William Bell

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Profession:  Scientist, Founder - Massive Dynamic Portrayed by:
Leonard Nimoy
Also Known As:  Belly, Willam, Doctor Simon Paris (alias)
Connections:  Walter Bishop - former lab partner. Nina Sharp - Confidante.
Seen In:  9 of 100 episodes
Status:  Unknown
Remarks:  His Last Will And Testament Was Read To Nina And Walter
Alternate Version    



Doctor William Bell is the former lab partner and close personal confidante of Walter Bishop and founder of Massive Dynamic.

With his company's total wealth in excess of $50 billion, he is considered one of the wealthiest men in the universe. His great technical knowledge and expertise in all things scientific are highly renowned; Nina Sharp says her fully functional robotic arm was built by Bell himself. Since Bell shared a laboratory with Walter Bishop, it is likely he also has an in-depth knowledge of Fringe Science. Walter himself states that Bell was the only other person who really knew what their experiments were about.

Nina shares with Olivia (Ability) that Bell theorized the human mind, at birth, was infinitely capable. That every force it encounters; social, physical, intellectual... is the beginning of the diminishing of that potential. Bell's development of Cortexiphan in 1981 was meant to reduce, or negate that process, and prevent the natural shrinking of brain power. After Bell's allegedly harmless testing on children, he abandoned his research on Cortexiphan in 1983. One of the experimental subject for this drug is Olivia Dunham. A decade-old video cassette tape is viewed (Bad Dreams) where the voice of William Bell and Walter Bishop are heard.

William Bell also been suspected to be involved with the ZFT. In a taped video interview (Midnight), Dr. Nicholas Boone states he believes that the founder of Massive Dynamic, Bell, is the same man who funds ZFT. Another member of ZFT, David Robert Jones shows an interest of meeting with William Bell. (There's More Than One Of Everything)

Walter Bishop vehemently defends Bell (The Road Not Taken) reminding everyone that Bell was many things: ambitious, egotistical and temperamental - but that he wasn't a madman. Nina defends him as well to Broyles - William Bell is not a terrorist, and is not the enemy.

After a long search and wait, Olivia Dunham meets him. (There's More Than One Of Everything) She is pulled into the parallel universe and greeted warmly, but with ominous subtext. Olivia discovers that she is near the 100th floor of the World Trade Center. The conversation between Olivia and William continues (Momentum Deferred) and he briefs Olivia on the state of affairs between universes, and warns of the infiltration of the First Wave into her universe. She is then sent back to this universe and promptly ejected through the front windshield of the car she was driving and soars thirty feet across the pavement in front of her wrecked vehicle. (A New Day In The Old Town) A shape-shifting soldier is tasked to retrieve details of Olivia's meeting with William Bell, (A New Day In The Old Town), (Night Of Desirable Objects)

During a memory recall revelation (Grey Matters), Walter realizes that Bell uses a fake name - Doctor Simon Paris - during the period of duress that they felt it was essential to remove critical portions of Walter's brain in the grand scheme of their career long hubris. at the time, Bell appeared to be the chief culprit behind Walter's institutionalization. Later, Bell reminds Walter that it was Walter's decision to have him remove parts of his brain. (Over There, Part 2)

Nina Sharp is able to send messages to William Bell (Of Human Action) (Over There, Part 1), however, Bell never replies back to Nina's messages. He explains in (Over There, Part 2) that the Fringe Division of the alternate universe has a way to monitor all communication networks and possibly this is the reason why he never answer Nina's messages. In a fictional tale by Walter (Brown Betty), Bell communicates with Nina Sharp via a campy, film noire, viewing device.

In attempt to save Peter (Over There, Part 1)), Olivia was to meet Bell at Grayshot Bridge, in Central Park, in the alternate universe. He failed to show up on time and later met with Olivia outside of Bolivia's house. Bell joined Olivia and recovered Walter from the hospital (Over There, Part 2). He admitted that he helped Secretary Bishop in creating the shape-shifters and the Pulse weapons used by the Fringe Division. He tells Walter that he did not establish a Massive Dynamic in the alternate universe and that his counterpart died in a car accident when he was young. Despite being influential and having a tie to Secretary Bishop he is not recognized by Bolivia and Lincoln Lee. Later, he sacrifices himself to keep the door open long enough for Peter, Bolivia, and Walter to cross to the other side.

In accordance with Bell's Last Will & Testament (The Box), Nina Sharp receives an envelope and a ship's duty bell, as a remembrance of their time in Tuscany. Walter receives a note, saying DON'T BE AFRAID TO CROSS THE LINE - - along with the ownership of Massive Dynamic.


  • Chairman and CEO of Massive Dynamic. Since founding Massive Dynamic in 1992, William Bell has played a key role in every aspect of the business, from R&D to marketing. His personal vision continues to guide the firm's progress, and his ongoing research constantly yields new innovations and product lines. A seven-time honoree in Business Leaders Journal's list of "America's Most Inspiring Corporate Leaders," Dr. Bell is also a Fellow of the National Scientific Progress Council and the only two-time recipient of the Macro Genius Award.


  • He draws Olivia to his alternate universe office to brief her on the coming war (There's More Than One Of Everything).
  • He appears in Olivia's vision (Fracture).
  • He reveals the full gravity of the coming war to Olivia (Momentum Deferred).
  • As Doctor Simon Paris, he prepares to remove portions of Walter's brain (Grey Matters).
  • In a fictional story by Walter, his distorted image is visible in a viewing device (Brown Betty).
  • He locates Olivia (Over There, Part 1) outside of Bolivia's apartment.
  • He utilizes his molecular energy to send Walter, Peter and Bolivia to this universe (Over There, Part 2).


"I've been waiting quite a long time for this." - (to Olivia, on his initial meeting with her as an adult - (There's More Than One Of Everything) )

"Yes. In any search for knowledge, there are always unintended consequences -- victims, you might say. But not you. I can see that... just by looking at you. In fact, you're just coming into your 'ability'.... I've seen history repeat itself enough times to know a war is coming, just as we predicted, Walter and I -- years ago, and we knew that we had to prepare a Guardian, someone to watch the gate." - (to Olivia, cryptically foreshadowing her involvement and central role in the struggle between the two collapsing universes, the battle to save humanity from the time raiding invaders, and in restoring humanity to the peaceful timeline it was meant to follow - (Momentum Deferred) )

"The truth will come out. It always does. Livvy, you don't have to trust me. You don't even have to like me, but you can't deny I have a unique perspective, shaped by having lived in two worlds. I know the difference a wrong choice can make... or a right one." - (to Olivia, seconds before he sends her back to this universe from the alternate one... and the violent cardiac resuscitation she will have to suffer from the crossing - (Momentum Deferred) )

"Walter, I will be the power. I've travelled between universes so many times, my atoms are ready to split apart with the slightest provocation. You taught me there are as many atoms in the human body as there are stars in the sky. That's how many atom bombs I am. That should be enough power to get you home." - (offering to remain behind in the alternate universe in order to facilitate the egress of the Science Team's return to this universe and avoid capture by the parallel Fringe Division) - (Over There, Part 2) )

"In this game, the skill one must have above all else is patience. The board changes, but very slowly. The art of chess -- the art -- is knowing when a piece is most valuable, and then, in that very moment, being willing to sacrifice it. For in the vacuum created by the loss of what is most precious, opportunity abounds, influence is maximized, and desire becomes destiny. " - (to David Robert Jones. once the savior of parallel universes, in the adjusted timeline, Bell is the destroyer of universes with the intent of creating his own in the aftermath. Jones, his top lieutenant in crime, takes the philosophy prophecy well from Bell... unaware that he is the one that is about to be sacrificed for the cause - (Brave New World, Part 1) )

"The final piece has been set into motion. I couldn't stop it now if I wanted to. And I don't. As scientists, we're taught that fate is nothing more than the convergence of a set of probabilities into one potential outcome... that there's no such thing as Divine Intervention. And yet I’d be lying if I said that the circumstances that brought you here to witness this with me, my trusted colleague, my dearest friend, didn't feel like the Hand of God." - (to Walter, on his tramp steamer as they navigate to the center of the anomaly that will save them as both universes collapse apocalyptically around them... the precursor to the rebirth of all things in Bell's Genesis' event - (Brave New World, Part 2) )

"We cut those ideas out of your head to literally put 'the Genie' back into the bottle. Then I grew older. I grew cynical. I grew cancer. Then I realized that dosing myself with Cortexiphan would slow it down. But slowing is not stopping. For me, it's just a matter of time. The clock is ticking... ...and that's when it occurred to me. You were right, Walter... ...every rant you ever went on made perfect sense. Suddenly, I understood not just you - but everything. God made us in his image. If that is so, if we are capable of being gods, then it is our destiny to do so." - (to Walter, as they approach the protective eye at the core of the Apocalypse. feeding him half of the credit for how they got to this point - and full partnership in the lifetime of hubris they have shared equally - (Brave New World, Part 2) )

"Shoot me if you like, young Peter. I cannot turn it off. There's no escaping the inevitable. The chain reaction has begun. Olivia is a living uncertainty engine. Every breath she takes brings us closer to Nirvana. Every beat of her heart tears the world from its hinges. She is 'The Redeemer. Go ahead. I will not be the first God to be martyred for creation." - (to the Science Team in his cabin, a complete and accurate assessment of his premier Cortexiphan patient as his master plan finally begins to gel. also a brutal foreshadowing for Walter as he realizes the only way to redact Bell's accomplishment is to assassinate Oliva with a bullet to the brain - - which Walter does just a few seconds later (Brave New World, Part 2) )


  • Actor Leonard Nimoy's voice was heard (Bad Dreams) on an old VHS tape before his first appearance on the show, but he was not credited.
  • Bell has been depicted in the Fringe Comics, as an understudy of Walter Bishop initially, and then as his lab partner in later issues.

—   Plot Relevant Questions   — Address theories about questions on William Bell/Theories   Ask minor questions on the Talk Page  

 1) Do not answer the questions here.
 2) Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.

  • Did he author the ZFT manuscript in our universe?
  • How did he travel to the alternate universe?
  • Why did he use an alias to operate on Walter Bishop?
  • Did "Reduced Air Quality" (The Plateau) force William Bell to don an oxygen mask when he brought Olivia to his office to brief her on the task at hand?