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DVD Review: Earth 2 - The Complete Series

The year is 2192, and the Earth is now an inhospitable planet, inhabited only by miners and extremely poor people. Most of the human population now live in nice, safe, sterile space stations, where the temperature remains constant and comfortable year round, and there is no toxic rain, earthquakes, or any other natural disasters to threaten life. There is, however, an illness, one that many don't even like to recognize, but for the parents of these "syndrome" children the threat is very real and the outcome is always known... guaranteed death before the age of puberty. The theory is that this sickness is caused by living in space, in such a sterile environment, without the sunlight, rain, or air that the Earth should be providing. And so one such mother, Devon Adair, decides to lead an expedition consisting of her son, Uly, and 250 other syndrome families to a far off planet called G889, where they plan to build a settlement and colonize that planet in the hopes that their children, and the future of humanity, will survive.

Of course, there are problems from the get-go. Several hours before their scheduled launch, they stumble onto an internet broadcast, set to be released just after their launch, stating that their ship was tragically and unexpectedly destroyed in an accident. Stunned, and realizing that someone is intent on seeing their mission fail, the decision is made to launch immediately. A thorough scan of the ship reveals the planted bomb, and they are able to eject it out an airlock before it detonates. Unfortunately, they also discover that their primary doctor was off the ship at the time. And so they find themselves on a 22 year old journey to a new and uninhabited planet, with only a single, inexperienced doctor on their team. But with nothing else they can do, the crew enters cold sleep and waits for their craft to reach their new home. The plan is for the initial expedition crew to speed ahead and arrive two years before the rest of the colonial families so that they can have the new outpost set up by the time everyone else arrives.

Earth 2 - The Complete Series Twenty-two years later, the crew is awakened, and everything seems to be going as planned. But then, as they are dropping their materials at the New Pacifica coordinates, an accident occurs. One of the containers won't release from the ship, and begins to drag it into the planet's atmosphere. They fight to recover, but it's no use, and the crew must rush to abandon the ship. They make for the escape pods, and before the know it, they are on their way down to the planet, while their ship heads for imminent destruction. It doesn't take long to discover precisely where they are... on the completely opposite side of the continent. Thus, with little other choice, they must pack up what little supplies they have and head west to New Pacifica, hoping that along the way they will meet up with more of the crew, find supplies from their crashed ship, and learn enough about the planet so that they may all survive the long trek.

Earth 2 - The Complete Series The group soon discovers how wrong they were about this being a planet uninhabited by sentient life. Besides the natives, knowledge of which the government purposely kept hidden from Eden project, the Eden team also encounters humans... pretty strange for a planet that we have supposedly never visited before. They will have to keep their wits about them, determine friend from foe, adapt to their new alien environment, and learn the secrets of the planet if they hope to survive the trials of an crossing an untamed land. They must push on and reach New Pacifica, so that they and the hundreds that follow may be able to someday call this new world their home, and not just their cemetery. Of course, we don't actually get to see if they make it or not, because the show was canceled after just one season, which is extremely disappointing.

Earth 2 - The Complete Series On the very first episodes, we are introduced to three native species of life, Terrians, Grendlers, and Kobas. Terrians are humanoid in appearance, but are neither male nor female. They have a symbiotic relationship with the planet, and prefer to communicate through dreams. Yeah, this is kind of weird and definitely takes some getting used to, especially for me, since I almost always hate dream sequences. But here, their an integral part of the story, so I just had to accept that. The Grendlers are stocking bi-pedal creatures with large heads and lots of saliva, which apparently smells really bad yet has medicinal uses. They are intelligent, have a language, and seem to be traders and gatherers. Kobas are small lizard-skinned creatures about the size of a small dog. They are good at mimicking and shoot out poison claws when they feel threatened. The poison will put a person into a coma state that seems like death, though eventually the victim seems to pull through just fine.

Earth 2 - The Complete Series These creatures, along with some normal looking spiders and a shot of a few birds flying far away in the distance are the only creatures we ever get to see. I know they had a limited budget, but this is an alien world here! I expect that after months of traversing treacherous terrain they would see something... anything! It doesn't have to be anything big like a giraffe or elephant, but how about a deer-like creature? Or a rabbit-like creature? I'd even take a squirrel-like creature? Just something to make this place seem more alive! Oh, and the Kobas? They look soooooo fake! Just like a little rubber fellow made from a creature shop and carefully balanced by some tech guy to make it appear that it's standing. Or when pops up from behind the rock, I could just see in my mind the guy behind the rock holding the thing. It really looked like a toy. Luckily, they didn't show it too much throughout the series. Unfortunately, it did show up in the first episode, which totally didn't help the realism of the show.

Earth 2 - The Complete Series The episodes were a mixed bag, some good and some bad, some really exciting and some extremely boring. But overall, there was definitely more good than bad. I really enjoyed being able to see these people from the start of their journey across the unknown wilderness, and getting to know them through all of the situations they encountered while continually heading toward a specific destination, with a specific purpose. In fact, I actually felt frustrated when part of the way through their journey winter storms prevented them from continuing their trek, and they were forced to take shelter in one spot for several episodes. I kept thinking c'mon, get going, you guys are tough, you can make it through a little snow! Let's get moving here people! And then when the season ended and it didn't get picked up, I was definitely bummed. I mean, I never expected it to last as long as something like Star Trek: The Next Generation, but I thought it'd make it to at least a second season.

Earth 2 - The Complete Series The packaging for the box set is pretty nice looking. It's a fold-out case with transparent plastic attached to hold the discs. When folded up, it slides into a half-size textured box. If you take a look at the box art, the gray portion to the left, along with the circle in the center, is the textured box, while the remaining portion is the paperboard foldout case that holds the discs. Two discs fit on each section of the case, with one partially overlapping the other. The set comes with four double-sided discs, with three episodes per side. The forth disc contains the bonus features, which are a gag reel, deleted and extended scenes, and the first episodes of Cleopatra 2525 - The Complete Series and Sliders - The Third Season.

Earth 2 - The Complete Series was released by Universal Home Video on DVD starting July 19, 2005, and stars Debrah Farentino as Devon Adair, Clancy Brown as John H. Danziger, Antonio Sabato Jr. as Alonzo Solace, Jessica Steen as Dr. Julia Heller, John Gegenhuber as Morgan Martin, Rebecca Gayheart as Bess Martin, J. Madison Wright as True Danziger, Joey Zimmerman as Ulysses Adair, Sullivan Walker as Yale, Rockmond Dunbar as Baines, Walter Norman as Walman, Marcia Magus as L. Magus, Kirk Trutner as Cameron, Fredrick Lopez as Mazatl, Deneille Fisher as Denner, and Tierre Turner as Zero.

Image Gallery: Earth 2 - The Complete Series

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