Thursday’s episode of Fringe – “6955kHz” contained a huge mythology injection in the shape of the Number Stations and the First People. We love this stuff and we’re interested to see where it all goes and how it will tie together.
To help keep track of The First People storyline, we decided to gather together everything we know about the First People, the Number Stations, The Vacuum – and their possible connections to Sam Weiss, Peter, The Observers, and other mythology items.
We hope to keep this post updated as the series and the mythology progresses, so feel free to dive in – and if you fancy getting involved be sure to share any thoughts or speculations that you have.
My initial thought on the First People was:
“My immediate thought was that it refers to our early ancestors, or the first custodians of earth before known human civilisation began – the First People.”
Not far off. I’m sure many of you guessed similarly. Now let’s explore the First People facts and possibilities, and how they relate to the world of Fringe:
10 First People Facts
- The initial First People reference was embedded in the red alternate universe-themed title sequence for Over There – Part 1.
Here are more facts we know about these ancients:
- The First people pre-date the Adam and Eve and the dinosaurs.
- The First people were technologically advanced homosapiens that evolved on the earth before the current human occupants.
- They made the ultimate discovery – a mechanism known to them as the Vacuum – containing at once both the power to create and to destroy.
“Many religions speak of such a power, and science – the Big Bang and its counterpart the Big Crunch. The universe expanding and contracting and expanding, an endless cycle of creation and destruction.” – Walter (3.06).
- The First people vanished without a trace.
- We’re led to believe that the First People hid pieces of the Vacuum in many different locations around the world (possibly across two worlds, since Walternate already has much of the ancient device built on the other side).
- The locations of the Vacuum pieces are recorded by codes known as Number Stations – a coordinate system detailing where the First People buried the parts – specific locations on the globe, latitude and longitude. (Numbers for First broadcast/Buenos Aires location: 12, 34, 17, 9, 15, 8, 42, 40, 27). These numbers also relate to days in their months.
- A book titled The First People by Seamus Wiles was published in 1897. It only had one edition and contains theories on the First People. Seamus Wiles is an anagram for Sam Weiss, implying that Sam is the author and possibly related to – or one of these First People.
- The First People viewed time differently.
- They say that when Guglielmo Marconi first invented the radio the first thing he heard was the numbers – like they were waiting for someone to listen. Further evidence of the First People were the early custodians of earth.
Sam Weiss and The First People
Is Sam Weiss related to the First People? Could he be one of these mythical ancients? It’s very possible based on the evidence:
- When Olivia first met Sam in his bowling alley (2.02 “Night of Desirable Objects”), the song “Mr Fantasy” was playing in the background. Was this a reference to his true nature? If he is one of these First People, the ‘fantasy’ element could relate to his seemingly supernatural abilities.
- Sam offers to play a game of CLUE with Olivia to help ease her burdens (and open her mind) in episode 2.16.
- The anagram on a blackboard at the end of season 2: “A DEMONS TWIST RUSTS” or ” DON’T TRUST SAM WEISS“.
- His comment, “I’m older than I look. I barely remember my childhood. I’m also taller than I appear” (2.16).
This would make sense because the First People were around millions of years ago. The First People treated time differently, and may have aged differently. Since Sam is ‘taller than he appears’, is this one of the First People abilities – to project a different physical appearance, or was his consciousness somehow implanted into a modern-day human? If he is one of the surviving First People, it’s worth considering how he survived?
Other Sam Weiss quotes with possible significance
“When you’ve been up all night, time is just a matter of semantics” (2.16)
“I detected that you needed company” (2.16)
“You’re a good person. One of the few I know. If you agreed to keep this secret I’m sure you had a good reason” (2.16)
The Observers and The First People
It is possible The Observers are connected somehow to the First People. Are they First People themselves, hybrid First People, or perhaps avatars or droids created by the First People to create some kind of course correction in the time-line? At this stage we do not know for sure, but there are many connections worth pouring over.
- Both the Observers and the First People are known for being technologically advanced.
- Both the Observers and the First People view time differently from present-day humans.
- The Observers were keen to prevent Peter from crossing back to the alternate universe to power the vacuum – which we now know to belong to the First People. In 2.21 September provided Olivia with a ‘prophesy paper’ which seemed to illustrate Peter powering the vacuum and suffering devastating consequences.
- The Observers writing resembles that of the inscriptions on the Vacuum parts.
Other possible First People references
- In “Over There – Part 1”, Walter claims that all humans once had innate abilities that were suddenly switched off.
- Walternate already has much of the Vacuum assembled in the alternate universe.
- The design was apparently William Bell’s – based on ancient technology, which we now know to belong to the First People.
- In the alternate universe, pieces of the Vacuum respond directly to Peter – as if the Vacuum is specifically made to be powered by his DNA. It’s worth mentioning that Peter can also operate the Observers pulse guns – ep. 2.08.
- Walternate claims that the Vacuum will ‘heal the problems of his world. The Observers indicated that if Peter operates the weapon it will lead to a global cataclysm and possibly his own destruction (at least).
The Vacuum Questions
- Why can Peter operate the Vacuum?
- Did the First People plan for Peter to be born with these abilities – if so, how? Dormant genes? Time-travel? Genetic modification?
- Why this Peter specifically?
- Does Walternate really want to use the Vacuum to destroy Over Here universe? Could it be used to heal, merge or create another universe?
- Does Walternate still need Peter to power the Vacuum, or can it function without him once all the parts are assembled?
First People Questions
- Why did the First People vanish?
- Were they wiped out by their own Vacuum device? (if so, they seemingly had time to bury the parts first – unless time-travel is involved or other humans did it for them).
- Did the Multiverse exist before the First People – or did they create it using the Vacuum?
- Are the Observers connected, or related, to the First People?
- Is Sam Weiss one of the First People?
- How old is Sam Weiss?
- How did Sam survive the cataclysm that supposedly wiped out the First People?
- How did Nina meet Sam, and does she know who he really is?
- Did the First People “shut down” our ‘primal abilities’ (inter-dimensional travel, thought control, telekinesis, etc) so that we wouldn’t destroy ourselves – or for any other reason?
- As per the anagram in “Over There – Part 2”, why should we not trust Sam Weiss?
- What is Sam’s mission in all of this?
- Why did the First People transmit messages in modern-day languages? How did they know to use these languages? (thanks Observer1 for the question).
- What do the “Period of Darkness/Light” refer to on the First People calendar? (thanks to William Bishop for the question).
That should be enough to get us started. We’ll be updating this post as we go along so that we can make it as accurate and useful as possible. If you notice any inaccuracies, or have any contributions or theories, please feel free to let us know in the comments!
UPDATE: The First People’s Book