Preview: Defying Gravity

livingstonFox TV Studios, Vancouver’s Omni Film Productions and the Canadian network CTV are teaming up to bring you the show that’s being dubbed “Grey’s Anatomy in space”. Yeah, that’s a weird tagline, right? Perhaps a longer explanation is in order.

Back in 2004 the BBC produced a series called Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets, which is the inspiration for Defying Gravity. Space Odyssey was broadcasted as a docudrama about a group of astronauts traveling to different planets. Defying Gravity has a similar premise: “[it’s a] sexy, provocative relationship drama set in the very near future against the background of our solar system, in which eight astronauts from five countries (four women and four men) undertake a mysterious six-year international space mission covering eight billion miles. With the eyes of the world upon them – everything they do is monitored, and every emotion they feel, scrutinized – they soon discover that their real assignment is not at all what they thought.”

christina-coxThe show was created by James Parriott (executive producer on Grey’s Anatomy and Ugly Betty) and is executive produced by Michael Edelstein (former executive producer of Desperate Housewives).

Fox has ordered 13 one-hour episodes, which will be filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia and broadcasted on CTV, ABC, on Germany’s ProSieben network and on the BBC.

The cast is headed by Ron Livingstone, best known for his roles in Office Space, Sex and the City and Band of Brothers. Laura Harris (Dead Like Me and 24), Christina Cox (Blood Ties and The Chronicles of Riddick), Eyal Podell (The Young and the Restless), Zahf Paroo (Edgemont and Antitrust), Florentine Lahme (Impact), Ty Olsson (Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem) and Peter Howitt (writer/director of Sliding Doors) round out the cast as the other astronauts.

Well what do you know….we even have details about the premiere episode from TV, eh?

**Warning: Spoilers Ahead**

In the two-hour DEFYING GRAVITY series premiere (Sunday, August 2 at 9 p.m. ET), two of the eight novice astronauts onboard mysteriously develop heart ailments only hours after leaving Earth’s orbit for Venus and a six-year inter-planetary sojourn aboard the spaceship Antares. Replacing the ill engineer, Ajay Sharma (Zahf Paroo) and Mission Commander Rollie Crane (Ty Olsson), are experienced astronauts Maddux Donner (Ron Livingston) and Ted Shaw (Malik Yoba). Donner’s arrival disturbs the ship’s geologist Zoe Barnes (Canadian Laura Harris), who is linked to him by a strange dream and a romantic encounter from their early training days.

Although nearly every facet of life on the Antares is broadcast to avid viewers on Earth by documentary producer Paula Morales (Paula Garces), there is also a hidden force that appears to be controlling events from within the spacecraft. With the real purpose of the mission known only to flight director Mike Goss (Andrew Airlie) and a select few, the Antares finally leaves Earth’s orbit for the immensity of interstellar space.

In the second hour, some rocky and intriguing developments confront the crew as they learn to adjust to life on board the Antares, now well on its way to Venus. In spite of the libido-suppressing HALOS supposedly worn by everyone on board, pilot Nadia Schilling (Florentine Lahme) continues her seductive designs on Donner. Zoe still hears strange cries, seemingly coming from Storage Pod 4 which is off limits to most of the crew. After Ted, now spaceship commander, is briefed by his wife, scientist Eve Shaw (Karen LeBlanc), about the true nature of the mission, he enters Pod 4 and is confronted by a frightening maelstrom.

Meanwhile, back at Mission Control, Commander Goss holds a press conference, ostensibly to explain the abrupt removal of Ajay and Rollie from the Antares. Skeptical British reporter Trevor Williams (Peter Howitt) is determined to discover the truth.

**Spoilers Done**

The show will have a two-hour premiere on Sunday, August 2 at 9:00 p.m. It will return on August 9 in its regular 10:00 p.m. timeslot.

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