Is it true that sci-fi shows are generally snubbed by the Emmys? Is that why shows like ‘Glee,’ ‘Mad Men,’ and ‘Dexter‘ are leading the 2010 Emmy nominations?

John Noble as Walter Bishop on FringeI don’t know if that’s necessarily the case, though, because ‘Lost‘ and ‘True Blood‘ have plenty of nominations, and they’re certainly not straightforward dramas. Watch the show tonight, 8PM ET/5PM PT on NBC.

At any rate, I’m really sad that ‘Fringe’ and John Noble, who plays kooky scientist Walter Bishop, were snubbed by this year’s Emmys. Noble received no Emmy noms, and ‘Fringe’ received only one — for sound editing. Last year, their only nomination was for special visual effects. Even Entertainment Weekly readers chose ‘Fringe’ for Best Drama this year.

Come on, people. John Noble has done some outstanding work on ‘Fringe‘ this year, and while I know he’s not the kind of guy who needs accolades, he really deserves some recognition. I’ve loved his portrayal of Walter Bishop since ‘Fringe’ premiered in 2008, but he really raised the bar during season two.

‘The Man From the Other Side’ included a heartbreaking scene where Peter told Walter that he knew he wasn’t his son, that Walter had stolen him from the other universe, and that it was a horrible betrayal that Walter had kept from him. You could just see the panic on Noble’s face as Peter’s words pierced his heart. And my heart broke for Walter.

But as we know, “there’s more than one of everything” on ‘Fringe,’ and when we finally met Walternate, his alter-ego in the other universe, we met a completely different Walter. The Walter we’d come to know and love was scattered and timid, possessing a childlike curiosity of even the smallest things in his world. He also loved root beer floats, onion soup and Red Vines.

In contrast, Walternate was stern, cold, calculating and … tall. Yes, even his body seemed completely different. Our Walter was fluttery and crumpled, probably from having spent 17 years in a mental institution. Walternate, on the other hand, was smooth, well-spoken and carried himself tall and confidently. When he looked at Peter, he didn’t see the son he’d lost earlier in life. He saw a doorway into the other universe.

Of course, ‘Fringe’ isn’t Noble’s first time at the rodeo. The veteran actor has been working in film and theater since the 1970s, but only came into my being as Denethor in the ‘Lord of the Rings‘ trilogy. His portrayal of the steward of Gondor brought an emotional pathos to the character that forever secured his place in the annuls of Tolkien history.

The scene where Denethor feasts on meat and other juicy tidbits as Pippin sadly sings for him is what filmmaking is all about. Noble’s work in the extended scenes, like this one with David Wenham (Faramir), are master classes unto themselves.

There aren’t many embeddable videos of Walter, but I’ve compiled a couple below. Also, check out this one on YouTube; it’s one of my favorites of Walter dancing to quell the fears of the mysterious child on ‘Inner Child’ (S01E15). And here’s one where Walter calls Darwin a moron.

Season 2, Episode 20 – ‘Brown Betty.’ What Walter just smoked isn’t your basic run-of-the-mill marijuana. It’s super-nova pot that he calls Brown Betty.

And because he doesn’t take anything too seriously, here’s ‘Deep in the Lab’ by Dr. Walter Bishop. The real question is whether to wet the toothbrush before or after application of the paste. Is there a right or wrong answer? If there is, I’m sure Walter will figure it out.

Who’s with me on this? Shouldn’t ‘Fringe’ and/or John Noble have been nominated for an Emmy this year?


  1. […] Why Were Fringe and John Noble Snubbed By the 2010 Emmys ? Is it true that sci-fi shows are generally snubbed by the Emmys? Is that why shows like ‘Glee,’ ‘Mad Men,’ and ‘Dexter’ are leading the 2010 Emmy nominations ? I don’t know if that’s necessarily the case, though, because ‘Lost’ and.Next Page […]

  2. Agreed, Jane. One of the best actors on one of the best/most interesting/surprising shows on TV. At least we have another season coming soon. I remember when Fringe was kinda sorta on the bubble some months ago …


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