Review: ‘Mission Genesis’

Filmed in Cinevillage Studio, Toronto, by Sci-Fi Channel, YTV and Empire Entertainment. Executive producer, Wilf Copeland; producers-creators, Jeff Copeland, Barry Pearson; director, George Mendeluk; writer, Bill Taub; based on "Deepwater" novels by Ken Catran; In the opening chapter of new sci-fi series "Mission Genesis," six awakened clones and an imperious, holographic computer named Gen (Julie Khaner) are hurtling through space on a flight from Mars to Earth in 2695 in an attempt to "restore human life to a home they've never seen," as the legend goes. The clones are youthful and attractive, and each has its own specialty --- medicine, military tactics, communications, computers, etc. New series should appeal to juve trade and to overly zealous Trekkies.

Filmed in Cinevillage Studio, Toronto, by Sci-Fi Channel, YTV and Empire Entertainment. Executive producer, Wilf Copeland; producers-creators, Jeff Copeland, Barry Pearson; director, George Mendeluk; writer, Bill Taub; based on “Deepwater” novels by Ken Catran; In the opening chapter of new sci-fi series “Mission Genesis,” six awakened clones and an imperious, holographic computer named Gen (Julie Khaner) are hurtling through space on a flight from Mars to Earth in 2695 in an attempt to “restore human life to a home they’ve never seen,” as the legend goes. The clones are youthful and attractive, and each has its own specialty — medicine, military tactics, communications, computers, etc. New series should appeal to juve trade and to overly zealous Trekkies.

Deepwater Black, a scarab-shaped spaceship, has been interrupted during its so-far serene, 500-year voyage by hostile whatzits in a zooming green toylike device. Navigator Yuna (Nicole deBoer), covered with protective green slime, is first to be wakened by the alarm, followed by eventual head honcho Reb (Gordon Michael Woolvett). Their memories jarred into partial action, they begin sorting out their situation.

The other four — militarist Bren (Jason Cadieux), communicator Gret (Kelli Taylor), computer whiz Zak (Craig Kirkwood) and medical doctor Lise (Sara Sahr) — stepping out of their comas, begin ironing themselves out. More mature Gen, a forbidding in-and-out apparition dictating the crew’s actions, sets up limits to make sure the ship continues on course to its destination, where a “deadly plague” has wiped out the human population. As the ditty goes, “Be a Clone, Be a Clone!”

Director George Mendeluk draws admirable enthusiasm from his peppy young cast. But Bill Taub’s pulp script, with its retread dialogue, lacks originality, as does Harley Morden’s production design. Meileen Son Hing’s costumes suggest Buck Rogers’ 25th-century outfits; after all these years, they’re still appropriate. Gen’s gowned and well-groomed for her indistinct appearances.

Program doesn’t offer much in the way of 27th century surprises, but it’s full of energy. And potential.

Mission Genesis

Production

SCI-FI CHANNEL, MON. JULY 21, 7:30 P.M.

Crew

Camera, Derick V. Underschultz; editor, Ken Petersen; production designer, Harley Morden; art director, Richard Lane; costumes, Meileen Son Hing; sound, Dan Daniels; music, Fred Mollin; casting, Kim Everest. 30 MIN.

With

Cast: Gordon Michael Woolvett, Nicole deBoer, Jason Cadieux, Kelli Taylor, Craig Kirkwood, Sara Sahr, Julie Khaner.
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