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Literature / Deepwater Black

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Deepwater Black (aka Mission Genesis) was a TV show based on a trilogy of books by Ken Catran.

The first book in the series, Deepwater Black, was about Robbie Mikkelsen, an Ordinary High-School Student who starts his story as he's having some bizarre encounter with Yoona, a girl only he can see. Yoona speaks some gibberish about his life being a "long prex", and tells him that there's some ship called Deepwater where their lives are being threatened by some "jel" in the tubes...and she promptly punches him. It turns out that "Robbie" is really Reb, an alien child who commands an all-child crew cloned from people of the Martian city of Py-Two. And the "prexing" is a dreamlike state owing to the fact that the children are all clones (although Reb's prexes are unusual in this regard—the only other time we see a character prex, it's to Yoona's life on Mars). Together, Reb and Yoona seek to unravel the mystery of the Deepwater, and exactly why the hell their lives are being threatened by the "jel". It turns out that they're out to re-seed the Earth after it was annihilated by a virus (they need to accomplish this by going in the opposite direction, then circumnavigating the entire universe), but to do that, they need the gene banks from another, earlier Deepwater. And the jel is being sent by a rogue computer. Meanwhile, the B-plot centres around the friendship between "Robbie" and local girl Denie Miles.


The second book, Deepwater Landing, reveals that Denie also was prexing, and her real name is Cei. The plot of the book this time revolves around their need to get to the other Deepwater and get their gene banks.

The final book, Deepwater Angels, revolves around school bully Connal "Meatgrinder" Burkitt, as it's revealed that he's the last one to awaken (his name is Conn). This time around, the crew are back on Earth, and Connal has to figure out exactly how to get life to re-start.

The books make for remarkably quick reads, although the pacing leaves a lot to be desired (although this perhaps mirrors the overload Reb gets when he awakens—he's confronted with jel, "Trites", the weirdness of the thing and a large black mass)

When it was adapted to a TV show, several plot points (including the entire characters of Cei and Conn) were jettisoned while others were expanded on. Prexes now never went any further than what was relevant to the episode, but each episode tended to be A Day in the Limelight. It was cancelled after 13 episodes. It was notable for changing the spelling for characters Yoona and Lis (now "Yuna" and "Lise")


Tropes shown in this series:

  • Absent Aliens: There are aliens, but they're never seen
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Most notably Reb and Yuna.
  • Composite Character: The character of GEN was created to replace both COL and NUN from the book.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: The Deepwater's mission.
  • Human Subspecies: Kyra's people, as well as the inhabitants of a number of colonies that experimented in genetic engineering around the time that the Pandora Virus was spreading.
  • The Plague: The Pandora Virus.
  • Retool: About the only concept that survived 100% intact was the earlier Deepwater.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Yoona became "Yuna", while Lis became "Lise". Reb, Bren, Gret and Zak all stayed the same (although Reb and Bren gained surnames)
  • Switching P.O.V.: A new character gets the viewpoint in each novel.

Example of: