SPACE: ABOVE AND BEYOND
A short-lived series about space marines in an intergalactic war between Humans and an alien race: This would be a very short description of this show.
But the most important fact is missing: Executive Producers James Wong & Glen Morgan (The Commish, The X-Files, Millennium), who have turned this simple concept into something much larger, into a sf show that is closely related to the Chris Carter shows.
Space is about the nature of war, it is about its cruelty, its darkness, its determination, its victims, its soldiers. It is like Erich Maria
Remarque's 'All Quiet On The Western Front'; demasking all the glory, all the patriotism, all the charades, all the secret agendas and arriving at the
The series can maintain high quality throughout almost every episode, accompanied by the wonderful music of Shirley Walker. The structure in a way
mirrors the structure of The X-Files, there are some episodes that form sort of a larger storyline, with a governmental/industrial conspiracy going on. Mister Suder can be called the Cigarette Smoking Man of Space, although he is much funnier.
Space is much darker than all other sf shows like Star Trek or even Babylon 5, darker because of photography, music, topic and of course because of its end. The sad part is that this extraordinary series had to die after just one year because of its low ratings; a fate that was perhaps inevitable because of that dark character of the show. Although there are some funny scenes between the characters, the main impression of the series is this grim, fatalistic approach. Something that had to be said, and the show succeeded in that way.
June 30th, 1998