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Salvation is a 2017 suspense drama TV series. Originally announced in 2013, it was only picked up in 2016.
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An MIT student named Liam Cole discover that there's an extinction-level asteroid on a collision course with Earth in under a year. After his professor disappears under suspicious circumstances, he goes to tech billionaire Darius Tanz with the discovery. Tanz and Liam approach the US government and discover that the government is already aware of the asteroid and is working on trying to prevent the catastrophe, while keeping the whole thing under wraps in order to avoid a panic. Unwilling to trust humanity's future to the government, Tanz takes Liam under his wing, and they work to try to develop an alternative means to save Earth. Meanwhile, shadowy figures play their own games in the background.

Currently, the original 13-episode run has been completed. It's announced that the second season will be aired soon after it was renewed.

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This show provides examples of:

  • All for Nothing: At the end of season 2 it's revealed that most of the show amounts to this. All efforts to stop the asteroid fail, but it turns out it was never going to hit Earth in the first place. It isn't really an asteroid, but rather a spaceship.
  • The Ark: Tanz has built a bomb shelter/launch pad for a spacecraft meant to take survivors and some of the greatest cultural treasures to Mars in the event of a global catastrophe. He assign's Liam's girlfriend to select the viable candidates. He doesn't plan on joining them, as he has the gene for Huntington's, and it would be irresponsible to allow it to spread in the surviving humankind.
  • Artistic License – Military: An aircraft carrier blows up. The generals immediately assume the Russian subs that are in the vicinity must have torpedoes it. So why didn't the carrier have an escort, if there are potentially hostile submarines in the area? Carriers never travel alone.
    • Speaking of the carrier, the USS Pike has a motley collection of aircraft, all of which do not belong on an American carrier. The only American craft are a US Coast Guard chopper and US Air Force F-22s and A-10s, which can't land on carriers. Neither can the Eurofighter or non-navalized Russian MiG-29s. Also present is a French Army Caracal helicopter. Also, American aircraft carriers are usually named after politicians or famous battles, not fish.
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  • Ate His Gun: The government traces a hack to Lazlo, Tanz's chief of security and best friend]], finding him dead, apparently having shot himself with his own gun. [[spoiler:Tanz, of course, doesn't believe it. The true culprit is Professor Croft, who injected Lazlo with a tranquilizer and then staged the "suicide".
  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: Harris is about to be shot by Claire for "treason", even though she's the traitor. There's a close-up of her gun, then a gunshot... and she falls. The camera focuses on Grace, who's standing behind Harris with a gun.
  • Broken Pedestal: Professor Malcolm Croft to Liam, who turns out to be working for the Russians all this time. Liam is forced to shoot Croft in self-defense, although Croft is shown to have survived.
  • Cliffhanger: Season 1 ends in one, with Liam leaving the Ark to help Tanz solve the problem with Samson's iron core. Meanwhile, Russia (or RE/SYST hacking into Russia) has launched three ICBMs at the United States with President Mackenzie about to retaliate.
  • Colony Drop: An asteroid code-named Samson is threatening to end all human life on Earth in under 190 days (at the start of the show). Also, it's revealed that the Chelyabinsk meteor in 2013 was a deliberate use of this trope by the US government to drop a rock on a joint Russian-Chinese research base, code-named Project Atlas.
  • Computer Voice: Averted. TESS speaks with a pleasant female voice. You'd be hard-pressed to tell she's not human.
  • The Cracker: The hacker group RE/SYST initially seems to be just a bunch of college protesters with computer skills, seeking to expose the truth. Then they start getting into the territory of destroying two aircraft carriers and launching ICBMs.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: After two seasons of doing everything possible to stop the asteroid from hitting Earth, the final scene of season 2 has the asteroid avoiding a rail gun shot and everyone realizing it's a ship.
  • Enhanced Interrogation Techniques: When the government starts suspecting Tanz of treason, he's imprisoned and tortured for information. He manages to resist for several hours. Fortunately, Grace manages to get him set free before drugs come into play.
    • Later, Q-17 and C.O.P.E. use chemical torture on Darius to force him to reveal the launch codes for the ark.
  • Everything Is Online: An extreme example. The hacker group RE/SYST appears to be able to blow up two aircraft carriers just by hacking them.
  • Evil Uncle: Nicholas Tanz, Darius's paternal uncle has a score to settle with him after Darius breaks into Nicholas's home in England and steals a meteorite sample. It turns out that Nicholas was in love with Darius's mother and resented her for choosing his brother instead. They manage to patch up their differences, though.
    • In season 2, it's revealed that he's much worse than originally thought. He is one of the founders of Q-17, an evil CIA-esque organization who is behind the assassination of President McKenzie.
  • Fiction 500: Tanz Industries, which appears to be on the cutting edge of technology. They even release smartphone operating systems (TanzOS). On the other hand, Tanz is eventually hauled before the board of directors, who want to know what he's spending company money on. His uncle nearly succeeds in booting him out of the driver seat.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: In a way. After finally telling her the truth about the asteroid, Liam proposes to Jillian and asks her to marry him that day. She agrees, and they go to his adoptive mother (a nurse) for her blessing. She's reluctant to give it, initially assuming that it's a Shotgun Wedding (i.e. Jillian is pregnant) and asks Liam to wait a little before taking such a large step. Jillian ends up running out of the hospital chapel and tells Liam that, while she does want to marry him, it shouldn't be just because the world is about to end. Liam's mother is happy to hear they will take her advice (plus, she'd really prefer not to wear scrubs on her son's wedding day).
  • Greater-Scope Villain: RE/SYST appears to fall here in the season 1 finale, almost starting a nuclear war between Russia and the United States, then taking thw world hostage with a hacked ICBM.
  • Happily Adopted: Liam was left as a baby on the hospital's doorstep. He was found and, eventually, adopted by a black nurse, who raised him in a loving home. Liam has never been inclined to find his biological mother and sees the woman who raised him as an angel.
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: Anyone who finds out about Project Atlas finds themselves dead in short order. Amanda is eventually shot and set on fire, when she finds out about the asteroid. She manages to send her story to Grace before succumbing to wounds.
  • Kill Sat: The reason RE/SYST launch Russian ICB Ms is so they can leave one in orbit and use it to threaten the world governments into doing their bidding, lest they use the missile's 13 nuclear warheads to wipe out the capitals of the global powers.
  • Love Triangle: Harris, Grace, and Darius.
  • Make the Bear Angry Again: Russia seems like it's back it its old tricks with hostile posturing and threatening to destroy any rocket launched from Florida. Then it's revealed that the US has previously already dropped an asteroid on Russia (the 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor), so their fears of another such attack are justified. Especially since certain members of the US government are indeed planning exactly that.
  • Mysterious Past: Whenever Grace needs to get rid of a body or have something done that's not exactly legal, she calls her dad, who appears to be a retired CIA operative. When she asks what exactly he did for the CIA, he gives her a "like I'm going to tell you" look.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In order to keep Bennett from using Twitter to turn public support against Mackenzie, the latter orders the internet shut down. Unfortunately, this nearly results in the RE/SYST-controlled ICBM in orbit engaging its fail-safe, when it doesn't receive the expected signal once a day. Fortunately, internet access is restored, thus averting disaster.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Darius Tanz is obviously a fictionalized Elon Musk, perhaps with a bit of Steve Jobs thrown in.
  • Oh, Crap!: Many such moments, but one that stands out is when Samson is struck by another, smaller asteroid (a billion to one chance)... and nothing happens. Liam and Tanz realize that the asteroid isn't porous like they'd assumed. It must have a solid iron core, which means the government's Shoot the Bullet approach not only won't work, but will destroy the EM drive and end any hope of saving human civilization. Another even greater moment near the end of Season 2, when Samson dodges a railgun shot, revealing itself to be an alien spacecraft.
  • Old Flame: Tanz and Grace visit Lazlo's cabin after his death, where they meet Lazlo's sister Tess, who was Tanz's first love before they split. She has a husband and kids now, but Tanz is still haunted by "what might have been", especially since he was the one who ended the relationship. Grace immediately realizes that he still has a thing for Tess, given that his company's AI is named TESS. Later on, Tess shows up at a Tanz Industries board meeting, having inherited the 10% of shares Tanz has generously gifted to his best friend. Also, Claire is this for Harris, although it's clear he has no feelings for her anymore.
  • President Evil: Vice President (later President) Monroe Bennett seems hell-bent on wiping out Russia and China no matter the cost. His Number Two poisons President Mackenzie in order to invoke the 25th Amendment and put Bennett in power. Fortunately, Mackenzie survives and manages to stage a counter-coup. Bennett manages to flee and, in Season 2, subverts a number of generals and their men into "taking back the White House". However, he does at least try the legal route by petitioning the Supreme Court to determine who is the legal president. Not that he has any intention of abiding by any decision against him.
  • Reactionless Drive: Tanz's solution is to build the previously-thought-impossible EM Drive, which is a constant low-thrust rocket engine that requires no fuel (and violates Newtonian physics). This will allow him to send a "gravity tractor" to the asteroid, which will fly near the rock and nudge it out of the way by a few degrees in order to miss the planet. The key turns out to be a unique crystal that doesn't naturally exist on Earth but has been found in a few meteor craters.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Professor Croft sacrifices himself to get TESS's deactivation code to Liam, effectively disarming RE/SYST.
  • Shoot the Bullet: This is the government's original plan, although it's rejected by scientists, as it is likely to turn a single large rock into hundreds of smaller rocks still headed for Earth. Basically, turning a cannonball into a shotgun blast. President Evil plans to do it anyway in order to have the smaller asteroids devastate the Eastern Hemisphere, ending the perceived threat of Russia and China for good. However, the discovery that the asteroid probably has an iron core means that hitting it would never work.
    • Darius later comes up with a plan to modify a particle collider to build a giant rail gun, which fire high density shots at the asteroid at extremely high speeds. He theorizes that enough hits will knock the asteroid off course.
  • Take That!: Monroe Bennett is partially based on Donald Trump, claiming to want to make the country great again, making use of Twitter to talk to the masses, and using terms such as "fake news".
  • Title Drop: If the EM drive fails to redirect the asteroid, Tanz has a plan B: an ark ship named Salvation.
  • The Main Charactersdo Everything: Program a simulator? Check, Track down the professor? Check, design the EM drive? you got it. Build the EM drive? of course. present it to the government? Got it. 5 main characters do everything in this show!
  • Unexpected Successor: After Bennett's betrayal, President Mackenzie makes Darius Tanz as her new Vice President. Just before Tanz decides to resign in order to devote all of his time to the railgun project, Mackenzie is murdered, leaving him in charge.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: RE/SYST, emphasis on the extremist part. Their main goal in season 2 is to divert the asteroid. But the way they try to accomplish this is by blowing up two aircraft carries to trick Russia into nuking the U.S., then taking control of an ICBM to hold the world hostage in order to form an international group of scientists to come up with an idea to stop the asteroid.
  • Wham Line: The end of season 2: "If it's not an asteroid, what the hell is it?" "Whatever it is...it's here."
  • World War III: One is looming on the horizon, and (Vice) President Bennett seems hellbent on destroying Russia and China (along with most of the Eastern Hemisphere). Season 1 ends with Russia launching three ballistic missiles at the US, with President Mackenzie about to order a retaliatory strike. However, the conflict deescalates quickly after RE/SYST takes the world hostage, and the world's governments eventally agree to work together to try stopping the asteroid.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: It seems the Russians no longer have need of Professor Croft's services after he fails to make a working EM Drive based on the stolen prototype. They don't end up killing him though, and he later becomes one of the scientists RE/SYST holds captive.
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