In Fringe, it's revealed that there's an alternate universe that is almost identical to ours only they are more technologically advanced.

Is there an explanation as to why the alternate universe is about 30 years ahead of ours? As in where did the timeline diverge from our own?

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    I don't remember airplanes, but the airships/blimps were a common feature of the alternate universe. I think it isn't "more" advanced, just that it advanced in different fields of science faster than us, and in other fields, slower than us. – Izkata Jan 28 '12 at 1:45

It's not flat-out more advanced than "our" universe (which I'll refer to as "Over Here"). The other universe ("Over There") simply is a bit different. So some scientific and technological advances that happened Over Here didn't occur, and instead some other ones did. This resulted in some technology Over There being more advanced, and some being less advanced. Notably, Over Here had the science and technology that allowed Walter to build the portal to get Peter. However, Over There was missing some advancement that allowed Walternate to get Peter back by simply building an identical portal.

Another example is the cure to Peter's disease. Over There, Walternate managed to find one in time. Over Here, Walter was unable to. Walter was able to discover the parallel universe, and build the technology needed to view events happening Over There. And so on.

Some less plot-critical examples include:

  • Airplanes were never developed Over There - they use zeppelins instead.
  • Red Vines are a brand-new product Over There, in season 3.
  • While they have the tech to heal burn wounds and other critical injuries Over There in miraculous ways, they still have not eliminated smallpox.
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    You've got the cure details wrong, Walter couldn't cure his Peter, and even tho Walternate discovered the cure, he missed the reaction that Walter saw though his portal, so never knew he'd found it. Walter crosses over and cures Walternate's Peter. – Stu Wilson Feb 3 '12 at 23:48
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    @StuWilson Right, that's what the answer says, Over There, they found the cure in time. That he was distracted at the crucial moment is tangential, Walternate was able to create a cure, but Walter was unable to. Only by watching Walternate was Walter able to create the cure. – user1027 Feb 4 '12 at 1:22
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    @MichaelEdenfield In the episode set in the 80s Walter shows the military a mobile phone (a Motorola Razr, as I recall) as an example of advanced tech on the other side so we know their comms and electronics were more advanced even before Walter crossed over. – Alan Nov 5 '12 at 15:43
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    No planes, but helicopters – Pioneer Dec 23 '16 at 2:26

The important things to remember when explaining the technological differences between the two worlds is not that Walternate couldn't build a doorway like the original one Walter used to cross over. It's that he didn't because to do so would potentially destroy his world.

To begin with he only learnt where Peter had gone when Olivia crossed over and spoke to him thinking it was Walter.

Walternate didn't have William encouraging him to cross certain lines originally. Taking science in particular directions.

But then after Walter regretted his choices and had William cut parts of his brain out. (If we are to believe it was actually his choice.) William crossed over many times, in ways that I don't believe were made clear and began working on Walternate with the guise of supposedly keeping tabs on him. But all the while helping to advance technology in many new directions.

Some but not all the differences hang on that partnership and those ideologies that both bring them together and that separate them.

  • Is this a new answer? Or a comment/response to someone else? – amflare Jun 29 '18 at 16:15

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