Space: Above and Beyond (1995-1996)

Glen Morgan and James Wong never had much luck with their television work, first their brilliant second season of Millennium was followed by what can only be described as a mutilation by Chris Carter and then their excellent SF series Space got canned after only one season. Both of them were prodigies of Chris Carter, but they refined his mix of stories with a conspiracy angle.

It’s not that they were highly original, Space easily stands in the tradition of military fiction that can be found all over the place in prose fiction. But they were very good at establishing a mood and sticking to it. In case of Space this was a mix of despair and bleakness only rivaled by the first two season of the new Battlestar Galactica, interspersed with a neat conspiracy angle.

Apart from the mood and the style of the show, the pacing was excellent. You really had the feeling that things were happening and moving forward. This was very much not like the X-Files, which was a gigantic attempt to stall its own narrative force, to prolong the inevitable. It also helped that the characters of the show really made you care about them. When the final episode rolled in it was hard not to feel something when most of them met their final fate.

While the bigger story is incomplete, that one season is better than most TV-shows and it’s unique mood is something to savor.