The Observers are a species that feature in Fringe.
The Observers were a mysterious enigmatic race of Humans that had evolved in one possible future timeline. Their origins were traced to the to the year 2167 where they were products of an experiment conducted by Norwegian scientists who were attempting to engineer a human lifeform whose brain replaced the region that contained negative human emotion such as rage with brain cells tuned to increase intelligence. Several generations later, further alterations were made that removed all emotions completely and engineered intellectual brain cells to bring about the emergence of even higher levels of intelligence. Thus, the scientists modified the human genome to replace emotional facilities with mental ones thus creating the Observers. In time, the lack of emotions led to the new species to lose he urge to procreate and instead developed the technology to artificially grow new members of their kind in DNA maturation chambers. (Episode: The Boy Must Live)
They developed many generations from modern mankind and created highly advanced technology that allowed them to travel through time. Thus, the Observers were a team of scientists that were sent into various points in history to observe key moments in history in order to witness their own origins. This allowed them to witness the events of the Big Bang as well as being present in other similar events in history. Their capabilities did not restrict to watch events in one universe but allowed them to see moments in alternate universes as well. By the 21st century, they were believed to had recorded nearly two dozen events. One Observer by the name of September was noted to had triggered a catastrophic chain of events in the 20th century when he witnessed an alternate Walter Bishop attempting to find a cure for his dying son. By arriving at that moment, he incidently distracted Dr. Bishop and prevented him from seeing the developing cure. Noting that his son Peter Bishop was special, September worked to have the mainstream Walter Bishop cross dimensions to save Peter. September's continued involvement even saw him move into the frozen lake to save Peter Bishop who had fallen into it after crossing dimensions. However, this act created a hole in the universe and inadvertently led to the start of hostilities between the two universes. As a result, the Observers made attempts at ensuring the protection of the timeline which had been corrupted by these chain of events.
Initially, the Observers who came from the future were content to only watch key moments that unfolded in human history. This changed as a result of the conditions in their timeline of 2069 AD where the planet Earth was ruined with the air and water polluted to the point that the environment was fundamentally uninhabitable. Thus, the species decided to travel back in time and claim an earlier version of Earth for themselves. This led to the events in 2015 where they stopped observing and instead took control of the worlds governments. This saw them emerge in the timeline where they initiated the Purge where individual Observers moved from home to home where they dragged humans into the streets. Such events were repeated around the world with television broadcasts in Chicago, Los Angeles and London. The people brought into the street were put down like dogs and killed as a result. Despite citizen uprisings proved to be bloody but ultimately futile with those that survived became known as "Natives". Some members of these Native factions attempted to show their allegiance to the Observers whereupon they were called "Loyalists". During the invasion, the original members of the Fringe Division team fought the Observers but were swiftly defeated. During that time, it was believed that a machine was being developed by Walter Bishop to defeat the Observers but was not completed in time. Members of the original Fringe Team were believed killed though in actuality they remained in amber for twenty years. The Fringe Team was allowed to function but at a reduced capacity with its responsibility being only to police the Natives. It was believed that any resistance forces to the Observers rule was overcome. This sequence of events continued until 2036 where the planet remained under Observer control. Amongst the leading Observers in this timeline was known as Windmark. (Episode: Letters of Transit)
In terms of appearance, the Observers show similar characteristics such as being very pale as well as lacking eyebrows. Typically, they were dressed in black suits and accompanied by black fedoras. Personality wise, they tended to be calm, monotone and stoic in their interactions. Some amongst the Observers also displayed a sadistic personality and compared humans of an earlier time period to animals. Such Observers were noted for their extreme methods and totalitarian control. (Episode: Letters of Transit) During their operations, they were sometimes seen carrying briefcases that carried special contents. Some Observers were seen carrying flasks that contained only water within them which they drank. (Episode: Letters of Transit)
As they were engineered without emotions, the Observers had no desire for natural procreation and instead engineered new members of their kind through DNA maturation tanks. These newborn members of their kind were grown from embryo's into fully matured adults. However, the process was not completely flawless as it did sometimes bring about the emergence of genetic anomalies. As part of standard practice, the Observers destroyed any such anomalies before they reached maturity. (Episode: The Boy Must Live)
They were noted for existing outside time and seemingly possessed supernatural abilities that allowed them to do acts beyond those of normal human beings. Observers had knowledge of both universes and had the ability to cross between them. Their rules meant that they were not allowed to interact with events as they unfolded and that they were tasked with observing them. Observers seemingly held telepathic abilities allowing them to wipe the minds of ordinary humans or even read their minds. Despite this being the case, some humans were actually immune to these powers. (Episode: Letters of Transit)
Observers were also able to create small spherical devices designed to produce organic ocular suggestion. These consisted of orbs that were placed within the eye where in time they were absorbed. Afterwards, the writing within the orb would in time be absorbed into the mind of the subject and later compel them to follow the instructions within them. Another device resembled a small silver flat disc that projected blue holograms. In terms of weapons, they held small pistols that fit into the palm of their hands that were strong enough to destroy walls as well as shake the structure of a building. (Episodes: Letters of Transit)
One device tied to the Observers was called the Beacon that resembled a cylindrical object that was made of solid Iridium and emitted a frequency at 2 Mhz as well as 4 MHz. It seemingly travelled underground and emerged at various sites where it shined as a beam of light. (Episode: The Arrival) In reality, the Beacon served the Observers as a means of travelling through the universe and allowed members of their kind to return to them if they were locked away. It acted as a guide to their members and the means through which they found their way back to a respective universe.
In their totalitarian timeline, the Observers often led their teams of Loyalists in order to eliminate any signs of resistance to their rule. (Episode: Letters of Transit)
- December : head of the Science Team sent back in time, he disapproved of interventions in the timeline and gave the order to detain September. Similar to his comrades, he also came to love the 21st century time period but choose to keep this secret. He survived in the Observer occupied future where he agreed to help September obtain an initiator for a time travel mechanism but was killed when surveillance caught him agreeing to aid the resistance.
- August : part of the Science Team who fell in love with a 21st century woman and attempted to alter the timeline to save her from her death but ultimately died as a result.
- September : part of the Science Team who observed Walter Bishop shatter the dimensional barrier to save the alternate version of his son and saved both of them from a death in the icy waters of the lake. He was enamoured with the 21st century and resisted the invasion by his fellow Observers but they engaged in biological reversion turning him human. Afterwards, he took the name Donald and attempted to help in stopping the Observers. Earlier, he had saved his biological son XB-6783746 and wanted to use the boy to reset the timeline but was killed before he could journey into the origin point of the Observer race.
- Windmark : a Captain of the Observer forces that invaded 2015 and was responsible for oversight of their activities. He was tasked with elimination of the resistance and secretly began to experience emotions in the form of hate for his enemies. Windmark was responsible for the death of Etta Bishop and ultimately died at the hands of Olivia Dunham.
- XB-6783746 : biological son of September, this child's growth was stunted as he was deemed an anomaly as he was different from his fellow Observers in that he was more mentally evolved but experienced emotions unlike the rest of his kind. He was sent to be terminated but saved by his father who sent him into the 21st century. Progeny XB-6783746 became crucial in the plan to reset the timeline as Donald wanted to send the boy to the origin point of the Observer race thus leading to those scientists to induce evolutions without sacrificing emotions. The child time travelled to that period in the timeline where he was accompanied by Walter Bishop.