2005 ABC Science Fiction
is set in the small town of Homestead after a devastating hurricane ravages large parts of Florida. However, this hurricane is different from others as it drops thousands of orange 'lights' into the ocean. This event is seen only by the few people brave (or naive) enough to go outside and stand at the coast during the storm.
In the aftermath of the hurricane, people start disappearing, and people thought to be dead suddenly re-emerge.
And there we have an awesome set up for an awesome series. ABC
, however, apparently thought differently about that matter and decided to cancel it after just one season, leaving the viewer lost in a sea of loose ends (and it was even ended on a Cliffhanger
involving the protagonist's wife). NBC
had two similar programs airing that season, Surface
respectively; they also wound up gone. The principal characters:
- Sheriff Tom Underlay (William Fichtner): The town sheriff, and Kira's father. His first wife died in a plane crash in 1996, of which he was the only survivor.
- Dr. Mariel Underlay (Kari Matchett): Russell's ex-wife, and the mother of Jesse and Rose. She is a doctor at the town hospital.
- Kira Underlay (Alexis Dziena): Tom's daughter from his first marriage.
- Russell Varon (Eddie Cibrian): A Florida Everglades Park Ranger, Mariel's ex-husband, and father of Jesse and Rose.
- Larkin Groves (Lisa Sheridan): Russell's second wife. She is a reporter for the local news station.
- Dave Groves (Tyler Labine): Larkin's eccentric, alien/conspiracy theory-obsessed brother.
- Jesse Varon (Evan Peters): Russell and Mariel's teenage son.
- Rose Varon (Ariel Glade): Russell and Mariel's young daughter.
- Deputy Lewis Sirk (Nathan Baesel): Tom's right-hand man. He lost his left arm prior to the beginning of the series.
This series provides examples of:
- Badass Boast: Tom gives a fantastic one to Father Scanlon after discovering that he was the one who shot him.
Father Scanlon: What made you think that you could escape God's justice?
Tom: What made you think that you could escape mine?
- Bullet Holes and Revelations: In the final episode, Tom is in a gun struggle with a teenager who broke into his house, and took some of his friends/family hostage. The gun fires, and he looks up to see a bullet hole in the door of the closet where Lewis, Dave, and Larkin were locked up. It turns out the bullet hit Larkin.
- Dysfunctional Family: Well, dysfunctionally-interlaced families. A lot of inter-character tension comes from their complicated family situation (Russell and Mariel broke up and both have new spouses, with Mariel marrying the guy she cheated on Russell with).
- Emergency Transformation: Heavily implied to be the real reason why Tom gave Mariel to the light-creatures (offscreen) in the first episode.
- At the end of the last episode of the series, Tom does this again with Larkin (who was shot through the lung).
- Executive Meddling: Originally, it showed the alien invasion taking place in a hurricane. However, Hurricane Katrina had hit New Orleans around the time of the premiere, so the hurricane references, while still there, were significantly downplayed.
- "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner / Face Death with Dignity: Kira's reply to being forced by Christina and Derek to go into the water to be replicated by the light-creatures, before she calmly walks into the ocean under her own power. Although it turns out that the light-creatures reject her.
Kira: I don't have to be like you.
Kira: Even if I'm changed, I don't have to be like you. I won't be.
- Florence Nightingale Effect: Tom and Mariel met and fell in love while he was in the hospital recovering from the plane crash that killed his wife.
- Going for the Big Scoop: As the series' intrepid reporter, Larkin does this a fair amount.
- Half-Human Hybrid: The result of someone being taken by the light-creatures. They look exactly like the originals and have the same memories and (usually) personality, but with changes that aren't readily apparent, such as blood with far more hemoglobin than a human's which enables them to hold their breath for half an hour or more. In-Universe, Dave even nicknames them "hybrids".
- Here We Go Again / Book Ends: The last scene of the series features Tom giving the fatally-wounded Larkin to the light-creatures, as he did with Mariel in the first episode. The haunting music that plays during this scene is even called "Full Circle" on the soundtrack.
- Insistent Terminology: Dave refers to the light-creatures as EBEs ("Extra-terrestrial Biological Entities"), and gets annoyed whenever another character calls them UFOs.
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers: This classic movie was clearly what inspired the series.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
Deputy Munger: I look forward to rotting with your daughter in the grave.
Tom: You're not gonna make it that far. *Rams half of the car under the back end of a truck at high speed, crushing Deputy Munger*
- Social Darwinist: Szura is a combination of types 2 and 3.
- It's later revealed that the light-creatures are sort of a type 2, they won't replicate anyone who has innate health issues, such as Healy's diabetes or Kira's heart defect. Although, this is likely simply because they wish the replicants to have the best possible chances of survival.
- Species Loyalty: The "hybrids" instinctively stick with each other rather than normal humans, in some cases so much so that they go to full transhuman treachery.
- They Would Cut You Up: Tom's justification for keeping Mariel's change secret, and for why Lewis must cut off his "miraculously" re-grown arm. It later turns out that the military has, in fact, been performing invasive experiments/tests on some captured "hybrids", some of whom were military personnel before being replicated.
- Tomato in the Mirror: The replicants that replaced the real individuals truly believe they are the actual person they're copying. They even have the memories. Tom Underlay, in fact, had been replicated and was UNAWARE of what had happened to him for years.
- Whole Episode Flashback: "Redemption." The episode contains numerous flashbacks of Tom's past, showing the plane crash and how he met Mariel.
- Working with the Ex: Happens occasionally with Russell and Mariel, leading to much awkwardness and tension.