September's Notebook - Review

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September's Notebook - Review

Postby DarthLocke on Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:48 pm

SEPTEMBER'S NOTEBOOK

THE BISHOP PARADOX


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Packed with concept art, exclusive photos, and intriguing ephemera, September’s Notebook will satisfy every serious fan’s hunger for details about the Observers, quirks and little-known facts about each character, insight into Fringe Science, and much more. “Easter eggs” throughout build on the many symbols and codes woven into the show’s fabric, uncovering truths never before revealed.

With its layered storytelling, well-rendered characters, and complex overarching narrative, Fringe is the ideal show around which to publish, and Fringe: September’s Notebook provides a totally immersive reading experience.



Like SO many fans I eagerly looked forward to September's Notebook, especially since I knew it was written by Tara Bennett and Paul Terry, who's LOST Encyclopedia (and various issues of LOST magazine they have edited for) sits among and is a favorite of my Bad Robot collection.


What's SO fantastic about it is that is more than an encyclopedia. -It's a prop apart of the
cannon within and of itself that is treated almost like a pop-up books for adults and/or serious fans, which then further goes out of it's way to show us the series through the eyes of one of the most mythological and emotionally important aspects of the show, the Observer we once called September.

When we open the front and back covers we are given the glyph-letter alphebet! The pages are
thick, crisp, and glossy making the inner pages of the book seem like it will be durable. The hard cover however, doesn't seem that hard and looks like the book will need to be kept in a safe place.

There are little things to be discovered everywhere! From manilla envelopes with Blue Universe DOD documents
on Shapeshifters and First People, to flip-up case file notices for each Fringe case, being able to see more up close memorabilia of old photographs serving as family and friends photos (some seemingly supplied by John Noble), to hidden posters featuring Observer propaganda from 2036, to Walter's envelope (who's White Tulip is intentionally missing), to blue post it notes with September's thoughts on events, all make September's Notebook a fun nostalgic piece of memorabilia that fans can treasure and refer to many years from now when the show is really long gone.

It has a lovely preface with a letter to fans "The Fringe Faithful" from showrunners Jeff Pinkner and Joel H. Wyman (who helped contribute and over saw the project). It has photographs of some scenes and props that we only could see for maybe a few seconds when they appeared on the show, preliminary sketches, and and a really nice section featuring Peter and the Machine.

The book is also set up in official document kind of style with sections divided up like tabs of folders and printed paper clips on printed photos giving the feel of something efficient and well documented, which clearly goes well with the shows Government Fringe cases and the way in which the Observers come to behave and operate, -something very corporate, but like September or even August, not
without sentiment.


On the downside I was a little disappointed, as the product description seemed to indicate new truths being revealed. I had hoped that maybe there were things that the writers didn't have time for or felt inappropriate to include in the show's final season that might have found their way here to either further the story and/or the mythology, since their are some lingering questions and/or things fans can surely argue about when dealing with any kind of people in a Hugh Everett and Sir Roger Penrose multiple universe and some of the technology shown through out the series, but alas there is very little.

One thing it did further on was The Other 11 Observers. For two Observers seen in the show, we get to put names to faces, as January and March make appearances in seasons 3 & 4. Additionally it lets us know which of the other 11 September knew and crossed paths with, but also let us know that September was aware of each of their assignments and interestingly a few were assigned to other Fringe characters, such as April being assigned to William Bell!

I would have also enjoyed a little more on 2036, why they needed to invade (what was the goal by oppressing humanity at this time in this timeline?), and I would have liked more on September's thoughts on Henrietta (where was she before she was adopted?), but considering that Joel H. Wyman has his plate full with writing the last 13 episodes (and an up and coming "Human" Pilot), I can see how it might have been hard for him to make time to over-elaborate in adding more information to this lovely book.

Additionally the opening statement from September also suggests that this is NOT ALL September had collected and seen, leaving the door open for us to consider more and not be confined to this one Notebook.

On the whole September's Notebook is a great guide and collector's item to have, as just like the white tulip that aspires to give hope, faith, and forgiveness and continues to transcend through space and time, this notebook is proof of life living, and the ability to be moved by those around us to try and become better people, -just like that of the characters we loved observing in this deeply emotional TV show, will never be forgotten.


P.S.
If your like me and are looking for a little more story, be on the look out for a prequel series by Christa Faust!
Each novel takes place before the events of season one (featuring the lives of those in the blue season one universe) with "The Zodiac Paradox" featuring Walter Bishop and William Bell in the 1970's, "The Burning Man" featuring a teenage Olivia Dunham in the 1990's, and an untitled third novel featuring Peter Bishop and his business ventures before he joined the Fringe Division. The first novel is being released on May 7th! (The same day as the season 5/whole series set becomes available on DVD & Blu-ray!)

UPDATE: The Third Novel is now titled and has a release date available for pre-order over at Amazon.com. It's titled, "Sin of the Father" and is released October 15th!
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Yet for all their evolution, they form no bonds.
Love does not exist for them. They are incapable of dreaming,
Of contemplating beauty, Of knowing something greater than themselves.
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