7. That dude from Dawson’s Creek is really damn good.

In September 2008, right when Fringe was the talk of the fall TV season on the strength of J.J. Abrams’ involvement, many of the sci-fi folks excited about the prospect of a new-age X-Files had one inescapable reservation: The show’s male lead, Joshua Jackson, once starred on the pussy-willow teen soap Dawson’s Creek. And shitty movies such as The Skulls, Cursed, and Shutter.

At best, those curious about Fringe were hoping for contentment akin to watching one-time Party Of Five softie Matthew Fox hold his own as a level-headed badass on Lost; at the worst, they’d have one less TV show to follow. So imagine the shock they felt once Jackson strolled through the pilot episode with likeable charm, intelligent wit, and strong front-man presence.

Now having embodied Peter Bishop for three years, Jackson has finally come into his own as an actor. He’s required to nail a load of emotions, particularly in scenes with Peter’s father, Walter, who actually stole Peter from his parallel universe counterpart, dubbed Walternate, after his own Peter baby died from a rare genetic disease. Once Peter finds out that Walter has lied to him over the years, Jackson gets tasked with heavy dramatic lifting, and his back has yet to break.