Soundtrack Month: “Fringe: Season 1” Michael Giacchino, Chris Tilton, & Chad Seiter)

Fringe was one of those sci-fi shows that almost – but not quite – wanted to laugh at itself now and then. Armed with speculative science and just enough gunplay to seem like an ordinary mystery thriller at times, it initially grew a legion of fans by being daring and borderline grotesque – and seemed to keep said legion by maintaining those same standards throughout the series’ life.

The soundtracks had very conventional composing habits presented in an edgy way. Sawed jabs of string instruments and endless layers of guitar pulses were prominent throughout, along with a healthy dose of understated but extremely effective percussion. The occasional intelligent piano flourish kept the sound from becoming too hard. If you’re writing any sort of fiction reliant on tension and momentum – espionage, noir, mystery, even horror – this should just about do the trick.