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ASCENSION-TV SERIES: SPACE RACE MYSTERY…

I have recently finally watched all three feature length episodes of this short new science fiction tv mini series, and now I am looking back over it again. Now there are currently a good number of various science fiction, fantasy and comic-book inspired new television series running, all competing for our attention and viewing figures.
Other series are still running for the usual twelve to twenty or so episodes, but this new bold series was suprisingly set for just three feature length parts. This I only learned late, but actually did add a strong structure and dramatic pace to the show.

The show focuses on a secret unknown space mission which took place in the late 50’s, with all of America never learning about it in any way. The crew and passengers on board this spaceship spent around fifty years there, moving through space with the intention of learning more and seeing more. With a mysterious death at the start of the first episode, the peaceful community of passengers onboard begin encounter dangers they have never seen in all of their time in space.

As the show progresses, there are more mysteries and revelations as we learn more about the reasons for the space mission and just what is taking place onboard. The visual style, direction and budget all impress and give us a very unique modern science fiction show unlike most others in recent times.
The show does start off fairly slow and like a detective mystery in space, but gradually a number of other characters and events show us more, with layers of secrets and lies, tensions and fears challenging all on the spaceship Ascension.
I assume that being a very short mini series, it allowed the makers to hold a larger budget, giving the show a visual style which looks very much like a Hollywood sci-fi movie. It moves along much like a good science fiction novel, with a largely interesting collection of characters and drama. I think it seems to have not really gained the ratings figures that it may have hoped for, but I do think that it has a good number of well written elements, even though some of it may be flawed or needing of editing in parts. By the end of the series, it reminds us in some ways of shows such as The X-Files, Dark Skies, Defiance and others which some topical themes of government cover-ups, corruption, class tensions added into the story. This series may not be what many expected from the early adverts and poster publicity, but it is worth seeing. Could there be another series to follow it up? It may not happen, I hope that we do see where the story could continue.

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About JAMES E PARSONS

Author of science fiction novels Orbital Kin and Minerva Century-also horror, literary fiction, many short stories and screenplays. Always reading, writing, watching films, playing guitar/bass, and am a husband with a coffee addiction. New horror novel due for 2017. This is my blog, offshoot from my website. It will be where I post current thoughts, opinions, views, reviews, or discussions about contemporary film, movies, books, video games, television series mostly in the horror, science fiction, fantasy and their sub-genre offshoots. The entertainment not in the mainstream (for the most part) and proud of it. Also follow me on twitter- @ParsonsFiction, and facebook - James E Parsons

5 responses to “ASCENSION-TV SERIES: SPACE RACE MYSTERY…

  1. I think the intention was to try a mini series and see if it got the ratings and interest to justify a full season order. In this case I guess it didn’t but I think the mini series to TV show path is a good idea. It worked for Battlestar Galactica.

  2. I haven’t seen it yet, but I thought your comments on pacing are interesting – a slow start may be more successful in a feature length. I’ve been watching the old Doctor Who shows (on “Retro TV”). Most story lines run four 1/2 hour episodes and, with time out for commercials and a short recap after each break, that’s about one hour of show. The format so dictates the pacing. Some pre-commercial cliff hangers are silly – “Kill the Doctor” – commercial – “No, wait, we want to capture him.”

    • Thanks. Yes Ascension was I think 3 feature length episodes, so quite different for tv sci-fi. I did like it.
      You’re watching DrWho-well there is just so much of it! I could do with catching the last couple series in full. Yes, sometimes those commercial cliff-hangers are fairly OTT and simple or funny.

      • Yes – we have to move on from “the classics.” I read about Ascension in Wikipedia – they make it sound like there’s quite a bit of “soap opera” in the story.

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