Tuesday, September 26, 2017

TV Tuesday: Salvation

I'm a little late with this review of Salvation, a CBS summer show that started in July, but since it is still available in a couple of places, I thought I'd go ahead and review it now. My husband and I have enjoyed this fast-paced show that is a mix of sci fi thriller and political conspiracy and just watched the season one finale this week.

MIT grad student Liam Cole, played by the adorably scruffy Charlie Rowe, one day discovers a large asteroid that is on a course to collide with Earth in 186 days. He rushes to the home of his professor, played by Dennis Boutsikaris, but finds a huge mess in his office, his glasses crushed on the floor, and his professor nowhere to be found. Scared now, Liam rushes across campus, trying to stay away from whatever "bad guys" found his professor. That same day, Liam meets Jillian, a beautiful young writer played by Jacqueline Byers, and it's love at first sight for both of them.

Desperate to tell someone about the asteroid who can help, Liam crashes into a TED-type talk given by Darius Tanz, played by Santiago Cabrera, a tech billionaire who runs a powerful company. It takes some convincing, but Darius soon believes Liam and understands the seriousness of the problem. The two head to Tanz Industries headquarters in D.C. and contact Grace Barrows, played by Jennifer Finnigan, who is the Press Secretary for the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Harris, played by Ian Anthony Dale.

Two different but related threads run through the show. There's the science side of things, where Darius and Liam race against time to try to figure out how to either destroy the asteroid or move it off course. And there's the political side of things, where Grace and Harris (sometimes working at odds with each other; other times working together) try to convince those in power to provide the necessary funding and support. Through it all, only a very small group of people even know about the asteroid - they are afraid that if it becomes public knowledge, panic and chaos will ensue.

There's a lot going on in this show to keep it moving at a fast pace. In addition to the main storylines, Darius is secretly working on an "ark," a rocket that would hold 160 people and could make it to Mars; there's an existing romance between Grace and Harris; a new romance between Liam and Jillian (though he can't tell her about the asteroid); political machinations; and a small issue of ever-worsening conflict and perhaps approaching war between Russia and the US. It's all very exciting, with plenty of suspense, and the acting is good, with excellent chemistry between the main characters. The science might be a bit iffy in places, but that's typical for this sort of sci fi thriller - you just suspend disbelief and go along for the ride. And what a ride it is! We watched this show the old-fashioned way, once a week as each new episode was released (well, not entirely old-fashioned - we watched it On Demand), and we were always eager to see the next one. It ended with a huge cliff-hanger, so I hope there will be a season 2!

Season 1 (13 episodes) just finished airing on CBS. The last 5 episodes are available for free On Demand or on the CBS website. To see the first 8 episodes on CBS, you have to subscribe to their service. The entire first season is available FREE to Amazon Prime members or you can purchase episodes for $1.99 each (link below) on Amazon.

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