Hannah Emily Anderson (Bo’s stepmother in “Like Father, Like Daughter“) will be Jenna in the SyFy/USA TV series THE PURGE, which, unlike the films, will focus, not on Purge Night, but on the other 364 days of the year in the Purge universe. (The premise is that the US Constitution has been amended to allow all crime, including murder, to be legal for one twelve-hour period annually.) Jenna is an anti-Purge devoted to charitable causes, and usually locks down on Purge Night. When she chooses to venture out for the first time, her encounter with violence will force her to deal with deep truths about herself and her marriage. The ten-episode series has begun filming in New Orleans. Continue reading →
That quote pretty well sums up the attitudes that led to the Ascension Project, which is not what it appears to be. The true nature of ASCENSION is not revealed until the end of Episode One, and even at the end of the miniseries the goals of the project are only vaguely explained.
The ship began its journey in 1963, with 600 people on board. In fifty years of isolation from the rest of humanity, the on-board society has stratified. A working class has developed and is unofficially segregated from the rest of the population. We now know that it is highly questionable that a population that small could create a sustainable colony, but in the 60’s it would have been considered more than sufficient.
There are pigs on board. The notion of carrying actual pigs as food animals should have been as ridiculous then as now. In the closed environment, the diet would need to be vegetarian for efficiency’s sake. If animal protein was needed, it could come from farmed insects, or smaller mammals, possibly rodents, that breed quickly. One would think any Ascension biologist would have noticed the absurdity of the livestock, and become a bit suspicious.
ASCENSION was a CBC/SyFy collaboration, but (in contrast to many other SyFy shows) its future is not dystopian. Instead, it involves a wonky sort of utopia, run in absentia by a messianic madman sexually obsessed with Dr. Bryce to the point that he is married to her look-alike. (At one point he arranges to steal Juliet’s seahorse necklace, then gifts it to his wife and insists she wear it during sex.)
Passengers and crew are given to swimming in their underwear. Apparently many of them have lots of leisure time which they mostly use for political intrigue and sex. Only young Christa (Ellie O’Brien) has some notion of what’s really going on, and even she is not aware of her own importance and central role in the scheme of things.
The show is fast-paced and never dull. Harris Enzmann (Gil Bellows) is the spookiest, creepiest, ickiest character to be seen on television in a long while, and, since the ending of the miniseries is most unsatisfying, Ascension’s mission should definitely continue.
Lorelei’s psych evaluation viewed on an antique Sylvania TV
Lauren Lee Smith (Samantha Kruegen) will be Heather Mitchell in the next Jeremy Lalonde feature HOW TO PLAN AN ORGY IN A SMALL TOWN. She also stars as Samantha Davis, who inherits a possibly haunted country home in the film HUNTING SEASON (Also in the cast are Kris Holden-Ried and Shawn Doyle.) The film has only been released in Spain thus far.
Wendy Crewson (Katherine Warren) is Dr. Dana Kinney on SAVING HOPE. She is also Sheila in FALL, a film (released last October) about a Niagara Falls priest (Michael Murphy) who is accused of misconduct. The cast of FALL also features Katie Boland and Linda Kash, and the film has received five CANADIAN SCREEN AWARDS nominations.
Rachel Crawford (Ophelia) is also Sarrah in episode 4 of another CBC miniseries, THE BOOK OF NEGROES, which first aired 28 January. She was also Catherine in seven episodes of CONTINUUM.
ASCENSION PREMIERES IN CANADA 9 FEBRUARY AT 9pm EASTERN ON CBC
UPDATE 27 November 2014 —ASCENSION will premiere on CBC on 9 February 2015 at 9pm.
Andrea Roth and Tricia Helfer, stars of ASCENSION
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.
The Starship Ascension
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?
Cynthia Preston (Laura Enzmann in ASCENSION) poses with Ashley Jones, and author Delaine Moore for the Lifetime movie THE SECRET SEX LIFE OF A SINGLE MOM
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.
ASCENSION CAST WHO HAVE APPEARED ON LOST GIRL
Michelle Mylett, Jacqueline Byers, and an unidentified ASCENSION character
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.