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Series / Earth: Final Conflict

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They are the companions. Aliens come to earth on a mission of peace. Their true mission and the secrets they hide, forever altering humanity.
Season 2 introduction

"There are powers that you do not understand guarding you, Liam."

Earth: Final Conflict is a television series that lasted from October 1997 to May 2002, for a total of 110 episodes in 5 seasons. Like Andromeda, this is not a show Gene Roddenberry managed to create from his grave, but was produced by his widow Majel Barrett-Roddenberry. Everything that he demanded from Star Trek (like a positive view on the future, no internal character conflicts, to make exploration and not war) is completely absent. The only Trek it bears the vaguest of resemblance to is Deep Space 9 for the prominence of properly masked dei ex machina, the everlasting feel that "it was all meant to be" and, in no uncertain terms, the multidimensional depth of both the Villains and the Heroes. The name of the show was originally going to be Battleground: Earth, but the producers wanted to avoid sounding too similar to Battlefield Earth.


As the title might suggest, it takes place on Earth, a very lethal place as many characters die swiftly after being introduced. It's also one of the few series to kill off its lead after the first season. The series starts by showing us it has been three years since a Sufficiently Advanced Alien race called the "Taelons" arrived on Earth. They have since removed all hunger, war, and societal ills from our planet, but a human resistance movement (known, appropriately, as The Resistance) essentially wants to know the price-tag for all these benefits. Naturally, it turns out that the Taelons have a hidden agenda.

It takes Always Chaotic Evil, tells it it sucks, and then throws it through a portal into space. The alien species in the show seem even more divided than humans in their political goals and even more so in how to achieve them. The Taelons aren't outright evil at all, the Taelon characters are as diverse in how evil they are as the human ones. And it turns out to be a lot more complex as both species are intertwined into some extremely vague purpose and need each other for survival. The second main character also was an alien hybrid. In a lot of ways, it was like V (1983) only much more complex and with no clear good guy, bad guy or motivations.


Infamous for its final season, which radically altered the show's cast (again) and very premise to the point of it being more like a Spin-Off. A major supporting character suddenly became the central protagonist, and the Taelons were replaced with a much less ambiguously villainous species.

This TV series provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Everywhere. The show was infamous for coming up with intriguing ideas, but never really doing anything with them; the Skrills are cloned, then they have a queen which is set loose in the rain forest to reproduce freely before transforming into a glowing butterfly creature. The Portal Network acts as a means for Taelon shuttles to cross the globe in seconds, then becomes Niven-esque terminals and eventually portable to the point that you can carry one around on your person. Maya's life in our reality. Lili's half-Jaridian baby. The list goes on.
  • Action Girl. Lili Marquette, Renee Palmer.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: In the episode "One Taleon Avenue," the Tealons secretly put an AI named Control in a human research facility to keep the human researchers inside from making scientific breakthroughs the Taelons didn't approve of. It did this by using chemicals to essentially brainwash people. The program then resorted to murder to accomplish its goal, which the Taelons did not plan for.
  • The Alliance: In Season 4 a group of several countries form a group called the Atlantic National Alliance, aimed at governing with no Taelon interferance, and secretly plotting to oust the Taelons from the planet.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: In one episode, a huge Jaridian fleet is detected on approach to Earth. Panicking, the Taelons get the hell out of dodge despite the pleas by the world governments to help. It was all a trick by Jaridian agents, who use a probe to generate ship signatures and try to render Earth uninhabitable before the Taelons come back.
  • Alternate Universe: Liam and Augur end up on an alternate Earth where the Taelons are busy conquering humanity. Additionally, humans never built cities and remained in harmony with nature, which didn't stop them from building advanced weapons (it's not explained where they got the industry without cities). They find many duplicates of people they know, although the humans have different names (e.g. Alternate!Sandoval is called Jason).
  • Alternate Universe Reed Richards Is Awesome: Season 2's "Dimensions".
  • Anyone Can Die: This show was infamous for taking this to ridiculous extremes. Only one character (a villain) is a regular in all five seasons and most characters die or otherwise get removed from the main cast.
    • An extension from this is that all of Renee's love interests end up dead at one point or another. Boone and Liam both come back from the dead, but Boone is then killed off-screen.
  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: It is said on more than one occassion that a Taelon cannot kill another due to the Commonality they are all part of. As time goes by, this link is said to be weakening, and later in the series it becomes weak enough that a Taleon CAN kill another.
    • In one episode, Zo'or and T'than engage in the Taelon version of a duel to the death. Sandoval asks how this is possible, since Taelon mentality (and their psychic link) supposedly prevents them from killing one another. Da'an explains that they are playing a strategy game that requires a Taelon to use all his energy to try to win, even if that will completely drain him. Thus, the victor does not feel responsible for the death. Zo'or nearly loses, but he previously convinced Sandoval that his survival is essential to the Taelons, and Sandoval helps him cheat. An emergency stops the duel before T'than is forced to give up his energy. Subverted later when Zo'or murders T'than by completely draining him.
  • Apocalypse How: Planetary and Species Extinction for the Jaridians, whose homeworld inexplicably implodes in Season 5. Renee briefly mentions this. It's not explained why a species capable of fighting intergalactic wars only lives on one planet.
  • Artificial Hybrid: Humans could become Atavus hybrids by being placed in a regeneration chamber with an Atavus. Later, a serum that could cure this affliction was discovered. At one point, the serum production was taken over by hybrids, and the serum was tainted so that it would turn people into hybrids. Renee tries to use this tainted serum to heal a wounded Micheals with the intent of reversing it later, but it fails and he dies.
  • Artistic License – Biology: With particular emphasis on Hollywood Evolution and No Biochemical Barriers.
    • Every alien species is DNA based, even energy beings. Even robots. They are often created by “mapping DNA” onto robotic bodies.
    • Liam's DNA is a triple helix, composed of two strands human and one strand Kimera DNA, presumably one strand from each of his three parents. In reality, each strand in a double helix is the precise mirror of the other.
    • Evolution happens in one lifetime rather than over many. And it has a direction: life is a ladder rather than a tree. It turns out that forcing this, however, has consequences.
      • At least one episode attempts to Hand Wave this. A human who has "evolved" past the Taelons makes an off-handed comment implying that what's happening isn't actually "evolution" in the sense humans understand it, but the English language lacks appropriate terminology.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: A scientist in an early episode experiments with some Taelon technology and ends up jumping Evolutionary Levels to a god-like status. She chooses to leave rather than mess with either humanity or the Taelons.
  • BFG: In one episode, we get a glimpse of a project called Forge, which turns out to be a giant anti-space cannon, capable of firing through ID space. Its ammo? A cubic mile of lava from Earth's core.
  • Baby Factory: One episode shows that the Taelons were using the cover of an infertility clinic to implant human females with fetuses that had neural implants. Then we find out that the babies were also clones of Sandoval.
    • Another episode shows the living Taleon motherhsip was growing Taelon embryos.
  • Back from the Dead: Main character William Boone was killed at the end of Season 1. He is resurrected in Season 5, appearing in two episodes, then is killed off-screen. Likewise, Zo'or, killed at the end of Season 4, returns from the dead, appears in two episodes, and dies. Liam, believed to have died between Seasons 4 and 5, returns in the final episode, alive.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Of course a lot of major events and people in history somehow relate to alien interference.
  • Black Site: One episode dealt with a secret prison where dissidents who hadn't even been charged with crimes were placed into a fluid that causes sensory deprivation. Another showed an illegal internment camp where hybrids were rounded up and locked away.
  • Brain Uploading: After the death of Johnathan Doors we discover he uploaded his consciousness to cyberspace.
  • The Caper: In "Motherlode," a criminal forces Augur into helping him with a heist, with the goal of stealing 3 trillion dollars in gold from the Taelon mothership.
  • Cassandra Truth: In Season 5, Renee Palmer uncovers the energy-sucking Atavus, and warns of their danger to the planet. Despite having just dealt with an alien invasion not long ago, the authorities are very dismissive of her, and one of the major plot threads for the first half of the season is Renee trying to get someone to believe her.
    • An unusual scenario crops up in "Subterra" when, even as Renee is doing everything in her power to warn the general populace about the Atavus and is being dismissed as being crazy, a homeless person tells her that the very aliens she is looking for are feeding off his people, and leaving behind bodies with very distinctive wounds, and she doesn't believe him.
  • Casual Interstellar Travel: Taelon ID portals allow them to quickly travel between galaxies. The Jaridians seem to lack the technology (they keep trying to get their hands on it) but still possess FTL that's fast enough to allow them to wage an intergalactic war on the Taelons. In Season 5, we also learn that the Atavus had ID portal technology, making it strange that the Jaridians didn't, as they're descended from the Atavus, just like the Taelons.
  • Child by Rape: Liam "Kincaid." The Kimera Ha'Gel, Last of His Kind, essentially goes on a spree to try and procreate. His "mates" are not able to withstand the experience. Ha'gel ends up overpowering both Sandoval and Beckett to produce Liam, the hero of Seasons 2 & 3. Liam doesn't seem to acknowledge his alien parent any more than he absolutely has to (to the point of considering Sandoval, the show's Magnificent Bastard as his "real" father), and gets to tell Ha'Gel off later.
  • Child of Two Worlds: Liam mostly identifies as human, but his alien ancestry does seem to give him a greater rapport with the Taelons.
  • Clip Show: Several. Usually the episode did have a story to tell outside of simply showing clips.
    • "Interview" was about a news reporter interviewing Zo'or, and this was used to ow clips from previous episodes.
    • In "The Art of War" Howlyn interrogated Sandoval and Ra'Jel, looking for a way to subjugate humanity, and being shown previous attempts by the Taelons to do just that.a
    • In "The Journey" Ra'jel speaks to Renee and the two argue, Ra'jel insisting that Renee can't escape her destiny whle she tries to do just that, each one using clips to illustrate their points.
  • Coconut Super Powers. Liam Kincaid has the Shaqarava, but he hardly uses it. This is finally explained by saying that he becomes more human over time.
  • Continuity Nod: Because of Season 5's radically different premise, any reference it makes to the first four seasons seem like this instead of actual continuity.
  • Convenient Coma: FBI Director Hubble Urich fell into a coma after being attacked by an Atavus, and remained in one for about half a season before waking up.
  • Cool Star Ship : The Taelon Mothership. Appearing almost transparent in space, save for strings of light going through the ship, a living being capable of regenerating and indeed, growing or shrinking itself, referred to as a "she" by the Taelons, and with firepower capable of devastating a planet.
  • Data Pad: "Globals" were exactly like Real Life smartphones, years before smartphones appeared on the market.
  • David Versus Goliath: A Jaridian Sokara-class cruiser is on its way through a wormhole to attack Earth. With no way out, Liam takes a tiny Taelon shuttle to meet it. Guess who wins? It helps that ID-portal cores explode quite spectacularly when ejected.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: In Season 5, Renee offhandedly mentions that Jardidia imploded at some point. We don't know how or why this happened.
  • Easily Forgiven: Sandoval was the right hand of Zo'or, and carried out a lot of unethical operations in his name. Sandoval conspired behind the Taelons' backs to make an alliance with the Jardians, their ancient enemy. Later, Sandoval went to the Earth authorities, promising to testify in court to every illegal and amoral activity Zo'or was involved with. Sandoval was re-acquired by Zo'or before that could happen, but Zo'or still forgave him, and Sandoval immediately resumed his old job. This is unusual, because Zo'or is not the forgiving type.
  • Emotional Maturity Is Physical Maturity: Not long after he is born, Liam Kincaid goes from a newborn to full grown human, and he acts like an adult.
  • Energy Beings: The Taelons, the Kimera. The Kimera however look to be entirely energy - except when they feel like it and pretend to be some matter based life form. The fact that the Taelons are energy based is a key part of the show's storyline too.
    • Also a rare Deconstruction; beings made of energy have to contend with the fact that they expend that energy by living. The true, epic level of Zo'or's arrogance over their evolution into Energy Beings shows when we learn that they're actually an evolutionary dead-end; they have no way of naturally replenishing that energy.
      • The reason they're an evolutionary dead-end is because they did not arrive to this state naturally. They started out as a cult on the Atavus homeworld that performed a dangerous experiment to steal core energy from the majority of the race to extend the lifespan of the cultists at the expense of the rest of the species. Thus the Taelons and the Jaridians were created, the former living for millennia while the latter living for only a few decades before being burned alive by their destabilizing physiology. The Taelons were further changed by the Kimera who helped them to arrive at their current state. So, yes, there is nothing natural about either the Taelons or the Jaridians.
    • Strangely, one episode has Liam encounter a Kimera ship, implying they weren't always Energy Beings and may have evolved into them.
  • Energy Weapon: All Taelon and Jaridian weapons are of this type. It makes sense from the Jaridian standpoint, since ballistic weapons would have no effect on the Taelons. Humans eventually start developing their own based on Taelon tech. The Grand Finale has the good guys being equipped with prototype energy Hand Cannons capable of disintegrating an Atavus in one hit. The prototypes are large and boxy.
  • Engineered Public Confession: In "Subversion" Renee is kidnapped and held on trial in a Kangaroo Court, being televised live. When the judge thinks the cameras are off he reveals his true colours, saying he is the only justice left in the world and that his will is law.
  • Escaped from the Lab: As a child, Juliet Street was brought to a secret military research center called the Conclave for study. The doctors there were interested in her brain's ability to think 4th dimensionally. While there she befriended another patient named Ethan, whose telepathic abilities were being studied. Street was eventually broken out by Augur.
  • Expendable Clone: After Zo'or and Sandoval put a tracker into Liam's body, Street has him duplicated using a specially-modified ID-portal and some quantum mechanics, keeping the original in an induced coma. She specifies that the duplicate will, soon enough, cease to exist due to his quantum nature. At the end of the episode, the duplicate performs a Heroic Sacrifice, giving Renee and Da'an time to escape.
  • Expository Theme Tune/Opening Narration: Explaining how an alien race called the Taelons arrived on Earth offering peace.
  • Expy: The mothership's look is a dead ringer for the underwater aliens' technology in The Abyss.
  • The Extremist Was Right: And how! In the opening title roll of this show's last season, we get treated to a montage/voice over sequence that implies billionaire Jonathan Doors' fears of the Taelons - the same which led him to bankroll the Resistance - were in fact very well founded.
  • Fantastic Drug: The episode "Bliss" introduces the titular drug, which is highly addictive. Though Bliss is delivered into the body through Taelon-engineered orbs, the drug itself is derived from a plant native to Earth and not created by Taelon technology.
    • Kryss is created by feeding humans alien plant-life, then extracting a chemical from the humans' bodies. Kryss was created to sustain the Taelons' bodies on Earth, but it is possible for a Taelon to take too much kryss and become addicted to the substance.
    • In "Essence", the Taleons develop a way to extract emotions from humans and turn it into a physical substance, which they can then absorb into their bodies so they can then feel those same emotions.
  • Fusion Dance: The Taelons and Jardians used to be one species, the Atavus, but millions of years ago they split into two. At one point Da'an tries to merge his energy with a Jardian. It works for about a minute, before the fusion splits apart. Da'an survives but the Jardian is killed. Later, six Taleons and six Jaridians attempt the same thing, this time with the aid of special chambers. We do not learn what became of them after this.
  • Gambit Pileup: All the time in the first four seasons, since just about every Taelon seems to have their own (sometimes violently contradicting) agenda, and many of the humans have their own agendas and the skills and resources to pursue them. It's quite astonishing how thoroughly at cross purposes the Taelons can operate, given they have a form of shared consciousness and memory.
  • Great Offscreen War: The sries occasionally mentions the SI War that ended just prior to the arrival of the Taelons, where the SI stands for "Sino-Indian", though the US was also involved in some capacity. Not many details are revealed, but no nukes were used, which is amazing, since both China and India have them. The William Boone fought in the war, and "Liam Kincaid" one took on the identity of someone else who did. Several other characters were also involved in various capacities. Apparently, the war ended when someone employed a new WMD called the Quantum Vortex (some suggest it was the Taelons), which killed 100,000 people. There are a few flashbacks to the events of the war through the series. There's also the Taelon-Jaridian War, of which barely anything is known, save that it has been going on for milenia and suposedly spans galaxies.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Liam Kincaid more properly Liam Sandoval-Beckett but no one calls him that, ever. He has three parents, two human and one Kimera and ends up with a kind of triple stranded DNA helix and a few special abilities. The entire manner of it is convoluted but the Kimera race were extremely advanced and had a demonstrative skill in genetic manipulation.
  • Healing Factor: The Atavus in Season 5 can regenerate from extensive damage. Several parties spend time and effort finding a way to kill them. It turns out they are weak to cold temperatures.
  • Humans Are Bastards: A vast portion of humans are just as bad as some aliens are. Ronald Sandoval being a fine example. Even in this the show has non-trivial shades of gray, as in the first season Sandoval is being unwittingly controlled by an alien brain implant, and when that becomes defective, he maintains his appearance of being evil for the purpose of secretly destroying the aliens from the inside.
  • Human Popsicle: A Roman judge Ma'el placed in stasis is to be awakened every 100 years to see if the Taelons have disregarded his warning and came to Earth. Should that happen, the judge is supposed to ram the Mothership with Ma'el's ship.
    • Three cryopods were found that were 200,000 years old. Turns out they were originally from a spacecraft that will launch decades in the future, but was sent back in time.
  • If It Tastes Bad, It Must Be Good for You: Street often offers her friends some strange sounding foods, which she claims are healthy.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: An assassin whose preferred weapon is a telescopic baton with Absurd Cutting Power, gets undone by his own weapon after Liam kicks him, causing the baton to extend through the assassin. Also, happens to Sandoval in the Grand Finale after Renee kicks him off a catwalk.
  • Interstellar Weapon: One episode features a weapon that shoots lava from the Earth's core through ID space that can hit planets in other galaxies.
  • I Regret Nothing: Sandoval says this as he dies.
  • Kangaroo Court: In a fifth season episode, a radical judge kidnaps various people, including Renee Palmer, and tries them without a jury for "crimes against humanity" before executing them in a gruesome way. Luckily, the authorities show up just in time to spare Renee the same fate. The judge deliberately twisted the facts to prove his point, blaming Renee for things that others did.
  • La Résistance: The Resistance is formed in the pilot, whose main purpose is to find out the Taelons' purpose on Earth. In later seasons, several world governments, under pressure from the Taelons, declare martial law and start hunting down the resistance members. Both Boone (Season 1) and Kincaid (Seasons 2-4) are protectors of a Taelon called Da'an, although both are also secretly members of the Resistance. Initially, the Resistance is well-funded, as it was founded by a wealthy tycoon. Their numbers are also high. Later on, though, the numbers and the funds dwindle. By the end, there are very few members left. In the final season, there are less than a dozen members left, as they fight to prevent the Atavus takeover (in this case, it's more about the world not knowing or not believing about the Atavus, although a good number of officials are human/Atavus hybrids).
  • Laser Blade: An assassin makes those and uses them to kill people and frame others for the murders.
  • Last of His Kind:
    • Ha'gel, the last Kimera
    • Ra'jel, the last Taelon in Seaon 5. He also claims to be the first, which might mean he was the first to be connected to the Commonality.
  • Latex Perfection: In "Motherlode" two characters used this type of mask to impersonates two Taelons as part of a heist, with the goal of stealing 3 trillion dollars in gold from the Taelon mothership.
  • Living Ship: The Taelon mothership is a living being which lives on the same energy as the Taelons themselves.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Zo'or is Da'an's child, which doesn't stop either from plotting against the other. To make matters worse, Liam is Sandoval's biological son, although the latter does not know.
  • The Milky Way Is the Only Way: Averted. The Taelon-Jaridian war stretches over several galaxies. The Taelon homeworld is stated to be in the Ma'hu'ra'va galaxy, wherever that is.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Agent Sandoval served the Taelons for years, but began scheming behind their backs for several reasons: the CVI he allowed them to put in his brain turned him into an amoral bastard, and the constant beratement and threats he suffered at the hands of his boss Zo'or.
  • The Mothership: The Taelons' membership arrived in Earth's orbit three years prior to the start of the series, and remains in orbit for duration of the series. The ship itself glows purple and is made of living tissue.
  • Nanomachines: At one point Street is infected with nanites that allow Agent Sandoval to see and hear everything she does.
  • Neural Implanting: Companion Protectors are given Cyber Viral Implants that grant them photographic memory and a handful of other abilities. It also makes them loyal to the Taelons. Later in the series it is revelaed that given enough time the host's immune system can neutrilize the imperitive that makes them loyal to the Taelons.
  • 90% of Your Brain: To explain the function of the CVI.
  • No Biological Sex: The Taelons are said to be neither male nor female, though they are refered to using masculin pronouns for sake of simplicity.
  • Nuke 'em: Near the end of Season 4, the US launches nukes at the Mothership. The ship survives but is damaged. Sandoval catches some of the blast and gets a scarred face.
  • Oireland: The Episode "The Secret of Strandhill" is set in Ireland, where the Companions are responsible for the Tuatha de dAnnan myths and unifying the New United Republic of Ireland under Northern Rule.
  • The Older Immortal: Individual Taelons can live to be many thousands of years old. In Season 5, we are introduced to Ra'jel, who claims to be the first Taelon.
  • Organic Technology: The Taelons prefer semi-organic devices and structures. They look cool and can function on their own. The downside? They are subject to the same problems as living beings (e.g. disease, need to feed). The prime example are the Skrill, who are millipede-like sentient beings that were captured and genetically-altered by the Taelons to serve as weapons for their human servants. The Taelons fear them, as the Skrills' natural ability to emit energy blasts can kill them.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The Atavus in Season 5. Drain the life out of people to survive? Check. Pre-occupied with sex? Check. Turn humans into more of their own kind? Check. Can stay alive for centuries in suspended animation? Check.
  • Override Command: Taelon shuttles used on Earth are hardwired to stay within the atmosphere. Should someone attempt to go into space, an override will kick in and they will head back down. Augur manages to hack the override, allowing three astronauts, trained for the scrubbed manned mission to Mars, to leave the atmosphere and travel to the red planet. Sandoval's reaction is appropriate for the situation, since no one expected a mere human to be able to hack Taelon technology. Presumably, the override is removed after that, since it's never mentioned since, and shuttles are shown to be able to fly into space in future seasons.
  • Parasitic Horror: The episode "Take No Prisoners" introduces a parasitic worm that burrows into the body of its host, making them completely unafraid of everything, up to and including death. However, after an hour, the parasite will kill the host.
  • Photographic Memory: The CVI grants this ability to its host. Strangely, the host seems to be able to perfectly recall insignificant details from before having a CVI, which seems to be impossible given what we know about human memory. A possible (but flimsy) explanation for Boone being able to recall seeing his wife's killer is his police training forcing him to note even minor details.
  • Playful Hacker: Augur acts as a hacker for the Resisitance. He charges for his expertise, either in the form of money, or the chance to examine Taelon tech, though his arm can be twisted to do the right thing for free. Later, Juliet Street becomes the show's resident hacker, replacing Augur.
  • Plug 'n' Play Technology: In the Grand Finale, the ID drive from the buried Atavus starship is plugged into the Taelon mothership. For reference, Atavus tech is hundreds of thousands of years older and less advanced than Taelon tech.
  • Portal Network: ID-portal stations are set up throughout the world that allow nearly-instantaneous travel, pretty much eliminating the need for any other method of mass transportation. Initially, the process took some time, but it was actually a plot by the Taelons to experiment on the travelers on their Moon base. Even after the Taelons are gone, the portal stations remain, as the technology is well-known to humans by now.
  • Power Crystal: Jaridian technology appears to be crystal-based.
  • Product Placement: For the now-defunct MCI brand.
  • Properly Paranoid: The Resistance
  • Psychic Link: The Taelon Commonality is a mix between this and a Hive Mind. All Taelons are joined in it, and they can sense when another Taelons dies, although they are still separate individuals who can keep secrets from each other, and even kill other Taleons. The primary purpose of the Commonality is to keep the Taelons civilized. Without it, they would quickly revert to their atavian ancestors.
    • In "Hearts and Minds" Renee unintentionally forms a psychic link with her boyfriend, because he was given some of her Taelon energy for a mission.
  • Punctuation Shaker: Taelon names typically consist of two syllables, separated by an apostrophe. The one unusual name is T'Than, since "T" is hardly a syllable, but all other names are pronounced with a slight pause between the syllables (e.g. Da'an - "dah ahn", Ma'el - "mah el"). There's also a meta example with "The Sto'or", the shows official online store (now defunct).
  • Ramming Always Works: The Taelon mothership is nearly destroyed when Ma'el's ship takes off and accelerates on a collision course.
  • Recurring Character: Like Deep Space Nine, the show had a ridiculous amount of recurring characters, some of which being on par or even far above main characters in screen time at certain parts.
  • Red Planet: A Season 1 episode involves a manned mission to Mars being scrubbed under pressure from the Taelons. They argue that they can provide the government all the data the astronauts would have obtained and more, so there is no need to subject them to the risk of space travel. The astronauts themselves are, understandably, pissed and argue that humanity needs to take this step on its own, but the government relents under Taelon pressure. The astronauts plan to steal Lily's Taelon shuttle and use it to fly to Mars anyway, but they're informed that all Earth-based shuttles are hardwired to never leave the atmosphere. Augur manages to bypass the override, and the astronauts take off. They bring back pictures of Mars... and of a large Taelon base on the far side of the Moon, revealing the real reason the Taelons wanted the mission, and the entire space program, scrubbed.
  • Remember the New Guy?: This trope shows up frequently in later seasons. A lot of new characters show up who are old friends of Renee Palmer. This is is at least explainable, as she had a life before becoming involved with the events of the series. However, when Liam runs into an "old friend" from his past that we've never met, this is a bit more suspect because Liam was literally born in the first episode of Season 2.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Liam Kincaid can feel this way, taking William Boone's place as Da'an's Protector and Double Agent for La Résistance. For bonus points, Liam is the Irish version of William.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Distance: The show often mentions how the war between the Taelons and the Jaridians is millionss of years old and has spanned galaxies, yet one episode mentions that the Jaridian homeworld is in orbit around Tau Ceti, one of the clostest stars to Earth.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Atavus in Season 5. They slept in underground chambers for thousands of years and were awakened by the attempt to save the Taelon and the Jaridian species.
  • Secret Other Family: Lili finds out that her father had another family and meets her half-sister.
  • Serial Killer: "Termination" saw Renee Palmer break a serial killer out of prison. She was a former doctor who dissected her victims to learn more about death. Renee hoped that her expertise could be used to find a way to kill the resilient Atavus.
  • Shoot the Bullet: In one episode, Liam gets himself a Jaridian energy pistol. He faces off against Sandoval from only a few feet apart. Liam shoots the energy pistol at the same time as Sandoval shoots his Skrill. The blasts meet and explode, sending both flying.
  • Space Plane: At the start of Season 5, the US government sends a group of astronauts aboard a Space Shuttle to take control of the Taelon mothership, which they assume to be empty. Unbeknownst to them, Sandoval is still up there and shoots the shuttle down.
  • The Starscream: Two big ones:
    • Sandoval, the only character to appear in every single season as a regular, really doesn't like any of his bosses.
    • Zo'or gets his position via scheming and manipulation.
  • Sterility Plague: The Companions are sterile; Zo'or is the last one to have been born. One episode reveals that the mothership contains the energy-being equivalent to a hatchery, but the ship itself won't allow more Taelons to be born until the Core Energy problem is solved.
    • "Lost Generation" reveals the Taelons have purposefully been venting material from their mothership over the east coast on North America to create sterile females. Several fertility clinics were set up to accomodate these people, and the Taelons used these to secretly implant modified humans into the females.
  • The Stoic: Doors, Sandoval.
    • In a later episode, it's stated the Taelons have no emotions, although all one has to do is take a look at Zo'or who gets mad at the drop of a hat. Da'an also shows plenty of emotions.
  • Story Arc: The purpose behind the Taelon's conquest of various non-space-faring species is a search for some sort of genetic missing link they lost when they converted into beings of energy. This deficiency leaves them without the ability to actually generate the energy they burn by simply existing. The human genome contains the solution, but by the time its discovered and used, nearly all of the species has died out. The other reason for the Taelons' arrival on Earth is to utilize humankind in their war against the Jaridians. This conflict is a major driving force for a lot of developments in the series. It is eventually revealed that the Taelons and Jardians used to be one race, but split apart millions of years ago. At the end of Season 4 the few surviving Taelons use special regeneration chambers with the intention of merging themselves with a handful of Jaridians. Their fate aftewards is not addressed.
  • Subspace or Hyperspace: Used constantly both for FTL Travel and rapid intercontinental travel on Earth. A ship in ID-space looks like it's moving through a low-res version of reality. The Jaridians appear to have their own means of FTL Travel, which is considerably slower than ID-portal drives and are constantly trying to steal ID-portal technology.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: How departing characters were typically replaced, i.e. Lili by Renee and Augur by Street.
  • The Symbiote: Skrills are millipede-looking creatures genetically engineered by the Taelons. They burrow into their host's forearm where they feed off the body's energy. In exchange, the Skrill allows the hosts to fire powerful energy blasts.
  • They Were Holding You Back: When Sandoval became a Companion Protector and had his CVI implanted, he beleived his wife was holding him back, so he had her ocmmited to a mental institution. Later, he approached Boone about becoming a Companion Prtector, and when he said no, secretly killed his wife, feeling she was the only thing preventing Boone from joining. With his wife gone, Boone does become a Companion Protector, only learning that Sandoval had his wife killed afterwards.
  • Too Dumb to Live: An incredibly egregious moment in "Legacy." Three monks sit in prayer and an Atavus walks in. She feeds on one monk, and the other two, sitting right next to him, do not notice. The Atavus feeds on the second monk, and the third doesn't notice anything even as his friend dies screaming.
  • Touched by Vorlons: In "Dark Matter," Renee Palmer is given some of Da'an's Taelon life nergy, in essense, making her part Taelon.
  • Transferable Memory: A device is introduced that allows one to vividly relive their own memories, but is also capable of recording them and playing them back for anyone else (human or Taelon). This is used to blackmail a politician with the memory of his night with a prostitute. Liam accidentally receives memories of an SI War vet, who lost his legs in the fight. For a few hours after that, Liam is unable to walk.
  • Transhuman Treachery: Humans turned into Atavus hybrids in Season 5 are immediately compelled to be Always Chaotic Evil and subservient to the Atavus.
  • Twist Ending: The show wasn't afraid to reveal that characters two seasons old had secretly been working in opposition to their apparent objectives. The actual finale, however, is a relatively straightforward fight to stop Howlyn from regaining control of his starship and the hibernating army it contains.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: After the Taelons first split from the Jaridians, their new partially-energy forms proved to be unstable. They were saved by the Kimera, who modified the Taelons into viable Energy Beings and created the Commonality to keep them stable. In return, the Taelons exterminated the Kimera. We're never told why, although it's possible they wanted their Core Energy.
  • Unusual User Interface: Taelon shuttles are piloted using a hand gesture based system. However, the interface was specifically designed for humans.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: The vampire-like Atavus in Season 5 are noted by Renee to be "so pheromonally pumped, they vibrate", which is presumably why J Street is immediately attracted to Gren in the episode "Entombed" to the point of being very naive about his motives, and why the woman he feeds on at the club is so receptive to an unknown guy in a trenchcoat suddenly coming up to her and manhandling her.
  • Vampiric Draining: The Atavus, as shown in Season 5, are half-energy beings that need to frequently absorb human energy to sustain themselves. They do so by extending energy claws and inserting them into the victim's body. It's claimed by an Atavus boy that this is not necessary on the Atavus homeworld, implying that Earth's energy field lacks a crucial component that the Atavus require.
  • Villainous Crush: The Atavus leader Howlyn frequently tries to put the moves on Renee, with limited success.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Atavus have a Healing Factor that makes them hard to kill. However, partway through Season 5 it's reveled that they are weak to cold temperatures.
  • Weaponized Teleportation: In "Payback" a human scientist develops teleportation (something even the Taelons haven't been able to achieve, although they do have interdimentional portals that have a similar effect) and uses it to teleport poisons and bombs into people and Taelons. In the end, he destroys the teleporter and leaves no plans behind.
  • When It All Began: With the arrival of the Taelons, three years prior to the start of the series.
  • You Have Failed Me: Synod leader Zo'or once punished subordinate Sandoval, not by killing him, but by firing the Taelon mothership's weapons into the ocean, causing a massive tidal wave that utterly destroys the island Sandoval was born on.