Synopsis of TV Show
Earth 2 was a show that had one eye on the future and one foot in the past. Although it was set in the year 2192 and featured a vast array of aliens and futuristic technology, the style of the storytelling harkened back to the Westerns that populated prime time in television’s golden years.
The fate of earthlings in the 22nd century was a grim one: they had to live in space stations because the earth had become uninhabitable. To make matters worse, the human race was threatened with extinction by ‘The Syndrome,’ an AIDS-like disease that broke down children’s immune systems due to a lack of fresh air and water.
Devon Adair’s son Ulysses suffered from ‘The Syndrome,’ so she decided to escape from one of the space stations to colonize an earth-like planet in hopes of curing him. Devon was joined by a band of fellow non-conformists, all of whom hoped to find a new life on a new planet. Alonzo was the pilot, and Danziger was the ship’s mechanic. True was Danziger’s daughter. Also along for the ride were Dr. Heller and Yale, a cyborg tutor.
The show’s band of pioneers quickly discovered many new alien races on their adopted home. The Terrians were a peaceful race who viewed themselves as extensions of the planet instead of individuals. The Grendlers were a standoffish, nomadic race that traded with the earthling colonists. Kobas were friendly, small reptilian creatures who, despite their pleasant behavior and appearance, had deadly poison-tipped claws to use as weapons.
In addition to the alien residents of the planet, there were also additional earthlings who had inhabited the planet prior to arrival of Adair’s crew. They were penal colonists who were sent there by Earth’s government years ago to test the habitable nature of the planet. Gaal was the first of the penal colonists to have contact with Adair’s crew. Film fans will note that Gaal was played by Tim Curry, best known as Dr. Frank N. Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Also discovered were a few ZEDS, a militaristic type of cyborg sent after the penal colonists to wipe them out after they had successfully colonized their new home.
Episodes followed a plotting style similar to old Westerns like Wagon Train. Each week, Adair and her fellow colonists would discover new things about the planet as they tried to figure out how to live in harmony with their new home. Memorable episodes included one where members of the colony were possessed by a Grendler demon and one where Devon fell in love with a penal colonist who rescued Danziger from dying in a storm.
Earth 2 was notable for its distinguished pedigree: it was produced by Amblin Entertainment, Steven Spielberg’s company, and developed by producers who had been involved in shows as diverse as The Wonder Years, China Beach and Law & Order. Spielberg also took an active hand in the show’s production by reading scripts and reviewing dailies. Sadly, the show was canceled when Universal was forced by budgetary concerns to replace the show’s creative staff and NBC did not like the proposed plans of the new staff. The show was cancelled after its first season in June of 1995.
Despite the early cancellation, there are plenty of science-fiction cultists who keep the memory of Earth 2 alive via websites. The show remains memorable to viewers today for valuing character relationships over space opera theatrics, and especially for being a science-fiction show that non-science fiction fans could enjoy.
Release History of Prime Time Show11/6/94 - 6/4/95 NBC
TV Sub Categoriesdrama
Television StudioUniversal TV, Amblin Entertainment
TV CastDevon Adair Debrah Farentino
John Danziger Clancy Brown
Alonzo Solace Antonio Sabato Jr.
Dr. Julia Heller Jessica Steen
Morgan Martin John Gegenhuber
Bess Martin Rebecca Gayheart
True J. Madison Wright
Ulysses Joey Zimmerman
Yale Sullivan Walker
Baines Rockmond Dunbar
Walman Walter Norman
Magus Marcia Magus
Cameron Kirk Trutner
Mazatl Fredrick Lopez
Eben Sinh Erin Murphy