Review: Space Command

The headline reads The Greatest Star Trek Series You’re Not Watching! That series is Space Command. The show’s creator is Scott Zicree, and he is planning for a twelve hour run. Mr. Zicree has worked as a writer on numerous well-love television science fiction programs. In the introduction to this video, Zicree expresses his desire to see speculative SciFi that is hopeful for our future rather than dystopian. And he pulls influences from the best that television SciFi has to offer; from Star Trek to Babylon 5, from The Expanse to Project Blue book, as the note in the YouTube info bar makes plain. You’ll even notice the influence of Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, and John Carter!

The setting is not too far in advance of our own time. Mankind has achieved a United Earth, albeit one which persists with certain regional rivalries. The level of technology is believable for the most part. It is not “god-like,” but is just enough that it has allowed Man to colonize the solar system.

The special effects are respectable for an independent production such as this, and many SciFi luminaries are among the cast; Billy Mumy, Mira Furlan, Robert Picardo, Bruce Boxleitner, Nichelle Nichols, and many others. And, might I add, it’s refreshing to see a company of good character actors, rather than the conventional “Hollywood beautiful” types.

The storyline may seem “familiar,” as opposed to re-hashed; the writers handled it very well. The acting is excellent, as are the effects, as I noted above. There are a few mis-steps; but every show needs time to find its proper footing.

There is a great feeling of old school Space Opera, but with a more “hard SciFi” setting. I’ve only seen this first episode, so I don’t know precisely where the story will go; but I see a lot of opportunities for discussing practical philosophical topics—

The story appears to be developing toward a group of “Synthetics,” android constructs made to perform dangerous, demeaning, or tedious tasks that humans would ordinarily have to do. One of the Synthetics is damaged in an industrial accident, damaging his “inhibitor chip.” Without revealing too much of the plot, he decides to begin a liberation of his kind.

When the Synths were introduced, I immediately thought of the android Sophia, and current levels of technology invested in robotics, Real Dolls, and AI, and the question it brings up: Do we have a right to create an entire race beings whose raison d’etre is to be enslaved? Supposing Sophia one day achieves sentience? Can we still use her as a piece of equipment? Is that morally conscionable?

Anyway, this promises to be good old-fashioned Space Opera fun! I recommend it so far, and if you can, please do subscribe, and support the production.

About Michael Butchin

I was born, according to the official records, in the Year of the Ram, under the Element of Fire, when Johnson ruled the land with a heavy heart; in the Cradle of Liberty, to a family of bohemians. I studied Chinese language and literature at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. I spent some years in Taiwan teaching kindergarten during the day, and ESOL during the evenings. I currently work as a high school ESOL teacher, and am an unlikely martial artist. I have spent much of my life amongst actors, singers, movie stars, beautiful cultists, Taoist immortals, renegade monks, and at least one martial arts tzaddik. I currently reside in Beijing's Fangshan district
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