Virtuality may be one of the better scifi show I’ve seen this year and thanks to Fox, you will probably never see it. Honestly, Fox programming for scifi shows is the kiss of death and to boot air the shows on a Friday night. With two strikes against any show, Virtuality is practically dead in the water. However, thanks executive producer Ron Moore who made BSG more than just Battlestar Galactica from the 70’s, he has made a compelling scifi series that is worthy to watch and a much improved drama over Caprica.
Think of this show as The Real World meets The Truman Show meets Big Brother in outer space. This is a story about 12 astronauts on a mission for 10 years leaving our own solar system to the distant Epsilon Eridani with the whole world watching the journey and along for the ride. We see video confessionals from each crew member baring their hopes, their dreams, and their frustrations ala Real World. The mission is also sponsored by various companies and the crew on a given day would work in the sponsors name just like on The Truman Show by wearing the apparel. And despite the exploration mission being changed to a mission of salvation, because the world would be uninhabitable in 100 years, we personality clash, tempers flair and romance between adult crew members like on Big Brother. These are not the perfect UtopianStar Trek crewmembers we have grown to expect from Starfleet but rather this maybe the very thing that might happen people have to live with one another not by their choosing and for nearly a decade in space. Despite all this, there is an escape for the crew members from the promotion of sponsors and video confessionals through the use of virtual reality.
Before you write off as boring and we’ve seen this already on Star Trek and Earth 2, yes I agree. The virtual reality does play an interesting part in the series. I did have the groans of seeing the VR on screen at the very beginning and an unknown character invading the VR setting interacting with the Commander. We saw this countless of time on TNG and even the Danger Room the X-Men comics by Whedon became sentient. However, this becomes a mystery throughout the pilot with other crew members and does not get wrapped up in the end. Virtuality gives you a WTF moment at the end but in a good way. With this going on, the rough at times crew interaction and the actual journey to the new system, there is enough drama and storylines that makes for great scifi watching and eventual dvd owning.
But as I said before, we may not see this again. The rating for very poor to be nice but thanks to Hulu.com you can watch the show below. Do yourself a favor and tell a friend about this show if you enjoyed as much as I have. One last thing, go over the Cinemaviewfinder.comfor a couple of blog entries about this project from Ron Moore.