William Bell

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Profession:  Scientist, Founder - Massive Dynamic Portrayed by:
Leonard Nimoy
Also Known As:  Belly, Willam, Doctor Simon Paris (alias)
Connections:  Walter Bishop - former lab partner. Nina Sharp - Confidante.
Seen In:  9 of 100 episodes
Status:  Unknown
Remarks:  His Last Will And Testament Was Read To Nina And Walter
Alternate Version    



Doctor William Bell is the former lab partner of Walter Bishop and founder of Massive Dynamic.

With his company's total wealth in excess of $50 billion, he is considered one of the wealthiest men in the world. Evidently, he also possesses great technical knowledge and expertise; Nina Sharp says her fully functional robotic arm was built by Bell himself. Since Bell shared a laboratory with Walter Bishop, it is likely he also has an in-depth knowledge of Fringe Science. Walter himself states that Bell was the only other person who really knew what their experiments were about.

Nina revealed to Olivia in Ability that Bell theorized the human mind, at birth, was infinitely capable. That every force it encounters; social, physical, intellectual... is the beginning of the diminishing of that potential. Bell's development of Cortexiphan in 1981 was meant to reduce, or negate that process, and prevent the natural shrinking of brain power. After Bell's allegedly harmless testing on children, he abandoned his research on Cortexiphan in 1983. One of the experimental subject for this drug is Olivia Dunham. A decade-old video cassette tape is seen in Bad Dreams, where the voice of William Bell and Walter Bishop are heard.

William Bell also been suspected to be involved with the ZFT. In a taped video confession in the episode Midnight, Dr. Nicholas Boone revealed the the founder of Massive Dynamic is the same man who funds the ZFT. Another member of ZFT, David Robert Jones showed an interest of meeting with William Bell (There's More Than One Of Everything).

Dr. Walter Bishop vehemently defends Bell in The Road Not Taken, reminding everyone that Bell was many things; ambitious, egotistical and temperamental - but that he wasn't a madman. Nina defends him as well to Broyles - William Bell is not a terrorist, and is not the enemy.

After a long search and wait, Olivia Dunham met him in There's More Than One Of Everything. She is pulled into the parallel universe and greeted by William Bell. Olivia discovers that she is near the 100th floor of the World Trade Center. In Momentum Deferred, the conversation between Olivia and William is revealed. He briefed Olivia on the state of affairs between universes, and warned of the infiltration of the First Wave in her universe. She is then send back to her universe, ejected through the driver's side of the windshield and soars thirty feet down the pavement (A New Day In The Old Town). The Shape Changer is tasked to retrieve details of Olivia's meeting with William Bell (A New Day In The Old Town, Night Of Desirable Objects). In attempt to remember the details of the meeting, he was briefly envisioned by Olivia in Fracture during a bout of severe nausea.

In a flashback sequence at the end of episode Grey Matters, it was revealed that William Bell uses a different name - Dr. Simon Paris. He appears to be the chief culprit behind the institutionalization, and mental deteriorization, of Walter Bishop. In a later episode (Over There, Part 2), William Bell reminded Walter Bishop that it was his decision to let him take out parts of his brain.

Nina Sharp is able to send messages to William Bell (Of Human Action, Over There, Part 1). However, William Bell never reply back to Nina's messages. He explains in Over There, Part 2 that the Fringe Division of the alternate universe has a way to monitor all communication networks and possibly this is the reason why he never answer Nina's messages. In a fictional tale of Walter (Brown Betty), William Bell is communicating with Nina Sharp in a viewing device.

In attempt to save Peter (Over There, Part 1), Olivia was to meet Bell at Grayshot Bridge, in Central Park, in the alternate universe. He failed to show up on time and later met with Olivia outside of Bolivia's house. Bell joined Olivia and recovered Walter from the hospital Over There, Part 2. He admitted that he helped Secretary Bishop in creating the shape-shifters and the Pulse weapons used by the Fringe Division. He tells Walter that he did not establish a Massive Dynamic in the alternate universe and that his counterpart died in a car accident when he was young. Despite being influential and having a tie to Secretary Bishop he is not recognized by Bolivia and Lincoln Lee. Later, he sacrifices himself to keep the door open long enough for Peter, Bolivia, and Walter to cross to the other side.

In accordance to his Last Will and Testament (The Box), Nina Sharp receives an envelope and a bell, as a remembrance of their time in Tuscany. Walter receives a note, saying DON'T BE AFRAID TO CROSS THE LINE and the ownership of Massive Dynamic.


  • Chairman and CEO of Massive Dynamic. Since founding Massive Dynamic in 1992, William Bell has played a key role in every aspect of the business, from R&D to marketing. His personal vision continues to guide the firm's progress, and his ongoing research constantly yields new innovations and product lines. A seven-time honoree in Business Leaders Journal's list of "America's Most Inspiring Corporate Leaders," Dr. Bell is also a Fellow of the National Scientific Progress Council and the only two-time recipient of the Macro Genius Award.


  • He draws Olivia to his alternate universe office to brief her on the coming war (There's More Than One Of Everything).
  • He appears in Olivia's vision (Fracture).
  • He reveals the full gravity of the coming war to Olivia (Momentum Deferred).
  • As Doctor Simon Paris, he prepares to remove portions of Walter's brain (Grey Matters).
  • In a fictional story by Walter, his distorted image is visible in a viewing device (Brown Betty).
  • He locates Olivia (Over There, Part 1) outside of Bolivia's apartment.
  • He utilizes his molecular energy to send Walter, Peter and Bolivia to this universe (Over There, Part 2).


  • "I've been waiting quite a long time for this." - (to Olivia, on his initial meeting with her as an adult)


  • Actor Leonard Nimoy's voice was heard (Bad Dreams) on an old VHS tape before his first appearance on the show, but he was not credited.
  • Bell has been depicted in the Fringe Comics, as an understudy of Walter Bishop initially, and then as his lab partner in later issues.

—   Plot Relevant Questions   — Address theories about questions on William Bell/Theories   Ask minor questions on the Talk Page  

 1) Do not answer the questions here.
 2) Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.

  • Did he author the ZFT manuscript in our universe?
  • How did he travel to the alternate universe?
  • Why did he use an alias to operate on Walter Bishop?
  • Did "Reduced Air Quality" (The Plateau) force William Bell to don an oxygen mask when he brought Olivia to his office to brief her on the task at hand?