Earth 2 (TV series)

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Earth 2
Earth 2 intro.jpg
Intertitle
Format Science fiction
Created by Michael Duggan
Carol Flint
Mark Levin
Billy Ray
Starring Debrah Farentino
Joey Zimmerman
Clancy Brown
J. Madison Wright
Sullivan Walker
Jessica Steen
Rebecca Gayheart
John Gegenhuber
Antonio Sabàto, Jr.
Composer(s) David Bergeaud
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 22 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Michael Duggan
Mark Levin
Carol Flint
Producer(s) Cleve Landsberg
Chip Masamitsu
Janace Tashjian
Tony To
Running time 45 min. approx.
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Original run November 6, 1994 – June 4, 1995

Earth 2 is an American science fiction television series which aired on NBC from November 6, 1994 to June 4, 1995.[1] The show was canceled after one season of 22 episodes.[2] It follows the journey and settlement of a small expeditionary group called the Eden Project, with the intent to journey to an Earth-like planet called G889 in an attempt to find a cure to an illness called "the syndrome". The series was created by Michael Duggan, Carol Flint, Mark Levin, and Billy Ray, produced by Amblin Entertainment and Universal Television,[3] and filmed primarily in northern New Mexico around the Santa Fe area.[4][5] The series' music was composed by David Bergeaud, and the executive producers were Michael Duggan, Mark Levin, and Carol Flint.

Initially, the show's audience was quite large, reaching eighth place;[6] however, by April 23 of the next year, Nielsen ratings share had dropped from 23% to 9%.[7] During its run, it had been nominated for a Primetime Emmy,[8] Saturn,[9] and other awards. In 2005, the entire series was released on DVD in a 4-disc set.[10]

Plot[edit]

In 2192,[11] most of the human population had fled Earth to live on large orbiting space stations. Only a small number of humans remain on the Earth’s surface as the Earth had become mostly uninhabitable.[12]

Billionaire Devon Adair's eight-year-old son, Ulysses Adair, had contracted a rare, fatal disease called "the syndrome",[13] a condition whose existence is not acknowledged by the government and medical community. It is theorized that this disease, which affects only children, is somehow caused by the lack of an Earth-like environment.[14] Most children who are born with the disease do not live past the age of nine.

Desperate to save her son, Devon puts together a group who will pioneer the effort to settle a planet 22 light-years away from Earth, on which other families with members thus afflicted can settle. The eventual colonization of the planet, however, is opposed by the government. Secret monitoring and agent infiltration threaten the creation of the colony of New Pacifica. Hours before Adair's group intends to leave, a bomb is discovered, set to explode the hour the ship would leave. The Eden Project leaves immediately, jettisoning the bomb before detonation. In "The Church of Morgan", it is revealed this bomb was planted by the Council to stop the ship from leaving.[15]

Twenty-two years later, the ship arrives at G889, but it crash lands[16] shortly after arrival on the side of the planet opposite of the original plan. With her group scattered on the planet and supplies missing, Devon begins heading west to the planned site of New Pacifica.

During their travels, Adair and her companions learn that the Council — a government group that seems to wield most of the power on the space stations — wants to gain control of G889 for resettlement. Through their various experiments, they have learned that they cannot remove one of the planet's native species — a race called the Terrians — without killing the planet. (This is a nod to the Gaia hypothesis.) This complicates matters, because Devon's son, who has been healed by the Terrians and who had begun to exhibit some of their unique characteristics, has become the key to the Council's plan for the planet.

Cast[edit]

Characters[edit]

A Koba. True Danziger's pet on the new planet.

The interactions among the original crew, the convicts, the government and the local aliens and their planet forms the basis of many of the story's plot lines, as the colonists learn more about their new home while trying to avoid detection by the Council.

Devon Adair
The leader of the expedition and whose own son is afflicted with the Syndrome.[11] As the leader, she attempts to balance directing the group as obstacles are encountered while confronting the possibility that her son may not survive his sickness.
Ulysses Adair
Nicknamed "Uly", he is the eight-year-old son of the expedition's leader, Devon Adair. He was born with the Syndrome, an illness which convinced his mother that he could be cured if raised on a planet with access to fresh air, clean water and sunshine. His arrival on G889 and eventual connection to the Terrians is one of the keys to the colonization of the world and is a recurring plot theme.
John Danziger
Previously an indentured worker aboard the space station from which the group leaves. His daughter is most important to him, but he also assumes the role of protector of the group.[17]
True Danziger
The ten-year-old daughter of John Danziger, and also previously an indentured worker on the space station from which the expedition departed. She forms a bond with Uly, initially one of jealousy and dislike, but eventually a close friendship.
Yale
A former convict and cyborg whose memory has been erased and behavior altered under a government program for the purpose of becoming a tutor for the children of wealthy families. He later recoveres some of his memories and learns he did not commit a violent crime but instead defied the Council.
Dr. Julia Heller
A genetically modified junior physician the colonists later learn is an agent for the Council.[18]
Morgan Martin
A government official supervising the Eden Project, husband to Bess Martin.
Bess Martin
Wife of Morgan Martin, who grew up in the mines of Earth.
Alonzo Solace
A cold sleep pilot far older than he looks, and eventually a love interest of Dr. Heller.
Reilly
Julia Heller's contact on the council, who eventually is revealed to be a computer program.[citation needed] In "All About Eve", the creator of the EVE program reveals that Reilly is part of the same program.
Zero
The crew's bipedal worker droid capable of multiple task.

Life on G889[edit]

Terrians

The landscape and climate of the new planet where the ship crashed seems very much like that of harsher climates on Earth, such as the southwestern United States. Water is scarce and scrub grows out of rock formations. In this area, three different species of life are discovered by Devon Adair and her group.

Grendlers
Soon after arrival the colonists come into contact with a semi-intelligent race of traders and scavengers named Grendlers. In "A Memory Play", it is revealed that a grendler's saliva is a cure for virtually any disease.[19]
Terrians
Exploring further, the group encounters an intelligent subterranean indigenous species named the Terrians, who seem to have a symbiotic relationship with the planet and can only communicate with the colonists through a dreamscape that few of them understand.
Kobas
Small monkey-like creatures with a leather-like skin and large eyes. Kobas possess sharp claws, which they use like darts to incapacitate their intended food source. Once struck by a Koba-claw, a victim falls into a near-death coma for two to three days, but awakens with no permanent damage. Kobas have a great talent for mimicry. They are friendly toward those who are friendly to them, but are quick to defend themselves against possible predators.
Humans
During the series the colonists learn they are not the only humans on the planet; it had previously been used as a penal colony so the government could learn more about how to colonize the planet.

Notable aspects of the series[edit]

Earth 2 broke new ground by placing Devon Adair as one of the first female commanders in a science fiction television show, preceding the much better known Captain Kathryn Janeway of Star Trek: Voyager by more than two months.[5]

The overarching plot of the show and various individual elements helped explore the Gaia hypothesis, mainly through the Syndrome, its effects on many children, and the subsequent healing of the illness after the Eden Project arrives on G889.[20][21][22]

During the show, various political and social themes were addressed as well. Throughout the series aspects of the relation of Terrians to the planet and to the colonists reflect the history of colonies with native populations and slavery. In "The Enemy Within", Julia is left behind by the group because of her treachery,[23] addressing briefly what punishments are moral or even inhumane. Another aspect of this issue is addressed in "The Man Who Fell to Earth (Two)", when the group meets a man named Gaal who claims to be an astronaut but is revealed as a marooned criminal;[24] when it is revealed that G889 had been used for many years as a penal colony, questions arise as to the motivations of the Council and their right to do so. In "Redemption", the group encounters a genetically enhanced killer called Z.E.D., who was left on the planet to dispose of all the humans he finds,[19] who at the time had been criminals.

Filming location[edit]

Exterior shots filmed in New Mexico locations such as Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks[25] and Diablo Canyon,[25] provided the setting for the series.

Episodes[edit]

The series premiered on November 6, 1994 with a two-hour pilot episode that ran from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST (including advertisements — it was later split into two episodes for syndication). The following week it moved to a regular time slot. On April 23, 1995 two individual episodes were aired back-to-back from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST. It was also aired in Australia, Austria, Netherlands, New Zealand, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Spain and United Kingdom, later in 1995 Greece and Egypt in the fall of 1997, and in Turkey in 1998. In 2011 on TV4 Science Fiction in Sweden

Merchandise[edit]

DVD release[edit]

The complete series (comprising 21 episodes including the two-hour pilot) was released on DVD on July 19, 2005 in the United States in Region 1 format, on 4 dual-sided discs.[26][27]

Novels[edit]

Three Earth 2 novels were published between December 1994 and May 1995. The first was a novelization of the two-part premiere. The remaining two were original stories.

Miscellany[edit]

Other products, such as T-shirts and sweaters with the Earth 2 logo, can still be purchased online. It is also possible to watch streaming episodes through certain services.

There was a second season planned and a press kit had details of each episode.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Earth 2 - TV.com". 
  2. ^ "Antonio Jr. Sabato: Information from Answers.com". 
  3. ^ "EpisodeGuides: Earth 2 detailed episode guide". 
  4. ^ "The Dallas Morning News". 
  5. ^ a b Tucker, Ken (December 2, 1994). "Sci-fi's first female commander | Earth 2 | Television News | TV | Entertainment Weekly". 
  6. ^ "'EARTH QUAKE | The Ratings". Entertainment Weekly. November 18, 1994. 
  7. ^ Lamer, Timothy (1997). "Extreme green doesn't float on television". USA Today. 
  8. ^ "IMDb: Emmy Awards: 1995". 
  9. ^ ""Earth 2" (1994) – Awards". 
  10. ^ "Earth 2: The Complete Series: 4 Discs DVD (2005) Reviews - MovieWeb.com". 
  11. ^ a b "Earth 2 // SCI FI Channel". 
  12. ^ "Earth 2 (DVD): The Oregon Trail Meets Sci-Fi and Lost – Arts and Culture". 
  13. ^ "Earth 2 The Complete Series – The Memorable TV DVD Review". 
  14. ^ "Earth 2[TV Series] Synopsis". 
  15. ^ Chrissinger, Craig W (April 1995). "Frontier Doctor". Starlog 213. pp. 48–51, 70. 
  16. ^ "Earth 2 | TV Review | Entertainment Weekly". December 9, 1994. 
  17. ^ "The Official Clancy Brown Website: Transcripts". 
  18. ^ "What's up, doc?". TV Guide 42 (2178). December 24, 1994. 
  19. ^ a b "Sandcastle V.I. – Earth 2 / Season One". 
  20. ^ Masco, Joseph (2006). The Nuclear Borderlands: The Manhattan Project in Post-Cold War New Mexico. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. p. 183. ISBN 0-691-12077-3. ISBN 9780691120775. 
  21. ^ "Earth2: The Gaia Hypothesis". 
  22. ^ "Earthw2 FAQ". 
  23. ^ "Earth 2: - TV.com". 
  24. ^ "Earth 2: Life Lessons episode on". Tv.com. Retrieved 2010-04-06. 
  25. ^ a b "Earth 2 | May the Journey Continue". 
  26. ^ "Earth 2 DVD news: The Rumors Were True! | TVShowsOnDVD.com". 
  27. ^ "TV.com: July 19, 2005 DVD Releases". 

External links[edit]