A whole tribe of Bishops


Fringe 365 entry #230.

Clockwise from top left…

Name: Maximilian Bischoff
Born: 1890, Dresden, Germany
Occupation: Professor of Theoretical Physics, Universitat Leipzig; colleague of Werner Heisenberg.
Status: Disappeared under suspicious circumstances in 1937. Declared dead, 1938.

Name: Robert Bischoff (Bishop)
Born: 1919, Leipzig, Germany
Occupation: Professor of Chemistry, University of Berlin; later employed by the U.S. War Department and U.S. government
Status: Died in 1968, shortly before son Walter graduated from Harvard University.

Name: Walter Bishop
Born: 1946, London, England
Occupation: Endowed Chair, Biochemistry, Harvard University; senior research consultant for Kelvin Genetics (see “September’s Notebook” for complete C.V.)
Status: Missing

Name: Peter Bishop
Born: 1978, Cambridge, Massachusetts (Alternate Universe)
Occupation: Various
Status: Currently consultant to the FBI, Fringe Division, and theoretical physics research consultant for Massive Dynamic

Name: Henrietta (Etta) Bishop
Born: 2012, Boston, Massachusetts
Occupation: Student
Status: Nominal

Name: Henry Bishop
Born: 2011, New York, New York (Alternate Universe)
Occupation: Unknown
Status: Theoretical

The reference models for Maximilian and Robert are two movie stars who were active in the 1930s through the 1950s. (Not going to name them because I’m wondering if anyone will recognize them! They are not household names now, but were big in their day, and your grandmother would probably recognize them.)

I had wanted to include the Alterna-Bishops in this as well, but simply ran out of time. However, the names, dates and occupations are all the same, except that Maximilian died in a mysterious lab accident (instead of disappearing), Robert left Germany before WW2 broke out (instead of working for the Nazis and then defecting), and of course, Walternate never worked with William Bell and founded Bishop Dynamic himself.

Kind of toying with the idea of doing an occasional comic called “The Bishops” where the family history is explored. It seems as if the proud tradition of professorships has ended with Peter, who has nothing to do with academia… but then again, the Bishops obviously have a repeating history of fighting bad guys, too (ie, Robert vs. the Nazis, Peter vs. the Observers) – not to mention, disappearing without a trace, a most disturbing Bishop family trait!

Why did Maximilian disappear, I wonder? 1937 was a bad time for scientists in Hitler’s Germany. (Even his colleague, Heisenberg, was accused of being a Jewish sympathizer and threatened.) I wonder if Maximilian was working on something special and wouldn’t share it with the German government… was he killed, or did he escape?

Fringe very helpfully gave us solid canon backstory for Robert, although there is a bit of fudging on dates where Walter’s birth is concerned. (I think Robert escaped Germany in 1943 but did not go to America directly until after the war and was based in Britain where he helped the Allies, which is why Walter was born in London.) Sadly, Robert did not live long enough to see Walter’s professional success.

I have to go watch a few rounds of “Dark Matters” to think more about the history of the Bishops. Later!