‘Earth 2’ " unearthed after a decade | VailDaily.com

‘Earth 2’ " unearthed after a decade

Don Rogers

We finished the new year watching the end of the 21-episode “Earth 2” sci-fi show that lasted just one season in 1995.

What a find! I vaguely remembered watching on Sunday evenings, maybe? We lived in a farm couple’s home in tabletop western Illinois on their farm. They had moved to town. Great, old place. I recall it as gray or blue, paint peeling, bare wood showing, barns everywhere, grass always green with frequent rain, thick air, the wide open and always expressive sky in that blessed way of the Midwest. Gorgeous in its thoroughly rustic way.

The kids were, what, 6 and 3? Middle age hadn’t yet stained our hair, begun to wrinkle around the eyes. Our life’s journey still felt early; rural Illinois most definitely was not our last stop. We still felt the pioneering impulse. We were on a career stop, nowhere close to our destination, wherever that was.

The series was about a similar quest. A mom with a boy just a little older than ours seeks that brave new world and has the means to lead an expedition to a planet much like Earth. It’s a strange place, of course, and a strange underground race of humanoids cure her boy’s deadly illness. And he becomes a link between the races.

They crash land, and they must journey across a continent to their intended destination. The acting is good, plots compelling, graphics believable. There are holes in the story-line, of course. But no more so than the classic sci-fi shows, like the “Star Trek” franchise.

Too bad so few of us embrace science fiction. The show died 21 shows in, with a cliff-hanger, of course. The group barely got started when the story ended. The Sci Fi channel ought to buy up the rights and finish it, I think.

A decade later, the DVD package shows up in time for Christmas. I wasn’t even sure if this was the same show I vaguely remembered from Illinois, but I bought it anyway.

My wife frowned at the case, and shrugged. Then we stayed up way too light every night last week watching episodes.

We’re suckers for sci-fi. Not the overly campy stuff. But “Star Gate,” most “Star Trek” series, and the new “Battlestar Gallactica” transfix the whole family. It’s the one TV place we all come to.

There are only a few things we even watch, and our tastes are different. Mary loves “Survivor” and “Lost” and that’s it beyond the sci-fi shows. Ben is into the History Channel. Rachel settles in with Mom for “Survivor.” I am hooked on basketball and will often sneak over and check out the Broncos if we’re home, in addition the sci-fi fix. Oh, we all like “Lost,” too.

That’s it. We watch far less television than typical. At least compared to our families and to those disturbing statistics we occasionally read about in our papers.

I’m not sure what makes us gravitate so much to science fiction shows. The leaps required in imagination. That sense of wonder, possibility, getting outside the mundane “normal” bounds of the world we know? I just know the attraction to this genre is not shared nearly enough by other viewers.

Our shows have this way of being cancelled at th cliff-hangers. Of being hard to find. Yet there’s all this cop junk, reality stuff and lame, lame, lame sitcoms that prattle on and on, boring and depressing as can be. How do they roll along while the truly interesting shows die.

More to the point. What is wrong with us?

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