Space: Above And Beyond – PDR’s Final Thoughts

I liked Earth 2 more, I’ll say that. It makes sense to me that as I watched through Earth 2, I could tell I had stuck with it all the way to the end as a teenager. With this show, I don’t think Teen PDR stuck with it. That may be because I lost interest, or it may have just aired when something else I watched was on, I have no way of knowing, but nothing in the latter half of the show rang a bell as anything I had seen when I was young. Who knows, maybe I watched it all and it just washed out of my brain.

I’m not saying I think Space: Above And Beyond was a bad show. It’s more militaristic than I prefer, sure, but within that framework I was impressed with the wide variety of different military stories they managed to tell. I may not have ever really cared about West or Vansen, but I liked Wang and Damphousse, and the whole thing with the In-Vitros was quite interesting to me. This show was perfectly adequate sci-fi television, especially for the era in which it existed.

I know they had hoped to make more of the show, so I can’t harp on them for not finishing up everything in a nice package. I’d’ve been interested to see if Damphousse’s supposed psychic powers (or the fact that such things exist in the setting at all). But what I mentioned as I went, and what I really want to know, is how religious the show would have gotten. We never got any answer to what the deal was with the comet that did the Christmas miracle in that one episode. Was it really meant to be the same comet that led the Wise Men to the manger? Was it connected to the comet that hit Earth and spread organic compounds to the Chig homeworld? With all the life forms on the show originating from Earth, is that planet some sort of God-created centre of the universe, or are they going for more of a Red Dwarf thing. I’ll never know, but somewhere out there exists a universe where this show was brought back after the September 11th attacks to serve a world hungry for militaristic might and religious right and I want to be able to watch that show. I bet that version of the show would have lasted as long as the War on Terror!


I’m gonna do it again! I’m gonna watch a science fiction show I dimly remember from my youth again!

Last time, I did Earth 2, a show I remembered fondly. This time, I’m doing a show I definitely watched, but I don’t remember as well. Space: Above and Beyond. It aired around the same era as Earth 2, and the basic premise was that aliens were coming and space fighter pilots had to fight them off. I feel like it was a more militaristic sci-fi than is usually my scene, but it was still science fiction on television while I was a teenager, so I had to watch it.

Oddly, the one solid thing I remember is that the aliens were somewhat insectoid, so when the humans came up with the derogatory term for them, they went with “Chiggers”. Yes, that’s right, much like how Earth 2 had humans use “Diggers” to refer to some of that show’s aliens, this one also chooses to dance around the N-Word to make a point. Anyway, I’m hoping that the aliens on Space: Above and Beyond at least look cool. Anyway, let’s fine out.

Earth 2 – PDR’s Final Thoughts

Well, I’ve reached the end of my watch-through of Earth 2 and I’ve got to say the show holds up pretty well.

It’s a shame the show ends on a cliffhanger, though obviously that is the risk of watching any short-lived sci-fi show. As I said in the post about the last episode, I don’t fear for Devon and her mystery illness. I have to assume the next season would have opened with Devon coming out of suspended animation and having to be caught up on whatever changes had occurred. No, the real unfinished business for the show is that the Eden Project group never made it to New Pacifica. Even if we’d never seen the other colonists arrive, getting the cast there would have felt like a victory for them.

What would I have expected to see in season 2? Well, for one thing I bet they would have been able to build another puppet, so we’d have had at least one more type of lifeform on G889. Then they would have continued the arcs for the characters: Yale would learn more about his life. Julia and Alonso would probably have had relationship turmoil. The kids would have each had at least two episodes focusing on them. Morgan and Bess, I figure, would have become even more useful to the group which would set up a situation where more colonists arrive, let’s say in season three, and Morgan is tempted back into the political high society lifestyle. It’s a shame the last episode was kind of a dud, because toward the end the show was really finding its legs. Sci-fi shows seem to either get better as they go, or drop hard, and I feel like this show would have only gotten better (unless the pseudo-mystical stuff got too out there for its own good).

I admit, in this age of shows returning after decades, it would be amusing to imagine that Earth 2 could come back. There would never be an audience for such a show, and so much time has passed for the characters that the show would have to be entirely different. For the story to pick up decades later, we’d have to lose the wagon train aspect and delve into the plot with bureaucratic human regime oppressing the Terrians that was first glimpsed in the time-travel episode. Some of the cast could return (though, obviously not the ones whose actors have died since the show), but with the planet now colonized, you could easily introduce many new humans to drive the plot. I have to admit, I’d check it out.

Anyway, to end this all I can only think of one way: Stray thoughts: 1) I never found a good place to talk about it, but I liked the little headsets that they used for communications and VR and some other purposes. They were just colloquially called “gear” which I liked as a worldbuilding conceit, in the way we call out multi-purpose devices “phones” even though that is a minor part of their function. 2) I was going to keep track of how often True screamed in the series, but I don’t think it happened once more after I last mentioned it back when she reached six times. If only I had been prepared when I began, I could have counted the Eagle Screeches and that would have resulted in an amusingly large number. I do wonder if they got mockery from the audience about True screaming so much early on, so they stopped. It also didn’t help that True never got as big a role as she had in that Gaal arc. 3) I hope that someone got to take home a Grendler face puppet.


Hey, remember Earth 2? It was a sci-fi show that aired… (PDR goes to check Wikipedia)… in 1994 and 1995. I don’t remember a lot about it, but I do know that thirteen-year-old PDR liked it.

My memories are that it’s about a ship full of colonists who go to another world to start a new society. While there, they have a bunch of troubles, not least of which is some kind of native life form that I think was trying to contact them in their dreams. I feel like there may have been a months-long break in the airing of the show. I have no idea what parts of what I just said are correct, but that’s how it is in my memory.

I refuse to read past the date on that Wikipedia page, because PDR is going to rewatch Earth 2 and write about it here on this website that he likes to write it on. I expect to do more than one post a week until I get through, so for the next month or two I’m going to be steeped in Earth 2-ness.