UPDATE 27 November 2014 — ASCENSION will premiere on CBC on 9 February 2015 at 9pm.
CBC has moved the premiere date for ASCENSION to sometime in January 2015. Episode One was originally scheduled to air in Canada on 25 November. SyFy (US) will air the six episode series on three consecutive nights beginning 15 December.
The premise is that, in 1963, the American government launched a starship namned Ascension with hundreds of men, women and children aboard on a century-long voyage to establish a permanent human settlement on another world. The series is set in the present time. As Ascension approaches the point in its journey at which it can no longer turn back, a murder on board causes the ship’s population to question their mission. The elder sister of the murder victim is the ship’s Chief Astronomer Emily Vanderhaus (played by Tiffany Lonsdale).
Andrea Roth will be the ship’s chief medical officer Dr. Juliet Bryce. Roth describes Dr. Bryce as a strong woman with “no knowledge of women’s lib”. She is, however, beginning to get a political education through her teenage daughter Nora (Jacqueline Byers) who has fallen in love with a boy with whom she has not been ‘matched’. (On board Ascension, arranged marriages are the thing.)
Tricia Helfer, of Battelstar Galactica fame, will be Viondra Denninger, wife of Captain William Denninger (Brian Van Holt). Viondra, it seems, is the real power behind the captain’s chair.
Things it would be interesting to know:
1. How do they know where to go? In the 1960’s it was quite impossible to photograph the planets of other stars, much less determine if they might be habitable.
2. What propulsion system is used to reach a speed great enough to keep the trip’s length down to 100 years? That’s a pretty massive ship, with 600 people on board. Using the sun’s gravitational field for initial acceleration would be a possibility, but that brings us to the third question.
3. How do they shield the crew and passengers from radiation?
Though the launch of the starship Ascension takes place before John F. Kennedy’s assasination in 1963, the show’s premiere date of 25 November may have been changed because it was just been too close to the anniversary of that event. Or the date may have been changed because SyFy wanted to air it first.
Michelle Mylett will be Presley Delon and will appear in the first five episodes of ASCENSION. She will also be Maggy in LOST GIRL 5.4, When God Opens a Window. (That episode is directed by Marizee Almas, who will direct LG 5.15, the middle episode of the 3-part LOST GIRL finale).
Cynthia Preston will appear in 2 episodes as Laura Enzmann. She was Selene, the Fae who kept Endymion prisoner, in LG 4.2 Sleeping Beauty School.
Elias Toufexis (Hayes in one episode) was Michael Connel, son of the Will-o-the-Wisp, in Episode #2 of LOST GIRL, Where There’s a Will there’s a Fae.