From Alternate Universes to ZFT, this book covers it all! Sarah Clarke Stuart demonstrates a deep understanding of Fringe in her book Into The Looking Glass. She shows that as each season progresses things get curiouser and curiouser. Despite the increasing complexity Stuart manages to methodically dissect Fringedom in a manor worthy of Walter Bishop himself. Trying to deconstruct the Science Fiction world of JJ Abrams and company is as overwhelming as Massive Dynamic itself, but Stuart beautifully balances her approach. She covers everything from character profiles to the science behind fringe science. Along the way she touches on not only Fringe’s relevance in popular culture, but its importance in tackling current issues and providing spiritual insight as well.
Fringe is full of subtext and Sarah Clarke Stuart does a wonderful job in explaining the literary references throughout. Though its focus isn’t solely literature, as was her previous book Literary Lost was, literature does plays a central role in decoding the various layers of meaning. She points out how Dr. Walter Bishop’s role can be illuminated by such classics as The Mysterious Case of Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Hyde, Frankenstien and the Island of Doctor Moreau. She also discusses the influences of such classic dystopias as found in Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Cats Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, Oynx and Crake by Margaret Atwood, 1984 by George Orwell, and Do Andriods Dream of Electronic Sheep by Phillip K Dick. Not to mention the influence of Slaughterhouse-5, The End of Eternity and Alice Through The Looking Glass on the Fringe Universe.
Philosophy also finds its way into the Fringe mix as it did in JJ Abram’s previous show Lost. Stuart skillfully navigates her way through the themes of Duality, Balance, Fate Vs Free Will, Creation and Destruction, Passion Vs Reason, Dopplegangers and Time Travel. Along the way Fringe has found inspiration in JJ Abram’s Star Trek, Stargate SG-1, Dr. Who, Donnie Darko and Blade Runner. Stuart weaves a rich tapestry of references to further the readers and viewers grasp of the infinite possibilties of Fringe’s intertextuality and transmedia effects.
I recommend Into The Looking Glass for any fan of Fringe. It is great addition to anyone’s library rather they are avid readers of literature or just curious about all the connections in the intelligent and interesting television show that is Fringe.