Ascension is a Canadian/American television miniseries on CBC in Canada and Syfy in USA. It is an original science fiction mystery drama that takes place aboard a supposed generation ship, and consists of six one-hour episodes. The show is created by Philip Levens and Adrian A. Cruz. The pilot was written, and executive produced by Philip Levens, who served as the showrunner. On July 9, 2014, CBC added Ascension to its fall programming roster. It was originally scheduled to premiere in November 2014. In October 2014, CBC announced that the premiere date had been moved to January 2015. It started airing on CBC on Monday nights starting February 9, 2015 Syfy had originally announced plans to debut the show on November 24, 2014, airing one episode per week for six weeks. Instead the series premiered on December 15, 2014, and aired two episodes each night for three consecutive nights.
Ascension is inspired by the real-life Project Orion that existed under the administration of President John F. Kennedy. The show sets up an alternate version of reality beginning in 1963, when
President Kennedy and the U.S. government, fearing the Cold War will become hot and lead to the destruction of Earth, decides to launch a covert space mission. They send 600 volunteers, including
men, women and children, into space on a century-long voyage aboard the USS Ascension, a massive, self-sustaining generation ship. Their mission is to colonize a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri,
assuring the survival of the human race. At 51 years into their 100 year journey (i.e. in the present) and as they approach the point of no return, the mysterious murder of a young woman – the
first homicide since their departure – causes the ship's crew to question the true nature of their mission.
Potential Future Seasons:
Although the show was ordered as a miniseries, it could have potentially run for multiple seasons, similar to the network's popular series Battlestar Galactica.
On March 10, 2015, Syfy announced that they would not be producing any further episodes or seasons of the show, explaining, "We were very happy with Ascension as an event series, but with so much high profile development in the works, we have decided not to pursue a full series."
Ascension has been met with mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the show a rating of 65%, based on 20 reviews, with an average rating of 5.8/10. The site's critical consensus
states, "The characters in Ascension lack the depth that is necessary for its dramatic elements, but its premise may be smart enough to hold the interest of sci-fi fans." On Metacritic, the show
has a score of 56 out of 100, based on reviews from 14 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews"