Run for your lives! The sky is falling; the world and all its people and critters will soon be extinct!
But first, check out the new doomsday sci-fi summer drama starting on Wednesday. It's loads of fun. Loads! Space stuff, car chases, conspiracy plots, tense Pentagon meetings and hanky-panky.
Salvation (Wednesday, CBS, Global, 9 p.m. ET) is it, and it's high-grade nonsense and breezy summer fun. If, that is, the end of the world is your idea of a fun premise. As slick as all get-out and featuring superhandsome people, it's a lot of fun because, inevitably, it takes itself very, very seriously.
Things open in the first episode with a real news report about a real meteor crashing to Earth in Russia's Ural Mountains in 2013. Next thing, the real astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is talking about the meteor's being, you know, bad news for planet Earth. Those things pack a punch. Next, we're at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where totally fictional tech pioneer Darius Tanz (Santiago Cabrera) is telling a group of awed students that he's concerned about the extinction of the human race. People should just leg it and head to another planet is the gist. At this point, he knows nothing about a meteor.
The man who discovers that the meteor thingy is heading toward Earth is handsome student Liam (Charlie Rowe) who, while Tanz is talking, is frantically riding his bike to MIT to hear Tanz speak. Times passes. Then there is some business with Liam getting googly-eyes from a young lady named Jillian (Jacqueline Byers), who wants to write science fiction and is superimpressed that Liam is a science guy and says thing like, "When two celestial bodies cross paths, it can change their trajectories forever." They go straight to her apartment and engage in you-know-what. It's all ridiculous, but that scene will keep nerdy science guys who watch it superhappy.
Mind you, much of the meat of the drama concerns Grace Barrows (Jennifer Finnigan), a Pentagon spokesperson and single mom who would like a less stressful life with her teenage daughter and would like to go public about the secret, superhot romance she's been having with her boss at work. That's Pentagon official Harris (Ian Anthony Dale), who likes to frown and keep secrets. That's how you know he's a Pentagon official.
To cut a long story short – as we must because this meteor thingy is going to hit Earth in, like, six months – Liam tells Darius about the meteor and Darius heads for the Pentagon. (Darius says, "Get the plane ready!" quite often. It's very cute.) Turns out the government has known about the meteor for ages and plans to send it off its collision course with a gravity thingamajig. Either that or blow it to smithereens with, like, nuclear missiles.
Darius takes a dim view of this plan and wants to take a bunch of people – about 160 in total – away from Earth in his superduper new space vehicle. As he says to Grace, "What if I was to tell you the government plan is bollocks?" Grace is all "Save-my-daughter!"
Meanwhile, and this is important to remember, some no-goodniks don't want anyone to know about the meteor and the government's plan. How do we know this? Well, Liam tells his prof about his discovery and, next day, the prof is gone. Disappeared, without even taking his reading glasses. I ask you: What kind of prof can operate without reading glasses? Liam is kind of worried about the prof but, you know, this Jillian gal is, apparently, superavailable, and he needs to take advantage of that. Besides, the world is going to end soon, so, you know, make love while the sun shines.
Salvation is dumb fun. It's the kind of drama in which two characters are talking about their kids and somebody interrupts to say, "Sir, the joint chiefs are on the line and I'm told it's urgent!" You're darn-tootin' it's urgent! See, the world must be saved for the kids. There's not one but two love stories and a supersmart tech mogul who, it turns out, is a selfish creep. Can he be saved too? Do you care?
The series was made in Toronto. A lot of superimportant meetings seem to take place at the Royal York Hotel and people chase one another around the Annex. That kind of distraction is vital when the action slows to a crawl. Not that it does often because, you know, you should run for your lives! The sky is falling; the world and all its people and critters will soon be extinct! Enjoy.