Another Life is another Netflix special sci fi series. This one stars and is produced by Katee Sackhoff of Battlestar Galactica. The premise is the arrival of a crystalline like monument on Earth from space. It is calculated to come from Canis majoris and so a sleeper ship is dispatched to investigate.
Katee is the assigned Captain of the ‘Salvare’, crew are awakened from suspension as needed and this creates some flexibility to the crew and cast. On Earth with their daughter Katees Husband is part of the team trying to communicate with the alien structure.
The show is mostly a bottle show with much of the action occurring on the ship as the crew struggle with egos and internal politics as much as finding the aliens. The crew are all fallible humans and this means they do not always do the sensible thing and for much of the series the mission seems doomed.
The crew is likeable enough and the show plays with the dynamics by allowing some to die even ones that seem quite key to the plot and have had time invested in them.
The ship has an obligatory AI and as usual there is the trope of it going wrong but the show does it in an interesting way and allows an exploration of what it means to be human. The show also explores interpersonal concepts of love faithfulness and multi-party relationships in a non-purient way.
It becomes clear when they do visit planets that this is a Canadian made show with the planetscapes looking a lot like the Vancouver forests and one can imagine them bumping into SG1 at any moment.
To pigeonhole the series I would say that it draws elements from 2001 A space odyssey, Nightflyers, Arrival and Sunshine.
This is not ground breaking sci fi but it is good sci fi. It explores an alien intellect which has been covered in books but not much on TV, these aren’t little green men or greys. Admittedly in the interests of cheapness there is a lot of parasite mind control macguffins but even that is treated well towards the end of the series where a lead character forces his own sacrifice.
Its unsure if there is going to be a second series but I certainly hope there is, each episode left you wanting the next and the end of the series leaves you with a twist that calls into question what the crew of the ship will do and how the people on Earth will react given the revelations made there.
Well worth a look.