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Second Look: Space: Above and Beyond
I barely remember watching Space: Above and Beyond when it was on Fox in 1995-96. My significant memory is from the repeated marathons of the show on the Sci Fi Channel. I am surprised in many ways that the series actually got made in the first place.
The show chronicles the adventures of the 58th, "Wild Cards," a group of marines fighting to defend earth from an advancing military threat in 2063-2064. While that might sound like standard Military Sci Fi, common fodder for TV, the frank and gritty look at the consequences of war on those who must fight it is like nothing I have ever seen before. Issues ranging from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to combat duty rotation are covered in a realist and gripping way.
One of the most endearing characteristics of the show is how well it translates the Marines' care to bury their dead, leaving no one behind on the battle field.
Each member of the 58th came into the service for a different reason, adding many levels to what could have been yet another Military SF series.
The one thing that surprises me the most is that this series did not engender a Firefly-like fan base to keep the series alive, even if only through fanfiction.
Thankfully, I rediscovered the series through Netflix, and it has traveled past the veil from a renter to an owner. If no one else is writing fanfic for Space: Above and Beyond, then I might have to start. If you have never seen the series, or haven't watched it in a long time, pick it up and check it out. I am so glad I did.