First Wave : review


22 50 minute episodes -- review based on the 7 episodes C5 deigned to show

SF elements

alien invasion; conspiracy theories


Despite hyping this series extensively beforehand, for some bizarre reason Channel 5 decided to screen a mere 7 episodes -- just the ones with "action" -- no wonder I found the continuity a little jerky in places. I suppose I should be grateful that included the first scene setter, and I'm left wondering if anything important happened in the last one.

Anyway. This is your standard "the aliens are about to invade and only one man knows" scenario. Cade "I run, but I don't hide" Foster was an experimental subject of the First Wave of invaders -- who are testing whether humanity will fight back when the second wave arrives. Foster was the only one to fight back and survive -- so the aliens want to find out why. But he discovers their plans, escapes, and continues his fight. So they frame him for the murder of his wife (heaven forfend that a wife survive longer than half way through the pilot in a show like this) and try to hunt him down, while he tries to do whatever the plot calls for in that episode.

There is also a silly sub-plot linking the invasion to a bunch of obscure prophecies in a previously unknown volume of Nostradamus (conveniently written in English this time round) -- but it doesn't seem to be an important plot device (or at least, not in the episodes I saw).

Despite some plot idiocies (why do the aliens, downloaded into cloned human bodies, disappear into dust when they die?) this is quite enjoyable. Foster is a good protagonist -- capable but not all powerful -- he needs his paranoid friend Crazy Eddie (nice SFnal reference there) to help out with computers and other high tech things. (This leads to a lovely scene in Mata Hari , where Foster is pretending to be a physics whiz, but is secretly wired for sound to Eddie. Cade is challenged to solve an equation, which he does by reading it out loud, Eddie solving it, and sending him the solution. But of course, Cade doesn't know what to call any of the symbols...)

So, nothing deep, but a pleasant way to spend an hour. I just wish C5 had shown all the episodes.

Rating: 4

[ unmissable | great stuff | worth watching | mind candy | unwatchable | unfinishable ]

(although I think my rating might have been a little higher had I seen all the episodes)

reviewed 5 March 2000