Monday, October 15, 2018
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Space Island One

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Set in the "near future", this series looked at the lives of seven people cooped up together in a space station as they tried to deal with personal issues, challanges that came in from space as well as up from Earth and a money hungry corporation that just happened to be in charge of their lives.
"Space Island One" (known as "Raumstation Unity" in Germany) was produced as a cooperation between British and German production companies and featured a mix of British, German and Canadian actors playing the international crew of Space Station Unity. The show looked at such concepts as the first child born in space, rogue satellites, the problems with corporations controlling scientific advancement and the dangers of getting involved with your workmates when you are stuck in space with them for months on end.
The show had its moments, but was uneaven in places. Many ideas were good and the set was reasonably believable as a piece of technology set in a time when artificial gravity was possible but people still had to operate most things by hand, but the writing would often ask the characters to change their personality from show to show, or act in an immature manner for no apparent reason. One episode would be really striking and present an idea equal to the better episodes of Blakes Seven or Dr Who, while another would be poorly realised and leave you confused or unsatisfied. It was never entirely clear whether the show was aimed at young viewers or a more general audience, and I think this lack of a definite target audience also hindered the story-telling process.
A similar programme has been produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, with a younger cast and a better realised target audience. "Silversun" (2004) is also set in the near future and also deals with a small group of people working together in space and the problems that can arise from their relationships, but it has squarely set its eyes on an audience in its early teens and has so far worked to ensure the characters stay consistent. If "Space Island One" had managed to do this, it may have lasted a few more seasons.
Many thanks to Sharon for this detailed submission.



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