More Details ‘Unearthed’ on Missing Fringe Episode


Fringe..Unearthed

As we reported last week, FOX will be airing an unseen episode of Fringe, filmed at the back-end of last season, on January 11th – that’s a Monday night. No-one outside of FOX/Warner/Bad Robot seems to know why this episode was shelved, but from what I recall there was at least an explanation as to why it was made, possibly to fill a filming quota which may have had something to do with the tax breaks they were receiving from filming in New York at the time. (if anyone knows differently, please correct me).

Meanwhile, some new information on the episode has come to light, so head past the jump to find out what’s in store. (some episode spoilers).

The episode will be titled “Unearthed” (heh!) and will feature the dearly departed Charlie Francis, which makes sense because the episode was filmed close to the season 1 finale, and Kirk Acevedo even spoke about it in back in April, revealing that the episode is a stand-alone with “a little bit of Ghost Whisperer in it”. Things obviously changed casting-wise and that may also explain why the episode never saw the light of say..until now.

SciFi Wire also have the following description for the episode:

In “Unearthed,” a teenage girl is pronounced dead; however, when her mother takes her off of life support so that her organs can be donated, the girl wakes up screaming in alphanumeric code. Talk about a rude awakening! The girl can suddenly speak Russian and possesses classified information that only a high-ranking Russian soldier would know.

Meanwhile, Walter (John Noble) finds some old lab videos that may hold the clue to the mystery, while Olivia (Anna Torv) and Peter (Joshua Jackson) investigate the girl’s shocking recovery.

So as we speculated this is indeed the trailer for the episode.

The brief episode description reads like the sequel to Earthling (or prequel, which ever way you want to look at it), and it’s interesting that the writers really wanted to get the Russian Fringe science slant in there. Perhaps Earthling wouldn’t have been made (or may have been different) had Unearthed aired?

Anyway, it’s clear that Unearthed is well and truly a stand-alone, even if we suppose events are taking place in an alternate universe where Charlie is still alive. I have no complaints this time because it’s a bonus episode and it’s probably best to treat it as such. And let’s not forget that the show has a chance to pit itself against Heroes on a Monday night. A bold move from FOX but I think Fringe can take ‘em in the ratings. If it does, I think it will stand Fringe in good stead. It certainly wouldn’t hurt!

Comments

  1. Reflection says

    I could be wrong, but I had been under the impression that they had been unable to air this episode during season 1 because FOX decided to air the premiere of Glee in the Spring, which left Fringe with one less episode. In my mind, this episode was likely supposed to air between Midnight and The Road Not Taken, so it had likely been written, but not started filming by the time they made the announcement in March that Glee would premiere early. They couldn’t cut out The Road Not Taken or There’s More Than One of Everything, and they’d probably already started filming Midnight, so it probably made the most sense to cut Unearthed. Then, after they finished filming the Finale, like you mentioned, they needed to meet a quota of episodes, so they ended up filming the extra episode anyway, and probably didn’t want to go to the trouble of completely re-writing it for season 2, so they just left it as a bonus, unaired episode from season 1.

    Like I said, that analysis could be completely wrong. I’m hoping that after the holidays, as the episode approaches, there will be some interviews or something that will explain why the episode got cut and went unaired until now.

    On another topic, I’m really crossing my fingers that Fringe will get good ratings for this Monday showing. Despite my confidence in Fringe and the fact that I believe the reason it has had lower ratings this season is completely due to the fact that it is up against the biggest competition there is, I can’t help but get nervous for this one night schedule change. I think everyone expects that it should do better because it won’t be up against so much competition and I think a lot of people see it as a bit of a test — if it does well, then it’s worth keeping for another season, but if, for example, it doesn’t beat out Heroes, then we might as well start saying goodbye now. And that just scares me. I would expect that it should easily outperform Heroes in the ratings, but I’m concerned that if it doesn’t, that would be a very bad sign for the future of the show. So here’s hoping that it lives up to expectations!

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  2. annon says

    What you said is pretty much how it went down at the end of series 1, Reflection. The pemiere was counted by Fox as two episodes and Glee took their last spot, because Fox wanted the Glee pilot to be shown behind the American Idol finale. So, they still filmed the episode purely for accounting purposes. However, there wasn’t anymore room for Fox to air it.

    At comic con in July?, the producers were asked about this unaired episode. They said it would air sometime in the second season, but at the time they had no idea when it was going to air. They also said they were going to tweak it a little, to fit in with the second season, since it was filmed at the end of season 1. However, have no idea whether they ended up doing it or not.

    While I’m glad they are going to finally air it, isn’t it going to seem really out of place when the new episodes start again, if it isn’t tweaked to adjust to this season? I just hope it doesn’t make the show look bad, with regards to character development etc, since the characters have come so much further this season, than where they were at, at the end of season 1. I guess we will have to wait and see how it turns out when aired.

    I don’t know what to think about ratings, reflection. Personally, I don’t see Fringe making a dent in the ratings against Heroes. When shows change timeslots, viewers can take a long time to catch on and this is just for one week. So, I don’t see casual viewers of Fringe following, because they probably won’t know it is on, but diehard viewers might, because they would have seen the media talking about the new extra episode on a new night. So, I hope people don’t read too much into the ratings. If Fringe can help Fox be even moderately competitive on Monday with House against the competition’s new shows, then I think Fox will be happy with Fringe’s ratings. They have their new shows, starting the following week, so really they are only using Fringe to plug a hole, while hoping to be competitive.

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    • Reflection says

      Thanks for the confirmation, annon. It’s been rather confusing to me because ever since they announced this episode, people have been asking where it came from, why wasn’t it aired before, etc., and I’ve always thought it was rather self-explanatory. Of course, you explained it all much clearer than I did, so thanks for that, too.

      I’ve come across some theories that this episode was purposely put off until now and that it’s going to be some sort of alternate reality type episode or something from the past that has some significance, etc. While I think such theories would really be fascinating and brilliant, I doubt that’s really the case. I think it’s just for the technical reasons that we’ve already mentioned and that it’s just taken this long for FOX to finally get around to showing it.

      Personally, I don’t think it’s going to make much of a difference that it’s technically from Season 1. I think that, in general, the people who are dedicated fans will be aware of the circumstances surrounding the episode and will be prepared for it to be from the past, while those who are more casual fans, probably won’t care and won’t realize what’s going on. Besides, by all accounts, it’s a stand alone episode, and people on here are frequently making comments that stand alone episodes could air at any time, in any order, and it wouldn’t even make a difference. If that’s true, it shouldn’t be a big deal. Either way, I doubt there should be too much confusion about it. Personally, I’m viewing it as if I was watching re-runs from Season 1 — only in this case, I haven’t seen the re-run yet. I think it could actually be pretty neat to see an episode from the past for the first time now that we know certain things about the show that we wouldn’t have known back in season 1. I think it will be a unique perspective and will maybe cause certain things to stand out in a way they wouldn’t have before.

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  3. February says

    I don’t know why I find this so annoying.
    I think, personally, they should have shoved it in the S1 DVD’s bonus features.
    So what is this?
    2.11?
    2.10.5?

    Arrgh this makes me

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  4. February says

    I don’t know why I find this so annoying.
    I think, personally, they should have shoved it in the S1 DVD’s bonus features.
    So what is this?
    2.11?
    2.10.5?

    Arrgh this makes me so angry and I have no idea why.

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  5. charliefan19 says

    Well, some Charlie is better than no Charlie at all. Part of me hopes that Fox planned all along to do things this way…but it’s a long shot, lol. heehee.

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  6. SLRebel says

    I really like all of the episodes of Fringe, but it was a STUPID decision to put the “Unearthed” episode on at this point in Season 2. Seeing the now-dead character “Charlie” in this episode was super confusing. In addition, I now own a Season 1 DVD package that is now INCOMPLETE without this Season 1 episode. Just a dumb decision by all involved.

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  7. Jorge says

    this was a very stupid desision, FOX should appologize by filming an extra season 2 episode. They must focalize in the many world interpretation in relation with the conflict between alternative realities. Of course they can explain that this Charlie lives in another of the many worlds :-), for example in a future episode, by transporting this Charlie to the reality we are seeing in the current episodes of the season 2. However this Unearthed episode has no trascendence for the main topic of the season 2 of the show, it should be hard to explain how this unearthed experience is related with.

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  8. fringe-junkie L says

    thanks so much for this website. i was so confused about seeing charlie alive , that i thought there was something wrong w/ my DVR.now that i understand what the hell is going on w/ the unaired episode , i really don’t give a shit where they put it ( a lost fringe is better than no fringe) it would have been nicer if they explained this at the beginning of the show. can’t wait to finish catching up…………..

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