Picks and Pans Review: Earth 2

updated 11/21/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/21/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

NBC (Sundays, 7 p.m. ET)


In the 22nd century, with the home planet long uninhabitable, our race has been living for generations on orbital stations. But with youngsters dying off from a mysterious disease, a small band of pilgrims makes a desperate voyage to colonize a distant planet. When they arrive, though, they're not alone on the new Eden. "We were perhaps foolish to believe there was no intelligent life here," says the obligatory cyborg (Sullivan Walker). Hell's bells, they're not even the only humans on this orb 22 light-years from our galaxy.

It would seem this planet is teeming with life. So far we've met a species that resembles a shaggy horseshoe crab and a race of skeletal creatures who suddenly rise up out of the sand. (The series is shot in New Mexico.)

Earth 2 shares a certain starchy solemnity with seaQuest DSV, the simpatico sci-fi series it precedes on Sunday nights. But the newcomer, the final rollout of the fall series, has a superior cast (including Debrah Farentino, Clancy Brown, Antonio Sabato Jr., Jessica Steen and Rebecca Gayheart), better special effects and a cohesive if not always convincing futuristic Zeitgeist. If only the show had a more energetic atmosphere, its characters wouldn't seem so lost in space.

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