Having long since given up hope of this series ever seeing the light of day on Region 2 DVD I had already gotten a hold of the Region 1 release from way back when. Whilst that release was certainly better than nothing, it was flawed. Dual-sided DVDs, poorly packaged, and scant extras.
Now, finally, a much-belated Region 2 release!
The packaging - much better than the R1 release (which was cardboard) - this is released in an Amaray box, holding 5 discs. The discs are pictured (unlike the R1 discs), with each disc's episodes named on the front of each. The inside of the box also holds a brief description of each episode.
I'm happy to report that the order of the episodes is (mostly) as it should be, and not the airing order (unlike the R1 DVDs), hence the series ends with 'All About Eve' rather than 'Flower Girl'.
Episodes are in 1:33:1 format (ie. you'll get the vertical black bars at the side, which may or may not be a problem for you). Picture quality is pretty good. Seemed better than on my R1 set but that might just be because this is a PAL version whereas the R1 set was an NTSC version playing on a PAL set. Either way, the show looks good.
Unfortunately, on the audio side it's just the stereo 2.0 track, and there's no evidence of subtitles (the R1 release had Spanish subs and English captions).
Extras come in the form of deleted and extended scenes as well as a gag/outtake track (both of which were on the R1 release). The only thing missing from the R1 release is a couple of bonus episodes (one from Cleopatra 2525 and the other from Sliders), neither of which is a big loss.
Earth 2 is one of those much overlooked sci-fi shows that appeared in the 90's when the genre became popular again and a string of different stories hit our television screens. With heavy hitters like Babylon 5 and Deep Space Nine taking regular audiences, Earth 2 slipped under the radar but still gained a sizable following. The story centres around a woman called Devon Adair, well played by Deborah Farentino, who is running a project to colonise another planet. Earth has now become pretty much uninhabitable and those that do live on the surface are not much more than slave labour for the elite that live in massive orbital space stations. However, the hermetically sealed environments they have created has also given rise to a new virus which is slowly killing the children. The human species looks set to die out within a generation unless it can find a new home. Devon is desperate to save her son Uly from a life of pain from the Station Syndrome. Polictics and power struggles within the Council almost prevent the launch of the Earth 2 mission but they manage to 'escape' only to have the mission sabotaged when they reach their destination. The ship breaks up and crash lands on the surface, with crew scattered across a vast area. As the show progresses we begin to discover the true nature of the planet on which they have landed. There are intelligent species like the bestial Grendlers and the rather fascinating Terrians who live in the very soil itself. The characters are nicely drawn and have strong dialogue and well developed, and developing, relationships and there is a strong cast with the aforementioned Deborah Farentino, Clancy Brown as John Danziger, Antonio Sabato Jr as Alonzo Solace, Jessica Steen as Julia Heller, Rebekah Gayheart as Bess Morgan and Tim Curry turns up as a semi-recurring character called Gaal. The show covers 22 episodes with a mid season two-parter, the excellent Better Living Through Morganite, and a decidedly unfair series cliffhanger when the revelation of who the real mastermind behind sabotaging the mission is finally revealed. The premise for the series is not a new one but the execution is rather unique, giving quite a refreshing take on a sci-fi show. For fans of sci-fi then this is definitely worth a try and you'll never look at the ground the same way again!
I had heard about this series many years ago,but had given up any hope of ever seeing it make its debut on Region 2 DVD,just goes to show you should never give up hope,as far as DVD's are concerned.Or if your more cynical,never under estimate some marketing exec figuring out a way of making money out of an old product.
Made back in 1994,it has dated a little,but then again 18 year old sci fi is bound to show its age.Its strongest asset is that its quite cleverly written,before everything became made by committee and with one eye on the ratings.The colonists,as they struggle to survive,arent all banding together in one big happy family and smiling in the face of adversity,nor are they doing nothing but plot,squabble,fight and plan to stab each other in the back at the first oppertunity.Its a realistic mixture of both,something,which for me,gives the show a more human feel.The trade off of this is that some episodes are a little on the slow side.It obviously didnt have the biggest budget,and special effects are a used sparingly,but its makes up for it with solid direction on just about every episode,and a good feel of continunity,episodes dont tend to jar against the neighbouring ones,as they do in some modern series.This may be down to the episodes being shown in the order they were ment to be seen in,and not the order in which they were shown on US Television.Which is a big plus.
On the downside,all the secondary characters might as well have been made out of cardboard,none of them are really developed.The two children are both irritating and obnoxious,in only the way American children can be,especially the girl.Never in a TV series has a character been more in need of a slap,or several.For an old show its quite pricey,as it doesnt appear to have been cleaned up or remastered in any way,you can get the US boxset for roughly half the price.So if you hang fire on buying it for a while you may be able to pick it up cheaper,I was too curious to wait,and if Im honest it is just about worth the asking price,just.Its never going to make my all time top ten best sci fi shows,but it wont make the worst ten either.It kept me interested,never bored me,and I will watch it again.Id even go as far as to say it was a pity that there was no second series,but I dont honestly think it could have gone much further than one more series anyway.
This TV show will always have a special place in my heart and I am so thrilled it is finaly being released on DVD in the UK. In short I absolutly love this show. The series follows the journey and settlement of a group called the Eden Project on the Earth-like planet called G889. They believe at first the planet in uninhabited but soon find many creatures already living there, some are peaceful, some a threat. They also face sabotage and conflicting interest within their own team, evident from the moment they crash land on the planet and lose most of their equipment and supplies. The effects are spectacular for their time, the characters and actors who play them are all great (among them Tim Curry and Terry O'Quinn are chilling villains and Clancy Brown a solid hero), the score was amazing and there are lots of well written plot twists. This was released on DVD in the states a few years ago with poor bonus features and the episodes in the wrong order. The episodes were put in the order they were aired rather than in the order they should have been shown in (the show might not have slipped in the rating if so many key episodes had not been pulled out because of NBA or NFL games!). I hope this new release will have fixed this error. Also don't be put off that it only had one season because it was ultimatly cancelled, you don't get stuck with just a frustrating clifhanger and the show does come to a logical (though sad) conclusion.
I have enjoyed watching this series again on DVD. I originally saw it when it was first broadcast on TV in the 90's. Its already a little dated with its lack of flat screen displays and old fashioned flash lights (no LED's back then in the future)! The plots can be a bit flaky in parts. They wear "gear" when it suits the story line and are not wearing it when that fits in with the story. One of the good points though is that characters come and go. For example there is a bad guy in the first few episodes who is soon despatched. These days that actor would be signed for the whole series and keep coming back......and back.....to the point of ad nauseam. Definitely worth watching though if you are a Sci-fi fan.
This could have been so much better. There was some very good telly science fiction when this was out. This slipped under the radar and was nearly buried. The acting was reasonable with the exception of Tim Curry's over acting which spoiled the peice for me.
Re-watching old favourites on a portable DVD drive plugged into my laptop. Loved this series first time round, but never saw all of it. So wallowing in the whole story & the characters this time. A sci fi gem