Ascension: Review: Series 1 Episode 3

Ascension 3Is there really more to the Ascension project than meets the eye?

It’s a shame that some of the themes and ideas that appear in the very final part of this story (what would have been the sixth episode had it been broadcast as originally planned) weren’t threaded through right from the start. The decision to hold the reveal of the “fake” project until the end of the second hour held back any proper development of the material outside the ship until after that, and the concentration on the sexual antics of those on board – no doubt titivating a portion of the audience who haven’t seen simulated sex before – rather than on Christa meant that things felt rushed in the effort to get to the series cliffhanger.

In the end, we did get the Capricorn One scenario, with the survivor of the Ascension on the run, apparently being given aid but really being pursued, and Lauren Lee Smith’s character deserved a much better fate than she received. Was the plan all along to somehow genetically create a “star child” who would be able to move the Ascension by the power of his/her mind at the end of the hundred years so that those on board wouldn’t know they’d been tricked? What was the endgame otherwise – let them all out and go “sorry we’ve played you for fools all your lives, hope you don’t mind, but it was an experiment”?

There are many series which end a season on a cliffhanger believing they’ll return, but then don’t, leaving the audience forever wondering what would have happened. I don’t see a campaign for more Ascension gaining any more lift-off than the titular ship ever did!

Verdict: Some good ideas hide among the dross in this final part, but this has to be consigned to the negative side of Syfy’s ledger. 5/10

Paul Simpson


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