Defying Gravity

 

Defying Gravity is a lost gem.  The series that did not make it through its first season even though it was originally planned for six.  The show a multi-nationally produced science fiction drama and was aired by ABC and CTV.  Only eight of the 13 episodes aired on ABC while the rest of the episodes were aired elsewhere.

The show takes place 5 years and 10 years after the first expedition to Mars, a mission where the crew were forced to leave one of their own behind.  The story is about eight astronauts on a 6 year mission to tour the solar system.  Most of the story takes place 5 years after the fatal Mars mission during the astronauts training and selection period and 10 years  after the Mars mission when the crew onboard the Antares begin their journey with Venus as their first destination.  It turns out that there is more behind this mission than what was revealed to the public and to the astronauts themselves.  Some of this hidden agenda is discovered during while the ship is in flight.

The show did an excellent job with the two time periods, weaving a plot line back and forth between the training and selection process and the actual mission.  The show producers, or at least the writers, tried to make sure that the science behind the show was realistic.  One aspect of this was the gravity on the ship.  There was no spinning of the ship or gravity generators, instead magnetic fields were used.  Cloths had magnetic fibers woven into them and the crew used a hairspray that made their hair lay naturally.  First, this was done because the cost of weightlessness would have driving the FX cost too high.  Second, a reasonable explanation was provided in one of the sequences where the astronauts made a documentary for schools back on Earth.  Would their explanation work, I doubt it.  I do give credit on addressing the issue.

Like many good science fiction shows, the viewer needed to think in order to enjoy the show.  Television executives do not give their audience enough credit.  Plus many good science fiction shows seem to need a full season to get the story up to speed.  Unfortunately, in our current attention deficit society, that is a death toll for a television series that can get cancelled in mid season.

Here are a few links about this show.

Links
IMDb - Defying Gravity
What would have happened?
Unlike many shows that end prematurely, the create of Defying Gravity provide the story arc.  We get to see glimpses of what would have happened if the series ran its full course and the crew of the Antares finished their mission.
Wikipedia - Defying Gravity

 

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