Threshold was a science fiction drama television series that first aired on CBS in September 2005. Produced by Brannon Braga, David S. Goyer and David Heyman, the series focuses on a secret government project investigating the first contact with an extraterrestrial species.
The series was first shown on Friday nights, but was moved to Tuesday in an effort to boost ratings.
This plan backfired, with the show registering a sharp drop in its ratings on its first Tuesday night showing on November 22, 2005, and CBS canceled the series on November 23, 2005, with four episodes left unaired. The remaining episodes were aired on Sky1, a channel in the United Kingdom owned by Sky, who co-produced the series with CBS. The entire series was released on DVD on August 22, 2006. The series first aired on the Sci Fi Channel on Friday, October 13, 2006, at 10:00 pm, following a new episode of Battlestar Galactica.
The series stars Carla Gugino as Dr. Molly Caffrey, a high-level government crisis management consultant from the Blackwood Institute whose job is to create contingency plans for use in emergencies ranging from natural disasters to nuclear war. In order to have "all bases covered", one of her plans, code-named Threshold, is developed for dealing with the unlikely eventuality of first contact with aliens. One night, the crew of a U.S. naval vessel encounters a UFO. Many crew members subsequently die horribly, but some escape. After the ship is discovered with dead crew members and a videotape of the encounter, the Threshold protocol is activated.
A featurette included on the August 2006 DVD release of the series confirmed a number of reported and rumored storylines that were planned had the series survived:
The episodes that were not aired by CBS also included several plot elements that would probably have been explored had the series continued: for example, Dr. Sloan, the so-called "Vigilante" introduced in the episode of the same name, whose self-appointed mission is to kill infectees (the episode also indicates a romantic attraction between him and Caffrey); the real nature of the gamma ray burst headed for Earth indicated in "The Crossing"; the effect of Threshold on Lucas Peggs' marriage; Cavanaugh's search for his brother (who becomes infected in one of the unaired episodes and provides the aliens with information about Threshold); the development of an alien infectee culture (who refer to themselves as "improved" humans) and their perception that the US government is persecuting them (an element introduced in the final episode, "Alienville"); and the aftermath of Caffrey's orders to increase Threshold's powers in "Outbreak".
My name is Molly Caffrey, and I work for the Federal Government. I deal in worst-case scenarios, the unthinkable. On September 16th, 2005, the unthinkable happened. An extraterrestrial object appeared off the bow of a naval freighter. The entire crew was exposed to a high frequency signal. Some died instantly. Others began to change. They are now stronger, more resilient. They dream of alien landscapes. And they are driven by the impulse to infect others. Several of the crewmen are now loose in the United States. They will strike anytime, anyplace, anyone. Their goal: to turn us into them. But I have a plan to stop them. That plan is called "Threshold".
Season Episodes [Complete Series]
1.01 Trees Made of Glass (1)
1.02 Trees Made of Glass (2)
1.03 Blood of the Children
1.04 The Burning
1.07 The Order
1.10 The Crossing
1.11 Outbreak (a.k.a. Escalation)