The inaugural show for this series is none other than Space: Above and Beyond. It was way back in 1995 when Fox Television first started airing this series and it was love at first sight for many Sci-Fi fans. I still remember the commercials months before the first episode aired. It was one of the most original Sci-Fi series to come out during that time in a while besides Babylon 5. Space: Above and Beyond has all of the elements that make Battlestar Galactica great and then some. Unlike Battlestar, you’re with the main characters before and during their entrance into the United States Marine Corps Space Aviator Cavalry before The Chig War begins. These are real people with lives outside of the military. You get to see the separate reasons why the main characters joined the Marines and watch as they become a team and the Wild Cards squadron. New characters were seamlessly integrated, some with flare like Lt. Raymond Butts, turning good episodes into great episodes.
Space: Above and Beyond is more recognizably military than Battlestar Galactica as well. It was from two of the creators of The X-Files, Glen Morgan and James Wong, and the care they put into the use of military slang, characters and their pasts lives came out within the first six episodes of the series. An entire mythology was built throughout the show around a previous war, A.I., InVitro born humans, racism and drug use and their integration into society. For me, that was one of the most interesting parts of Space: Above and Beyond. The past. The issues dealt with, especially InVitros, are something our present society is dealing with when you consider stem cell research and the religious right. Till this day, twelve years after the show aired, I still think about, especially when I watch Battlestar Galactica.
The ending to the first and only season was well done but most do not know that it was altered, made darker and bleaker than originally intended because the creators knew the show was going to be canceled. It’s one of the best last scenes on a TV Show I have seen.