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Space: Above and Beyond, episode 1 (1.1)
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2006 13:30:03
After decades of peace, mankind discovers that it is not alone in the universe and is pulled into a war with an unknown alien species. A group of new recruits in the United States Marine Corps are thrown into the heat of battle. They each joined for there own reason, but in the end they are all fighting for the same thing, Earth and the survival of the human race.
Years of calling out into the empty reaches of space have convinced man we are alone. But are we? A group of men, women and children stand together on the soil of a new planet, looking up to the stars as the flag of Earth is unfurled. But the peace of the night is shattered by alien warplanes. The colony is destroyed.
Back on Earth, Nathan West and his partner Kylen Celina are nervously going through the final checks in preparation for the launch that will take them to the new colony of Tellus and their dream of building a new world together. But mere hours before the launch they are informed that only one of them can go. Ten members of the crew are to be replaced by In Vitros, people artificially gestated in gestation chambers, known as "tanks". Nathan and Kylen decide that Kylen must go alone, and the only possible way Nathan can hope to eventually be re-united with her is to join the Marines and hope to become a colonial sentry.
Shane Vansen visits her former home on a military base in San Diego. There she relives her parents' brutal murder at the hands of Artificial Intelligence terrorists. Placing a wreath on the very spot where they died, Shane squares her shoulders and sets off to join the Marines.
A building site in Philadelphia and Cooper Hawkes is running for his life. His workmates have discovered he is an In Vitro, a despised "tank" and now they intend to string him up from a girder. But Cooper is no easy mark. He fights back, and the thugs scatter. Seizing an iron bar Cooper chases the ringleader into the street where he dives into the back of a police car. Incensed that the man who tried to kill him is now being protected by the police, Cooper starts smashing the police car. He is quickly stunned unconscious by the police, still entangled in the wire the lynch mob tried to hang him with. He is sentenced to serve a term in the Marines rather than go to prison.
With war suddenly breaking out the training of the new recruits begins in earnest. Nathan West is still angry at his treatment, and, when he hears that the Tellus colony ship has been shot down, terrified for Kylen. Only faith that she is among the few missing survivors keeps him going. Shane, having decided to join the Marines for herself, and to get away from looking after her younger sisters, is exasperated to find all members of the squadron looking to her for guidance. Cooper is sullen and rebellious. Three people thrown together for very different reasons, and the only way for them and their squad mates to survive is to learn to work together as a team.
By Sarah Stegall on 08 Jul 2003 07:58:35
The space ships are "Star Wars" retreads and the bad guys still smell of "Battlestar Galactica" mothballs, but "Space: Above and Beyond" is driven by the sheer poetry of its writing. Imagine the flash and dazzle of "Star Wars" married to the evocative and masterful prose of a Ray Bradbury, and you have this new series from Fox in a nutshell. With story elements recalling Pearl Harbor, the Alamo, and Desert Storm, we get two hours of genuine, old-fashioned space opera as God intended it.
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