Earth 2 - The Complete Series
Distributed By: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Reviewed by Rowena Kemp
Few TV Series leave a mark on a viewer that’s hard to get rid of, often times it’s a TV series that’s been cancelled - the viewer left with a million and one questions that they know will never be answered.
A few years back I read an article in Starlog about a series that was being thrown under the cutting table. Sci-Fi adventure epic “Earth 2” had lasted 21 episodes until Universal and NBC became unhappy with the recent ratings and fired the show’s producer. They later brought in someone with a new perspective. Changes were made and pitched to NBC. NBC didn’t like the changes and dropped the show. The second season was then pitched to UPN who also did not agree with the changes and therefore Earth 2 died, even after having won an Emmy and being nominated for another.
Personally, I would have agreed with NBC and UPN about the changes (which can be found here http://www.earth2tv.com/information/secondseason.html), but as for dropping the show, hell no.
Earth 2 is about a mother, Devon Adair (Deborah Farentino), who just wants to find an environment where her son, Ulysses, can grow up as a healthy boy. Devon, against the will of the government, recruits crew and embarks on an expedition to an earth like planet 22 light years away. Once they arrive, they are forced to crash land on the planet, G889. They soon discover that the planet holds many secrets and is home to inhabitants both strange and dangerous.
From the pilot you start to grow a bond with the main characters. John Danziger (Clancy Brown), a mechanic, becomes the number 2 of the group, often times his and Devon’s methods clash. Danziger’s your ‘MacGyver’ kind of guy and an invaluable asset to the group. Danziger is joined by his pre-teenager, True (J. Madison Wright), who has a knack for getting into trouble.
Along with the Adair family comes Yale (Sullivan Walker), a man whose mind was ‘blanked’ after committing a crime against the government and trained to become a tutor. He’s Devon’s confidant and closest friend and also a grandfatherly figure for Ulysses. As a result of aging and or trauma, part of Yale’s body was replaced by robotics (Mainly his right eye and arm).
The doctor of the group is Dr. Julia Heller (Jessica Steen), who was originally supposed to just be an intern of the doctor assigned to the expedition. Julia is a product of genetic design, a perfect model to be a doctor. But Julia holds a secret that could endanger the colonists.
Fly boy Alonzo Solace (Antonio Sabato Jr.), having been injured during the crash landing, develops a connection with one of the planets strange inhabitants, which proves to be instrumental in helping the colonists understand the planet.
Along for the ride are Morgan and Bess Martin (John Gegenhuber and Rebecca Gayheart), a husband and wife duo who prove themselves worthy to the surviving team of colonists.
Earth 2 is rich with establishing relationships; conflicts (amongst each other and with other inhabitants) character development, suspense, humor, and every other ingredient that makes a TV series really enjoyable. Oh sure I’ll admit there are some times were it gets cheesy, or you’ll roll your eyes and say “Oh sure, we’ve heard that a thousand times” but those instances rarely stay with you as the show manages to keep you hooked. The series ends with a real doozy, but excellent cliffhanger leaving the viewer screaming at the TV screen on knees, saying, “What the…?”, and then really wishing that NBC could have least waited one more season before dropping it.
The DVD is definitely a keeper. The special features include: Deleted and extended scenes, bloopers and bonus episodes from Sliders and Cleopatra 2525.