"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Monday, March 1, 2021

Debris 1.1: Some Probability of Gems Among the Pieces

Debris debuted on good old NBC tonight -- a fast-paced, surprisingly deep piece of science fiction, which has real potential.

The set-up: in an alternate-present or near-future reality, an extraterrestrial ship, wrecked, shows up in our solar system.  Debris rain down on our planet.  And they have a bizarre series of unnatural effects, including allowing someone holding a piece to "phase" through matter, having the effect on others of bringing the dead back to life in a way that (of course) has profound consequences on the survivors, etc. The coming attractions advertise more of these effects to come.  Jonathan Tucker plays CIA agent Brian Beneventi, Riann Steele plays MI6 agent Finola Jones, and they are cooperating, for the most part (also of course), in an effort to find out what's going on, how to get on top of the extraterrestrial tech, etc.

So there are a lot of pieces in motion at the beginning of this narrative, and some of them are obvious, but all together the pieces could make for a compelling piece of television.  For one, the story picks up speed very quickly, which is always a good thing.  For another, the various powers that come from pieces of the wrecked ship have no apparent connection, and that's a good thing, too, because there's lots of room for development at this point.

I think it's become tough for a network to put out a good science fiction story, given the advantages that streaming services have in making original leaps.  But anything is possible in a weekly showing riven with commercials, especially when the tableau is science fiction, so I'll be watching and reviewing at least the next few episodes.

first starship to Alpha Centauri ... and they only had enough fuel to get there

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