Of the three network alien invasion shows that debuted in the fall of 2005, "Threshold was my favorite. That would explain why they only got nine of the fourteen episodes they filmed on the air, along with the fact the series was on CBS, which tends to cut bait earlier than its competitors these days. Fortunately when "Threshold," like "Surface" and "Invasion," came out as a DVD of "The Complete Series," fans finally get to see the episodes that never aired and to reconsider the strengths and weaknesses of this series created by Bragi F. Schut.
When a mysterious alien object attacks the USS "Big Horn" and its crew in the North Atlantic, the U.S. government protocols for project Threshold go into affect. Dr. Molly Anne Caffrey (Carla Gugino), the contingency analyst who wrote the protocols, becomes the head of the project. She puts together her Red Team, consisting of Dr. Nigel Fenway (Brent Spienr), a molecular biologist, Lucas Pegg (Robert Patrick Benedict), an astronautical engineer, and Arthur Ramsey (Peter Dinklage), an expert in linguistics and applied mathematics. Overseeing the group is J.T. Baylock (Charles S. Dutton), the assistant National Security Advisor, and the muscle of the team is Sean Cavennaugh (Brian Van Holt), a special agent. The team investigates what happened on the ship and learn that the alien probe sent out signals that has altered the DNA of the crew into a triple helix formation, a fractal triskelion-like pattern that will keep appearing throughout the series in blood, electronic signals, city lights, and ordinary household objects that get spilled on the floor.
Originally the top item on the Threshold agenda is to track down the missing crew members, but then the major concern becomes stopping the aliens from infecting more humans. So there was much more of an episodic nature to "Threshold" than its two competitors, which is one of the reasons I liked this show best. There is a sense in which the show was "The X-Files" if the government totally supported Fox Muldar, but a key dynamic is that trying to deal with the alien invasion is a "think tank," so that science is a key part of the problem solving. What makes the Red Team unusual is that they were basically drafted by Caffrey and as the series progressed each member developed problems that put them at risk. By the time the series ended the problems of Pegg had taken center stage, replacing those of Fenway early on, but those of Ramsey were clearly moving to the forefront. This show had a pretty good cast, especially getting Gugino to stay in television after "Karen Sisco" undeservedly crashed and burned, but having Dutton, Spiner and Dinklage in supporting roles was a real casting coup (getting one of those three would be great news for a series).
This is not to say that the show was not without its flaws. Molly suffers from Captain Kirk Syndrome, which is the insistence on putting herself in harm's way each week. That is bad enough when you are a Starfleet captain, but considerably worse when she is "the most important person on the planet." Caffrey and Cavennaugh make a nice team out there in the field, but she is the director of Threshold and should not be out there. There was an attempt to fix this in "Outbreak," one of the unaired episodes, by bringing on Catherine Bell as Daphne Larson, but that was too little, too late. Then there was the fact that an alien invasion as begun and Caffrey keeps going home. Not only do bad things happen there, which is one reason to stop going there, but once again the project director is someplace other than in the bunker doing her job. Having come up with a nice twist on the death of the National Security Advisor, the show then comes up with a new NSA, Ed Whitaker (Maurice Godin), who is your traditional politician who thinks they know everything and is going to get everybody killed with his arrogant stupidity. But then he disappears too, only without any explanation. So there are enough significant problems that I round down on this one.
So what you will see in the unaired (at least on this side of the pond) episodes are some attempts at retooling the show that did not go anywhere and did not stop "Threshold" from being cancelled. The special features on the DVD do a bit of a post-mortem on the series, which got off to something of a wrong foot when CBS at essentially the last minute decided they wanted to start the series off as a two-hour movie. So the great ending they came up with for "Trees Made of Glass" then became the fade out to the station break in the middle. The show was cancelled while filming the final episode, "Alienville," and the creators had time to work in one brief scene involving a dream where Molly is told that her protocols will work, but that she will not live to see victory. The creators also talk about what they were planning to do, both in terms of a specific episode for Ramsey and the initial three-year plan that would basically transform the series from "Threshold" to "Foothold" in season two and "Stranglehold" in season three. Clearly things would get worse before Molly dies and things get better (I read elsewhere that Dr. Fenway was going to end up in charge, just to make things really interesting).