Another SF series from the 1990s comes to DVD. It’s not one of those that jumps instantly to mind when you think of the period – it’s not had the afterlife of some of the one-season wonders from that decade – but it’s worth a look, particularly if you enjoyed last season’s short-lived Terra Nova. Where the latter sold itself on its effects, Earth 2 doesn’t rely on them, hoping that the characters will prove interesting enough. There are some interesting parallels in some of the overarching plotlines though…which may not be a total surprise, given the involvement of Steven Spielberg in both!
Eureka’s Debrah Farentino merits a page in the history books for being the first female captain to have her own series (beating Star Trek’s Kathryn Janeway by a few months), and Clancy Brown is his usual reliable self. The show cast two actresses who would find themselves replaced on later series: Jessica Steen, the original Elizabeth Weir on Stargate; and Rebecca Gayheart, who didn’t last long on Firefly. And of course there’s an appearance by Terry O’Quinn, as now almost seems obligatory.
Earth 2 was filmed in New Mexico, which lends a different feel to the show and, if the stories are true about NBC’s plans to dumb the series down for a second year, maybe it’s one of those times that cancellation did a show a favour. Certainly, there’s some intelligent discussion hiding among the sometimes clichéd plots.
Verdict: Not essential, but Earth 2 will surprise you periodically. 6/10