Ascension: Review: Series 1 Episode 2

Ascension 2As the Ascension project comes under scrutiny in the real world, on board ship, tensions are mounting…

Okay, it didn’t go down the Capricorn One route, with Stokes breaking out and letting the world know about the fake Ascension project – or at least not yet: the end of this portion suggests that escape is on the cards – but with the exception of the creepy kid who’s got some form of telepathic ability, the story continues to underwhelm.

There’s a clinical feel to the scenes on board the ship which doesn’t really feel right – at least in contrast to some of the down and dirty elements of the storyline. The call girl ring is rather clichéd – I’m guessing since it’s suggested that this was something that those on the ship came up with themselves, it’s trying to say something a bit deeper about human nature – and the sex scenes don’t really add anything (and I keep expecting Tricia Helfer’s backbone to start glowing!)

Lauren Lee Smith is lumbered with some equally clichéd dialogue in her scenes as she tries to get to the bottom of what’s going on with the Ascension – the clandestine meetings feel like a sub-X-Files knock-off – and can we really seriously believe that after fifty-one years, there are still items kept near enough to the ship that could fall to the floor… and be heard within?!

You can certainly see why this was edited from six episodes to three for broadcast. I’m not convinced there’s actually more than a two-hour movie in total’s worth of plot but if you’ve come this far, you’ll probably stick with Ascension for the final third – not to find out who wins the power play on the ship, but to find out more about Ellie O’Brien’s Christa, who seems to know far more than she should about the outside world…

Verdict: Not one – or indeed two – of Syfy’s finest hours. 5/10

Paul Simpson



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