Defying Gravity

Main character is haunted by his Mars Mission. His fellow astronauts were in trouble but their head said he couldn’t wait to help them because then he would die too. (It’s kind of unclear what the problems actually are, so poor job there, but we get that he had to leave them behind and that was agonizing.) There’s something about the title of the show that really bugs me but that could just be that it makes me want to sing Wicked’s Defying Gravity every time I hear it (and little compares to that show).

A new mission is being launched and they’re celebrating, made up of an international crew. There’s a newly married couple.

Two people from the Mars Mission are being trained on this new mission.

Flashback to training. Zoe Barnes (actress played Daisy from Dead Like Me) is the first trainee to throw up. Donner (main character) flirts with her a little but she tries to avoid his advances.

“Present” she stills wears the gold bucket chain he gave her when she threw up. It turns out Donner will not be on the mission.

The astronauts are meant to tour 7 planets in 6 years. The Press is upset that Donner and Shore (the Mars Vets) that are not on the mission. The new crew is inexperienced. The press then gets in Donner’s face accusing him of leaving the crew members behind out of panic and he hits him.

One of the chosen crew, Evan, is an alcoholic apparently, even drinking on launch day.

The Indian guy is super spiritual.

(This show does the voiceover thing. Eh, so far it hasn’t added anything to the show really.)

Being an astronaut is about control. You don’t want surprises.

It’s launch time. They lift off. Donner and Shore are sitting at launch control. We find out then that the true mission has been kept a secret. “How any would have gone if we told them?” Eve (Shore’s wife and a ranking official) asks. Dun dun dun, what could they be hiding? One of the others says they all would. Then why wouldn’t you tell them.

Donner’s in a space suit and sees Zoe, naked, let herself out into space. Weird dream there. Because it is obviously a dream.

Donner’s media fist fight is being replayed on the news. Donner and SHore discuss their inability to leave Mars behind.

Oh, they’ve even pulled in the confessional reality style in the form of crew members speaking “personal logs.”

As the logs are going, Zoe hears a baby’s cry. (Abortion storyline…?) Flashback to training- Zoe might be pregnant. She keeps it secret so that she won’t get thrown off the mission.

Even more like Fox’s failed Virtuality, they are actually filming the journey live. One of the crew members hosts.

Zoe hasn’t been sleeping much because of weird dreams.

They need to make med patch adjustments to fix some minor glitches. But it doesn’t seem to be helping. Evan is the doctor. Two of the astronauts seem to have heart murmurs, it isn’t the patches that are problematic. (Oh, I see how Shore and Donner end up back in space, clearly they wouldn’t be grounded.) They both randomly have developed these problems–the odds are ridiculously low and they can’t be cleared for space travel. How did this happen?

Steven is the physicist. He’s a genius who searched for porn on the ship’s video banks.

We hear that they know what might be causing the new problems. “This thing…has a lot more say in the mission than they do.” It sounds like some alien being or something. Whatever this is, it’s causing health issues–probably the real mission is to find a cure or a place away from whatever taint or whatever is separating them.

Donner and Shore are told they’re going to be on the mission, which is what Donner’s been dreaming. They just have to do quick physicals.

The only sad thing about this crew switch is that the married couple is separated. Donner is told he has to have a vasectomy. He’s done it already, but it seems to have undone itself?

Shore is told what is going on and asks when the crew was to be told. In 43 days, when they reached a planet.

AJ, the indian dude who has to leave the crew is sad and feels lost for not being able to stay on the mission. He was the captain.

(We see that Donner’s father is kind of crazy and Donner says good bye not knowing if his father will be around.)

The married couple talks. Jen wants to get off the mission but he says she can’t. He obviously knows the secret but she doesn’t. He wanted to “be there” with her “for everything.” Mission Control is at least nice enough not to watch them make out and have weightless sex as they say goodbye. First episode and already we’ve got plenty of nudity. Well, you don’t see anything since it’s regular tv, but you know, they hint it. (Pregnancy storyline?)

(I get the feeling Donner was dating the woman he had to leave behind on Mars.)

The crew talks about what could have caused the issue. Zoe still hears the baby though no one else does.

Flashback, Zoe is pregnant. It’s illegal to have an abortion nowadays. Jen insists she do it anyway or she’ll lose her spot. she knows a doctor who will do it.

AJ has painted his face and is going into the airlock corridor. He locks everyone else out. So being kicked off the mission has made him lose his mind apparently. He’s going outside in his spacesuit. AJ’s heart rate and BP spike when normally he had the most stable tests. (Will he die now? His heart burst or something?) AJ moves away from the ship. He’s putting himself in orbit. They don’t think he’ll commit suicide. Right? They want to go out and get him. Donner, still at Mission Control says to let them do it but Mike, the guy in charge says no. Can’t afford the loss of a second crew member. He doesn’t have time for AJ and his meltdown. So Donner punches him.

AJ has 8 hours of oxygen left. Donner and Shore launch, intent on trying to catch him. Do they get there in time? It looks like it. They ignore Mission Control’s command to dock immediately. Clearly Donner isn’t ready to leave another person behind. AJ is just sitting on the side of the ship now. AJ’s comm is back on. He wants to sit out there and get to Venus. Donner throws all of AJ’s words of wisdom and religion back at him and says this is his obstacle to overcome. AJ’s path is on Earth. they all need each other. Everyone listens and waits to hear AJ’s response, which will obviously be agreement. (Not nearly the dramatic story it could have been but everyone cheers.)

Ah, so the voiceover is supposed to be Donner’s personal log.

Jump ahead. Ship is go for Venus now.

As of now I am not thrilled with this show. The editing is choppy, the characters aren’t well introduced (as is evidenced by the fact that I could not catch almost anyone’s names and most of the few i had thought I caught I actually got wrong: it’s Shaw not Shore and Evram not Evan, the married guy is Rollie) and seem to be pretty static. I generally dislike voiceovers that carry throughout a show. The confessionals weren’t well utilized (they’re less interesting when they’re long and only talk about how awesome everything is and since they assume Mission Control is watching, how much can they really say in them?) I also dislike the fact that it is SOOO much like Fox’s Virtuality–crew that is sent into space with one mission only to find out it’s something different relating to saving mankind, confessionals, being on a reality tv show while on the ship–which was better developed, had stronger and more defined characters, and had added intrigue (the Virtual Reality recreation aspect was interesting and brought up unique questions).

But I have a general don’t judge a show by its pilot policy (unless I truly hate it and it shows little promise for improvement, which has happened occasionally). Luckily, the premier was two episodes, so I am going to check out episode 2 now, Natural Selection, and see if it is any better.

(Next Episode)

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