Posts Tagged ‘Defying Gravity’

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Defying Gravity: An Apology

September 21, 2009

Dear Science Fiction fans:

I would like to offer an apology on behalf of my homeland, Canada, and myself, for the mistake that was the television series Defying Gravity.

When I first heard about it last year, I predicted that it would be okay. I liked the cast, I liked the premise and I am a firm believer in quality Canadian television programming (We kind of have to be; it’s actually in our Constitution).

And I liked the pilot. I liked it a lot. The producers took some chances, choosing to set the program several decades into the future, but making no modifications to clothing or personal technology. Camcorders — a handheld figures prominently in the first few shows — look like camcorders I could buy at Wal-Mart tomorrow. Fashions and hair look like today’s. That’s something Battlestar Galactica did well, and after a while fans ignored the Earthisms and followed the story.

But I cringed when I watched how gravity was being handled. The crew of the ship is on a multi-year tour of the solar system in a sleek, cool spaceship. No faster-than-light here; this is “real science.” Vasectomies for the male crew are mandatory, and that was a nice touch. However: there’s no gravity on the ship. The crew wears these jumpsuits wired with little magnets or something that make them stick to the floor. Okay, that’s almost believable … but nothing else floated, either. The crew just moved around normally. It was a cheap attempt to bypass a scientific shortfall with some sci-fi gobbledygook without sticking to it.

That’s when I started to get a bad feeling. But by the end of the pilot, I was interested; it was well shot, well acted and had a hint of mystery. Like Lost, there’s more going on here than space travel. It started to take on a Sunshine feel, and I loved Sunshine.

Episode 2 made me crash back to Earth. They were calling it “Grey’s Anatomy in Space” for a reason. By the halfway point of the fourth show, I was done. I turned it off and never looked back.

It seems I wasn’t alone. While it isn’t official, networks are issuing those cryptic press releases that make it clear the show is done. This bothers me less because of the show, but more because I’d like to see Canadian shows running on US networks and succeeding. I just wish we had some better ones to send down, folks. Americans cannot live on DeGrassi and Littlest Hobo alone.

So, another science fiction show burns up in solar orbit. Unlike quality work like Firefly, though, Defying Gravity ended because it just wasn’t watchable. It was a romance show made by people who might know romance shows, but didn’t get the sci-fi aspect of it, and that’s the kiss of death. Any hope of crossover appeal was lost.

There are more new shows on the way: V, Flash Forward, this latest new version of Battlestar Galactica, whatever that is … still, I remain glad I have most of Star Trek on DVD.

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Grey’s Anatomy in Space?

November 6, 2008

A new series, Defying Gravity, will be shot in Vancouver next year for a fall launch. The science fiction series will tell the tale of a team of international astronauts on Earth’s first exploratory mission into deep space.

We had this already. It was called Enterprise.

Oh, wait, this is mushier. You can tell, because it’s described as a “sci-fi relationship drama,” and it will star Ron Livingston, a fine actor who seems to specialize in playing boyfriend types. I’m guessing, from the scant details in the press release I just received, that he plays the studly American astronaut, Charles “Trip” Tucker III … no, sorry, that’s Enterprise.

Also cast is an actress named Florentine Lahme. I don’t know much about her except she’s from Germany, and if you Google her you see more of her than you should. Trust me, that photo down there was the safest one I could find. She apparently likes to strut around in revealing clothes, appear in magazines like Maxim and is a Vulcan … no, sorry, that’s also Enterprise.

Anyway, the show will follow the team as they deal with the isolation and dangers of the new frontier. There will not be any Ferengi, so explaining how they don’t actually see what they look like until centuries later will not be an issue.

I also predict a lot of mushy smooches, as the astro-team reportedly consists of four men and four women, and producers are James Parriott (Grey’s Anatomy) and Michael Edelstein (Desperate Housewives), so it will definitely have some fiery emotions, backstabbing, misunderstandings and some bumcracks showing, too.

There’s no mention of space battles or laser weaponry, which I take as a bad sign.

Hmmm, says here the show will hit airwaves in Canada, the U.K. and Germany, but no mention of U.S. airings, despite Fox TV’s presence in the production credits. Sorry, America. You’ll have to get your butt-cleavage-in-space fix somewhere else.

May I suggest Enterprise?

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