Another Trip Around the Sun
Truth Or Darius
The Human Strain
Keeping the Faith
Chip Off the ‘Ol Block
From Russia, With Love
Coup De Grace
The Wormwood Prophecy
The Plot Against America
For a show about an asteroid strike, waiting 12 episodes before we get a glimpse of the monstrous ball of rock hurtling toward our planet seems pretty strange. Its a shame too; with a premise rife with tension and genuine interest in showing collaborating parties juggling the best way to save the earth, the early part of Salvation shows good promise. Somewhere between the wonky dialogue, the questionably written characters and the fast moving plot, Salvation fades from its sci-fi roots into a politically charged sludge between the cliched evil Russia and good guy America.
The story begins with MIT grad student Liam Cole (Charlie Rowe) discovering an asteroid is set to collide with Earth in 6 month’s time. Teaming up with tech billionaire Darius Tanz (Santiago Cabrera) and the U.S. government, they set out to try and stop the asteroid from wiping out life on Earth. Considering the enormity of the situation, its surprising that the vast majority of the show focuses on the politically charged tensions between Russia and America, jumping between Russia and America. It juxtaposes with the premise of the show and despite some well written twists and shocks woven through the episodes, the actual plot itself lacks the energy and tension you’d expect from a show like this. The fault solely rests at the feet of the scriptwriters and its here that the show collapses under its lofty premise.
The archetypal characters never quite gel together and a lot of the scenes are made worse by the dialogue that ranges from passable to outright bad. “The Russians have seized control of the asteroid!”, One character shouts incredulously. “The 2013 meteor strike was orchestrated by the American government. We were responsible for the meteor strike on Russia” Another utters contemptously later on in the series. There are moments where the script shines; the little twists and reveals that link back to the early episodes are surprisingly well written. Its a shame then that it completely juxtaposes the dialogue for the characters.
Technically, the show is competently made but there isn’t anything outstanding to note. The camera angles and lighting are generic at best and the score, whilst hitting the right notes and managing to elevate the tension on screen, has a tendency to overuse fast and progressively louder strings to accentuate the big reveals. Of course, the biggest issue comes back, again, to the script and the plot itself. I can’t help but feel, especially given that a reporter is one of the key characters here, that leaking the information about an asteroid strike to the papers and then seeing the entire world break into panic-stricken horror and society begin to collapse would have been a better spectacle than a claustrophobic, confined political thriller lacking any action to note beyond a few fist fights.
Conclusively, Salvation is a disappointing apocalyptic show. It never quite hits its stride and even when it comes closes, it devolves from its sci-fi roots to a politically charged thriller that seems more intent on developing hostility between Russia and America than actually focusing on the asteroid itself. There’s definitely potential for a decent show but its ruined by some woeful dialogue and a poor plot. Salvation sadly doesn’t quite hit the mark and for a show about an asteroid strike, it does a pretty poor job of accentuating its premise and for that, its hard to recommend the show.