The obvious reference is the X-Files but what we’re seeing in the trailer is more like the love child of Lost and Alias. We’ve got the opening plane set piece that is a Lost throwback in some ways but more clearly rooted in X-Files style openings. We’ve got a secret Prophet Five style organization experimenting on people and a jailed key figure in it. Again late season Alias style. We’ve got a female agent on the verge who might resemble Scully in some ways but in her one note intensity is much more Sydney Bristow than the fairly human Scully.
Fringe likely shows that Abrams and Co. have learned from their mistakes in Alias when they created a senseless and convoluted mythology that went nowhere. They learned from it in Lost and they applied it to Fringe, so it’s probably safer to think of Fringe as a grown up Alias stripped of the Felicity teenage material that stuck to Alias for years and with Lost style mythology about a Pattern underlying it. The overall vibe the trailer is going for is obviously X-Files which is convenient since the X-Files had a much steadier viewership than Alias ever did and there is a new X-Files move coming out.
So what does it all add up to? We don’t see Mark Valley but the cast isn’t bad. Joshua Jackson should have been working a lot more than he has. Lead actress Anna Torv loosely resembles Cate Blanchett in looks, intonation and mannerisms so it’s not too surprising to find out that she’s Australian, especially with the Lost connection. Fringe looks faintly interesting but doesn’t really step up to the bat with any characters or plots really worth watching. It’ll have to do better than just be another X-Files clone to succeed.