Earth 2 is a short-lived science fiction television series which aired on NBC from November 6, 1994 to June 4, 1995. The show was canceled after one season of 22 episodes. It followed the journey and settlement of a small expeditionary group called the Eden Project, with the intent to journey to an Earth-like planet called G889 in an attempt to find a cure to an illness called "the syndrome". The series was created by Michael Duggan, Carol Flint, Mark Levin, and Billy Ray, produced by Amblin Entertainment and NBC Universal Television Studio, and filmed primarily in northern New Mexico around the Santa Fe area.
The series' music was composed by David Bergeaud, and the executive producers were Michael Duggan, Mark Levin, and Carol Flint. Initially, the show's audience was quite large, reaching eighth place; however, by April 23 of the next year, viewership had dropped to 9%. During its run, it had been nominated for a Primetime Emmy, Saturn,and other awards. In 2005, the entire series was released on DVD in a 4-disc set.
In 2192, most of the human population had fled Earth to live on large orbiting space stations. Only a small number of humans remain on the Earth’s surface as the Earth had become mostly uninhabitable. Billionaire Devon Adair's eight-year-old son, Ulysses Adair, had contracted a rare, fatal disease called "the syndrome", a condition whose existence is not acknowledged by the government and medical community. It is theorized that this disease, which affects only children, is somehow caused by the lack of an Earth-like environment.
Most children who are born with the disease do not live past the age of nine.
Desperate to save her son, Devon puts together a group who will pioneer the effort to settle a planet 22 light-years away from Earth, on which other families with members thus afflicted can settle. The eventual colonization of the planet, however, is opposed by the government. Secret monitoring and agent infiltration threaten the creation of the colony of New Pacifica. Hours before Adair's group intends to leave, a bomb is discovered, set to explode the hour the ship would leave. The Eden Project leaves immediately, jettisoning the bomb before detonation. In "The Church of Morgan", it is revealed this bomb was planted by the Council to stop the ship from leaving.
Twenty-two years later, the ship arrives at G889, but it crash lands shortly after arrival on the side of the planet opposite of the original plan. With her group scattered on the planet and supplies missing, Devon begins heading west to the planned site of New Pacifica.
During their travels, Adair and her companions learn that the Council — a government group that seems to wield most of the power on the space stations — wants to gain control of G889 for resettlement. Through their various experiments, they have learned that they cannot remove one of the planet's native species — a race called the Terrians — without killing the planet. (This is a nod to the Gaia hypothesis.) This complicates matters, because Devon's son, who has been healed by the Terrians and who had begun to exhibit some of their unique characteristics, has become the key to the Council's plan for the planet.
Notable aspects of the series:
Earth 2 broke new ground by placing Devon Adair as one of the first female commanders in a science fiction television show, preceding the much better known Captain Kathryn Janeway of Star Trek: Voyager by more than two months.
The overarching plot of the show and various individual elements helped explore the Gaia hypothesis, mainly through the Syndrome, its effects on many children, and the subsequent healing of the illness after the Eden Project arrives on G889. During the show, various political and social themes were addressed as well. Throughout the series aspects of the relation of Terrians to the planet and to the colonists reflect the history of colonies with native populations and slavery. In "The Enemy Within", Julia is left behind by the group because of her treachery, addressing briefly what punishments are moral or even inhumane.
Another aspect of this issue is addressed in "The Man Who Fell to Earth (Two)", when the group meets a man named Gaal who claims to be an astronaut but is revealed as a marooned criminal; when it is revealed that G889 had been used for many years as a penal colony, questions arise as to the motivations of the Council and their right to do so. In "Redemption", the group encounters a genetically enhanced killer called Z.E.D., who was left on the planet to dispose of all the humans he finds, who at the time had been criminals.
Exterior shots filmed in New Mexico locations such as Black Mesa, Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks, and Diablo Canyon, provided the setting for the series.
The series premiered on November 6, 1994 with a two-hour pilot episode that ran from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST (including advertisements — it was later split into two episodes for syndication). The following week it moved to a regular time slot. On April 23, 1995 two individual episodes were aired back-to-back from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST. It was also aired in Australia, Austria, Netherlands, New Zealand, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Spain and United Kingdom, later in 1995 Greece and Egypt in the fall of 1997, and in Turkey in 1998. In 2011 on TV4 Science Fiction in Sweden.
Season 1 Episodes [Complete Series]
1.01 First Contact (1)
1.02 First Contact (2)
1.03 The Man Who Fell to Earth (Two)
1.04 Life Lessons
1.05 Promises, Promises
1.06 A Memory Play
1.07 Natural Born Grendlers
1.09 The Church of Morgan
1.10 The Enemy Within
1.12 Moon Cross
1.13 Better Living Through Morganite (1)
1.14 Better Living Through Morganite (2)
1.15 Grendlers in the Myst
1.16 The Greatest Love Story Never Told
1.17 Brave New Pacifica
1.18 After the Thaw
1.19 The Boy Who Would Be Terrian King
1.20 Survival of the Fittest
1.21 Flower Child
1.22 All About Eve