Monday, August 10, 2009

 

Virtuality vs. Defying Gravity

Last Sunday the new Space Exploration show Defying Gravity debuted on ABC with its first two episodes. The concept is not dis-similar to the FOX movie Virtuality which aired at the end of June. This one was obviously a pilot which was not picked up for a full season. Both were in the not-too-far-future and both had international crews on a multi-year mission through space. Both had steamy love triangles and tragic consequences. And both had a big "mystery" which was going to effect the lives of the crew and the outcome of the mission.

Virtuality
The 12 person crew is on the first extra-solar system mission. A ten year flight to another star and back. The mission is heavily sponsors and broadcast as a reality show on the FOX of the future. They have to wear the sponsors logos all the time. Their only private space is a cross between a virtual reality machine and a holo-deck. Of course if they had ever watched ST:TNG, they would know the holo-deck always malfunctions. A rogue computer virus/program/AI/whatever starts making their private time rather sucky. But then are they really on a space mission or just in some bigger simulation? Mystery! I liked the crew and lack of ground control involved. Plus they have a gay couple. I assume this will be on DVD soon, but there is no date announced yet. It be great if they made a few more made for TV/DVD movies to complete the story.

Defying Gravity
This made it to production because of the international production team. It's a joint German, Canadian, British, US production. The smaller team of seven is heading on a grand tour of the solar system, visiting Venus first and then on to the others. At the last minute two of the astronauts had to be replaced for health issues. But something engineered the health issues and it is in Bay 4. It has a big stake in this mission too. What is it? Mystery? Whatever it is it is giving the crew dreams which may or may not be the future. Lots of relationship drama as well. The ground crew is a big part of the show. I wonder if they are going to ignore the communication lag as they get further from Earth. I haven't watched episode three yet, later this afternoon I'll have time.

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