Release date: May 28th, 2012
Running time: 940 minutes
Creators: Michael Duggan, Carol Flint, Mark Levin, Billy Ray
Cast: Debrah Farentino, Joey Zimmerman, Clancy Brown, J. Madison Wright, Sullivan Walker, Jessica Steen, Rebecca Gayheart, John Gegenhuber, Antonio Sabàto, Jr.
Earth, our home, otherwise known as the world, the Blue Planet or by its Latin name Terra. Estimated at four and half billion years old, it’s the third planet from the Sun and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. Though the first signs of life appeared some four billions years ago, human life is estimated to have been around for as long as two hundred thousand years, according to mainstream science.
Cosmically speaking, that’s not long at all. We’ve only been here for a short time and with the “progress” of the industrial revolution some 200 years ago, we’ve managed to pollute the air, poison the oceans and exhaust the land and its natural resources, as well as make extinct some of the most wonderful and majestic creatures that were here long before we were. So destructive is our path that there’ll come a time when Earth will no longer be able to meet our demands for food, water, air, land and light.
What happens then when that time comes? Where will we go? Earth 2 is a short lived television series from the early to mid-90s which explored this scenario. Set in the year 2192, it follows the journey of a small expeditionary group, called the Eden Project, whose mission is to find an Earth-like planet called G889.
With most of the human population having fled Earth to live on large orbiting space stations due to the inhabitable conditions, a rare and fatal disease known as “the syndrome” which only affects children is refused to be acknowledged by the government and medical community. The disease is suspected to be caused by their departure from their home planet. Among the children is eight-year-old son, Ulysses Adair (Joey Zimmerman). His mother Devon Adair (Debrah Farentino) is determined to find a cure for him on G889 and tries to organise a group to go with her. The mission however is strongly opposed by the government and moments before departure a bomb detonates in an attempt to stop them.
Together with John Danziger (Clancy Brown) and his young daughter True (J. Madison Wright), Dr. Julia Heller (Jessica Steen), government official Morgan Martin (John Gegenhuber) his wife Bess (Rebecca Gayheart), Yale (Sullivan Walker) a former convict and cyborg and cold sleep pilot Alonzo Solace (Antonio Sabàto, Jr.), they hope to be the first settlers on G889, but their efforts continue to be fought against by a shady government group known as the Council. They wield the most power on the space stations and Devon eventually learns of their plans to colonise the planet for themselves.
01 First Contact
02 The Man Who Fell to Earth
03 Life Lessons
04 Promises, Promises
05 A Memory Play
06 Natural Born Grendlers
08 The Church of Morgan
09 The Enemy Within
11 Moon Cross
12 Better Living Through Morganite: Part 1
13 Better Living Through Morganite: Part 2
14 Grendlers in the Myst
15 The Greatest Love Story Never Told
16 Brave New Pacifica
17 The Boy Who Would Be Terrian King
18 After the Thaw
19 Survival of the Fittest
20 Flower Child
21 All About Eve
As for Uly’s condition, when he comes into contact with an alien species – the Terrians – he’s healed, but as a result he begins to take on certain characteristics of his healers. They also find out there’s one thing stopping the Council from gaining control of the planet – they can’t remove the native Terrians without killing G889 – the two are inextricably linked. In a similar way, Uly is linked to them which now makes him a person of interest to the Council.
I remember the series premier back in 1994, but as I recall the episode air times were always past my bedtime on school nights so I never got a chance to follow the show as closely as I wanted to. Having to wait until 2012 for a UK release for Earth 2 was worth it though. Looking at it now, with its complex themes that delve into the ethics, morality, politics and power that went on feature more prominently on shows such as Lost and the re-imagined series Battlestar Galactica, it really was the start of something beautiful.
Though Earth 2 came to an end too soon as a result in falling viewer numbers and an escalating budget with its special – at the time – state of the art special effects, it’s one of those shows I look back on and wonder where it might’ve gone with two or three more seasons and what stories it might’ve been told. As it is, we have only these 21 episodes and the knowledge that in many ways it’s inspired other great television shows in the 18 years that’ve passed.
The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is a composer and music producer with a philosophy degree. Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and World Cinema, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.
You can find his music on Soundcloud .