If you are a devotee of time travel...

Thursday, February 2, 2023

The Ark 1.1: Worth Watching

So, The Ark debuted on the Syfy Channel last night to a typical chorus of baying critics who carped that the disaster in deep space movie was itself a disaster, and the series was as "imbecilic" as NBC's time travel series La Brea.  I did stop watching La Brea in the second season because it wasn't going anywhere. But at this point I have higher expectations for The Ark.

The set-up is excellent.  It's a hundred years in the future, and a human crew in cryonic sleep, a year away from their destination in deep space, is rudely awakened by an accident that likely isn't an accident.  The event kills all the top brass.  But fortunately a few people in the middle ranks survive, and are able to take charge of the ship and all those who are still alive and kicking.  The travelers have to deal with problems ranging from how to ration the food -- everyone was supposed to wake up much closer to the intended planet, but fortunately there are many fewer mouths to feed -- to a murderer being onboard.

Unsurprisingly, the acting is passable not great, but that's ok, it's still very early in the story and there's time for people to grow into their roles.  And I liked the ambience.  It felt comfortable, realistic, and even refreshing at times.  I also liked the timing and the placement of the story.  A hundred years from now is further enough in the future to be different from our time, but close enough to be recognizable.  And a year away from the ship's destination feels right for a story beginning to unfold over a 12-episode season.

My major regret about The Ark was that, after seeing one episode, I wanted to see more.  But that's what next weeks are for, and I'll be back here next week after I've watched the second episode, and tell you more.

the first starship to Proxima Centauri

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