An interesting sci-fi idea, and another example of entertainment attempting to scare us with the infinite possibilities of science and nature. And you know what? It’s done often because it works and it’s effective at drilling doubt and fear into our minds towards everyday things. I’d like to believe that this show can in the end do the same. I want as much fear out of this as excitement.
OK, from what I’ve gathered from this little primer of an episode for the series, humanity decides to deal with the ever growing problem of overpopulation by trying to make another planet inhabitable for humanity. To do so, they send a special moss and cockroaches to adapt and prep the land for eventual human arrival. I have more than a few problems with this, mainly the issue of how long that would realistically take to accomplish, but I digress. It makes sense for the imagined world’s pseudoscience, so I’ll roll with it. The real problem seems to come from the inclusion of cockroaches. Even now, we know that cockroaches are likely the most adaptable lifeforms on the planet. I suppose you could also count certain microorganisms as well, but for creatures we can see with the naked eye, roaches are king of adaptability. This show seems to take this to a paranoid conclusion, showing as a second group of humans lands on the planet, that the insects have evolved to hulk-like proportions, with possibly proportional strength. They don’t appear very smart at first, but they look strong as hell. And as we see, they’re quietly very hospital and prone to swarming. It takes them little time to come together and swarm the group of astronauts, killing them at will.
We get some insight into the circumstances the astronauts were under coming into this mission. They’re mostly f*ck ups, or criminals or painfully in-debt people who threw away their humanity for money and scientific benefit. The people who came before them were the elites, they’re more than expendable. And the scientific advancement that they paid for before undertaking this mission? It’s the bio-genetic stuff that’s so simultaneously gross and cool, having their bodies spliced with insect DNA, and then activating those abilities with a serum. Seeing this, I’m very much reminded of an episode from the Batman Beyond cartoon series, where the newest trend was to temporarily splice your DNA with a shot to take on the aesthetic features of an animal. You’d grow fur and claws and stripes, and it took being a furry to a far too real and creepy level. Here, the effects are based more on insect abilities, and not merely growing fur or change eye color and pupil shape. And it’s effective against the roach men on varying levels. Some die in spite of having the ability, some die before they can even don it, and some don it and kick ass. The problem is, they’re hopelessly outnumbered and by the end of the episode, most are already dead. And the episode leaves off there.
I’m kinda glad I didn’t get around to watching this episode until the Halloween season. It had that good sci-fi horror atmosphere that I liked. The gore was quick and generally shocking. You almost never knew quite when someone was going to be murdered (my favorite being one guy who was in the back of an escape vehicle who had his head ripped off without anyone realizing it for a good few minutes). I also get a good deal of hope mixed in with the hopelessness. If this show sticks with the horror sci-fi, and doesn’t turn this into some sorta power fantasy about having bug abilities, then I may enjoy watching this all the way through.