Parallel Universe

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The alternate FRINGE universe co-exists with the familiar FRINGE universe as a central plotline in the show. Odd happenings, criminal motives, space-time anomalies and the actions of many characters are linked to both universes. The existence of the parallel universe is largely unknown to the general population of the local universe. Comparisons below are between the two FICTIONAL universes.


  • Olivia saw the parallel universe during the Cortexiphan trials (Jacksonville) at age five. She became frightened and scorched the surrounding room.
  • Olivia has the ability (The Road Not Taken) to view and cross into the parallel universe without the aid of any device. Her observations were of a bleaker version of the location she was at when she had them. Walter characterized her visions as typical protracted déjà vu. However, she was able to interact with the counterparts to Agents Francis and Broyles. She later (Over There, Part 1) states that she has no control over this ability.
  • Olivia travels to the parallel universe (There's More Than One Of Everything) while driving to New York City to meet Nina. William Bell welcomes her.
  • Olivia learns from Bell (Momentum Deferred) that of all the children he and Walter prepared, she was the strongest. He also warns of a pending inter-dimensional war. He needs her to return, and with Nina's help, find a man with a unique symbol. The shape-shifters are looking for the man too - he is the one that can open the door between universes.
  • Olivia returns from the parallel universe (A New Day In The Old Town) after Bell rings a ships' bell in his office. She is returned to her now crashed vehicle and is ejected through her windshield and onto the roadway.
  • Olivia learns from Walter (Jacksonville) that she was the first test subject with the ability to identify things from the other side. She notices that things from the alternate universe have a glimmer. She locates and evacuates a building that is starting to glimmer just before it is drawn into the parallel universe. Later, she notices a glimmer around Peter.
  • Olivia travels to the parallel universe (Over There, Part 1) with Walter, and the assistance of recovered Cortexiphan test subjects.
  • Olivia recovers Walter from a parallel universe hospital (Over There, Part 2), liberates Peter from his quarters, then is captured by their Fringe Division as she prepares to return to this universe. She is in the custody of Secretary of Defense Bishop.
  • Olivia escapes from the medical facility she is imprisoned in (Olivia) on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. Her memories are being manipulated by Secretary Bishop's staff to emulate those of their Agent Dunham, in order to gain an advantage in the war between the universes.
  • Olivia joins their Fringe team (The Plateau) with the memories of Bolivia and helps capture a drug trial test subject with incredible computational skills. She has visions of Walter and Peter that she can't explain.
  • Olivia solves the deception of twin brothers (Amber 31422) and their escape from a quarantine zone. Secretary Bishop coerces her into experimentation that may permit her to travel between universes without ill-effect. A vision of Peter guides her along the way.
  • Olivia solves the case of a kidnapper that drains children of their youthfulness to repair the aging (The Abducted). Broyles confronts her on the knowlege she retains of her true origins... then fails to take action against her, or report her to his superiors.
  • Olivia manages to escape out of the parallel universe with the help of Colonel Broyles. She uses the sensory deprivation tank of Secretary Bishop in his old lab in Harvard to get back to her universe (Entrada).
  • Olivia, as a young girl, momentarily finds herself in the parallel universe, while fleeing her abusive stepfather. She crosses-over again, panicked to see Walter, but transits into Secretary Bishop's office at Bishop Dynamic and hands him a drawing of herself and young Peter in a tulip field. (Subject 13)


  • Walter destroys his device that views the parallel universe (Peter), then travels there through the soft spot at Reiden Lake in 1985. Once there, he deceives Elizabeth Bishop and abducts the ailing Peter Bishop. He returns from the parallel universe and collapses into the frozen lake with young Peter, where he is quickly rescued by the Observer.
  • Walter tells a fictional tale to Ella (Brown Betty) where Nina communicates with William Bell in the parallel universe using a viewing device.
  • Walter travels to the parallel universe (Over There, Part 1) with Olivia, and the assistance of recovered Cortexiphan test subjects. He is shot during a Fringe Division ambush in Central Park, escapes and then collapses at a nearby hospital.
  • Walter recovers at a parallel universe hospital (Over There, Part 2). He is liberated from the hospital by Olivia and William Bell as the Fringe Division looks for him. With help from Bell, he returns from the alternate universe with Peter and Bolivia Dunham.


  • Peter has an uncomfortable dream (Dream Logic) of his childhood in the parallel universe. He is in bed late at night, wakes and greets dad, then screams when he is snatched from his bed.
  • Peter appears to Olivia to have a parallel universe glimmer (Jacksonville), after she resumed taking Cortexiphan.
  • Peter, born in 1978 in the parallel universe, was abducted (Peter) in 1985, and brought back to this universe through a portal established at Reiden lake by Walter.
  • Peter almost died from his childhood illness (Peter) in the alternate universe because The Observer distracted his father during a critical phase in the laboratory during testing.
  • Peter is not affected by the damaging harmonic vibrations (The Man From The Other Side) caused when Thomas Newton pulls a bridge over from the parallel universe. Peter seriously suspects that he himself is from the alternate universe. Walter confirms the fact when Peter challenges him.
  • Peter meets (Northwest Passage) his [[birth father from the parallel universe after Thomas Newton bursts into his hotel room with a pistol drawn.
  • Peter agrees to return to the parallel universe with his father (Over There, Part 1), unaware that an Observer had warned Walter years earlier that Peter cannot be allowed to return to his universe. After a few days of recovering from his return to the parallel universe, Peter joins his mother and gets reacquainted. He also begins to review a schematic his father had left with her.
  • Peter visits his father (Over There, Part 2) at the office. He is given a non-functioning component (power supply) to try to repair. He meets Olivia's counterpart and she takes him to a nearby apartment where he can stay and work. He deduces that the power supply is a symbiotic device which will connect only to him. The deduction is supported by the parts' ability to adhere to his skin. When Olivia provides him with the Observer sketch, indicating the destructive purpose of the device, he agrees to leave his home universe and return to hers.
  • Peter testifies to Senator Van Horn (Olivia) that his birth father enticed him to go to the alternate universe to help repair the damage there, but that his real motive was to get Peter to help destroy this universe.
  • Six months after his abduction by Walter, young Peter attempts to return to his universe by smashing the ice on a thawing Reiden Lake and jumping in. He believes he was stolen from - the other world at the bottom of the lake. (Subject 13)


  • Nina is shot (The Road Not Taken) and robbed (There's More Than One Of Everything) of the powerful energy cell in her robotic arm by David Jones so he can generate a portal to the parallel universe.
  • Nina claims to have arranged a meeting (There's More Than One Of Everything) for Olivia with William Bell in New York City. In fact, Nina sent Olivia to New York City so Bell could extract her from her vehicle into the parallel universe.
  • Nina uses an 1980's-era style computer terminal (Of Human Action) to correspond with Bell in the parallel universe.
  • According to Walter's recollection of 1985 (Peter), Nina was fully aware of the parallel universe and the potential consequences of opening a portal between the two universes. While attempting to stop Walter from travelling to the parallel universe to save the remaining young Peter, the portal closes on Nina's right arm and it becomes a ghostly, out-of-phase version of its former state.

  Communication & Travel Between Universes

  • Nina Sharp uses an 1980's-era computer terminal in her office to send a message to William Bell. (Of Human Action).
  • The Shape-shifters use a special Selectric 251 typewriter & mirror in the backroom of an office equipment store to communicate with, and receive instructions from, their command structure in the alternate universe (A New Day In The Old Town) (Night Of Desirable Objects)). Bolivia uses the same method to communicate with the parallel universe (Over There, Part 2), (The Box), (6955 kHz). In Entrada, Peter discovers the antique shop where the quantum entangled telegraph is kept hidden.
  • William Bell tells Olivia that he pulled her from a moving vehicle to bring her to the parallel universe (Momentum Deferred). Olivia is returned to her car (A New Day In The Old Town), and universe, at the scene of the accident her vehicle had when she was taken from it (There's More Than One Of Everything).
  • After the death of young Peter in 1985, Walter builds a device to allow him to travel to the parallel universe and retrieve the alternate universe version of his son. The device is used on the frozen surface of Reiden Lake. In the same episode (Peter), it is shown that Walter invented an imaging device to see into the other universe.
  • Walter explains that three harmonic rods (The Man From The Other Side) arranged in an equilateral triangle need to be set up around an object to successfully sent over to the parallel universe. This technique was used by Walter Bishop and William Bell to send over the car as well as Newton sending the building from the parallel universe. Newton, however, failed to deliver the building in perfect condition. This is because the building landed in an occupied location. Later, Newton brings over the bridge from the parallel universe and Mister Secretary successfully crosses over. A similar method is used by Bolivia to go back to her universe (Entrada). Shapeshifter Luke implants Bolivia three harmonic rods to her body. As a consequence to Bolivia's travel back to her universe, a maimed body of Colonel Broyles take her position at the back of the van in this universe.
  • Three shapeshifters in embryonic form are sent over from the other side by Mister Secretary through an unknown means. (The Man From The Other Side)
  • On motel surveillance camera (Northwest Passage) footage, Peter agrees to cross over to the parallel universe with Secretary Bishop. A flash of light is seen afterwards. (Over There, Part 1)
  • The collective psychic energy of Cortexiphan test subjects (Over There, Part 1) allows Walter Bishop, Olivia Dunham, Nick Lane, James Heath and Sally Clark to cross in to the parallel universe..
  • The crack between two universes created at the opera house (Over There, Part 2) was utilized to allow Peter Bishop, Walter Bishop and Bolivia to cross back over. A doorstop was needed, and William Bell's atoms were used to maintain the portal long enough for them to cross back.
  • The Orpheum Opera House (Olivia) was quarantined with amber after William Bell sent Peter Bishop, Walter Bishop and Bolivia Dunham through the portal between universes he created there.
  • Olivia use the sensory-deprivation tank for brief visits back to her universe. In one trip (Amber 31422) she startled a young boy and his mother. In a second trip she called her niece. On a third visit (The Abducted) she asked a member of the cleaning crew to contact Peter. All visits were to the comparable space (Gift Shop) in this universe - on Liberty Island. Olivia finally comes back to this universe using the sensory deprivation tank of Secretary Bishop in his old lab in Harvard (Entrada).

Comparisons To This Universe

  Governmental Differences

  • Some US silver dollar coins have the profile of Richard Nixon.
  • A US twenty-dollar bill has the profile of Martin Luther King, Junior (nicknamed Juniors).
  • A US twenty-dollar bill with the profile of Andrew Jackson is not recognized as valid currency by Fringe Division team members. The team members did not recognize Jackson's name.
  • US paper currency has a number code, not an alpha-numeric code.
  • The FBI ceased to exist more than a decade before 2010.
  • US Department of Defense Headquarters is located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor.
  • Three major political parties exist in the United States.
  • Former President John F. Kennedy is planning to resign as U.N. Ambassador in order to lead a new agency aimed at slowing ecological breakdown.
A map in the Secretary of Defense's office is labeled Department of Defense. It is not evident that the map is a complete representation of United States internal and external borders, or simply a map of Department of Defense jurisdictional boundaries.
- Texas is divided into two states, North Texas and South Texas.
- North Dakota and South Dakota are combined into one state, Dakota.
- Oklahoma and Kansas are combined into one state, Midland.
- North and South Carolina are combined into one state, Carolina.
- Washington is known as Southern British Columbia.
- Michigan is smaller, missing it's northern portion, the Upper Peninsula.
- Virginia and West Virginia are not states. They are combined into a district, the District of Virginia.
- Louisiana is a territory and not a state. It is known as Louisiana Territory.
- The State of Nevada does not exist. Independent Nevada replaces it.
- The tiny District of Columbia is not represented on the large, generic map.

  Differences in Transportation

  • Government ID is required to use public transportation in New York City.
  • Helicopters flown by autopilot carry passengers.
  • Daily flights to the moon are available to the public.
  • Double-decker cars were common.
  • Dirigible airships are used for transportation.

  Differences in Technology

  • Burn victims can be healed with nanotechnology.
  • Human-machine hybrids can morph into any human shape.
  • Scanners can detect inter-dimensional breaches.
  • Medical equipment can control individual temporal acclimation.
  • Accelerated healing techniques are available in hospitals.
  • Accelerated gestation technology can grow a first trimester (human) fetus to full-term in less than a day.
  • Adrenaline activated B-cell lymphocytes were used to implant false memories.
  • Digital technology has eliminated the need for the majority of writing utensils.
  • Compact cellular phones existed as early as 1985.
  • Mobile communication is possible via a small, clip-on device known as an ear cuff.
  • The US space program (circa 1986) had deployed a strategic defense network, and has a presence near Jacksonville, Florida.

  Differences in Environment

  • Rainbow is not seen in over twenty years due to changes in the atmosphere.
  • A blight has signifcantly damaged vegetation: Coffee is subject to rationing. Avocados are expensive. Both seem difficult to acquire.
  • The smallpox virus has not been eliminated and still spreads among human society.
  • The White House was destroyed in September 11th attack. It is in renovation and has a glass roof.
  • The Western boundary of California is significantly farther South and East. The missing coastal region may belong to another nation, or plate tectonics failed to develop the area over time.
  • Sheep went extinct in 2001.
Metropolitan New York thumb|right|180px|The "Manhatan" Skyline
- The twin World Trade Center towers are intact.
- The "Grand Hotel", by Antoni Gaudi, sits on the site for which it was designed over a hundred years ago.
- The Transamerica Pyramid is located, or duplicated, in New York.
- The Statue of Liberty is copper colored without patina.
- The "Nixon Parkway" serves the area.
- Madison Square Garden was quarantined in 1999 by Fringe Division after an unstable wormhole in the area would not close. The 10,000 people trapped inside have been declared legally dead.
Many large areas of the United States have been quarantined, according to the map in Secretary Bishop's office, including
- South New Jersey
- Coastal Maine
- Northwest New Mexico
- Western New York
- Boston Metropolitan Area
  • Smaller areas are quarantined throughout the US, many along/near the East Coast.
  • New York City, Brooklyn and Southern Long Island faced additional quarantine after Walter and Olivia arrived to recover Peter.
  • Secretary Bishop's Lab in the Kresge Building, on the Longwood Campus of Harvard University, is affected by the Boston quarantine and is partially covered in amber aerosol to neutralize the impact. A warning sign outside of the building indicates that particular campus was relocated to Medford. Medford is 7 miles NNW of the Longwood Campus and clear of the quarantine zone.

  Societal Differences

  • Doctors running human drug trials are required to return the subjects to their previous state when testing is completed.
  • Government-issued identification cards are referred to as a "Show Me".
  • New York City's downtown borough is spelled "Manhatan."
  • The United States Postal Service is named U.S. Mail Service, and carries a different logo.
  • Shell Oil and Exxon merged to form ShExxon (vice Exxon and Mobil becoming ExxonMobil).
  • 7-1-1 - can be dialed to report inter-dimensional/trans-universe anomalies.

  Trivial Differences

  • The Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping did not happen, or was not a well-known event.
  • The North American major league baseball team Dodgers are based in Brooklyn.
  • The North American major league baseball team Expos did not dissolve into the "Washingtom Nationals" in 2004.
  • The theatrical production Dogs is advertised (vice Cats).
  • Cabbage Patch Dolls are popular.
  • Len Bias is alive and has won an NBA Most Valuable Player Award.
  • Back to the Future features Eric Stoltz.
  • Superman vs. Batman and Indiana Jones & The Hex Of The Hydra are in theaters.
  • The West Wing continues into its 12th season.
  • DC comics characters Green Lantern and Green Arrow are known as Red Lantern and Red Arrow.
  • Cary Grant, not Humphrey Bogart, is credited with the famous line "The stuff that dreams are made of."
  • Red Vines licorice candy is considered new in 2010.
  • Peanut M&Ms do not exist, or at least did not exist in 1985.
  • Taxi Driver was directed by Francis Ford Coppola rather than Martin Scorcese.
  • Berkeley Breathed's comic strip character, Opus, is a peahen rather than a male penguin.