David on Gene Roddenberry's Earth: Final Conflict

With the (latent) wild success and surprisingly long life of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry's name alone would seem to have become gold. Sadly, just because Trek was a winner, it didn't necessarily follow that everything else he penned would do likewise. Roddenberry attempted to create a multitude of sci-fi series in his post-Trek career, including Genesis II, Planet Earth, and The Questor Tapes, none of which made it past the pilot stage. After his death, there seemed to be a rush to claim properties that his wife Majel Barrett helped unearth. Its premise (literally) scribbled on a napkin, Earth was the first series she helped launch posthumously; see also Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda.

It was off to a hopeful start: the relatively high production values, inspired writing and decent performances of the first season reflected the care and respect the producers invested in the property; indeed, had it maintained this course, Earth would have been GOOD. Unfortunately, beginning with the second season, the quality took a serious nosedive, to the point that it became an ever-increasing struggle for me to continue watching. It also suffered an alarmingly rapid turnover of cast members, and each new season was retooled, ending with a fifth season that felt like an altogether different show. It was as if poor Majel was struggling mightily to keep a sinking ship afloat if only to preserve Roddenberry's good name.


Earth avoids being SH!T due to its surprisingly well-polished first season.

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