Sam Becket is working on a DoD funded project to time travel. If it worked it would send him back in time to inhabit the body of anyone, so long as it was within his own lifetime (so no going back before he was born). The project was being shut down, so he took a chance and used it on himself. It worked, everything but the part about being able to get him back when they wanted to. The show is about him leaping around time, inhabiting the bodies of various people from the 50’s to the late seventies. They can talk to him through Al, a hologram of his friend in the future that only he could see. Each leap he had to fix something, then he would leap out (almost all the episodes are one leap).
The show is a good example of using the vehicle of science fiction to tell very human stories. The things he fixed were often about changing people, or having someone not make a mistake that hurt them or others. For example in one he was sent back as a rich man’s servant. The rich guy was foreclosing on a mission around Christmas time. His job was not the save the mission, his job was the get the rich guy to WANT to save it, to see that money was not everything. He was there to save the mans soul. What he was sent to do were often turning points of people’s lives, trying to convince people to do right, but not forcing them to.
It was thoughtful and insightful about things in ways that modern
Hollywood isn’t anymore.
Odyssey Five is a sadly short lived series (just one season). It starts on the space shuttle, then suddenly the earth is destroyed (sort of implodes). Just when they are running out of air a large aliens ship appears.
The alien tells them that they are far from the first that had their planet imploded, he has spent centuries going from one system to another. He detects radio waves, then by the time he gets there the planet is gone. This included his home.
However there is hope, he can send their minds back, five years back in time. He knows nothing about what is causing it (and one of the five people still alive is dying so time is short)
He sends their minds five years back in time, with little more then the bare knowledge of what will happen.
While it was rough in spots, the show had interesting plot lines, and interesting characters. There very much is a fish out of water element. Three astronauts, a science writer, and a reporter are not the group you would pick to investigate aliens destroying the earth. That is not the say they are not capable, they are, but they very have to make it up as they go.
Its very good, if you like sci-fi you will like this.
I’m going to let you all in on a secret, I rarely like alien invasion stories. It’s not that I dislike the idea, it’s that they are hard to get right and most of them have glaring flaws I can’t ignore. That was my problem with Falling Skies.
Threshold has been called a reverse X-files. In it a probe gets to earth and changes people, they become faster, stronger, and tougher. They start to carry out the agenda of the aliens. The show is about the team that is put together to make contact with them, then to deal with the threat.
The show is intelligent, it has very well developed characters who try to solve problems made harder by the fact that only they know what is really going on. They have countless people working for them but none of them know the whole truth.
Often classifying data during emergencies is shown to be done with little thought, or just serves to get in the hero’s way. In Threshold it is rightfully shown to be necessary, it causes headaches and sometimes makes things worse but is needed.
It is just one season of a planned three, but It’s still good and worth watching if you can track it down.
Sliders was a 90’s TV show, the first two seasons are what I am going to review, the rest…was not good, the network took control and made it into a bad action adventure show, introducing magic of all things. I suggest you just watch the first two seasons and maybe a couple of the third for closure.
Sliders was about four people who were sliding from one alternate reality to another.
Before I go further I will talk about the characters
Quinn Mallory: Brilliant graduate physics student. He invented sliding.
Wade Wells: She worked in a computer store and studies literature and poetry. She believes in the supernatural. A close friend of Quinn, she in fact has a crush on him that he does not know about.
Professor Maximillian P. Arturo: He is one of Quinn’s teachers. Contrary to what he thought Quinn had a lot of respect for him. He is a very learned man and believes in science and reason above all else.
He is not someone who could easily make breakthroughs, or who was known to be great from the get go. He spent many many years studying and learning, part of him becomes resentful of Quinn because of this (but to his credit it does not show often)
Rembrandt Brown: The only slider who did not choose to start sliding, a singer who was once in a successful band but left before they made it big and he did not. He was on his way to sing the national anthem at a stadium when he got sucked up.
Most of the episodes have the sliders arriving on a world that differs from ours in some way, with a certain amount of time before they can open the wormhole again. Each wormhole takes them to a random world. This is because they had to mess with the sliding device to get off the first world safely and lack the equipment to reset it and get them home, if they miss the window the timer will become useless.
Most of the worlds are alternate history’s where one thing is different.
For example, what if the USSR had won the cold war? What would cause that and what effect would it have? What if antibiotics were never discovered? What if we became obsessed with keeping our population low?
In this show you have what very much feel like real people, just watching them chew the scenery is fun. Sliders is the kind of thing I think when someone says good classic sci-fi.