TV From The Crypts: The Event
I am sure a lot of you think of your weekly dose of science fiction or fantasy as part of your life sustaining fuel. How else could you have made it through the work week without your weekly dose of adventure-fantasy video games, skitter fighting wonders on Falling Skies, and page-turning zombie thriller novels?! In fact, maybe you are making it through your lunch hour reading mind-boggling posts like this in anticipation of what sci-fi wonder you can relish in tonight at home. But sometimes you can become too invested in certain shows or novels, and you can feel devastated if things don’t turn out how you hoped. I find when you are suffering from burn-out after watching a series that ended differently then you had hoped (i.e. the end of Game of Thrones Season 1 and 3, the end of Vampire Diaries Season 2, the end of MockingJay in the Hunger Games series, etc. etc.) you might need a break. How do you obtain said break? I go for something a little less intense, typically an action-adventure of some sort, but better yet, an action-adventure with a twist of sci-fi. That’s how I chose to watch The Event, and was pleasantly surprised. I came across it on a sci-fi vegan website (I know, I know, how geeky can you get?) and ordered it from Amazon, and it didn’t break the bank.
The Event tries to mix the classic action cop/national security show with a twist of sci-fi. It ends up leaving the sci-fi in the background, except for when there are random events involving teleportation of a massive group of aliens. But it keeps your attention. The basics behind the story: in the 1940’s a plane crash happens in Alaska. When the government gets there to rescue the survivors it is discovered that it was a plane from another planet, and that those humanoids on board look like us but only share 99% of our DNA with us (chimpanzees share 98% with us for thoe of you who didn’t know). What the government doesn’t know was that a large group of non-injured individuals from the crash escaped and over the ensuing decades has infiltrated our society. Those still at the plane crash are imprisoned at a detention camp in Alaska. The one major difference with this new species: they age MUCH slower than us, and in the 70 years since the crash when the show takes place the aliens look only a couple years older than they did in the 1940’s.
Everything has been status quo, until the current day president is informed of the Alaska prison camp and is outraged at this political crime. He decides to reveal this situation to the public and release all the prisoners when “events” start happening. There seems to be many forces against the release of this information, and those invested will go to great lengths to keep it secret. The story spins in to conspiracy theories and tales of many “sleepers”, or those initial escapees that have infiltrated our society. Before you know it, the question is not whether or not to release these prisoners but whether or not to perform genocide on them. Of course, they are not innocents either, and the plot slowly reveals the alien’s plan to bring more of their citizens from their dying planets to take over Earth.
The side story occurring away from all this government mumbo-jumbo involves a young couple ever so much in love, but it turns out the girl is a hybrid who is the daughter of a male sleeper. Another secret agency is tracking down and experimenting on these hybrids, which leads to a fun spin off from the main story following this desperately in love couple to the brink.
There were two things I particularly enjoyed about this show that was cancelled after the first season: 1. its relevance in today’s current affairs and political events, and 2. there were a lot of well-known actors (well at least well known in the sci-fi community) playing roles in this show. With regards to relevance – it was interesting listening to the President and his cabinet discuss options of what to do with the prisoners, and reminded a lot of current affairs in Guantanamo Bay. Execution? Force feeding? Release? Release with limitations or house arrest? And the different party representatives seemed just as unlikely to come to a solution together as our current congress.
And with regards to the actors- you might recognize Laura Innes playing the leader of the aliens, Sophia. She was famous before this for her stint with ER. But then there was Zeljko Ivanek….I know, I know, you are thinking that you won’t know him with that name, but do you recognize the picture? Yeah, I know many of you have to have watched Heroes and True Blood….I think his character in The Event was his best role yet.
And how about Clifton Collins Jr.? Another name you don’t know? Here he is from the Event (where he plays quite an evil alien):
And here he is as another evil alien that you probably more readily recognize:
These characters aren’t my favorite of this show…I was personally a fan of Simon Lee, the attractive and compassionate “Asian” alien infiltrate in to our CIA (how interesting these near-human aliens have the same ethnic differences that we humans do, but I guess they do try to explain that at the end of the show). And then there is the First Lady Martinez, a strong and smart woman on the arm of the African American president on this show. The only thing she holds above her “homeland” are her husband and son, and I respected her. She was a solid character.
Overall, I would give The Event a B, not amazing, and I understand why they didn’t renew it, but it was a nice change of pace, and there is the non-stop action to enjoy. It is worth checking out when you feel like you are emotionally spent with all your amazing sci-fi/fantasy stories.
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Posted on July 28, 2013, in Geekology, Recommendations, TV, TV From the Crypts and tagged Clifton Collins Jr., Laura Innes, NBC, Simon Lee, The Event, Zeljko Ivanek. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.