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Genre: Sci-Fi, TV series
Starring: Robert Leeshock, Von Flores, Lisa Howard, Richard Chevolleau, Leni Parker, Anita La Selva, David Hemblen
Eye candy: Surprisingly little, for a sci-fi series
Crea0tor: Gene Roddenberry
Run time: 15 hours, 46 minutes
DVD distributor: Alliance Films
The “good” alien in Earth: Final Conflict is named Da’an. Which is a pretty lame name. One that could have been dreamed up for an alien by putting strange-sounding names into a computer and running a program that would spit out “alien” sounding names. Da’an! Zo’or! See, Da’an is the “good” one, “Zo’or” is the evil one…even the name of the alien race itself, the “Taelons”, sounds appropriately alien-ish. They look like…well…aliens. The bulbous, hairless heads, the soothing, monk-chanting type voice. It’s all so – usual. The aliens, their voices, their names, are exactly what one would expect from aliens. This is fine, but it just feels wrong. Every moment I see an alien on this show, I feel like it has been designed by a committee and tested through a focus group. Is this what everyone thinks aliens are? Good. Then let’s proceed.
But it isn’t just the aliens themselves that feel like the product of a focus group. The cast, the plot, the writing all feel like they have come out of a giant computerized alien-dialogue generator. In Season Two, out July 27th from Alliance Films, there is a pretty major casting change. William Boone (Kevin Kilner) was the square-jawed, all-American (or, in this case, all-Canadian) hero of Season One. In Season Two, he turns up dead, and is replaced by another square-jawed all-American hero, Liam Kincaid (Robert Leeshock). Why? I suspect that the focus group behind this show decided that Kilner was too old and therefore not young-and-sexy enough. So they replaced him with a younger version of the same guy.
Now, I suspect that these committees were still at work throughout the run of the series, and are still pulling the strings now that Earth: Final Conflict is on DVD. On the DVD cover of Season Two, the picture features Kevin Kilner, and not Robert Leeshock. Why, I wondered. Kilner is in Season Two only as a body floating in some liquid for a moment in the first episode. Then he is gone. Why is he on the cover? I think it’s because the focus group determined that HE was a more recognizeable face, and a bigger star, than was Leeshock. So better play up HIS involvement while you have a chance. I guess this means the 1998 focus group was wrong.
This show claims to be the brainchild of Gene Roddenberry, the man behind Star Trek. His is a big name in sci-fi, and following his death this show and Andromeda both bore his name. I guess he had jotted down some ideas about aliens and spaceships before he died, and using his name was a good way to get nerds to tune in. For one or two episodes, anyway. But the man was dead. And he didn’t write Earth: Final Conflict. A focus group did. And the show sucked as a result. One more thing – wouldn’t a focus group come up with the idea to add some hot chicks? If there’s one thing every sci-fi show ever has, it’s hot chicks in tight clothes. Nerds love that. Earth: Final Conflict is surprisingly devoid of eye candy.