Earth: Final Conflict Season 1
April 16, 2006
Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry died in 1991, then in 1996 his wife found papers detailing a pilot and series outline for a show that was ditched in favour of Star Trek: The Motion picture. In 1997 that series was developed and broadcast, that forgotten series was Earth: Final Conflict.
Three years ago, they came, forever altering the future of humanity. They helped the Earth with humanity’s problems; war, famine and disease and the world embraced the arrival of an alien species. The Taelons come in peace – or do they. A small group of humans, who are not so receptive to the Taelon’s kindness and friendship, create a secret rebel alliance in order discover the real reason to why the ‘companions’ are here.
Recently widowed, William Boone, is appointed Director of Companion Security and Interspecies Relations, and works as a double agent for the human resistance and US Taelon representative Da’an. Boone is partnered by Marine Pilot Captain Lili Marquette, who is also a member of the resistance and FBI Agent Sandoval, a hardcore Taelon follower.
The basic concept seems familiar and so it should as it’s basically a re-working of 1980’s cult classic TV show ‘V’. However Final Conflict is more subtle with its miring of real life events, through out the 22 episodes we seem the Taelons exposed to racism, kidnapping, propaganda, acts of war and slowly become unsatisfied with their adoration and begin to demand devotion. In season one audiences can witness humans form a Taelon church and treat them as gods, a Taelon disease spread to humans, and Taelon experimentation with human emotion such as rage and anger.
As a complete season Earth Final Conflict is a satisfactory sci-fi series, but as stand alone episodes lack prominence and become rather weary. The series suffers from some very deadpan acting creating awkward character interaction, bland direction and editing making it very difficult to get any excitement from it, even from it’s occasional explosion or punch up. The designs for the alien artefacts such as buildings, language, interiors, ships and even musical instruments are absolutely ludicrous, the special effects are not exactly the best and to make things worse it has the most irritating score and theme ever invented.
Giving the series some wealth is its ability to plant the seeds of a story early and let it grow through out the entire season. From the eighth episode onwards, the series takes a significant step forward by introducing more back story on our protagonists and revealing more mythology on the Taelons and throwing in more emotion entanglement; with the relationship between Capt. Marquette and computer genius Auger, Da’ans’ growing empathy towards humans and Zo’ors’ secret desires to overthrow the head of the Taelon Synote.
Regardless of how many twist, turns and surprises season one delivers, having episode after episode of Boone and Marquette running round like a third rate Mulder and Scully, trying to uncover the secret plot of the disturbingly limp wristed Talons, just doesn’t conjure up much passion for the show. The essence of a great idea is here, but perhaps mediocre execution hinders the liking of the show, no matter how much it may warrant it. However, with it’s shock final scene season two promises to up the ante quite a bit.
The 6 DVD box set is released by Universals’ ‘Playback’ label dedicated to bringing those forgotten classic and cult tv shows to DVD. Earth: Final Conflict is defiantly not a jewel in their crown when released along side Miami Vice, Magnum, Knight Rider, The A Team Battlestar Galactica and Twin Peaks to name a few.