Welcome Back The Ark Science Fiction Drama Fans,
Dean Devlin has been responsible for many Science Fiction shows and movies during his long career including Independence Day and Stargate that he and his showrunner for The Ark, Jonathan Glassner of Stargate SG-1 fame have created. Both of these talented veterans of the entertainment industry have excelled at thrilling the genre enjoyed by millions worldwide. He is among a small group of top-notch writers, producers, directors who can claim a loyal following of science fiction fans.
In an interview with Variety magazine, Dean remarks that his science fiction is designed for one market, “It’s no longer about gender or age demographic. If you go to a science fiction convention, they are not just kids, they are not just older people. It’s everybody! I wrote this thing (The Ark) as a sort of love letter to the kind of science fiction I grew up watching. My mom was on the original Star Trek. I wanted to make a throwback series and then let it develop over time in unexpected areas. “
Devlin is obviously a huge fan of science fiction, just as are those who watch his films and now The Ark series. To him, it seems to be a bit of escapism during turbulent times. Weekly, we are thrust into a story line involving young people from a variety of countries.
Although the Ark-1 crew and passengers are inexperienced and confused about what lies ahead, we revel in what is being brought to our screens each week. Bravo Dean and Jon!
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We Weren’t Supposed To Be Awake:
Episode four opens with the crew rejoicing that they now have water again and the engines have been reignited thanks to the success of their mission in Get Out And Push.
The crew and passengers now have water to drink, water to shower, and water to make their plants grow ensuring an ample supply of food until they reach their destination at the colony planet.
Hold on just a minute. Not so fast. Nothing is ever straightforward or simple on Ark-1!
However, before we get to that, Lt. Spencer Lane (Reece Ritchie) has located apparently incriminating evidence that Lt. Sharon Garnet (Christie Burke) is responsible for the death of an unpleasant bar patron. Despite not knowing who sent it to him, or their motive, Spencer just can’t wait to share it with Felix (Pavle Jerinic).
Spencer is convinced that Sharon is both the murderer on The Ark and the previous murderer on Earth. Felix refuses to allow Lane to make that decision. Lane is becoming a bit irritating because of his dogged tenacity with his belief about Sharon. Perhaps Felix feels the same way. As he walks away from Lane, he can hear the sound of a crying baby. Before long he also sees a family member who we later learn is his husband whom he was forced to leave on Earth.
Meanwhile, inside the Bio-Dome, Angus (Ryan Adams) has discovered that his dear wee cabbage patch is not doing so well. That’s when Lt. James Brice (Richard Fleeshman) appears, and as jocks are wont to do, pokes fun at the nerdy farm boy for talking to his plants. James then suggests that Angus do his “sciency stuff” to find out what is wrong with his vegetables. Does Brice ever really do anything except take immense risks and look for ways to bother people who are actually working? James also finds something else for Angus to do: James leads farm boy to an airlock where he had discarded his glove in episode two. James tells Angus that he needs to analyse it. It’s actually nice that we are getting to know the main characters, better at this point, to decide who among them is relatable. Who do we like and who do we despise? Do they live up to or down to our expectations?
Felix is in the middle of interrogating Sharon about the two murders. She continues to protest her innocence. She insists that she was not at the bar in question and was, in fact, in London, England, an ocean away. At the same time, Brice is getting Lane all worked up about Garnet’s guilt, or is he? Felix wants an explanation about Garnet’s alibi. How is it possible for her to be seen murdering a man in a bar and yet, not be in the bar? Hang on to your seats, it’s a whopper. Lt. Garnet is a clone. Actually, she is one half of a pair of clones. The methods used to create her sister clone named Denise are far from ethical. Perhaps in the rush to get off Earth and travel to a new world that creates the concept of ethics having to take a back seat. Denise had become violent. When Garnet returns from her trip to London she discovers that her twin has killed herself. Sharon was placed on The Ark for one final experiment – to determine if her DNA would be better at surviving whatever space travel throws at them. Garnet explains to Felix that no one else knows her secret. He accepts her explanation. Felix strikes me as being very logical in his thought process. He’s almost like Mr. Spock from The Enterprise.
While Felix was the first to have hallucinations, as a logical person, he is the first to look for an answer to what is happening. Felix steps into Cat’s (Christina Wolfe) Counseling Quarters. She is busy painting her nails and is not amused. She could have been naked, she argues, but it had no affect on Felix who thinks he is going crazy. When he mentions his husband, instead of helping, she is quite pleased that the reason he didn’t react to her in the shower in episode one was because he is gay. In other words, it is all about her. Would you trust this woman to get into your head? Her scientific method is all over the place. It seems that she only manages to help others by accident. Cat tells Felix that everyone probably has “Cabin Fever”. Nope. As a professional, she should be taking the opportunity to confirm her diagnosis by questioning other crew members. Instead, she wants to paint her nails.
Dr. Kabir (Shalini Peiris), our overworked and under-rested medical professional, has begun to see a hallucination of her mentor, Dr. Hall. We learn that he is the same doctor who mentored Sharon when he helped create her and her twin clone. Kabir spends her time berating him for not being there to help her with all of her patients. The idiot doctor went and got himself killed, damn him. From her perspective, Hall is of no use as her patient list begins to increase. Everyone has “Cabin Feaver”. Oh wait, maybe we should get a medical diagnosis. The hallucinations are quickly turning into seizures that then cause the person to fall into a coma. The only treatment is to sedate the patient.
Fortunately for everyone, Angus has an erotic hallucination about his boss, Lt. Sharaon in a sexy outfit. His discussion with her reminds him that the water is the cause of all of their problems. He rushes to the Medbay in time to tell Kabir and then passes out. Later, Kabir, Garnet, Alicia and Lane meet to discuss their problem with the water. A new element has now been identified. The substance is affecting the brain like LSD, as well as the cardiovascular system and the body’s electrical system. If they don’t get it under control, people will begin to die. The hallucination Dr. Edward Hall (Jonathan English) concurs.
As Garnet and Kabir walk down the corridor toward the Med Bay, Garnet tells the doctor that she has been drinking just as much water as everybody else, yet she feels fine. No hallucinations. She reasons that maybe the doctor can find out why by testing her blood. This may present a cure. It turns out that Dr. Hall is a mentor to Garnet as well. He made her who she is, meaning that he and the other scientists injected her DNA with tiny creatures DNA called Tardigrades. These creatures are able to live in space with no issues. Kabir replies that she is aware that Garnet is different. She was made privy to the information that Hall had learned. Once Kabir synthesizes the element from Garnet’s blood, she can cure the crew. Unfortunately, with the first synthesised sample, Kabir passes out. Well, at least now she can get some rest.
Alicia (Stacey Read), the other resident genius comes to the rescue! She figures out what needs to be done and dumps the new compound into the ship’s water supply to cure the crew and passengers.
As everyone begins to come out of their hallucinations, including Angus, he realises that the new element that they found may be part of a weapon developed and released by aliens who may be attacking everyone on Ark-1!
Well, here we are on episode four and we still do not know who the murderer is, other than that it’s not Lt. Sharon. Nor do we know who sent Lt. Spencer Lane the video of the bar fight, so that means there is someone who wants to sabotage the relationships on Ark-1. We do know that Spencer desperately wants to be captain of Ark-1 and seems willing to do whatever it takes to achieve that goal. Lt. James, who refused to get blood taken by hallucination Dr. Kabir, seems to have his own secret also.
Alicia and Baylor Trent (Miles Barrow) seem to want to connect, but Baylor seems to have a secret as well. Baylor and Susan Ingram (Lisa Brenner), his hallucination, have a discussion about how he was brought into The Ark program. It seems that, “We do what we have to do to recruit the like-minded.” What does that mean?
Meanwhile, Eva Markovic (Tiana Upcheva) is having a terrible time emotionally separating from her boyfriend, hallucination, Harris Beckner (Dominik Cicak). As for Cat Brandice, her hallucination of Eva committing suicide in front of her suggests to me that she is not quite as confident about her abilities as she likes to pretend.
Although the command team comes together after the hallucinations, the conflicts between them still exist and the resulting tensions will have to be addressed in future episodes as the alien threat looms.
We here at Team WHR eagerly look forward to episode five “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back, this week on SYFY in the United States and CTVSciFi in Canada.
No doubt another mind blowing episode is coming our way. Will episode five reveal the aliens and who the saboteur(s) on Ark-1 really is or are? We shall see!
We leave you until next time with a fun video from this episode courtesy of SYFY. Enjoy!
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