Total Recall 2070 (1999)

I am rarely impressed by the content of cinematic science fiction on the idea level. I watch series like Star Gate, Babylon 5 or others, or most science fiction movies, for the adventure and action, but it’s not often that I feel like it does something what prose fiction hasn’t already done twenty or thirty or more years ago.

Starting TR2070 I thought this would hold true likewise, and it did to an extend. First I wasn’t very impressed, the show looked like a cheap imitation of Blade Runner and Total Recall with some cyberpunk elements thrown into the mix. But soon I became enthralled. There’s a level of detail and consistency to this show that makes it stand out compared to other SF shows. Also the personal story arcs were much more mature than what you come to expect from television SF. For example the relationship between Hume and his father could have been in any drama show, SF or not.

Compared to written SF it’s still far behind the curve, but toward the end there was some impressive SFnal content. The development of friendly AI, the realization from an amoral AI that for humans and consciousness machines to live together it has to develop constructs that have or can have a similar moral code as humans. And also the ironic fact that humans develop consciousness machines that lack this moral code.

They also played out the whole P.K. Dickensian paranoia angle, human brain implants, human androids slowly taking over and all that. Overall an excellent show that got shot down far too soon.