The Ark’ Review: Syfy’s Space-Disaster Series Stumbles Before Reaching Warp Speed as an Engaging Adventure

Initially, Syfy’s The Ark is a hard journey — and not best due to the fact the most desirable episode opens with a catastrophic occasion that destroys a great deal of the spaceship it’s set on, along side most of its passengers.

Its premise feels borrowed from countless different sci-fi stories. Its heroes seem to have been plucked half of-fashioned from a factory of tired tropes. And its tone is off come what may, as if showrunners Dean Devlin (Leverage) and Jonathan Glassner (Stargate SG-1) haven’t yet decided whether to lean into the grimness of its survival drama, or into the jarring uplift of its credit subject matter.Yet simply as the ship’s crew start to upward thrust to the event, so too do their series’ disparate elements. The Ark may never be well-known for its thematic profundity, or its brave thoughts, or its nuanced character development. But by the fourth hourlong episode despatched to critics (of a 12-episode season), it reveals its own groove as a piece of thrilling, elementary a laugh.

To The Ark‘s credit score, it knows perfectly well that its narrative is well-trod territory, and consequently doesn’t waste time overexplaining. The specifics are those: 100 years inside the destiny, Earth has become so uninhabitable that humanity’s last desire lies with the colonization of other planets. What we’re watching is the first such assignment, comprising 400 navy employees, scientists, engineers and other carefully decided on craftspeople to blaze a trail for other civilians to comply with.

But whilst disaster moves, the one hundred fifty-ish survivors locate themselves yanked out of cryosleep a 12 months early with just a few weeks’ really worth of meals and water to maintain them. Because the incident additionally wiped out all the high command, management falls to the 3 highest-ranking navy officials on board: charismatic Lt. Brice (Richard Fleeshman), bold Lt. Lane (Reece Ritchie) and levelheaded Lt. Garnet (Christie Burke) — the latter of whom steps as much as emerge as the ship’s de facto captain, to obvious resentment from the alternative two.

Under such panicked, desperate circumstances, the display’s lead characters range before everything from unmemorable to unlikable. Lane’s dark mutterings about “survival of the fittest” paint him as borderline villainous; ditto Cat (Christina Wolfe), a self-absorbed influencer whose knee-jerk response to extreme (and critically important) water rations is to flout the rules with a chilled shower. But characters ostensibly designed to be triumphing additionally experience miscalibrated. Scientific wunderkind Alicia (Stacey Read) fills the stereotypical position of the nerd who talks too much whilst she’s worried, but The Ark overshoots the mark so that she lands to begin with as exhaustingly mannered in preference to amusingly quirky.

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