Released 2009


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Movie Summary

Peter Berg
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Twelve astronauts onboard Earth's first starship, the Phaeton, are sent on a ten-year expedition to search for a distant solar system in order to save mankind from a dying Earth. Coupled with this is the added pressure of the entire voyage being filmed as a reality television show. To stave off boredom - and potentially madness - the astronauts also spend time in the self-created worlds they experience in virtual reality modules. Unfortunately, complications soon ensue when a dangerous virus begins killing them - and worse - while they are in their fantasy. Has a saboteur downloaded this bug, or is it something far more sinister - and profound?
  • The best show since Lost

    Absolutely brilliant! So complex and well written!!!The reality show part is really seconday in my opinion. The interaction between each character is really profound. The Virtual Reality adds so many possiblities, pretty much like the flash-backs in Lost. The sets are great too, not cheap or fake like in usual SciFi series, like Eureka for instance.

    The shrink and his analysis of each character adds an extra layer to this show. Ok, it will be a bit tough to find its audience, because it's not a show for kids with poor knowledge of SciFi. This is not for the Star Trek or Star Wars generation, and even less for the BSG fans. This is a show for those who learned Scifi reading Philip K. Dick. It's not about visual effect, but more about human interactions and true scifi elements, which btw are all very plausible. I'm already addicted and just regret it's on Fox, because these bastards might very well cancel the show that could replace Lost eventually and win this war over ABC. Unfortunately, the Fox audience is not as mature as ABC's, so while action packed shows like 24 and Prison Break are hits on Fox, this one might be a bit too intellectual for its audience. I truly hope i'm wrong.moreless
  • Loved the concept! Ordinary personalities trapped in space with only a satilite connection for sanity. So real in its approach. Makes science fiction real for the viewer. I want to see more of this show!moreless

    Watching big brother (again) in space might just have turned me down had I known. However I tuned into this pilot totally blind and was absolutely enthralled. While the concept of reality tv should be dead the idea of being present (as a viewer) into something as exciting as space travel had me excitedly wishing that it was real.

    Twelve people aboard a ship headed into the unkown has been the very core idea of sci fi genre throughout time. It is a formula that works. None of the characters are 'normal' and those without redeeming features of character are delightful. I want to see more!moreless
  • Awesome!

    This is the best things since BSG and Lost. It is scandalous that it wasn't picked up and I would urge the TV execs to rethink that abysmal decision.

    There are tones from and nods to the entire history of Science Fiction, from 2001 (HAL) to Star Trek (Pike), the references are piled up but subtle.

    It is an intriguing take on where we might go from where we are. Set against the backdrop of our ecological troubles, it sets a group of people from our culture, in the not too distant future on a journey to another galaxy.

    It is existential, philosophical, frightening and savvy. It acknowledges our culture without cleaning it up. It includes a response to every criticism ever made of neater, tidier, cleaner shows - there's a curmudgeon (my actual description was censored but not offensive), a cripple, a gay couple, mental illness, hallucination, escapism, tetchiness, paranoia, dis-satisfaction, reality television, the invasive corrosive influence of advertising and consumer culture.

    It is intensely intelligent and observant, which is probably why it hasn't been picked up - there are too many people who prefer an actual reality show travesty to escape from "their" lives.

    This show is "needed"!!!!!!!!!! MAKE IT!!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • Who's frikkin idea was it to send a reality show into space???

    I'm just wondering, who the hell was high on pot while watching some random reality-show, and then thought; Hey! Wouldn't it be a great idea if these nutbags went out in space! Hell YEA! So there you have it.. a reality show set in space.. Anyways, I don't remember much from the pilot because I had trouble concentrating, I'm a great sci-fi fan, but the pilot really made it hard, damn HARD! So as you can see this won't be as much of a review. Anyways, virtual reality, which I think this show will be about, is an interesting topic, so maybe if you fastforward all the reality-show bits and all other pointless moments, then maybe we will have a 5 minute show each week that is worth watching.

    But then again, if the crackpot who thought this up actually were on crack, then I guess anything might happen and this show could turn out to be frikkin great!moreless
  • Inspiring, smart, fascinating topics, some great characters, quite disturbing, well written and directed first but last episode

    Considering its very interesting topics saying I anticipated it is an euphemism. Covering virtual reality, space travel and reality television in a single pilot episode was a challenge and I think they successfully achieved it. However even if the few clips I saw convinced me it would be great I was a little worry about the way the writers would deal with reality elements.

    Their work is both inspiring and very smart because I find reality shows far too dramatic and not real enough. When they began to produce such shows I was hoping to find new tools to better understand the human's psychology but most of them are just empty shells meant to brainwash viewers. Hopefully there're also good productions like Project Runway that blend ideas very nicely. As for the Virtuality reality scenes there were quite many but most of them were short and filmed throughout a lipstick camera. It made them even more realistic, specially considering the female host looked quite superficial at first. But as in real life a coin always has an other side and it was quite emotional to discover it. So even if she looked like a Gossip Girl you should soon appreciate her for what she really is, not just an other pretty face. And in general the characters worked really well and some of them quickly grew on me as the minutes passed by. I already knew Clea DuVall wouldn't disappoint me but I was also gladly surprised by the other performers. My only complain would be the whole Benetton vibe because in some way it made the reality side less authentic but maybe the creators intention was to parody the other shows. It's specially true for the gay couple as sending them into space as a last hope doesn't make any sense. I found it was quite disrespectful towards the homosexual community in general as their members are often used to bring more drama. A good example would be Top Chef last season and its ridiculous "Team Rainbow". But again maybe they just wanted us to believe so. In fact that's what I really enjoyed in Virtuality, its ambivalent complexity.

    It leads us to the space travel topic. If you appreciate the genre and are a science howl then you'll definitely dig the few outdoor scenes, the ship design, its interior… It should also remind you of your favorite space opera film. So watching it I really felt like I was part of the crew. It's specially true considering there're many characters you can relate too. I also found the story quite inspiring because there's nothing more fascinating than following the daily life of astronauts sent into deep space to save humanity. It brought many great memories like my first battle in the Homeworld video game and of course the astonishing Battlestar Galactica miniseries. And I can reassure you that it has nothing to do with apocalyptic productions like Armageddon, even if I enjoyed it. Here the psychology is probably one of the most important element because the big question is "Will they be able to survive and reach their destination ?".

    Yes, because it's a lot about survival. Not the Survivor mambo jambo but the real and dramatic Robinson Crusoe adventure, like in Cast Away for example. I think the analogy is right because living alone on a desert island can be compared to traveling into space with a few crew members. You'll definitely miss Earth and its beautiful green and blue landscapes. Breathing the air in the morning and energizing yourself before a rising sun. All these tiny details that make you feel alive even when the weather is rainy and the mood even more sad. To solve the problem the writers decided to introduce the virtual reality module, extrapolating the novel's concept. It's supposed to be a key solution to the mission success but of course events didn't occur as expected and the virtual scenes were so disturbing, well directed and written that they actually reminded me of cult films like Event Horizon and The Lawnmower Man. The team behind Virtuality is so talented and has so many twisted ideas that they brought many refreshing and interesting elements to a topic that has already been well covered by others.

    All these great things made me a fan of the show even if the FOX decided not to pick it up. In fact I don't blame them because I can't imagine the pressure on their shoulders. I even call it the Carnivàle syndrome because both producers and most viewers are not ready for such a smart show. If you're accustomed to such artistic creations you shouldn't be surprised and only enjoy it for what it is, one of the best space pilot ever aired. However if you're not open minded and think Tim Burton and George A. Romero should be held into an asylum then Virtuality is definitely the wake up call you need. Yes because I recommend anyone to watch it, again and again to understand all the messages he has to deliver.moreless

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