Defying Gravity (TV series)

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Defying Gravity
Defying Gravity intertitle
Defying Gravity intertitle
Genre Drama
Science fiction
Created by James D. Parriott
Starring
Composer(s) Shawn Pierce
Country of origin United States
Canada
United Kingdom
Germany
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Michael Edelstein
James Parriott
Brian Hamilton
Michael Chechik[1]
Producer(s) Ron French
Location(s) Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Cinematography Stephen McNutt
Production company(s) Parriott/Edelstein Productions
Omni Film Productions
Fox Television Studios
Distributor 20th Television
Release
Original network ABC (USA)
BBC Two & BBC HD (UK)
CTV (CAN)
ProSieben (Germany)
Original release August 2 (2009-08-02) – October 23, 2009 (2009-10-23)

Defying Gravity is a multi-nationally produced space travel television science fiction drama series which first aired on August 2, 2009 on ABC and CTV and was canceled in the autumn (September/October) of 2009. Set in the year 2052, the series follows eight astronauts[2] (four women and four men) from four countries on a six-year space mission through the Solar System,[3] during which they are monitored from Earth via a real-time communication system.[4] The series was pitched to networks as "Grey's Anatomy in space".[5] Thirteen episodes of the series were produced before it was cancelled, only eight of which were shown on ABC, though the full run was shown in other countries or online.

Premise[edit]

The program follows the adventures of eight astronauts on board the international spacecraft Antares, the next ambitious manned space mission after the Mars landing. The lives of the astronauts are being constantly recorded and broadcast back to Earth both as part of an ongoing documentary and as part of mission monitoring. In spite of a libido-suppressing device worn by each crew member, referred to as "HALO" for "Hormone Activated Libido Oppressors", romantic entanglements develop among some crew members. Further complicating their lives is a mysterious storage pod that contains something referred to as Beta, which is exerting an influence on their mission.[6]

Characters[edit]

On Antares[edit]

  • Evram Mintz (Eyal Podell) is the ship's doctor and psychiatrist. He's Claire Dereux's boyfriend. Mintz is from Israel, where he served in the IDF.[Bio 1]
  • Jen Crane (Christina Cox) is a biologist, she's married to Rollie Crane and had a past relationship with Ted Shaw. She's from Canada.[Bio 2][Bio 3]
  • Maddux Donner (Ron Livingston) is the chief engineer. Sharon Lewis was his lover before she died during a mission on Mars,[7] he currently has a casual sexual relationship with Nadia Schilling, and has an awkward relation with Zoe Barnes. He's from Iowa, USA.[Bio 4]
  • Nadia Schilling (Florentine Lahme) is a pilot. She has casual sexual relationship with Maddux Donner. Nadia is from Germany.[Bio 5] Series creator James Parriott later stated that the intention was to reveal later in the series that Nadia was actually intersex, and the effects of the beta object were changing her into the male she could have been.[8]
  • Paula Morales (Paula Garcés) is the payload specialist, lander pilot and is responsible for an on-board documentary for kids. She's from Brownsville, Texas.[Bio 6]
  • Steve Wassenfelder (Dylan Taylor) is a theoretical physicist and a porn connoisseur. He is from the United States.[Bio 7]
  • Ted Shaw (Malik Yoba) is the Antares commander. He is married to Eve Weller and had a relationship with Jen Crane in the past. He's from the United States.[Bio 8]
  • Zoe Barnes (Laura Harris) is a geologist. She had a one-night stand with Maddux Donner who is unaware that it resulted in an aborted pregnancy. She's from Canada, but also votes for the next American president in the episode Deja Vu.[Bio 9]

On Earth[edit]

  • Ajay Sharma (Zahf Paroo) was the original flight engineer but after a heart problem caused by Beta he was reinstated to mission control. He's from Mumbai, India.[Bio 10]
  • Claire Dereux (Maxim Roy) is the flight surgeon and Evram Mintz's girlfriend. She is from Montreal, Canada.[Bio 11]
  • Eve Weller-Shaw (Karen LeBlanc) works alongside Goss. She works for the Bertram Corporation and was in charge of crew selection. Eve is married to Ted Shaw and is from New Orleans, LA, USA as referenced in Episode 09 "Eve Ate The Apple".[Bio 12]
  • Mike Goss (Andrew Airlie) is the mission control flight director. He was on the Mars mission.[Bio 13]
  • Rollie Crane (Ty Olsson) is the former Antares commander and currently works in mission control. He's married to Jen Crane. He is from the United States[Bio 14][9]
  • Arnel Poe (William C Vaughan) works in mission control. He lost his leg during his training for qualification for the Antares mission. He is from the United States.[Bio 15]
  • Trevor Williams (Peter Howitt) is a journalist from the United Kingdom. He suspects that ISO isn't telling the truth about the Antares mission and tries to find out.[Bio 16]

On Mars[edit]

  • Sharon Lewis (Lara Gilchrist) was left behind together with Walker during a previous Mars mission. She was Donner's former lover.[9]
  • Jeff Walker (Rick Ravanello) was left behind on Mars with Lewis.[9]

Development[edit]

The project was inspired by the BBC fictional documentary miniseries Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets, broadcast on BBC One in 2004.[10] The show was co-produced by the BBC, Fox Television Studios, and Omni Film Productions, in association with Canadian broadcasters CTV Television Network and SPACE, as well as German broadcaster ProSieben.[11]

Thirteen episodes were initially ordered,[12] and filming began on January 19, 2009, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, North America, lasting six months. CGI effects were handled by Stargate Studios, in collaboration with set designer Stephen Geaghan.[6]

Episodes[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1 "Pilot" David Straiton James D. Parriott August 2, 2009 (2009-08-02) (ABC/CTV)
Four male and four female astronauts prepare for a six-year mission aboard the spaceship Antares.
2 "Natural Selection"
"Law of Natural Selection"
Peter Howitt James D. Parriott August 2, 2009 (2009-08-02) (ABC/CTV)
The Antares begins its mission to explore the planets in the solar system. During flashback scenes from 5 years in the past, we learn that Steve is not able to swim and should have been disqualified from the Antares mission. However, his inclusion was a requirement set by Eve Weller. We also learn about Zoe's and Maddux's one-night stand. In the present, Zoe gets in the specially designed Venus suit to test it for leaks. A system error ejects her and the leak causes her to lose pressure in space. Steve's otherwise disgusting idea saves Zoe's life and gains him respect from others.
3 "Threshold" Peter Howitt Sheri Elwood August 9, 2009 (2009-08-09) (ABC/CTV)
A mysterious force aboard the Antares begins to have a profound effect on the astronauts' biological compositions and personality traits.
4 "H2IK"
"H2IK (Hell If I Know)"
Fred Gerber Brett Conrad August 16, 2009 (2009-08-16) (ABC/CTV)
An unknown malfunction sends the Antares into chaos as the ship's operating systems are thrown offline, causing the failure of vital systems such as power, gravity, and heating.
5 "Rubicon" Marcie Ulin Meredith Lavender & Marcie Ulin August 23, 2009 (2009-08-23) (ABC/CTV)
As the Antares approaches the point of no return, the crew must deal with the upcoming crossing of the critical boundary where return to Earth is no longer an option.
6 "Bacon"[13] Marcie Ulin Meredith Lavender August 28, 2009 (2009-08-28) (CTV)
Drawing closer to the orbit of Venus, some members of the Antares crew struggle with guilt and experience vivid repercussions of past actions, while a serious accident puts the life of a teammate in danger, uniting everyone in the desperate endeavor to save her.
7 "Fear" Jeff Woolnough Chris Provenzano September 4, 2009 (2009-09-04) (CTV)
It's Halloween aboard the Antares and the forces of darkness are revealed in more ways than one, as feverish hallucinations jeopardize the lives of the crew just as they are about to embark on a promotional event for which the whole world is waiting.
8 "Love, Honor, Obey"[Schedule 1] Fred Gerber Susan Nirah Jaffee September 11, 2009 (2009-09-11) (CTV)
An impending solar flare threatens the crew of the Antares with dangerous radiation, while the strange force in Pod 4 finally sends out a siren call that proves utterly irresistible.
9 "Eve Ate the Apple"[Schedule 2] Peter Howitt Blythe Robe September 18, 2009 (2009-09-18) (CTV)
The crew of the Antares learns about Pod 4 and the real reason for their mission to Venus.
10 "Deja Vu"[Schedule 3] Michael Rohl Sheri Elwood October 2, 2009 (2009-10-02) (SPACE)[14]
It's election day but the crew aboard the Antares is still processing the news about their real mission on Venus.
11 "Solitary" David Straiton Meredith Lavender & Marcie Ulin October 9, 2009 (2009-10-09) (SPACE)[15]
In the final hours before the landing on Venus, crew members of the Antares confront the loneliness and isolation of space.
12 "Venus" Sturla Gunnarsson James D. Parriott October 16, 2009 (2009-10-16) (SPACE)[16]
It's the day of the Venus landing, a historic and dangerous event likely to alter the lives of everyone involved.
13 "Kiss" Sturla Gunnarsson James D. Parriott October 23, 2009 (2009-10-23) (SPACE)[17]
After landing on the burning surface of Venus, Zoe walks toward a sound only she can hear, drawn by her destiny into almost certain destruction.
  1. ^ As of September 14, 2009 this episode was the last scheduled airing of the show on ABC.
  2. ^ As of October 2, 2009 this episode was the last scheduled airing of the show on CTV.
  3. ^ CTV originally had this episode scheduled for September 25, 2009 but started season 3 of Flashpoint instead.

Broadcast[edit]

On June 30, 2009, ABC announced that it had ordered the program for a summer 2009 broadcast in the United States.[5][18] The show began on October 21, 2009[19] on BBC Two and BBC HD in the United Kingdom,[20] and has aired on both CTV and SPACE in Canada,[21] and is set to air on ProSieben in Germany.[5] All 13 episodes aired in November / December 2009 on Arena TV in Australia.

CTV moved the scheduled airing of the show from Sunday to Friday nights on August 26, 2009, and speculation began about the possibility of the show being canceled.[13] On September 14, 2009, online sources noted ABC's apparent cancellation of the series, with most having reported the eighth episode as the "series finale", while others reported it as the "season finale".[22] The show's publicist, Nicole Marostica, issued a statement on September 14, 2009 that ABC is not in fact canceling the show but that management is deciding on a time slot to air the remaining 5 episodes of season 1.[23]

CTV aired episode 9, Eve Ate the Apple on September 18, 2009, but did not have Defying Gravity on its schedule for the following week. The remaining four episodes were aired on SPACE, which is only available in Canada. On October 22, 2009, TV Squad reported that the sets for Defying Gravity had been destroyed and that the series had been canceled.[24] On October 29, 2009, creator James Parriott revealed to CliqueClack TV how the series would have continued, had the show gone past its first season. Parriott explained that he has the first three seasons plotted out in a show "bible", along with how it would ultimately end.[8] Also reported was that the remaining episodes that did not air in the U.S. would not be shown on television, but would appear later on Hulu and iTunes. The series was released to DVD on January 19, 2010. All online content regarding the show was removed from the ABC website as of November 18, 2009, and is no longer available on Hulu.

DVD releases[edit]

Set details Special features
Country United States, Canada United Kingdom Australia
  • Bonus featurettes:[25]
    • Mission Accomplished — A Look at Defying Gravity
    • Five Photo Slide Shows
    • 29 Deleted Scenes
# episodes 13 13[26] N/A
Aspect ratio 1.78:1 1.85:1[26] N/A
Running time 578 minutes 538 minutes[26] N/A
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 N/A N/A
Subtitles English, Spanish, French N/A N/A
# of discs 4 4[26] N/A
Region 1 (NTSC) 2 (PAL)[26] N/A
Rating Not Rated 15[26] N/A
Release date January 19, 2010 (2010-01-19)[25] February 25, 2013 (2013-02-25)[26][27] N/A

Ratings[edit]

US Nielsen ratings[edit]

# Episode US air date Rating Share Rating/share
(18-49)
Viewers
(millions)
Rank
(week)
1 "Pilot" August 2, 2009 2.4 4 1.1/3 3.83 21
2 "Natural Selection" August 2, 2009 2.3 4 1.0/3 3.56 21
3 "Threshold" August 9, 2009 1.8 3 1.0/2 2.81 28
4 "H2IK" August 16, 2009 1.7 3 0.8/2 2.59 34
5 "Rubicon" August 23, 2009 1.8 3 0.8/2 2.66 33
6 "Bacon" August 30, 2009 1.7 3 0.9/2 2.53 31
7 "Fear" September 6, 2009 1.7 4 0.6/2 2.16 29
8 "Love, Honor, Obey" September 13, 2009 1.6 3 0.8/2 2.53 39

Canadian BBM ratings[edit]

# Episode Canadian air date Viewers
(million)
Rank
(week)
1
2
"Pilot"
"Natural Selection"
August 2, 2009 (CTV) 0.783[28] 20[28]
3 "Threshold" August 9, 2009 (CTV) N/A[29] N/A[29]
4 "H2IK" August 16, 2009 (CTV) 0.573[30] 30[30]
5 "Rubicon" August 23, 2009 (CTV) N/A[31] N/A[31]
6 "Bacon" August 28, 2009 (CTV) N/A[32] N/A[32]
7 "Fear" September 4, 2009 (CTV) N/A[33] N/A[33]
8 "Love, Honor, Obey" September 11, 2009 (CTV) N/A[34] N/A[34]
9 "Eve Ate the Apple" September 18, 2009 (CTV) N/A[35] N/A[35]
10 "Deja Vu" October 2, 2009 (Space) N/A[36] N/A[36]
11 "Solitary" October 9, 2009 (Space) N/A[37] N/A[37]
12 "Venus" October 16, 2009 (Space) N/A[38] N/A[38]
13 "Kiss" October 23, 2009 (Space) N/A[39] N/A[39]

UK BARB ratings[edit]

# Episode UK air date Audience share
(%)
Viewers
(million)
1 "Pilot" October 21, 2009[40] 7.7 1.72
2 "Law of Natural Selection" October 21, 2009[40] 7.2 1.44
3 "Threshold" October 29, 2009[40] 3.5 0.79
4 "H2IK (Hell If I Know)" November 5, 2009[40] 3.3 0.76
5 "Rubicon" November 12, 2009[40] 2.8 0.67
6 "Bacon" November 14, 2009[40] N/A N/A
7 "Fear" November 21, 2009[40] N/A N/A
8 "Love, Honor, Obey" November 28, 2009[40] N/A N/A
9 "Eve Ate the Apple" December 12, 2009[40] N/A N/A
10 "Deja Vu" December 19, 2009[40] N/A N/A
11 "Solitary" December 20, 2009[40] N/A N/A
12 "Venus" December 21, 2009[40] N/A N/A
13 "Kiss" December 22, 2009[40] N/A N/A

References[edit]

  1. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (November 4, 2008). "Ron Livingston is Defying Gravity". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 5, 2011. 
  2. ^ Benzine, Adam (December 17, 2008). "Transatlantic space drama on launch pad". C21 Media. Archived from the original on 2008-12-19. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  3. ^ "ABC.com - Defying Gravity - About the show". Archived from the original on 2009-09-05. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Why ABC's Defying Gravity is no Virtuality 2". SCI FI Wire. Archived from the original on 2009-07-26. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c "ABC Picks Up Gravity". The Hollywood Reporter. June 30, 2009. Archived from the original on June 12, 2015. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b "New CTV Series DEFYING GRAVITY Premieres August 2" (PDF) (Press release). Omni Film. July 10, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 15, 2011. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Video Clip Details". TopTVBytes. Retrieved August 25, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b McDuffee, Keith (October 29, 2009). "How Defying Gravity would have progressed, straight from the creator". CliqueClack.com. 
  9. ^ a b c Defying Gravity, Episode 10: "Deja Vu"
  10. ^ Pickard, Anna (October 22, 2009). "Defying Gravity defies logic". London: The Guardian. Retrieved October 23, 2009. 
  11. ^ Dowell, Ben (December 17, 2008). "BBC and Fox take flight for blockbuster drama series". London: The Guardian. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  12. ^ Reynolds, Simon (November 4, 2008). "Fox, BBC team for space drama 'Gravity'". Digital Spy. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  13. ^ a b Jones, Bryan (August 26, 2009). "Defying Gravity Gets New CTV Timeslot in Canada". TVOvermind. Archived from the original on September 23, 2009. Retrieved September 14, 2009. 
  14. ^ "SPACE-Schedule 10/2/2009". Spacecast. October 2, 2009. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2009. 
  15. ^ "SPACE-Schedule 10/9/2009". Spacecast. October 2, 2009. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2009. 
  16. ^ "SPACE-Schedule 10/16/2009". Spacecast. October 16, 2009. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2009. 
  17. ^ "SPACE-Schedule 10/23/2009". Spacecast. October 23, 2009. Archived from the original on October 20, 2009. Retrieved October 1, 2009. 
  18. ^ Bryant, Adam (November 4, 2008). "Ron Livingston and Fox TV Are Defying Gravity". TV Guide. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  19. ^ BBC.co.uk Defying Gravity BBC Two
  20. ^ "New Adventure Drama Slated for BBC Two". World Screen. December 17, 2008. Retrieved December 27, 2008. [dead link]
  21. ^ "'Defying Gravity' lifts off August 2 on CTV, A and ABC". CTV.ca. July 10, 2009. Archived from the original on July 15, 2009. Retrieved September 16, 2009. 
  22. ^ Cynthia (September 14, 2009). "Defying Gravity: The Season Finale?". SF Universe. Retrieved September 16, 2009. 
  23. ^ "ABC REP: "DEFYING GRAVITY" NOT CANCELED". The Futon Critic. September 14, 2009. Retrieved September 15, 2009. 
  24. ^ Lewinski, John (October 22, 2009). "Set visits reveal ghosts of Defying Gravity set destruction". TVSquad. Retrieved October 22, 2009. 
  25. ^ a b tvshowsondvd.com. "Defying Gravity — Fox's Formal Press Release Sticks to 'The Complete First Season' title". Retrieved January 11, 2010. 
  26. ^ a b c d e f g "Defying Gravity - The Complete Series (BBC) [DVD]". Retrieved August 21, 2013. 
  27. ^ britishfantasysociety.com. "Defying Gravity — complete seasons to be released on DVD". Retrieved August 21, 2013. 
  28. ^ a b "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) July 27-August 2, 2009" (PDF). BBM Canada. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 2, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  29. ^ a b "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) August 3–9, 2009" (PDF). BBM Canada. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 2, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  30. ^ a b "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) August 10–16, 2009" (PDF). BBM Canada. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 2, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  31. ^ a b "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) August 17–23, 2009" (PDF). BBM Canada. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 2, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  32. ^ a b "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) August 24–30, 2009" (PDF). BBM Canada. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 2, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  33. ^ a b "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) August 31-September 6, 2009" (PDF). BBM Canada. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 16, 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  34. ^ a b "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) September 7–13, 2009" (PDF). BBM Canada. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 12, 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  35. ^ a b "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) September 14–20, 2009" (PDF). BBM Canada. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 2, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  36. ^ a b "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) September 28-October 4, 2009" (PDF). BBM Canada. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 6, 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  37. ^ a b "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) October 5–11, 2009" (PDF). BBM Canada. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 6, 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  38. ^ a b "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) October 12–18, 2009" (PDF). BBM Canada. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 6, 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  39. ^ a b "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) October 19–25, 2009" (PDF). BBM Canada. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 6, 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  40. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "BBC Two - Defying Gravity - Episode guide". Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
Character biographies
  1. ^ "About the show - Character Bios - Dr. Evram". ABC.com - Defying Gravity. Archived from the original on September 4, 2009. Retrieved August 17, 2009. 
  2. ^ "CTV.ca - Defying Gravity Bios - Jen Crane". CTV.ca - Defying Gravity. Retrieved August 18, 2009. [dead link]
  3. ^ "About the show - Character Bios - Jen". ABC.com - Defying Gravity. Retrieved August 17, 2009. [dead link]
  4. ^ "About the show - Character Bios - Maddux". ABC.com - Defying Gravity. Archived from the original on September 4, 2009. Retrieved August 17, 2009. 
  5. ^ "About the show - Character Bios - Nadia". ABC.com - Defying Gravity. Archived from the original on September 4, 2009. Retrieved August 17, 2009. 
  6. ^ "About the show - Character Bios - Paula". ABC.com - Defying Gravity. Retrieved August 17, 2009. [dead link]
  7. ^ "About the show - Character Bios - Steve". ABC.com - Defying Gravity. Archived from the original on September 6, 2009. Retrieved August 17, 2009. 
  8. ^ "About the show - Character Bios - Ted". ABC.com - Defying Gravity. Retrieved August 17, 2009. [dead link]
  9. ^ "About the show - Character Bios - Zoe". ABC.com - Defying Gravity. Retrieved August 17, 2009. [dead link]
  10. ^ "About the show - Character Bios - Ajay". ABC.com - Defying Gravity. Retrieved August 17, 2009. [dead link]
  11. ^ "About the show - Character Bios - Claire". ABC.com - Defying Gravity. Archived from the original on September 3, 2009. Retrieved August 17, 2009. 
  12. ^ "About the show - Character Bios - Eve". ABC.com - Defying Gravity. Retrieved August 17, 2009. [dead link]
  13. ^ "About the show - Character Bios - Mike". ABC.com - Defying Gravity. Retrieved August 17, 2009. [dead link]
  14. ^ "About the show - Character Bios - Rollie". ABC.com - Defying Gravity. Archived from the original on September 6, 2009. Retrieved August 17, 2009. 
  15. ^ "BBC Two Programmes - Defying Gravity". BBC.co.uk - BBC Two. Retrieved October 24, 2009. 
  16. ^ "About the show - Character Bios - Trevor". ABC.com - Defying Gravity. Archived from the original on September 6, 2009. Retrieved August 17, 2009. 
Defying Gravity cast
  1. Maddux Donner (Ron Livingston) at ctv.ca (retrieved on 12/12/09)
  2. Zoe Barnes (Laura Harris) at ctv.ca (retrieved on 12/12/09)
  3. Ted Shaw (Malik Yoba) at ctv.ca (retrieved on 12/12/09)
  4. Jen Crane (Christina Cox) at ctv.ca (retrieved on 12/12/09)
  5. Nadia Schilling (Florentine Lahme) at ctv.ca (retrieved on 12/12/09)
  6. Dr. Evram Mintz (Eyal Podell) at ctv.ca (retrieved on 12/12/09)

External links[edit]