Space: Above And Beyond – Level of Necessity

We’ve had aliens and androids and genetically engineered people and space battles with lots of sound, but this episode reveals that another common sci-fi concept also exists in this universe: psychic powers. It seems like they exist, but only just barely. Most people don’t really believe in them. But it turns out that Damphousse has psychic powers, so they are clearly real.

The Wild Cards are on a mission on some planet full of underground caverns when Damphousse has a premonition that if they go down a tunnel they’ll die. She disobeys orders to save her team, and the others who went down the tunnel all get killed. She doesn’t know what caused this vision, but the reports reach the military’s Psi-Ops division and a guy named Burke (played by Richard Kind) comes to investigate Damphousse’s “Anomalous Intuition” as they call it. He does various tests (pretty much the same ones you’d see a show set in the modern day do when testing a psychic) but is unable to prove anything. With that in mind, he accompanies the team on their next mission, even though he’s a real Richard Kind type. On that mission Damphousse does indeed have a vision that one of them will die, and it causes a bunch of tension. She also realizes that Burke’s real motivation is that he wants to prove psychic powers exist, more for his own curiosity than anything. In the end, surprising no PDRs in the audience, Burke is the one who is killed, but he gets to have a moment with Damphousse as he dies. Oh, and then at the end, Damphousse prays to God. It feels like there’s still a chance for this show to go all Christian on me. Fingers crossed.

This show hasn’t had the number of recognizable (to me) actors that Earth 2 did, certainly nothing on Tim Curry’s level, but Richard Kind is a pretty prominent one. This is the guy who wrote the Mentaculus after all!

The caves and tunnels we get in this week’s mission are neat, they continue to impress me with how they manage to keep the combat fresh. It would be easy for it to feel like the same thing every time. That said, I find myself missing the space planes that I had assumed from my childhood memory were the main focus of the show. I assume it’s a budget thing, but also the ground combat makes it easier for our characters to interact.

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