Saturday, April 07, 2012

Don't ring that bell!

This is mostly a post for Gregory, who isn't watching Fringe yet.

In the last few weeks, I've become hooked on another sci-fi TV show, Fringe. It was Vicky's fault. We had finished Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones and were looking for something new to amuse and distract us. I started watching it after she went home to Vancouver and she's been too busy to tag along.

But I'm really enjoying its wackyness, particularly the character played by John Noble, the wild and funny Walter Bishop, mad scientist, destroyer of worlds and pizza-pop addict.

The show is kind of the new X-Files, with a love interest for the girls, including a handsome Canadian actor, and even a special appearance by Leonard Nimoy as... well, another mad scientist. It's great fun, and there are all sorts of interesting literary references. The first season was a bit of a slog, to be honest, but things really picked up later. Now we've got a war between dimensions, an ancient doomsday device, mysterious enigmatic guys in dark suits "observing" and Walter's cow.

I've been trying to convince Gregory to get off Mad Men (a wicked and degenerate programme that will rot his soul) and get into Fringe, so I can have someone to discuss the plot with.

To that end, and knowing what a Narnia fanatic Greg is, I thought I would post this:

[Spoiler Alert! If you're only on Season 1 or 2, go no further]

in the episode "Os" Walter has been trying to figure out how his former lab partner, the multi-billionaire genius William Bell, founder of Massive Dynamic, would have healed the interdimensional chaos that Walter started when he opened the door to the other universe and kidnapped the other Peter Bishop as a boy in order to save him from an unspecified genetic illness. When William Bell died, he left Nina Sharpe, his true love and the director of Massive Dynamic, one significant gift as a memento. A bell.

Walter has just burst into Nina's office, announcing that he has figured out how to get William back from the dead (or from the disintegration of his atoms that happened when he gave his electromagnetic energy to save Olivia, Peter and Walter when the three of them were trapped in the other universe... not sure it's the same thing...). He grabs the bell and the little hammer William gave Nina, and...


Why? The Bell and the Hammer are an ancient memory, an archetype. There was an identical bell in the dead city of Charn, in the Hall of Images. It's a test. A trap.

Digory Kirke also found himself in another world, and was taken with the exact same urge to ring the magic bell, to see what would happen. Even though he knew it was probably dangerous.
Make your choice adventurous Stranger; 
Strike the bell and bide the danger, 
Or wonder, till it drives you mad, 
What would have happened if you had.

It's the same urge his wicked Uncle Andrew has to find out what happens when you send guinea pigs to the Wood Between the Worlds. And it's a test. You are faced with the choice, to be driven by your own passions, to ring the bell and take the risk of hurting others... of destroying a whole world.

I know that Gregory knows those books as well as I do. As soon as I saw Walter grabbing the bell and hammer, it set off all my Narnia-trained alarms. Ring the bell and risk loosing the Deplorable Word.

As we who have read the right sort of books know, a bell and a hammer are dangerous; magic stuff is dangerous. What happens when you ring the magic bell?

Nothing good.

I do so love it when TV people read the same books as me.



Martial Artist said...

Dear Miss White,

It is gratifying to me to know that you are posting again, and that the praryers of many of us for your healing have been answered. On the threshold of this year's Easter Vigil, I pray that our Lord will bless you in ways you that you may not have foreseen, and give thanks that He has already blessed you in a number of ways which are apparent from your recent comments.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

Gregory said...

Mad Men is no more likely to corrupt my belief in the virtues of charity and chastity than Fringe is likely to corrupt my belief in the uniqueness of God's creation and His provident action therein. Sadly, I don't have much time for either one right now, but I'll put Fringe on my list.

Anonymous said...

Of course you watch Fringe. And have internalized Lewis.

I love this blog.


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