Earth 2 comes to UK DVD

Friday, 22 June 2012 00:00

Earth 2 finally comes to UK DVDWhen I first watched this show in 1994, I had mixed feelings. A good premise, certainly, but the execution was uneven, but I still watched. My opinion probably hasn’t changed. It seems that consistency wasn’t paramount to the story they needed to tell, so plot holes would come up from time to time – like, if it was a penal colony, where were the rest of the prisoners? And although there were some plot threads that ran from show to show, they also seemed inconsistent and slow moving. Would you really leave behind your only doctor when you can barely survive as it is?

Beyond the plot and writing in general, Earth 2 was reasonably well done. Shot primarily outdoors, the visuals are generally nice, and appropriate. I can’t think of landing in a bleaker location. Rocky terrain, cold weather; not exactly an agrarian paradise to start off a new colony. The special effects, at least in the two-part opener (they aren’t needed as much in the rest of the series) were pretty good for their time as well.

 The year is 2192 and Earth is ravaged by decades of pollution. Survivors have been forced to live in space stations. Due to a lack of regular atmosphere, a generation of children suffer from chronic illness. Scientist Devon Adair is determined to find a safe environment for her very ill son, Ulysses, who has contracted “The Syndrome” - a condition whose existence is not acknowledged by the government and medical community.

Disregarding government orders, she embarks on a journey to find a new home planet. Her expedition sets off for an Earth-like planet which is 22 light years away. After their spaceship crash-lands on the wrong side of planet G889, the party quickly discovers their new home has some very strange and hostile inhabitants.

The series started well in the ratings, but tailed off significantly towards the series end. In its favour, it was nominated for a Primetime Emmy, Saturn, and other awards.

I found I liked the music score, but I began to notice some “Raiders of the Lost Ark” riff themes in the last few episodes.

This DVD set includes all 21 episodes (including the two hour premiere, sometimes split in syndication to give 22 episodes) of the series on 4 double-sided DVDs. They are packaged in a standard-size DVD folder with two double-disc holders, where the discs overlap (somewhat annoying if the disc you want is the bottom one – if you want to be careful with the discs, you need to remove the top one first). It has a textured half-sized slip case to hold it together which meets with the theme of the series, allowing the artwork of the folder to be partially seen.

The episodes seem to be in a strange order – they appear to be in the broadcast order, originally in the USA from November 1994 to June 1995, but if I remember correctly, the last few episodes were aired out-of-order in the UK as well, with two episodes airing after the concluding cliffhanger (“All About Eve”) – this set seems to retain that order, with “Natural Born Grendlers” (which I believe should have been much earlier – perhaps after “Life Lessons”?) and “Flower Child” concluding the run (perhaps just after “Survival of the Fittest”?). Usually the DVD sets offer a chance to correct the order of episodes, but apparently this hasn’t been done in this case.

Extras on this DVD set include some deleted and extended scenes - these are eight scenes the five episodes "Water", "Better Living", "Through Morganite", "Redemption", "All About Eve" and "Survival of the Fittest", plus a Blooper Reel of mistakes, and some other out-takes.

Earth 2 – The Complete Series is available now, courtesy of MediumRare Entertainment. It has a ‘PG’ certificate, a running time of 1,015 mins approx, and a RRP of £39.99, or get it for less via www.culttvstore.com

 

Earth 2 - Cast

Debrah Farentino as Devon Adair

Joey Zimmerman as Ulysses Adair

Clancy Brown as John Danziger

J Madison Wright as True Danziger

Sullivan Walker as Yale

Jessica Steen as Dr Julia Heller

Rebecca Gayheart as Bess Martin

John Gegenhuber as Morgan Martin

Antonio Sabàto, Jr as Alonzo Solace

Richard Bradford as Commander Broderick O'Neill

Terry O'Quinn as Reilly

Tim Curry as Gaal

Jeff Kober as Z.E.D.

Rockmond Dunbar as Baines

Roy Dotrice as The Elder

 

Last modified on Monday, 23 July 2012 08:55

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