Point Blank Review: Surface (2005)

I just finished watching a compelling TV series from 2005 that debuted on NBC, while I never heard of Surface prior to joining Netflix I thoroughly enjoyed the first and only season of this series. Unfortunately, I am many other Surface fans can only speculate as to what would of happened if season two was produced. The series was canceled in the midst of the season finale. “Surface produced consistent numbers for the network, but suffered from mediocre Nielsen ratings, ranking 58th for the season and attracting about 9.3 million viewers per episode” says the Surface Fan Site.

The show follows the life of Dr. Laura Daughtery played by the beautiful Lake Bell and her “discovery” at a depth of 5000 feet under the Pacific Ocean. On the East Coast in North Carolina, a young teen, Miles Barnett played by Carter Jenkins brings home an unidentifiable egg from the water and places it in the family fish tank. These two storyline, as well as other minor plots play out, as the story is inter-weaved through numerous supporting characters such as Rich Connelly who has the unfortunate luck of watching his brother drown off the coast of Louisiana, last seen being dragged into the depths of the Gulf of Mexico by an unknown creature.

Fifteen episodes were produced and each ended with a desire to watch the next episode. There are times after the initial character development that many aspects of the storyline becomes far-fetched, but this does not take away from the overall storyline. *SPOILER* The boiler tank being used as a bathysphere is a bit too much to chew on. Even at the bottom of the ocean, with leaking seals there was the knowledge Rich and ‘D’ would get out of this predicament.

As the story matures, Miles names his sea creature Nim, after nimrod. He continues to become close to Nim, whom he views as a pet, on that does not like many unknown individuals, but accepts Miles’s friend Phil, even lives in his pool. Nim becomes a focal point of Surface after Miles is bitten and starts to carry Nim-like properties; odd electrical current through his body, eyes like that of a reptile, a sticky gem like substance on his hands. Nim continues to come home to Miles, regardless of the situation.

The government entity at large continues to try and hide the story, by discrediting Dr. Daughtery and her accomplishment. After going on live TV to tell her story about the unknown vertebrae she found, the TV host and the piece comes off show her as a lunatic and the story does not gain much credibility. After uploading the ocean video she and Rich took, the story becomes more widely known. Yet over in North Caroline, Miles, Nim and those involved have little idea of the impending danger taking place in all the worlds oceans.

Unfortunately the season ends with a 9.4 sea-quake shaking the Hispaniola Trench causing a massive tsunami. The fate of the main characters are not left in question, as they miraculously make their way into the local church, where they seek refuge from the oncoming tidal waters. The final shot of the season, show Miles, Caitlin (his “girlfriend”), Rich and Dr. Daughtery standing on the top of the church looking out over the new flooded landscape with their new world in doubt.

There is only speculation as to what season two would have brought. In my estimation it would have been some very big shoes to fill as season one ended with a huge tidal flood. Yet there were many unanswered questions that needed attention. One that still was not answered was, “What happened to Jackson after the cable snapped on the homemade bathysphere?” His name resurfaces in the season final, as Rich sees an image of him on a government computer.

Nonetheless through 15 hours of season one, Surface was truly an ingenious and fun series to watch. Combine marine biology with ET with science fiction and you have a thriller on your hands that will keep you coming back for more. If you get a chance to see this is syndication on SciFi or another channel, check it out

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