Celebrate five years with one last gesture: Introducing The “Ambergrams”

So here we are, drawing either too quickly or not quickly enough (depending on which second you ask) towards the beginning of the end.

What an incredible ride it’s been.

Thinking back on my own experiences over the last few years, just trying to figure out how to express how proud I am of Fringe and its mighty fandom, I’m all goosebumpy again. We’ve done so many amazing things. We searched for Peter Bishop in every corner of the globe. We defied security and raised our White Tulips at Comic Con. We created our own awards when the show wasn’t receiving the official recognition we felt it deserved. We made fan videos, and hashtag campaigns, and a Twitter bot, and most importantly, friends. So many good friends we had our own convention, and those who couldn’t make it were with us in spirit.

Fringe started out as “just” a great show. We watched every week, chatting excitedly in a hundred separate communities about each episode. But then ratings began to decline, and when they did there were uneasy mutterings. As the numbers continued to fall, the muttering turned into a rumbling, like thunder heard from the universe next door. The sound grew louder, the ripples got wider, the voices rose and merged until they felt a lot like this:

Only it wasn’t “the voice of Yes; the voice of White; the voice of Always,” it was the voice of NO; the voice of Not this time; the voice of Not our show

So we fought. We rallied and tweeted and posted and improvised and surprised ourselves with what we turned out to be capable of. We drew a map that others are now following, carving brand new pathways out of the dusty old stone of traditional sampling methods. And we won. We’ve won that rarest of gifts, a real and thoughtful ending to the story we love so much. So many shows don’t get that. Most of them don’t.

My greatest hope is that maybe we’ve begun to change that. Maybe the doors we opened will stay ajar, and networks will work a little harder to find new ways of tracking viewership. It would be a noble legacy, and Fringe deserves nothing less. But legacy or no, the thing I’m proudest of is that single unified voice, because in a way it did turn out to be the voice of Yes. It was thousands of voices raised into a single harmonic blast of hope that’s still reverberating off the walls of the internet.

I’m so proud of that. So very proud of us.²

I’m doing that florid thing again, but I won’t apologize because you guys know; it’s Fringe. I will get to the point however, because believe it or not there is one beyond “Fringies and Fringe are awesome!!!”

Ari if you’re reading, you should stop now. These are not the fans you’re looking for. Move along. ;p


The point of this overly emotional recap is that we have one final ³ spectacular mission for you. We’ve set the bar incredibly high, but Fringe and its creators deserve nothing less from us than one last grand gesture. We’re going out in a blaze of glory, completing our journey into the history books in a manner befitting our fandom and our show. And if you missed the Blue Moon Awards, you really want to get in on this.

We’re doing it again. Not awards exactly, more like parting gifts. Only this time, we want to send every single person involved in the making of Fringe home with something tangible to hold onto, to remind them that once, they worked on a hell of a show, and the work they did changed the lives of millions of people.

Introducing, Operation Ambergram (working title I just now made up). It goes like this:

Once again the major players will be receiving “award” style thank you gifts. These will be an engraved slab of “amber” (not really, but it it looks very like it. Turns out real amber is expensive, which makes sense I guess ’cause it’s millions of years old.) Engraved on the slabs will be the white tulip symbol and a message of thanks, something like this:

However this time, every current crew member, and as many past crew members as we can find, will also be receiving a small gift. We’re not sure yet what that’ll be – we need to get a couple of different product quotes first – but each one will be accompanied by a card thanking them for everything they’ve given us over the last five years.

We still have some stuff to figure out. We need quotes, and a crowdsourced funding solution, and we need to figure out what exactly will be engraved on the slabs, and printed on the cards. But we wanted to get the word out now because we’re on a tight timeline here – we want to have them delivered before filming ends (don’tthinkaboutitdon’tthinkaboutit) in November and everyone scatters to the four winds.

Our current list of “amber” recipients includes:

Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Anna Torv, Jasika Nicole, Blair Brown, Lance Reddick, Seth Gabel, Georgina Haig, Joel Wyman, Jeff Pinkner, Ari Margolis, Michael Cerveris, Chris Tilton, Kirk Acevedo, Akiva Goldsman, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, J.J. Abrams, Leonard Nimoy, and Bart Montgomery.

It may seem odd at first to use amber as a medium for our final gift given its context in the show. We looked at lots of different ideas for this project, and settled on amber for a few different reasons:

  • Things trapped in Amber will always remain as they are, never fading – like our memories of Fringe and these wonderful years we’ve spent together.
  • Amber has a long history of use in many cultures for it’s reputed healing properties. It also appears in a number or myths as the hardened tears of various gods. We’ll all have tears, and need some healing come January.
  • The ancient Greeks noticed that amber attracted small objects when rubbed with fur. Both electron and electricity are derived from the Latin ēlectrum, which in turn came from the Greek word for amber, ήλεκτρον (ēlektron).
  • And my personal favorite: between the two of them, the white tulip and the amber have become symbols of Fringe’s greatest hope and its greatest despair. Combining the two is an elegant reminder that even after the show’s final episode, it’s always up to us to choose which we believe in. Fringe taught us that.

That’s the gist of it. We’ll keep you updated with more information as we get it, and we’ll try and have donations open by the end of the week. We’ll be brainstorming on what these things should say and probably be putting up a poll or two, so watch this space. We’ll most likely be accepting letters and artwork again if you guys want to send them, although @runpaceyrun is currently in Vancouver collecting some of those things already, and I know of at least one other group doing the same. As with the BMA’s, any leftover funds will go to charity; we have a few candidates we’re discussing, including support of the arts (Josh’s preference), Autism (because the BMA donation was teeny), and Alzheimer’s research (because of the whole memory theme, and its heartbreakingly accurate depiction in And Those We’ve Left Behind). If we raise enough we might split the difference, so be as generous as you can. As always, we welcome comments or questions, just poke a Fringenuity member on Twitter.

It has been the honor of a lifetime to know you guys, and to work with every one of you. Let’s be magnificent one more time.

¹ If you’re lost here and have no idea what I’m referring to, boy do I have a story for you.
² By “final mission” I mean one last epic gesture. That doesn’t mean we’re signing off. Whether Fox chooses to keep up their support of the hashtags or not, our trend campaigns will continue through the last episode of the show. Stick with us please, Fringe deserves it.
³ See above. You’re not off duty yet! 😉


Celebrate five years with one last gesture: Introducing The “Ambergrams” — 97 Comments

  1. I’m in!!! Fantastic idea, beautifully articulated (as usual!). The pleasure and honor of being a part of this fandom is all mine.

  2. I love what you have accomplished for this show and am super excited to be a part of the grand finale gesture!! Such awesome work you folks!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • “You?” “We” my friend! Fans around the world working together, that’s the story of Fringe. It was all of us!

      But thanks. 😉

  3. I find the Fringe fandom after the fantastic blue moon awards, or the Where is Peter Bishop video and thought It will be great to participate in something like that. Thanks to your imagination I will be able to be part of it. So, I’m here (in Barcelona, Spain, very far away from you) but count on me to help in any way you need.

  4. Of course, I’m in! I was lucky enough to get in at the very end of BMA, and it was an amazing feeling see the pictures of the cast with their awards, and seeing the crew’s award on set.

    These folks, from Joel & Jeff, down to the last PA, have given us an amazing gift of their talent, their energy, their hearts and imaginations. They’ve given us stories and ideas that will last as long as amber in our hearts. To get the chance to give back even a little – is an honor and a pleasure.

    Sign me up!

  5. Wonderful idea!
    May I suggest something like indiegogo to use as fundraising? Since this is about the community, there should be a poll that would rank what the inscriptions should be.
    Gosh I am so pleased and frankly- flabbergasted to be part of a group of people like this! I love every one of you!

  6. Even though I’ve only been in this fandom for about 4 months now, I’m in with whatever I can contribute! I’m poor so I can’t donate money. So whatever else. (also, I think you should donate the leftovers to autism but that’s because I have autism)

    • Ideas are always needed, Jack. We have a forum set up to let fans give our thoughts about what to say and other ideas. Everything helps. We are also more than glad to collect letters and artwork to send as well. 🙂

  7. Fringe fans are definitely loyal and unique. I have loved this show since day one and will keep loving it after season 5. I would love to contribute to this idea. Keep us informed of any progress and if there is anything we could help with!

  8. I’m In. I also missed the Blue Moon Awards but Not this time… South Africa LOVES FRINGE FOREVER!!!- always S.AFringie

    • Ummm. We haven’t decided that yet…
      We’ll need to order the gifts by mid-October to make sure they get there in time, but I don’t see why donations couldn’t stay open a little longer than that. We’d just need to be able to make the donation(s) before filming wraps (*sob*) sometime in November.

  9. I’m totally in!
    It’s sad, but for all of these years of Fringe, I only found this community around this month =/
    I don’t know if a made the right thing, but I give a idea in that forum entitled Brainstorming… I don’t know if I can post there or if there is just to the administers post… I’m sorry, anyway.
    But, well… I wanna help you, guys. Fringe means a lot to me and I’d love to participate a huge thing like this project. I’m from Brazil and I think that it’s almost impossible that one day I’ll meet even one of this incredible guys that make this show (the cast and the crew) and can say thanks for them, so I think participate of this will be a way for do it.
    Fringe fandom is amazing!

  10. Hi there!

    You did it exactly right, that’s what the forums are for! These gifts are going to be from all of us, and we want input from anyone who has something to say. 😀

  11. I was just thinking about Leonard Nimoy. We don’t know if he will be back but I thought it would be cool to include him. After all Bell is sort of responsible for the mess being created 🙂 But if not that’s ok too.

  12. Please please please include Leonard Nimoy. William Bell has been a big part of this, and I would love to see him be recognized for that!

  13. Have loved Fringe since the moment it began way back in 2008..I still remember the excited Fringe chat i had with my friends the week we all spent in Orlando for my wedding. I’ll never forget you Fringe. Have loved being a part of the Fringdom and only discovered it in january’12 has made Fringe Fridays all the more special….will support this last final goodbye and thank you in any way i can

  14. I heard about your website from the GSM Fringe Podcast. I’ve just had a bit of luck in having my name chosen as a case study in the September’s Notebook competition, so giving a little back in the form of a donation was the least I could do to appease the karma observers.

  15. hi! I’ll like to make my donation but I dont know how.. would you please give me the lick or the account, Take in consideration: I’m an international fringie:


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  17. What about Ambergrams for other important “guests” that were emotionally important to the story? Andre Royo, Kevin Corrigan, Jared Harris, Sebasian Roche, Orla Brady, Lily Pibald, Ari Graynor, Mark Valley and Ryan Mcdonald? We may not agree on all of them, but most them touched us along the way. I’ll certainly donate to help.

    • Hey Ellen!

      We’re going to be sending challenge coins and thank you cards to as many of those people as possible, it’s just a matter of tracking down the addresses to send them to. 🙂

  18. This is a great idea. Just donated. I hope we reach our goal, and are able to give the cast and crew something a good thank you from all of us.

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  20. I recently noticed something on the roster of those to receive the Ambergrams. As cool as it is that we’re making this happen, may I ask why Jared Harris isn’t on the list to get one? He’s been a huge part of Fringe, despite the fact that he’s only been in a handful of episodes.

  21. Is it really closed? Because I just got a conformation mail after I donated money just now.. Does this then mean it will not go through with it or what is going to happen?

  22. Fact: I am very happy and proud to be a fellow Fringe fan. With the fate of Community hanging precariously in the balance, the one thing that comforts me is the friendship and generosity of the Community fans, cast, and crew. It’s very obvious to me that these friendships and the love between people are more important than the networks, money, ratings, or even the imminent series end of a show. You set the benchmark for people everywhere, not just who love Fringe, but who love anything or anyone. Thank you for your friendship, Fringies.

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