Netflix has just released a new sci-fi series called Another Life. But is it worth watching? See reviews and ratings from the author of this article, IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, and more below. This post will have minor spoilers for the first episode of the season.
The First Episode Promises a Fun Scifi Show with an Intriguing Mystery
If Episode 1 is any indication, Another Life will definitely be worth your time. The show features Katee Sackhoff, still remembered by many for her iconic role as Starbuck on Battlestar Galactica. Her role in Another Life as Niko brings some dashes of Starbuck, but Niko’s personality is overall very different. She’s tough and a talented pilot, much like Starbuck. But unlike Starbuck, she likes to play things safe (at least in Episode 1) rather than taking big risks. Her goal is to make sure the mission is completed successfully, even if that means taking things a little slower.
My favorite character so far, though, is Samuel Anderson’s William. William appears to be the ship’s AI interface, designed specifically to interact with Niko. He reminds me a bit of Data from The Next Generation and the Doctor on Voyager. In my opinion, William may be the most interesting character in the show.
The first episode does a great job of setting up the premise and has some nail-biting moments where you wonder who will survive. There’s an alien artifact on Earth, and a group of astronauts are sent on a mission to make contact with the alients who sent it. So far, no one has any idea what they want and people are concerned it might be dangerous. The drama might be a bit sensational at times and there’s one moment with the alien artifact that didn’t quite make sense to me… But overall, I have high hopes for the rest of this season and would recommend others give it a try too.
IMDb & Rotten Tomatoes Viewers Aren’t Too Happy with the Series
So what are the reviewers on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes saying so far? Unfortunately, they’re not as positive as I am. Out of 779 reviews, IMDb rates Another Life 4.2 out of 10 stars. U.S. viewers rated it 4.4 and non-U.S. viewers rated it 3.6.
One viewer on IMDB wrote that they were disappointed in the series. “And man, the crew on the ship.. Are you kidding? Young people in their late teens, or mid-twenties at most. Put those in a high school drama instead (the way they talk and behave, actually fits a high school drama very well). You don’t care for the characters. Besides, it wouldn’t be believable to put young people on a critical mission like this. They would have sent more grown up people, who had more experience. It all just feels very wrong and not believable.”
So that’s a good point, actually. They make a point in the first episode of saying that the crew is made of 20-somethings except for Niko (and one other character who feels ashamed of being older.) It doesn’t really make sense to have a group so young leading such a critical mission, but I’m assuming this will be explained in later episodes.
Another person, who watched the first two episodes only, wrote: “I tortured my self by watching two episodes of this absolute garbage show. As if they’d put the most incompetent people on the bloody planet in to the space ship that is meant to save Earth.”
Another viewer wrote: “Good Sci-Fi is about good stories where science is the backdrop. They try to answer ‘what if?,’ but usually they respect basic well-established scientific principles. This show violates all those things. Unínteresting story, unlikable characters and disregard for science. (Hint: dark matter is not a black cloud, nor is it opaque: it’s invisible.)”
OK, that viewer above has a good point. They did describe dark matter in the first episode as being an opaque, dark cloud where we don’t know what’s inside. That’s not accurate, but I chalked it up to the show taking place in the future and perhaps having a different definition of dark matter than we have now.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the rating is 10 percent, sadly. Most reviewers are calling it semi-interesting or a youth-focused drama. So from these reviews, it looks like this won’t be the next Battlestar Galactica. The first episode definitely wasn’t. But for me, the first episode was intriguing enough to hold promise that this will be an enjoyable series.
On Twitter, meanwhile, a lot of people are expressing how much they like the series, in contrast to IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes.
If you’re on the fence, give the first two or three episodes a try and see what you think.