By Jeff Jensen
Updated September 09, 2011 at 03:51 PM EDT
Liane Hentscher/Fox

John Noble makes for an engrossing, entertaining guide, his sonorous voice finding the right balance of gravity and wink. “Bishop and Bell were once the Lennon and McCartney of science, lab partners intent on pushing the boundaries and blurring the perceptions of reality,” Noble narrates, just ahead of a memorably hilarious clip from the show in which the actor’s mad scientist character explains, with grave seriousness: “When Belly and I were younger men, we regularly ingested large quantities of LSD.” (Cut to: Joshua Jackson’s droll reaction shot. “You don’t say?”) The recap series is a compressed, chronological summary of Fringeverse history, providing a clear, coherent picture of Fringe’s epic puzzle narrative. “It’s like a condensed Reader’s Digest version of Fringe,” Noble tells EW via email. “It will tantalize and entice Fringe fans, new and old, with the rich and extraordinary story we’ve been telling for 66 episodes, and prepare them for the ongoing adventures in Season 4.”

Which, by the way, begins Sept. 23.

As for my theory that the title “Past + Present + Future” is a cryptic clue to the newly created jumbled-up Dr. Manhattan-meets-Minkowski spacetime nature of the Fringeverse in the wake of Peter’s reality-rebooting quantum leap in the season 3 finale – and that the mysteries of Fringe can be explained either as a mash-up of C.S. Lewis’ unfinished final novel The Dark Tower and Stephen King’s cycle of Dark Tower novels… or as a fancifully odd adaptation of the two-part album series “Past:Present:Future” by the Dutch pop band Ch!pz — no sane individual associated with the show, including Noble, cared to comment.

The countdown to Fringe Friday has begun.

Twitter: EWDocJensen

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