I like this show.
“We can rethink our choices a million times, but what we decide…we own.”
And set to great music, which I’ll include in this post in the next day or so.
And it stars Ron Livingston, who I will always love from Office Space, but who also did a great, really great, job in Band of Brothers (as did so many others.) For a great scene with him, check out the 10:10min mark in the last episode, Rubicon, “I’ve walked on Mars. I’m just throwing that out there between colleagues.” And “How am I ranked 12th?! I could have tolerated 2nd because Ted Shaw is a hell of an astronaut, but 12th?!” (Ted was standing right next to him).
It also stars Malik Yoba (who plays Ted Shaw), who for some reason I know even though I went through IMDB and I don’t watch anything he’s been in. But I know I’ve seen him before (and liked him).
It also has a nice ensemble cast, including that woman from that really bad vampire show that somehow lasted a season. (Blood Ties. Thank heaven for IMDB). Most of the others are pretty much unknowns.
The show is set in two time periods (so far). The basic plot is this: it’s an astronaut show in about 2050. There is a crew on a spaceship that is just starting a 6-year mission around the galaxy. One part of the show is set on the ship. The other part is set about 5 years earlier, when the current crew were trainee astronaut wannabees (less Livingston and Yoba, who were instructors) competing for a spot on the mission. Livingston and Yoba, in their characters Maddox Donner and Ted Shaw, had, five years before—this is now ten years before the mission—gone to Mars where, because of their officious ship commander and some bad “weather”, they stranded two people there to die, one of whom was Donner’s secret girlfriend/love-of-his-life. Donner is scarred by this. Five years later, in the five-years-ago-trainee period, he’s fallen for one of the trainees who he got pregnant even though he’s had a vasectomy. Let’s talk about that for a second, because it’s the other major plot device. There’s evidently some entity, “Beta,” who we haven’t seen, don’t know what it is, that communicates through images of a storm on Mars. Don’t ask, there’s nothing more I can tell you. Except it gave two crew members arterial plaque to disqualify them so Donner and Shaw could be on the mission, and it’s “changing the DNA” of not only the crew but also one of the Houston Flight Control people, who it also communicates with (it’s apparently fairly selective.) And it reversed Donner’s vasectomy. The only one who knows about Beta on the spaceship is Shaw, this mission’s commander, who can’t tell anyone. But a number of crew members are seeing things that aren’t there, and hearing things that aren’t there. Donner has seen the woman he left behind on Mars; Zoe (the trainee, now astronaut, who Donner now is falling for) is hearing a baby’s cry…she apparently aborted Donner’s child in the five-years-ago period.
Sound complicated enough?
Well, they kind of make it work. I have to say that I like it alot. It’s a very re-watchable show. I’ve seen several episodes more than once. They really replay well. But even as I watch it, I’m like, “there’s no way this show is going to get picked up.” But I really hope they do pick it up. What’s really extraordinary about this, and I find myself noticing it more and more, is how they use music within the show. They do it very, very well.
Oh, and one great thing? As of now, the first three episodes are free on iTunes.
So try out Defying Gravity.