In the future, the Earth can no longer support life and the human race lives in orbiting space stations, but the artificial air weakens Devon Adair’s son and he is likely to die young. Adair sets off with a brave band to colonize G889, a planet much like Earth, in the hope of saving him.
However, their craft crash-lands on the wrong side of the planet. As ships with more colonists are on their way, Devon’s team has to cross the terrain by foot in time to set up the Eden Project ready for their arrival.
That premise offered a virtually blank canvas for drawing plotlines when NBC aired this series in the mid-nineties.
It is easy to see how this series appealed to Americans, with its re-telling of the Wild West story and creatures that owe much to Spielberg (whose Amblin Entertainment produced the show, but without his input).
The two-part pilot episode boasts all the effects needed get a series aired, but struggles to build sufficient pace. However, once it is out of the way, things move faster, and the first major story features Tim Currie at his most manipulative and creepy as Gaal. It turns out that these explorers were not the first humans to invade the planet…
It takes quite a while to get to know many of the characters and the series shows family-friendly sentimentality at times, but this storyline develops well over its 21 episodes.
Unlike Star Trek, the heroes are not all on one mission, with one aim, so tensions soon surface between different characters with their various motivations.
The native species include the Terrians, creatures from a Dr. Who knackers yard, who can only communicate by dreams; Grendlers, who are like a cross between humans and rhinos; and little ET-like creatures, who are not as cuddly as they look.
It is a shame that this well-produced series never reached a second season as Earth 2 appeals to an audience wider than just sci-fi geeks.