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Space: Above and Beyond - The Complete Series

Morgan Weisser , Kristen Cloke    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 49.98
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Space: Above and Beyond - The Complete Series + Earth 2 - The Complete Series (1994)
Price For Both: CDN$ 76.50

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Product Description

In this cult fan favorite, it’s the year 2063. After 150 years of deep space exploration, the people of Earth feel certain they are alone in the universe. Then word comes that two Earth outposts light-years away from home have been brutally attacked by an advanced alien civilization. Now the new young recruits of the United States Marine Corps Space Aviator Calvary are heading for the front lines of space in the toughest battle the world has even faced.


The science fiction series Space Above and Beyond, which enjoyed a brief run in the 1995-96 season, was created by X-Files producers Glen Morgan and James Wong as a revision of the classic war series Combat!. Set in the not-too-distant future, Space Above and Beyond follows the adventures of five inexperienced Marines of the 58th Squadron, who are involved in a war against the Chigs, a race of aliens bent on conquering the Earth. Morgan and Wong gave their main characters intriguing personalities--Nathan West (Morgan Weisser) has joined the Marines to save a girlfriend captured by the aliens, while Rodney Rowland's Cooper is an artificially created human whose service is inspired by a desire to escape the violent prejudice he faces on Earth. The action and stories are gritty and dramatic, and put a fresh spin on traditional wartime stories--highlights include "The Enemy," in which the 58th is stranded behind enemy lines; "Toy Soldiers," in which West's younger brother is serving under a dangerously reckless lieutenant; and the two-part "If They Lay Us Down to Rest…" and "Tell Our Moms We Done Our Best," which brought the series to a close with the Earth on the verge of peace talks with the aliens as the military launches a perilous operation. Commentary by Morgan and Wong and the cast would have been welcome, especially if the plans for the unseen second season could've been revealed, but unfortunately, no supplemental features are included in this slickly produced, no-frills set. --Paul Gaita

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Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As good as I remembered Nov. 17 2005
I remember eagerly waiting for the series premiere ten years ago and making sure I saw every episode that came out. When I bought this set and started watching, I was surprised by how much I remembered about a lot of the episodes, but most of all, I was surprised by how good SAAB still was.
A lot of the special effects seem poor by today's standards, but please remember that this show came out a decade ago. What matters are the performances, which are very strong by everyone, and the scripts, which are intelligent and well-written. The creators/writers play around with the format of the show in ways that were years ahead of their time. Best episodes include "Choice or Chance," "Stay with the Dead," "Who Monitors the Birds?" "Toy Soldiers," "Sugar Dirt," and the finale "...Tell our Moms we Done our Best."
It's too bad Fox cancelled the show after one season, especially since the finale leaves a few major question marks, but there are 23 full episodes here, and the pilot is double-length. No commentaries or interviews, but there are some amusing TV spots, and the dearth of extras is most likely due to the series's age.
If you like the new Battlestar Galactica, give this a try. I still love this show.
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This series was an exceptionally well acted program that gave 110% in each episode. Unfortunately, the network never bothered to let the principles know that they never had any intention of renewing the series and that it was simply a one season "filler".
There are comments and comparisons made in some of the other reviews about "Starship Troopers" being a better movie experience. However, it's important to point out that SAAB pre-dates that movie by two years. SAAB's acting is far superior and many of it's effects are on a par (excluding the 'bugs'), which is quite an acomplishment considering it happened on a TV budget.
I agree that there are definite similarities to WW2 programming (Hey! ... It was pitched to the network as a 'futuristic' version of the 1962 TV-Series 'Combat') and the apparent lack of other military forces in the episodes can make it seem like Marines have to do it all (...of course in Starship Troopers, I always found use of ground troops with machine guns against 1000's of bugs a stupidly futile tactic).
However, most of what this series is about is the people and how they deal with challenges, their belief in themselves and one another.
We've become spoiled in recent years with the huge increase in the quality of TV programs and the actors who work on them. Keep in mind that in 1995, the top programs were mostly comedies, and the few "fantasy" fare shows were somewhat 'campy'.
From an acting perspective... Looking at SAAB and today's crop of material in this genre I'd say SAAB is a step up on Stargate: Atlantis, but is a step behind the acting quality of the new Battlestar series. (I won't compare with SG-1 simply because there is a light-heartedness to that series that adds a whole extra dimension)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Sci-fi as a pretext for gung-ho war action... Nov. 13 2005
By Bruno Desjardins TOP 1000 REVIEWER
This series creators worked on the X-Files and Millennium while, and after, piloting this series. David Duchovny even plays a small role in an episode. Having missed the series when it first aired in 1995-96, I had great expectations...
Maybe they were too great. On the DVD set box, one can read that the story takes place in 2063-64, after 150 years of deep space exploration. This start rather bad since, when you do the math, Human exploration of space must start back in 1913... Oops...
Don't get me wrong, this series had a lot to offer... A war against an unknown and superior alien enemy. Problems for some Humans to interact with genetically engineered Humans that were created for the sole purpose of fighting against « Silicates » - Human-built androids that rebelled against their masters... After the war against the « Silicates » ends, America does not know what to do with these « In Vitroes » it created and they become second-class citizens... Two of the characters are « In Vitroes », and the main character - kudos because she's a woman - saw her family murdered by « Silicates »... There was room was good drama here and the potential to make « Space, Above and Beyond » a mystery show like the X-Files and Millennium was indeed enormous... Add to this the fact that there are big and influential corporations on Earth with secret agendas might have something to do with starting the war and sacrificing colonists just so they could eventually hope to acquire alien technology by reverse-engineering whatever could be recovered on the battlefields... But that's nothing new: Ridley Scott's « Alien » did that more elegantly...
But instead of a mystery / war action series, this show is almost a big TV ad for the US Marines Corps...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Way, way ahead of its time! Nov. 10 2009
If you love Battlestar Galactica, you will have a blast watching this, its most likely predecessor.

SAAB isn't really about aliens, or about action in space, or anything that is so easily related to "TV Sci-fi". It is about the drama of war; its effect on people, on both personal and larger levels. It's about reality, really. And, given that the series comes from the mid-90's, this is truly quite a remarkable feat. The special effects still live up to our expectations (especially after the first 5 or 6 episodes), and the characters truly, and I mean that, truly grown on you.

It's really interesting to see this show now, in a post 9/11 world. Again, way ahead of its time. You will know what I mean when you see it. ;)

A rare treat from a long, long time ago...
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
perfect set
Published 1 month ago by wesley plumbtree
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad space opera series
I watched a few episodes of this back in the mid-80s and loved it. Essentially, bad aliens attack a human colony in space, and the US Marines take the fight to the bad aliens. Read more
Published 8 months ago by LS650
5.0 out of 5 stars great
it arrived immediately, good quality, family loved it, no issues. i would gladly seal with them again.
I highly recommend
Published 18 months ago by Richard De Brouwer
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor video quality
The series is great, too bad they never finished it. I did find that the picture quality was real poor lots of grains and not full screen. Read more
Published 21 months ago by M Trudeau
5.0 out of 5 stars Space Above & Beyond
Being a science fiction enthusiest, I really enjoyed this series when it first aired and got a real liking for the musics of Patsy Cline & Johnny Cash. Read more
Published on April 5 2011 by William Sedor
2.0 out of 5 stars 55 bucks for a 13 year old 1 season series?
Don't get me wrong I loved the series, hated that it only last one season... but what a cash grab! Better off buying Battlestar galactica, this show has lots of potential and great... Read more
Published on May 29 2006 by jOHN
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent scfi series
This has elements of Starship troopers and the new Battlestar Galatica ...
Excellent buy ..its about time this scfi series was put on DVD!!
Published on Nov. 15 2005 by Scotty
4.0 out of 5 stars A Special Cameo Apperance
I'm not going to comment on the show, but if you get the chance, check out any of the DVD menu screens. Now that's a crossover that could have been interesting. Read more
Published on Nov. 11 2005
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