This was a series I was never able to see on first release as it was carried by Sky in the UK, which at the time had a small market share. I remember it only ever got so-so reviews, but it always held a spark of interest. I'm watching this as seperate episdoes, so as this was originally a feature length episode I'll put my review of both together in the second part. I understand it's over 15 years old too, so I'll try and judge it fairly as a product of it's time, but a lot of very good SF series have been and gone since then raising the bar far higher.
First impressions are that the production levels are pretty high - nice effects work and sets, great looking locations (if obviously North American), but it's trying a little too hard to be family entertainment, with cute kids, cute aliens and robots. The look of everything reminds me a great deal of the 90s Outer Limits, not particularly a good thing. Story-wise it's standard pilot set-up mostly, nothing too outlandish. There a few interesting SF ideas tossed in - relativistic effects, etc, but it doesn't linger on these. I'd liked to have seen more of what they were leaving behind - the space stations, the state of the Earth, but that's me. The struggle to survive and the implication of other humans on the planet brings most of the direction to the series.
The kids, as in any tv show and particularly SF, are as annoying as you'd expect. Morgan is such a cardboard cut-out "Burke," never mind that the actor is so over the top - that he has a relatively nice wife makes it all the more bizarre. The goose-stepping robot is quite terrible too.
Sorry if I haven't bothered to catch everyone's names yet, but 'Concerned Mom' seems ok, as does 'Unprepared Doctor', 'Broken Leg Pilot' and 'Engineer Dad.' The most interesting character is Yale, with the unexplored implications about his re-wiring. Everyone else is just so much background.
Kudos for making the cutesy small alien kill someone (in self defence, I would have been way more impressed it was evil), but the confrontation is pretty laughable. Also making the somewhat scary looking Terrians not the bad guys (although they do kidnap small children 'to make contact,' after already talking to Broken Leg Pilot) was a twist I wasn't expecting from this fairly middle of the road show.
The appearance of a dishevelled Tim Curry right at the end brings nothing but disappointment, as I'm sure he's going to ham it up as the shows bad guy from here on out.