At the Comic-Con "preview night" in San Diego Wednesday, J.J. Abrams made a a pre-taped appearance to introduce the 81 minute and 30 second long pilot of Fringe, the new Fox series scheduled to air on Tuesdays, starting Sept. 9. Abrams joked that it may have been 30 seconds too long, but for some of the few hundred people present, it may have been too long by more than just that half a minute. After the opening sequence, in which a man on an international flight infects all the passengers with some sort of grisly, flesh-eating plague that leaves behind only their skeletal remains when the plane lands on autopilot at Boston’s Logan Airport, the audience was mostly subdued, with the exception of an "Okay" here and a "That was bizarre" there. The plot is a lot to take in: FBI Special Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) is assigned to investigate the matter, relying on two people — a man (John Noble) who’s been institutionalized for the last 20 years, and his son (Joshua Jackson) — to help her navigate this mysterious "fringe science." She subsequently finds out that the agent (Mark Valley) she is in love with may not be who she thought he was.
Stay tuned for Lynette Rice’s coverage of a Q&A panel with Abrams, Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman on Saturday.