Ascension; A SyFy Misfire

I’ve come to the conclusion that Battlestar Galactica was a one-off, accidental and lucky fluke for SyFy. There’s been a huge push by the network for Ascension; it’s latest big spend in the science fiction genre. It’s said they were to return with this blockbuster of a series, beginning with a six-part miniseries which, if it does well enough, could spawn a fully fledged series. With a good cast, concept and excellent writers at the helm, I suppose I placed a lot of hope on this series; after all, Tricia Helfer aka mega siren cylon Number 6, is at the helm. In fact, I decided to start watching Battlestar just to get me into the mood. So, back to Ascension. Set in the 1960’s, the Ascension – a secret yet mahusive ship – was sent into space with a lifeboat of the human race to populate Proximus; the nearest habitable system. Sounds good, right?

I’ll say right here, that I only watched the first two episodes…but I have an explanation. 

The whole premise of this show gripped me; a small community of humans sent off into space, on their own, to evolve both their society and themselves on the way. But here starteth the problem……the opening scene was Tricia Helfer fussing over a troupe of 1960’s-esc stewardesses. But, hang on, they set off in the 1960’s and have been aboard 51 years….wouldn’t fashion have moved on a little? I get that the actual ship and technology they’re working with are set; I mean, they can’t rebuild the ship whilst in transit. But fashions? Hairstyles? Social etiquette? Wouldn’t these things have all evolved throughout the journey? Yet, here it was, set in stone as if they’d only left yesterday. Everyone aboard was supposed to be the first generation from those first intrepid explorers….wouldn’t they have moved things along from their parents era a little?

Worse than the failure to address societal evolution, was the fact it was boring. After the first 20 minutes, I turned to my husband who was muttering about being unenthralled and, shock horror, I agreed. A space show…and I was bored?! Everything felt a little cardboard, cliched and moulded to try and tick every box in the ‘make an award winning series’ formula. But….it didn’t work, due, in part, to the jumps back to modern day Earth where it was obvious that another story was unfolding. Unfortunately, neither it or the space ship sagas were enough to keen me onboard. And THEN – the twist ending. Yes, expletives were announced, but after a couple of WTF’s, I suddenly realised Ascension isn’t a science fiction story at all; it’s a badly disguised murder mystery and social experiment…a Truman show…a Big Brother.

So, there it is; I’m vastly disappointed and don’t think I’ll be watching any more. Did you watch the show? Did it rock it for you, or were you as badly let down as I feel?

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