- 1 Season
Ascension is a thrilling and thought-provoking sci-fi drama miniseries from Syfy that premiered in 2014. The show takes place on a secret spaceship that was launched into space in 1963 as part of a top secret government mission. It's a journey to colonize a new planet to ensure the survival of humanity after the possibility of nuclear war became increasingly apparent in the 1960s. This seven episode series explores the social, political and psychological aspects of life aboard "Ascension", the starship that has been drifting in space for the last 50 years on a journey to Proxima Centauri, a nearby star system. The passengers aboard the space vessel have been isolated from the outside world all this time with limited knowledge of current events. They live in a closed and controlled society where almost everything is monitored and regulated. The show takes a unique approach to storytelling by focusing on the challenges and conflicts of the passengers on the ship, exploring how generations have reacted to living in a completely controlled environment. Social dynamics, family relationships, and genetic diversity are all plots that unveil layer after layer of intricate character development. Characters on the ship must negotiate wide-ranging questions of justice, power, authority, and morality as they are faced with unexpected twists and turns on their journey. It is a story of love, loss, and survival in the midst of an evolving society. The premise of the show is absolutely brilliant. The whole concept of a spaceship created to keep humanity alive is an age-old one in science fiction but with Ascension, this idea truly comes to life. Filmed like a 1960s space Western, the set feels comfortable and consistent. The stark contrast between the outdated set design and the advancements in technology seems jarring at times, making the show all the more intriguing. Tricia Helfer, who is well known for her role in Battlestar Galactica, takes the lead as Viondra Denniger, the wife of the captain of the Ascension, played by Brian Van Holt. Viondra is the self-appointed queen of the ship, running the social scene while her husband runs the technical aspects of the vessel. The couple is at the center of the story's conspiracy theories and the secrets they keep, gradually unfolding in each episode. Brandon P. Bell's character, Oren Gault, is a young veteran who becomes involved in a complex love triangle that has the potential to destroy everything aboard the vessel. Andrea Roth stars as Dr. Juliet Bryce, a psychiatrist who begins to uncover the ship's sinister secrets while Gil Bellows plays Harris Enzmann, the head of the team who created the ship. Other significant cast members include Tiffany Lonsdale as Chief Astronomer Emily Vanderhaus, Ryan Robbins as the shipâs security officer Duke Vanderhaus, Jacqueline Byers as Christa Valis, a newcomer to the ship, and PJ Boudousqu as James Toback, one of the young passengers aboard the vessel. The story carefully manages to weave together complex character arcs with a tantalizing sci-fi conspiracy storyline, which sets the tone for the whole series. As the story progresses, the passengers begin to discover secrets about the ship that they had never imagined. And, in the darkest moments of the show, they begin to question their existence and the way they had been living for the last 50 years. Overall, Ascension has an excellent blend of character-driven drama, suspense, mystery, and science fiction. It is a gripping series, and its unique approach to storytelling makes it stand out from other sci-fi shows. The show's predominantly low key approach successfully balances the fantastical and gradual character development, making it both an entertaining and thought-provoking watch. Unfortunately, the show was conceived to run for multiple seasons, but this never came to fruition. The future we are left with remains unknown, leaving us wondering about the fate of the spaceship and the passengers. Regardless, Ascension is a series that successfully kept viewers at the edge of their seats and an example of Syfy's commitment to creating engaging and smart science-fiction programming.