Ascension (PREVIEW)


Pilot Episode Night One
Regular Air Date: 
Monday @ 9 PM
Air Date: 
Monday, December 15, 2014

Ascension launched in 1963 with 600 people aboard the ship where they would travel through space for a century. Their mission, to populate a new planet so that the human race would have a new world to live on. For 51 years life on Ascension has been going well for everyone but when the body of a young girl is found on the beach distrust and secrets spread quickly through the ship.  With no other murder ever being committed onboard the ship, First Officer Aaron Gault (played by Brandon Bell) is find it hard to follow the few leads that he fines while on his investigation but with each new clue he finds he also finds more secrets. What does Captain William Denninger (played by Brian Van Holt) have to do with the murder and will he find out about all the secrets that his wife Viondra (played by Tricia Helfer) is keeping? Distrust is taking over the ship, secrets are being kept from everyone, and in the midst of it all is one secret that is so large it will destroy Ascension and it's mission.

Alright, I was actually surprised at this first episode of the upcoming 3 part special, Ascension. Syfy does a lot of specials and movies that get aired on it's own network, some are good, some are ok, and then there are ones that make you rethink watching television. Not the case with this first episode of this special as it falls into the good category for Syfy. It really does have everything that makes a show fun to watch, mystery, suspense, intrigue, murder, love, affairs, and a twist that even I didn't see coming.

In this first episode there is a lot more going on then the basic plot summary that I wrote above but if I did put in all the different points and twists that happen then I would give away the fun of the show. What I will say is that if you are like me  where you are expecting this show to be about a secret space mission set up like a soap that's set in space, you'd be wrong. Wait, no you would be right. No wait, you would be wrong and right because Ascension is a show that is set in space, there is all the elements that make for a good soap show, like affairs, lies, secrets, sex, and murder. Going with those facts you will get what would make for a typical soap show but what you also get is mystery, intrigue, and acting that's actually done well. There's some holes in the story that I was wondering about, none that I will state in the review so I don't give anything away, but there are questions that I have that I hope will be answered in one of the two future episodes. But see, that's what makes this show interesting and fun, it had me questioning it and wanting to continue to watch so I can get those answers.

It also surprised me with one twist that I didn't think was going to happen but when it did the story went down a whole new path. Having a good story line does help out a lot with this show, but by also using some extremely cool sets and CG for the effects on the ship, the show becomes more realistic while watching. Granted, you might notice that some of the sets look simple and fake, but when you remember that these sets where supposed to have been first designed and built back in the late 50's and into the 60's, they wouldn't look any other way. These people are in a ship that was built for space so the rooms are going to look fake and the writers know this and work it into the story. In fact some of the characters have a problem with being trapped in a ship that is trying to look like a location on Earth but are a pale imitation of it. It's little things like that, that where paid attention to while writing this show as well as giving the overall main story a little more realism. Though the acting being done does help the show a lot as well. I expected a lot of overacting with this show but it's not there. Ok, well not as much there as I expected. There are one or two characters that get a little too into their roles but they're still not too bad. It's a fun show that has me wanting to watch episode two and if they keep up the same levels in episode 2 and 3 then this will be a good Syfy special.

Lee Roberts
Review by Lee Roberts
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