Mad scientists “playing God” are a staple of science fiction, ever since the first work of science fiction, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and right up to our favorite mad scientist of the current day, Walter Bishop from Fringe. But science fiction has often had an ambivalence about pioneers at the cutting edge – or fringe – of science. Is pressing ahead into new scientific domains “playing God” – and even if it is, is it necessarily a bad thing?
Religion and Science Fiction has a whole chapter devoted to “Scientists Playing God.” Perhaps Walter Bishop should give it a read. And as fans of the show wait for its return, they too would surely enjoy reading about some of the predecessors of Walter Bishop in science fiction literature and film, as well as some of the broader issues that those works, and Fringe, continue to explore.