5, 2009.Template:Fact
Sanford Harris (played by Michael Gaston) is a former officer in the U.S. Marines whose sexual assault of three privates was exposed by Olivia earlier in her career. His case was mentioned without his name in the pilot, and he first appeared in the episode "Bound". He is currently auditing the procedures of the Fringe division, with a clear emphasis placed on Olivia's actions.
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