Another interesting aspect of this show is that it’s a truly international project, with the US, Canada, the BBC, and a German company all sharing the funding and contracts for the show. Theoretically, at least, this makes it rather hard to cancel, simply because there are international contracts to consider, and one or more of the partners may decide to go ahead with the story, even if, say, Germany, or the US back out. Just interesting. It may be that the way to save shows like Kings and Firefly in the future is to go international with them, and thereby make the paperwork surrounding them so difficult as to make it not worth the network’s time to kill it. “Fine, just let it run until the end of the season. Whatever.”
Whether or not that’s the case, this whole production looks and feels more confident than “Virtuality” did, as if they know they have some time to hook an audience. This relaxation, a de-compression that comes from knowing you have time to flesh things out - comes through on camera.
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2057 - Zoe is given her psych profile, and is convinced she blew it. She goes to a bar and gets drunk. Donner sees her, makes her for a desperate washout, and decides to use her depression to get lucky. He follows her in to the women’s bathroom and more-or-less picks a fight with her (it’s not exactly funny, but it’s awkward enough to have some humor in it), then pays her bar tab, gets insulted by her, and then they end up making out outside. They head to her motel, he informs her he’s had a vasectomy and they knock boots. The next morning, they argue again when she realizes he was taking advantage of her emotional state, though he points out she was nailing him as a way to get close to the space program. He is an astronaut, after all. The phone rings, and she made it through the screening process. She’s now a candidate. She dumps Donner then and there. This all takes place BEFORE the flashbacks from the previous episode.
Some time AFTER the flashbacks from the previous episode, Jen is trying to get Zoe to confess who it was that knocked her up, and talk her in to having an abortion. Zoe is still torn on the matter. They’re having swimming tests for the mission, it’s a simple pass-fail thing. Steve Wassenfelder goes in the water and sinks like a stone. Zoe dives in to save him, and has some difficulty. Donner jumps in to save her, but Zoe saves the day, and by watching the two of them bicker, Jen figures out who did what to who.
For whatever reason, Ted Shaw’s wife eve, wants Wassenfelder on the team, and Mike Goss reluctantly goes along with it.
2062 - Three Days After Leaving Earth Orbit. Everything is hunky-dory, except that Donner and Zoe are apparently having the same dream - the one where he’s looking at Ganesha on the atmospheric shield, and she goes outside naked. Neither of them mention it to each other, however. Back on Earth, Rollie has been assigned to “Helo Plot” duty, while Ajay, we’re told, will not be allowed to pass his psych evaluation.
Paula is interviewing various crewmembers for TV, and she talks to Jen about the experiments in Natural Selection that she’s been doing since they left earth. Essentially, she’s invitro fertilizing rabbit ovum, waiting about a day, extracting the genetic material, and then using said material to fertilize more rabbit ovum. The purpose is - over six years - to see how many mutations enter the rabbit’s DNA, since they’re away from earth and the familiar environment. Paula expresses some clichéd catholic disdain for this, and Jen displays some clichéd Canadian intolerance for same. Next up on the schedule is to test out the Venus Suit, a special suit designed for their landing on the Second Planet! Zoe will be taking it down.
Wassenfelder and Nadia, the hot German chick, debate why he’s on the mission. He doesn’t know the answer, he just ended up here. Meanwhile, Shaw is asking his wife why “It” chose him, and not Rollie. She says she doesn’t know, but that he needs to go to one of the cargo pods and ask “It” himself, since presumably “It” knows why it did that. “It” is called “Beta,” and it has been a source of consternation for the space agency “Since we