The 58th Squadron of the US Marine Corps Space Aviator Cavalry, better known as the Wildcards, are raring for action against the Chigs – but this is a war that Earth is ill-equipped to fight…
Emanating from the fertile minds of Glen Morgan and James Wong – who came up with some of the most inventive episodes of The X-Files, the loopy second season of Millennium, and the Final Destination series of movies – this is a war series that is set in outer space, rather than a space series that features some battles. Inspired by Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War among other classics of military SF, it also acknowledged the general mania for conspiracy theories around at that time, with some intriguing questions posed that weren’t always answered.
In some ways SA&B can be seen as a staging post on the way to the critically successful revamp of Battlestar Galactica that followed a few years later. The series focuses on how military – and to an extent, civilians – coped with high pressure, particularly during a time of war, with some great episodes (Toy Soldiers, notably), making some uncomfortable points.
Unusually given some closure in its final episodes (the producers knew that a second series was unlikely), this is a well-produced, and, although downbeat, generally enjoyable piece of genre television, which is given an effective package in the Collectors Edition.
Collectors Edition: 7/10