Another Life - Netflix First Contact SF series

ctg

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Sending out a bunch of sketchy amateurs to save, or represent, humanity doesn't work for me. One of them isn't even trained?

It reminds me of Danny Boyle's Sunshine, and that was much better than this. It feels incredibly rushed.

Well, yeah, the series needs an intelligent watcher, because there is not one moment where it tells you the whole picture. Everything is drip fed as it has been thought. What they could do better is linking the scenes, but overall I have no real complains about the crew. I get why they were chosen and they show personality in the situations, where you could use formally trained silent professionals.

That however wouldn't make the drama as it is intertwined into the plot. Things happens and they have reasons. Those reasons becomes more complex plot points, when they get dropped in. What is that you would expect from the crew that is going to save humanity? Stoic professionalism instead the personalities they've gathered into the crew?

None of them have really shown bad acting, and I loved the scene in the alien moon, where the girls were confessing about their true feelings in the 'magical forest.' The alien plot has advanced considerably towards the end, and it seems as if it's a truly plausible scenario.
 

Lumens

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What is that you would expect from the crew that is going to save humanity? Stoic professionalism instead the personalities they've gathered into the crew?
I would expect them to be professional astronauts, the best of what that humanity can produce, being smart enough to play mental chess (for example) and have multiple talents, to follow orders without emotional outbursts or self doubts, and especially not to crumble at the first sign of trouble. I realise that there may be a reason for every single little detail that happens, but the two first episodes don't convince me to suspend my disbelief, at all.

The acting is probably the best aspect of it. They don't have much to work with...
 
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svalbard

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I watched the first episode and thought it was all over the place. The acting is good, the characterisation poor. I will give it a few episodes and hope it improves.
 

Daysman

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Almost finished the first season...

Like someone asked what would Roddenberry produce if he were writing today...

The result?

Anti trek SF with US horror movie tropes...

Horribly stale tech, oddly retro throughout...

Entertaining crew, nice ensemble, Katee Sackhoff is great...

A disco dancing AI...

And they solved the red shirt problem using another SF trope, but the implication is chilling...

I like it more than Nightflyers...

Agreed, it bares comparison with Sunshine.

The other touchstone mentioned is Arrival but it also reminds me of Moon...

Kinda fun.
 
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Eway

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Nope, I just can't do it.

Sending out a bunch of sketchy amateurs to save, or represent, humanity doesn't work for me. One of them isn't even trained?

It reminds me of Danny Boyle's Sunshine, and that was much better than this. It feels incredibly rushed.
I can't stand how the crew has no regard for basic safety. It's like they're on a field trip.
 

ctg

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I like it more than Nightflyers...

Agreed, it bares comparison with Sunshine.

The other touchstone mentioned is Arrival but it also reminds me of Moon...

Yes, it certainly is all of them and Netflix learned from the Nightflyers. To me, personally, there was too many editing mistakes and the scenes didn't link enough of with each other. The plot was drip fed, and even if you guessed some of it, you could not figure out the ending.

As a First Contact series it did the whole thing very differently and it pushed the genre TV in the new direction. I especially liked that not all alien species are evil. There were also technological nuances that could have helped the character crew to solve some of the issues, if they would have bothered going with the full cycle of back engineering.

In a way Lumens is right, because going in with a level-headed crew would have been nicer instead of the personalities they'd gathered together. I thought about it a lot today and the only defence I can give is that often crews are made from personalities and the meek are not shown on the camera.

There were places were I disagreed with Katee's character decisions and I'd have done certain things differently. Still, I would love to see the season two and see how they can answer to the criticism shown on this series.
 

Lumens

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I was thinking at some point (after watching) that maybe vast amounts of humanity have perished and the crew was scraped together in a rushed way in order to save whoever is left on the planet. That would also explain a few other things, like why there isn't much of an infrastructure and/or scientists gathered around the alien crystal structure in the field.
 
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Daysman

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I was thinking at some point (after watching) that maybe vast amounts of humanity have perished and the crew was scraped together in a rushed way in order to save whoever is left on the planet. That would also explain a few other things, like why there isn't much of an infrastructure and/or scientists gathered around the alien crystal structure in the field.
Underresourced but overpopulated, someone said 9 billion people back home, and the crew are available volunteers at time of launch...

Feels like they redacted reams of backstory but maybe it was never there?

It was only when someone mentioned national security I realised there was no obvious international involvement, onboard or earthside...

All my other thoughts on this are trending political, so... time for coffee.
 
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ctg

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Feels like they redacted reams of backstory but maybe it was never there?

Yes, there are scenes that indicate they shot much more than what did end up in the small screen.

It was only when someone mentioned national security I realised there was no obvious international involvement, onboard or earthside...

All my other thoughts on this are trending political, so... time for coffee.

Don't be afraid of saying what you want.
 

farntfar

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I've watched the first episode.

I liked the alien ship. It had a nice slippery Mobius feel about it.
But a question for the Earth team. If they haven't made first contact yet, where did they find the Vulcan ship designer?
 

ctg

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I liked the alien ship. It had a nice slippery Mobius feel about it.

Wait till you see a fleet of them, it gives you a weird feeling, when you see them flying in the deep space, especially as those rings keep rotating around the mobius strip. It's like infinite symbols flying in infinite space, doing things that are clearly beyond the grasp of human technology.

But a question for the Earth team. If they haven't made first contact yet, where did they find the Vulcan ship designer?

There are a lot of unknowns and the information about the past comes in at latter episodes, where they show some older designs, before time they had FTL drives. I forgive them a many things, especially around "the exotic matter reactor," because it's not an easy thing to imagine, when we have no such things. The science is however plausible.
 

REBerg

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Three back-to-back episodes in, I am being firmly drawn to this series.
Despite all the nay-saying, I think Another Life is at least as good as (or possibly better than) Dark Matters and Nightflyers. Granted, neither of those are award winners, but I'll happily watch the reincarnation of Kara "Starbuck" Thrace as Niko Breckinridge for another seven episodes.
 

ctg

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reincarnation of Kara "Starbuck" Thrace as Niko Breckinridge for another seven episodes.

There are many times when she's like a StarBuck in this series, but then again, she's not as Katee is not putting herself in the same place. She's a captain on hell-bent mission trying to find facts about alien intention, before it's too late. There is one episode where she don the costume is housewife, including a floral dress and all the other frills, and to me personally that was a scary thing.

She's best when she's sitting on the pilot chair or barking at others to get their s*it together. Still I think that the 'magical forest' scene is the best as it closely encapsulate similar kind of scene from the Avatar. The cosmos is big and when they go out there, the space actually feels infinite and the humanity at child shoes as we know nothing.
 

REBerg

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I just finished watching the tenth episode, and I’m ready for more.

The show is an entertaining mixture of drama and action, although it did have its questionable moments.

Giant spider monsters? Yikes! Flying monkey aliens? Holy Wizard of Oz!

Escaping a black hole by tapping into a mechanical spider’s micro fusion reactor was a stretch. That big, colorful cable feeding power from Sasha to the ship was a hoot.

Petra’s nervous system literally bubbling from the back of her neck was a real Alien experience. At least the nerve-creature had the decency to die as it attempted to crawl away, instead of escaping, growing into a powerful monster and killing the crew one-by-one.

On the plus side …

Michelle’s sacrifice was redeeming. Up until then, she had been the character I most loved to hate.

William’s development from AI to an independent individual entity as he struggled with human emotions was well done. I didn’t foresee William becoming “mother” to a new AI. In as much as she evolved from William’s therapeutic Niko program, I think Niko should be the proud new mom, with William filling the paternal role.

The cliffhanger ending, as always, made me think that Netflix plans at least one more season for the show. I would definitely watch it.
 

ctg

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Giant spider monsters? Yikes! Flying monkey aliens? Holy Wizard of Oz!

Yes. I did had those same thoughts, when I saw them and I thought that the giant spiders were somehow linked to the Archiec. It became clearer that they were native species, when Earth didn't receive one those and it finally locked down the giant, winged monkeys showed up. But that is also the thing, they got a confirmation that there's at least three hundred other civilisations that possibly might look for a salvation one way or another.

To be frank, if I'd apply human nature in there, Katee would be flying between those systems, destroying them one by one, or forcing the aliens to destroy them, effectively creating a barrier between the places. Going back to Earth instead of fixing the long range communication is in my mind a mistake. What good they are going to do on Earth?

I also thought about the Earth sending out the signal and it attracting the unwanted attention. What if, somewhere out there, are powerful allies who can change the course, why would want to stop broadcasting radio signals?

Escaping a black hole by tapping into a mechanical spider’s micro fusion reactor was a stretch. That big, colorful cable feeding power from Sasha to the ship was a hoot.

Indeed it was, even bigger stretch then the mini-fusion reactor. If they found all those alien implants inside the alien skulls, why not collect all of them and backengineer or connect them to the power-grid? Does it need to be a living person to operate the fusion-reactor?

Petra’s nervous system literally bubbling from the back of her neck was a real Alien experience. At least the nerve-creature had the decency to die as it attempted to crawl away, instead of escaping, growing into a powerful monster and killing the crew one-by-one.

When it happened I was convinced that it was the monster, and I was screaming at them to get the flame-thrower and burn the sucker off from the deck. Nobody listened.

William’s development from AI to an independent individual entity as he struggled with human emotions was well done. I didn’t foresee William becoming “mother” to a new AI.

In the book 2 I described an AI model, where the AI clones a version of themselves, and the child becomes the new AI and they almost copied it. So, I cannot be beating the wrong horse if they got it in theirs as well. The whole problem with the cloned AI is that it is rarely the same personality, and even bigger problem is that due to the cloning, whatever "powers" they posses, the child might have inherited them as well. Or put in simply way, they could have inherited the AI passwords for the systems, and that is a problem.
 

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