[This started out as a comment on facebook that I then expanded into a post there. I decided I could expand it a bit more and post it here as well].
BYUtv’s new sci-fi series (free on BYUtv’s app, no registration required) is, so far, pretty strong. It is not great (though it is fairly good). There is plenty to complain about if you want to go that route (the acting talent is uneven, the pacing is too slow at times, some shots linger a little too long, green screen backgrounds are a little too obvious, dialogue is occasionally on the nose), but given that this is a small, independent production with a limited budget from what is essentially a regional TV station, it exceeds expectations.
For those who have no clue, I would say, based on what I have seen so far, it’s a cross between BYUtv’s Granite Flats, The 100, Lost, and a low budget (but still good) sci-fi series. It could be better, but given what they have to work with, it works fairly well and is intriguing enough I am going to finish the first season.
If anyone from the production staff is reading this, or if you know someone from the production staff, I do have a recommendation for the second season (if there is one) that will increase the quality immensely: Read (and apply) David Mamet’s letter to the staff of The Unit (yes, it’s in all caps and has some profanity if you click through. It’s Mamet. He’s shouting at the writers on purpose). The biggest weakness the series has is that there are too many scenes that are “mere information” and do not advance the plot in any meaningful way.
Conversely, it’s biggest strength is the sense of mystery and wonder it has (much like Lost did).
If the acting were more even, a lot of the problems with the writing might get glossed over, but since that is not the case, they need stronger writing. What they have is competent writing, fairly good but not approaching great yet.
I still recommend the series, despite it’s problems. As I said above, it exceeds the expectations of what you might expect from a similar source (if you’ve ever watched “Christian” television shows or films, often made under similar conditions – low budget, limited acting talent, independent studio – you might realize just how rare it is to have anything that actually approaches “good” on a dramatic and technical level).