Series / Earth 2
(1994-1995) was a science fiction adventure TV series in The '90s
, produced by Amblin Entertainment. It featured an advance team of human colonists who crash-land on the remarkably Earth-like planet G889 (the titular "Earth 2") and have to find their way to their originally-dedicated landing site, the region of New Pacifica.
However, the planet contains surprises that the colonists could not have anticipated. Indeed, some information about the planet, like the fact that it's been used as a penal colony for dangerous criminals, and that it's populated by several native intelligent species, were deliberately hidden from the colonists by humanity's future government. And complicating matters further, the government has a mole among the colonists.
This show was notable for several things: A heavy message about environmental responsibility, mostly outdoor shooting in lesser-seen landscapes, plenty of practical effects, its female protagonist (played by Debrah Farentino) and overall strong female cast, and casting Clancy Brown as one of the good guys
No relation to the 1971 made-for-TV movie Earth II
or the comic book of the same name
Contains examples of:
- The Ace: Alonzo Solace. Also a subversion, as Alonzo has to tackle depression inherited from his time as a starship pilot.
- Aerith and Bob: We have John, Alonso, Morgan, Bess, but also Devon, Ulysses, True, Yale and Eben. Technically, Yale's name isn't his real name, but a work-related moniker. All convicts-turned-cyborg-tutors like him are dubbed "Yale" (collectivelly, "Yales"). After Yale is able to recall his past, including the fact he was sentenced to being a Yale unfairly, we learn his real name was Brayden Cross.
- After the End/Earth That Was: Earth is a shadow of its former self, polluted beyond repair, and most of humanity lives on space stations, except for an underclass of miners.
- Aliens Are Bastards / Humans Are Bastards: The show Played With these tropes a lot, showing weak and sinister sides to both the humans and the alien natives, and also stressing how easy it is for antagonism to spring up due to misunderstandings between the species and their mutual prejudices. The role of Blue and Orange Morality and Bizarre Alien Biology in this is important in many of the cases, both from a human perspective and an Humans Through Alien Eyes perspective.
- Aliens Speaking English: Averted. See Starfish Aliens and Starfish Language.
- Alliterative Name: Morgan Martin.
- All There in the Manual: Some additional in-universe information was present in the episode scripts that became publicly available and partly in three existing tie-in novels. One of the more interesting supplemental materials to the series was the planet's map◊, available in one of the said novels. The series takes place on the planet's eastern continent, with the advance team survivors headed for New Pacifica, located on a large continental peninsula.
- Auntie Pennybags: Devon Adair isn't just the leader of the advance team to G889, she's also the patron of the whole colonisation project. Against the wishes of humanity's post-Earth government, actually.
- Awesome McCoolname: A few. Broderick O'Neill, Ulysses Adair...
- Big Brother Is Watching: Life aboard the orbital habitats and colonies allow for fairly good living standards for many humans, but don't even think of annoying the authoritarian government in charge of it all. Several episodes mention that there are citizens unlucky enough to get indebted into what's effectivelly indentured servitude, and any sort of dissent against the government is punished severely. The trope is all the more effective when you notice the government has a benevolent and non-militaristic facade, and has good PR to cover up its wrong-doings at virtually every turn. Tellingly, Reilly often adresses Heller as "citizen", something that (intentionally or not) evokes the polite-but-hated adress "grazhdanin", used by Soviet police whenever they were asking a citizen for his ID.
- Bizarre Alien Ecology: The planet G889 is a superorganism, with various species of plants and animals performing symbiotic roles. The Terrians are the most obvious example, but other examples include polarized spider-like creatures whose webs regulate a series of natural electromagnetic teleportation tunnels that the planet "uses" to transport materials across its surface. There is also a flowering plant that uses other species as carriers for a catalyst to jump-start the spring season.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Grendlers aren't evil, they're just compulsive hoarders and traders, obsessed with collecting and bargaining. Sometimes this means they steal, but they're not evil, just weird. The problem is, they get drunk on human blood, and can easily be manipulated by the promise of blood. The Terrians are inextricably linked to the planet, as though the planet itself is alive and the Terrians are a part of that superorganism. They react with hostility to any perceived threat to their world. Again, neither they nor the colonists are evil. (Most of) the Terrians are willing to coexist, but make it clear that coexistence must be on their terms.
- Boring, but Practical: The team's ground vehicles (a six-wheeled off-road truck and two all-terrain buggies of different size) aren't much of a cool sight, but they get the job done. Danziger even notes that the transrover, their biggest surviving set of wheels, isn't particularly suited for long-distance travel. It's quite old already and originally designed as a truck for mining operations.
- California Doubling: In this case, the planet's various regions were shot in different parts of New Mexico, rather than California. An intentional aversion of the usual choice, since the locations were less visually known to viewers and the unique mix of local geology and flora gave the alien planet setting some added verisimilitude.
- Casual Interstellar Travel: Completely averted. In the pilot, we hear that even flights between the planets of the Solar System can still take weeks or entire months, often spent in cold sleep. It takes the series' expedition some 22 years to reach G889, all at a slower-than-light speed, with the crew in cold sleep the entire time. There is some angst on Bess' part in the pilot over "feeling older", despite technically not aging in cold sleep, and Alonso even gets a whole character arc based on some psychosomatic trauma or depression he acquired after taking part in one interstellar flight too many.
- Central Theme: Colonisation of different worlds is hard, nature is crucial to the future of every civilisation, unity and understanding need to be achieved via humane and reasonable means instead of authoritarian and power-hungry motives.
- Character Development: All of the major characters receive plenty of it throughout the show's only season, and they all have their own character arcs. The development isn't purely individual either. What starts out as a rather disparate team of settlers, researchers and support staff in the pilot, grows into a genuine little community by the time of the last few episodes.
- Cheerful Child: Uly, especially after he gets cured of the Syndrome. True is slightly more bratty, but has a similar demeanour. When the two kids bury the hatchet in later episodes, they even go sleding together during the planet's snowy winter.
- Closest Thing We Got: Plenty of this trope throughout the show. Dr. Vasquez was originally the chief medical staff member, but the less experienced Dr. Heller replaced Vasquez shortly before the expedition was forced to set off from the base orbiting Earth. The landing on G889 doesn't go according to plan. (An early episode reveals this was deliberate sabotage by an unwitting pawn of the government) While many members of the advance team survive the emergency landings in escape pods, most of the useful cargo burns up on entry, lands in completely different locations (often getting damaged), or gets stolen by Grendlers after landing. The advance team are forced to scrounge together whatever tech, resources and supplies they can find from the escape pods and cargo containers found in the wider region they've landed in, almost a whole continent away from the coast of New pacifica, where they were originally headed. Though they sometimes rediscover useful stuff along the way, they have to settle for fairly basic hi-tech equipment for most of the series.
- Cool Old Guy: Yale. He's only in his fifties, but he's the oldest member of the team, is a knowledgeable researcher and quite the intellectual, and last but not least, also a friendly teacher to the two children on the team. At first, he's also somewhat of an atoner, convinced he was sentenced to being a Yale tutor cyborg for a crime he committed when he was still a soldier. Later on, we learn he wasn't a criminal at all, and he grows more hopeful with this recovered knowledge of his real past. A soldier named Brayden Cross was trying to prevent a fellow soldier from slaughtering a group of dissidents persecuted by humanity's authoritarian government. He was successful, but was punished by the government to become a Yale cyborg for disrespecting their orders.
- Crapsack World: The remnants of humanity inhabiting the space stations sound like this. The government is authoritarian and turns convicted criminals into brainwashed cyborgs. The stations are apparently run by the corporate aristocracies that built them, and indentured labor is a common way of buying one's family a place on the stations. Earth is polluted beyond recognition and the only people who live there are lowly miners that everyone else looks down on. The government also likes to experiment on unwitting civilians, deny the existence of a rare but deadly disease while families watch their children die, and sabotage attempts to colonize other planets because successful colonization would threaten their authority.
- Cyberspace: Used by the colonists to relieve boredom, and also for communication over long distances. The VR headset devices are referred to as "gears".
- Deadpan Snarker: Particularly John Danziger and Morgan Martin, but Dr. Heller, Uly and Baines also have their moments.
- Desert Punk: The show had elements of this, specifically the constant pressure to find water and other supplies, and the look of the weapons and vehicles. In early episodes, Baines even likes wearing an improvised headscarf that helps protect him from the baking sun, making him look almost like a Bedouin in some shots.
- Designer Babies: Dr. Heller was born one. Her parents apparently had her genome tweaked so she'd have exceptional talent for medicine. Part of why she shows a great amount of medical competence throughout the whole show, despite still being a fairly young and only moderately experienced MD.
- Dirty Coward: Morgan Martin. Played for Laughs as well as for Rule of Drama. He starts out as little more than a nervous and whiny hypochondriac, but improves with some gradual character development (particularly from mid-season onwards) and is quite a brave and less self-centered individual by the end.
- Disproportionate Retribution: As seen in the pilot, the authoritarian government back home is so paranoid about any dissent, that Adair's expedition to G889 is threatened with a government-sponsored bomb attack on the eve of its departure. And then there's another sabotage to the ship, this time successful, after arriving above G889. The crew only finds out it was deliberate sabotage several episodes later.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The humanoid but otherwise Starfish Aliens, the Terrians, are deeply connected to the land, share a mystical dream-state, and defend the planet against human colonial encroachment. Also, penal colonists, not all of whom get on well with the natives.
- Dueling Shows: Sort of. Since Earth 2 was the first U.S. Science Fiction TV series where the crew was led by a woman, it was seen as a dueling show with Star Trek: Voyager, which premiered a couple of months later and lasted much longer.
- Dwindling Party: Something of a subversion. Initially, several team members die in the emergency landings, one of the commanders dies early on, two crew members are later rediscovered but both perish, and much later, before the end of the series, one other team member dies. By the end of the season, there's some 16 members left in the team, from an initial 18 to 20.
- Easy Logistics: The show averts this on a regular basis. In a period interview for an issue of Starlog, Clancy Brown made a nod towards this trope, remarking that "We can't beam out of anyplace. That's what I like about it. We're not dealing with super-intelligent beings who can steal our souls. We're dealing with starvation, disease, frostbite and stuff like that.". The team simply has to work with what it has or what it finds, being cut off from civilisation in a mostly unexplored alien wilderness.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Yale. It's a jargon job description instead of a nickname, since all former convicts turned into cyborg tutors are referred to as "Yales".
- Evil Laugh: Gaal does this a lot (though usually when he's alone, to avoid suspicion).
- Fantastic Racism:
- Morgan is distrustful of Yale at first, since he distrusts all Yale cyborg tutors.
- Gaal shows plenty of this towards the planet's native sapient species, especially the Terrians. He's willing to cooperate with the Grendlers for his own gain, but he holds them in equal contempt.
- Faux Affably Evil: Gaal abuses this trope in front of True Danzinger, knowing all too well she's a slightly naive 10 year old girl who doesn't always get along with her father and other team members. Once True's father finds out about Gaal's scheming, he's having none of it.
- Flash Forward: The episode "The Boy Who Would Be Terrian King", set some 16 years later, in one possible future.
- Future Slang: The VR headsets are "gears", cyborg tutors are "Yales" (get it ?), the electronic binoculars are "jumpers" (because of their quick zoom function), the team's all-terrain truck is a "transrover", and the heavy coilgun rifles are "Mag Pros".
- Government Conspiracy: Directed against the colonists.
- Green Aesop: Finding ways of understanding the planet's ecology better and coexisting peacefully with the native cultures was one of the major recurring themes of the show. Most examples were subversions of the usual heavy-handed approach to the topic, as they tended to examine mistakes and misunderstandings both on part of the humans and aliens.
- Hidden Badass: Adair, Heller and even Morgan show this side occassionally.
- Hollywood Cyborg: This show has several different examples. Yales are reformed criminals given a new personality and used as a class of tutors for rich children on the space stations. Uly initially resembles a cyborg while inside his mechanical life support suit (and may technically count as one when in that state). Another type of cyborg, a military prototype with cybernetic and genetic augmentation, shows up later in the series.
- Human Popsicle: The colonists. Their ship either traveled at light speed or relativistic, near-light speed. The journey took over 20 years, so the colonists and the ship's crew were in cold sleep during this time. The show also explores the implications of this technology in the character of Alonso, the ship's pilot, who has spent more time in cold sleep on various missions than he has spent out of it, making him much older than he looks. Alonso says he's spent so much time asleep that he no longer dreams, until the Terrians use their dream plane to communicate with him telepathically.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Both True and Bess go through this. True through her friendship with Gaal. Bess with her odd friendship and trading relationship with the Grendler.
- Ill Boy: Uly, afflicted with the mysterious Syndrome, theorized to be a result of the absence of a natural environment on the space stations.
- Instrumental Theme Tune: Composed by David Bergeaud.
- Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: There are no energy weapons in the series. The handguns and the larger, rifle-like Mag Pro guns◊ seem to use electromagnetic acceleration of bullets. They're effectivelly a form of coilgun, with the Mag Pro's name possibly standing for Magnetically-accelerated Projectile.
- La Résistance: An adult Uly leads one in the Flash Forward episode, showing possible events in the future, some sixteen years after the present day of the series.
- Last Name Basis: We never hear the first names of Baines, Magus, Walman, Reilly, Gaal and Sheppard.
- Littlest Cancer Patient: Ulysses is a particularly obnoxious example of the trope. Fortunately, he's cured within the first four episodes, and is subsequently less of The Load that he seems doomed to be in the pilot.
- Mama Bear: Devon Adair. She's really concerned with the well-being of her son and can frequently come across as a little overprotective of him.
- Meaningful Name: Terrians, from Terra, meaning "Earth". As their language is directly unintelligible, it's never made clear whether this is a loose human translation of their name, or the name they actually use for themselves.
- The Medic: Dr. Julia Heller.
- Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: While G889/Earth 2 shows plenty of soft SF tropes (an environment with elements of the Gaia hypothesis, Terrian psychic abilities, etc.), the science and technology on the side of the colonists skews much more towards hard SF. The space habitats humanity inhabits after its exodus from Earth produce artificial gravity by spinning, spacecraft are purely utilitarian and built with vacuum flight in mind, interstellar flights take decades (with starship crews in hibernation during the crossing) and the relativistic effects of such flights are noted (particularly in Alonso's case, who's a flight veteran). There are escape pods that are shaped a lot like space capsules for atmospheric reentry, supplies include special canisters for accelerated artificial gestation of animal embryos, the equipment and vehicles of the crew are a very utilitarian mix of low-tech and hi-tech solutions, etc.
- The Mole: The Eden Project's genetically engineered medical officer turns out to be a spy for the Council. She got better.
- New Old West: The humans are settlers. The aliens are natives. The corrupt Federal government conspires against the rebellious colonists as well as the native aliens.
- Nietzsche Wannabe: Gaal. He seems to indulge in his own twisted understanding of being beyond good and evil to justify his own actions and views on the natives and colonists of G889.
- No Party Like a Donner Party: Played with in the episode "Survival of the Fittest". A recon team gets its buggy damaged, is already out of supplies and has an injured member (Morgan). Then the recon team stumbles upon an underground Grendler hovel with cache. Though the team members are eventually found and helped back to the base camp, they're unwilling to discuss certain details, and their testimonies vary a bit. Then Danziger finally confesses he shot the Grendler inhabitant, not in self-defence, but in temptation to get the team some proteen. The team didn't eat one of its members (as they all made it back), but survived by eating some prepared Grendler flesh. So it's cannibalism on aliens. True is then kidnapped◊ by a Grendler who turns out to be the murdered Grendler's spouse. A teary-eyed Danziger begs the male Grendler to forgive him his crime (given the circumstances the team was in) and to spare True, his only child. Though neither species understand each other's speech, the Grendler realises what is being said and forgives Danziger.
- Obviously Evil: Being played by Tim Curry, Gaal is pretty obviously bad news the moment you see him. The cunning smirk and occassional unnerving laugh doesn't help one bit...
- Odd Couple: A fussy and amusingly hypochondriac station bureaucrat, Morgan, is married to Bess, a down-to-Earth miner's daughter.
- Oh, Crap!: When the team realises the koba's poisoned claw didn't kill commander O'Neill, just sent him into a deep, but temporary coma. Which isn't great when they've already burried him in a grave. Luckily, he manages to get out of the grave with some secret help from a pack of Grendlers and Gaal and reunite with the team. Unfortunately, he is killed by Gaal and the Grendlers later in that same episode, after he finds out about their conspiracy against the advance team.
- Older Than They Look: Pilots like Alonso Solace or engineers/ship staff like John Danziger count under this trope, given the relativistic effects of interstellar travel. Alonso is in his 20s, but is technically several decades older after just a few starship flights between Earth and other planets, in the Solar System as well as other star systems.
- Only Electric Sheep Are Cheap:
- Humanity's space habitat-bound way of life is quite spartan (unless you're really wealthy/influential) and implied to pose serious medical problems and genetic defects in the younger generations of station-born people. Uly is a prominent example of this, being one of the many children suffering from the Syndrome.
- True seems adamant about getting a pet and her father brushes off the topic, as if buying an ordinary cat cost a real fortune (which it very well might). Once the team is on the surface, True finds and adopts an imp-like koba as an impromptu pet, which subsequently causes the team a few added problems. She's later overjoyed when the team briefly gets the chance to keep a horse developed from an embryo by accelerated artificial gestation. Unfortunately, the horse was born with a genetic defect and wouldn't last.
- Papa Wolf: John Danziger. He's a mild-mannered person, but avoid angering him if you don't want to feel his tranquil fury. Gaal learns it the hard way when he attempts to abuse True's naivete to bring discord and sabotage to the team.
- Penal Colony: The planet G889 was this before the colonists showed up. No one warned them, either, the government being tight-lipped about studying the planet and using it as a dumping ground already years before the Adair-sponsored expedition arrived.
- Plucky Comic Relief:
- Morgan and Bess Martin, quite often.
- On the part of the alien natives, the Grendlers seem to fall into this at times, being a species of ugly cute curious scavengers that could put Jawas to shame.
- Product Placement: The transrover truck, with HUMMER prominently displayed on its grill as it makes its way toward the camera. Something of a really peculiar example of this trope, as all the custom-built vehicles built for the series are fictional and the rover didn't even contain HUMMER-produced parts.
- Psychic Dreams for Everyone: How the Terrians communicate. Alonzo is one of the first to figure out how to contact them via dreams. It's heavily implied he managed this because of his then-inability to dream properly, after some psychosomatic trauma he acquired from cold sleep during the many interstellar flights he served on. Adair, her son Uly and plenty of others also get some opportunities to communicate with Terrians within an odd dreamscape.
- Raised by Wolves: Mary, who was the child of exiled human biologists. Her parents were killed by Terrian renegades, and she was raised as a Terrian, with the abilities they have to Dream and move about the rock. When she sides with the humans over the Terrians in a dispute, she is exiled by them, and as she doesn't fit in with either the humans or Terrians, resolves to live on her own.
- Right Behind Me: In the pilot episode, Devon complains about Julia's inexperience asshe walks up behind her.
- Robinsonade: The show was equal parts this trope and Space Western.
- Robot Buddy: Zero◊. While he's humanoid and voiced, he generally avoids being a Ridiculously Human Robot, due to his design◊ being more practical and machine-like, rather than resembling or moving like an actual human. He even has a fully detachable head. This comes in handy in a later episode, when an on-foot recon team only takes his head with them. Most of the crucial sensors and computing power is in the head, so it can be strapped to a backpack and carried around if they need the robot for advice.
- Settling the Frontier: The basic premise of the series. The human cast is technically just an advance team, sent to recon G889 before the main colonist fleet arrives some time in the future, but the team itself fills the role of pioneers travelling through unfamiliar territory in search of a new, pleasant homeland. One amusing subversion to the whole trope is that most of the characters in the cast have never lived on the surface of an inhabitable planet, and often have to make sense of their surroundings and even common natural phenomenna like rain (since they're just not familiar with it, having never experienced it outdoors).
- Single-Biome Planet: Very averted in the series, as part of its realism focuses on showing the varying natural regions of G889 which the team travels through. Despite only being shot at New Mexico locations, the series shows plenty of varied environments in different seasons, e.g. verdant forests with meadows and lakes, forested cayons with rivers, arid desert-like regions, desert canyons, salt plains, cold lowlands and mesas, pine-forested snowy mountains, prairies, subtropic upland with lakes and ponds, and so on. In short, G889 a.k.a. Earth 2 isn't an Earth-like planet only on paper, it's genuinely Earth-like in terms of natural variety.
- The Smart Guy: Dr. Julia Heller and Yale are basically the main scientific members of the team, each with different fields of expertise and knowledge.
- Short Runner: Only lasted a single season, from autumn 1994 to summer 1995, consisting of a feature-lenghth pilot and 21 regular episodes. There were some tentative plans for a second season, but they never took off due to the cancellation.
- Shown Their Work: Much of the technology used by the humans is plausible and practical in a surprisingly non-dated way. The starship drives and geolocks are the most far-fetched tech in the series, and even then, the starships are all firmly STL.
- Sliding Scale of Cynicism Versus Idealism: While the show has a fairly idealistic tone, it dealt rather realistically with both noble and insidious human motivations, touched upon many of the issues that could arise during first contact with an alien species, and so on. It's somewhere around the middle of the scale, but skews slightly to the idealistic side.
- Slobs Vs Snobs: There's a bit of this sort of dynamic going on between the more "blue collar" members of the advance team, with Danzinger as their natural leader, and the more wealthy or "posh" team members, Adair being the most prominent one. The Space Western esthetics also translate to this a bit: Adair, Martin and O'Neill fit under the "city slicker" archetype (with Adair even having her own household servant/tutor in Yale), while Danzinger, Solace, and Martin's wife come from a more working class or "frontier pioneer" mold. One noteworthy element of the trope is that the team gradually grows into a more egalitarian community over the course of the single season, with the old class differences from Earth having little place on an entirely new planet where the team is mostly on its own.
- Space Western: Not blatantly so, but the series had hints and elements of this in parts of its esthetics and narrative, along with a touch of Desert Punk. The show is also one of the more planet-bound examples of the trope, given the whole premise and focus. As a wink at the whole trope/concept, Adair reminescents about the first European settlers coming to the Americas in the pilot, and two later episodes have the team getting an aritificially gestated horse and Uly and True taking part in a VR simulation of a stereotypical Western town.
- Spoiled Brat: Subverted with Uly. True at first thinks he's a spoilt little boy, due to his priviliged background and the extra care he receives due to his illness. They're at odds in the pilot, but he proves her wrong when he shows plenty of his good-natured personality and willingness to share things in subsequent episodes.
- Starfish Aliens: While Earth 2's native aliens aren't completely out there at first glance, the devil is in the actual details. Aliens Speaking English is completely averted throughout the series, and the nature of the species' biology and psychology has many unique, sometimes completely inhuman features.
- The Terrians have two arms, two legs, a torso and a head. That's where the similarities end. They're at various points said to resemble plants rather than animals, and even in one episode it's said the composition of their bodies matches the composition of the planet with which they share a symbiotic relationship. The colonists at one point even compared them to an insect colony, only that the planet itself is the "Queen". They burrow through the ground like a Sand Worm, and use a mystical dream plane to communicate with humans. They speak a trilling Starfish Language. It's also suggested their ancestors were more human-like than the modern Terrians, and may have been a technological civilization before they evolved into a race of ecotopians. The humans generally have a hard time understanding the Terrians' motivations. The only possessions of the Terrians are their staff-like weapons, apparently capable of channeling sunlight or lightning-like energy as a means of defense. They're not outright boom sticks, though.
- The humanoid, but dwarfish and even more non-human Grendlers◊ are another example. Their heads◊ vaguely resemble that of a baby rhino, their tribes are obsessed with curiously scavenging and trading with just about anything (somehting that causes the advance team plenty of headaches as well as fortunate moments) and for some reason, they can get addicted to human blood (due to parts of its chemical composition). Unlike Terrians, they wear simple and concealing, if slightly ragged clothes. Most of their vocalisations sound like deep-voiced grunts or camel bleats. Despite seeming ugly and sinister at first glance, they're peaceful, goofy and even rather helpful in most of their encounters with the team. Gaal tried to enslave a few of them as his would-be henchmen, but thankfully wasn't much successful. One of the episodes focuses on showing that Grendlers have complex intelligence and thought, and can feel anger and grief on the same level as any human.
- Starfish Language: None of the native aliens are capable of reproducing human speech, though the colonists find ways of communicating with them (and, in the case of the Terrians, the Terrians themselves search for ways to communicate).
- Stock Episode Titles: "Redemption".
- Time Lapse: Time-lapsed shots of clouds were frequently used to suggest the passage of time, as well as to make the New Mexico desert seem a little more surreal and alien, in keeping with the setting.
- Tomboy with a Girly Streak: True Danziger fits this rather well, having a stubbornly adventurous and independent spirit, but also showing plenty of envy when the team manage to acquire an artificially gestated horse that Uly is eager to ride as soon as it grows. It's not a pony, but True is quite adamant about wanting a horse of her own (even though Uly is actually willing to share it with her).
- Tricked-Out Gloves: Dr. Heller is frequently seen wearing◊ and using her diaglove, a medical multitool. (Even the opening titles include a shot of her using it to look over a wounded patient.) Despite the name, the diaglove isn't actually used as a diagnostics tool (that's up to the MD herself), but can still do incisions, cauterize wounds, take samples, do basic medical scans of visible wounds, and even defibrilate if needed.
- When She Smiles: Dr. Heller is quite the stoic compared to the rest of the cast, but she occassionally lightens up into very cheery smiles.
- Wicked Cultured: Gaal shows this frequently, displaying an eloquent and intelligent side, despite also being a grade-A schemer, backstabber and ruthless sociopath.