In the year 2192, the planet Earth has become pretty inhospitable to live on. Most of humanity has left Earth to live on space stations. Living on the space stations have lead to other issues though. Children are starting to develop illnesses from staying on the space stations. Lead by Devon Adair whose son is affected by one of these illnesses, a group of humans decide to colonize a planet 22 light years away that bears a resemblance to the planet Earth. When their ship crash lands on the opposite side of the planet, the group of colonists must brave the new environment and alien creatures on their journey to the other side of the planet in order to establish a colony on Earth 2.
If I had to pick my favorite genre for television/movies/video games, I would have to say that it would be sci-fi. I just love the idea of exploring a new world and creatures. Being a fan of sci-fi, I am always looking for a new interesting show. I find it interesting to check out some older sci-fi shows. A while ago I came across the DVD set for the show Earth 2 and decided to give it a try.
If you have never heard of the show before, Earth 2 is like so many other sci-fi shows that were canceled before their time. Earth 2 ran for just one season on NBC from 1994-1995. Just like so many other sci-fi shows, it failed to grow an audience before it was cancelled. That is unfortunate since while it wasn’t the greatest show ever, I saw potential for the show that if developed could have lead to a great show.
Earth 2 is an interesting mix of a sci-fi show and a survival/adventure element. The show basically follows the group of colonists as they journey around the planet on their way to the location where they are planning on setting up the colony. Most episodes are of the “issue of the week” variety but an overarching story is featured in most of the episodes as well. Most of the episodes revolve around the colonists learning about their new planet and the various wildlife they encounter.
Earth 2’s greatest strength is the universe that was built around the show. I won’t get into specifics to avoid spoilers but the universe feels fleshed out as various issues are brought up in conversations about the world the colonists left behind and what their lives were like before leaving for Earth 2. Some of these issues were intriguing enough that I wish the show would have spent more time in flashbacks so we could have seen more of world that the colonists left behind. I have a feeling this would have been explored more if the show would have lasted longer.
While the show is pretty serious, it also has a lot of 1990’s sci-fi cheese. This is pretty typical of the genre from the 1990’s though. While the costumes/puppets for the alien creatures look pretty good for a 1990’s show, they along with the special effects look cheesy at times compared to today’s effects. Earth 2 does age pretty well for a mid 90’s sci-fi show though.
The characters of Earth 2 are for the most part well developed. While none of the characters are highly memorable, they also aren’t your cookie cutter sci-fi characters either. As I mentioned before though I wish more time could have been spent on their backstories. I generally liked all of the characters but I felt the two child characters were kind of annoying. At times they felt like they were only added to the show in order to appeal to children.
The biggest problem I had with the show is that at times it kind of dragged on. This issue was most prevalent in the first half of the season. I wouldn’t say that the first half of the season was boring but at times some of the storylines didn’t really go anywhere. It felt like the show just wasted time in some of the earlier episodes. I think this might have been part of the reason why the show didn’t make it past the first season. Too many people probably watched these early episodes and gave up on the show.
The slow start is unfortunate since like many shows, Earth 2 takes some time to get it’s footing. The second half of the season was stronger in my opinion. The show really started to get going and started presenting more interesting storylines. In particular the episode that featured scenes from the potential future was really interesting and showed where the show could have been headed. I honestly think if the show was given a second season it would have continued to grow and it could have become a great sci-fi show.
I want to briefly talk about the series finale of Earth 2 so I will warn anyone that hasn’t seen it, there will be light non-specific spoilers for the rest of this paragraph. Unfortunately like so many shows canceled after a season, Earth 2 was unable to get a proper ending. Not surprisingly the show ends on a cliffhanger which is always disappointing since I usually like some closure from a show. The episode is wrote in a way where it feels like the showrunners felt that the show was going to get a second season. For a lot of shows that were canceled early, the DVD set has a feature discussing what the show would have done next if it was picked up. Unfortunately for Earth 2 DVD set there is not one.
I would like to warn everyone that plans on watching the show on DVD that the last two episodes on the DVDs are not in the correct order. Just like many other struggling shows (Firefly), the network decided to mess around with the episode order in order to try and improve the ratings. Episode 21 on the DVDs should be episode six and episode 22 should be episode 21. Supposedly these two skipped episodes were shown after the series finale so that is why they are listed as episodes 21 and 22 on the DVDs. You would have thought that the DVD set would have fixed this problem but they didn’t. I would highly recommend watching the episodes in the order they were intended to be watched in since you kind of lose some of your interest in these episodes if you have already seen the series finale.
When thinking about Earth 2 I have to think about what if? I thought the first season of the show was pretty good. Earth 2 is a classic example of a show that needed some time to find its’ footing but lost all of its’ viewers before it could. The show was getting better as the season progressed and was really growing into a great show. If you like sci-fi shows and don’t mind that the show doesn’t get a lot of closure, I think you should consider checking out Earth 2.