Another Life

Just this morning, I finished the first season of the Netflix Original Another Life.

From a general survey online, this show comes up with extremely mixed reviews. From viewers stopping their watch halfway through the first episode to critics just ripping it a new one, I think the internet has a lot of negative things to say about this show. Unfortunately, I don’t necessarily agree with them; this show has a lot to offer for the science fiction genre. Throughout the first season, especially the first episode, we see the show directing its strengths toward storytelling using character-first elements with gothic/science-fiction tropes and themes.

After a mysterious artifact lands on the Earth, a crew sets out for the stars to make contact. Niko Breckenridge (Katee Sackhoff) is the captain of the Salvare, a ship set out to discover an alien race. Most of the series takes place aboard the Salvare and follows the struggles presented by the mission and Breckenridge’s response to them. The B line takes place back on Earth with Breckenridge’s husband, Erik Wallace (Justin Chatwin), and their daughter, Jana (Lina Renna), as they investigate the artifact. With the help of scientists and military officials, they try to communicate with the artifact with no avail.

With an anticlimactic name and title sequence, Another Life is one to keep on your radar even though it doesn’t pack the pizzazz most viewers are looking for. It utilizes all the stereotypes of the science fiction genre (isolation, artificial intelligence, monster attacks, diseases, suspense, mystery, anarchy, mutiny, faster-than-light travel, big dumb artifacts, sex in space, first contact, virtual reality) sprinkled throughout the entire first season. This show isn’t about a specific one of those tropes; it’s about all of them together creating a new science fiction experience. It blends all the elements that make a great story together to make something new.

Although I think the show’s longevity isn’t exactly destined for decades, I do think this is a very entertaining watch and would recommend to anyone looking for a fun jaunt through the stars.

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