• Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives

  • Awards & Nominations

Space: Above and Beyond – Pearly (Review)

This November (and a little of December), we’re taking a trip back in time to review the third season of The X-Files and the first (and only) season of Space: Above and Beyond.

Richard Whitley is one of the more promising writers on Space: Above and Beyond.

While Pearly does not benefit (and indeed actively suffers) from the same loose structure that made Dear Earth work so well, it is an episode very much in touch with what the show wants to be about. It is very much a science-fiction version of a classic Second World War story, to the point where Whitley himself has described it as an adaptation of the classic Humphrey Bogart movie Sahara. It is a nice glimpse at several facets of the conflict that we have not seen yet, but which make sense in context.

Canned ham...

Canned ham…

That said, there are serious problems with Pearly. It is very clear that the production managed to get ahold of a tank for filming, and sought to capitalise on that. The episode’s structure feels rather forced and unstructured in places, full of contrived coincidences that seem a little strange when considered as a whole. Not all of the character interactions feel genuine, and not all the episode’s big moments feel entirely earned. These are legitimate problems, and they do hold Pearl back.

At the same time, Pearly is an episode simmering with potential and ambition. It is hard to hate.

Crossed wires...

Crossed wires…

Continue reading