American-Canadian tv series (1997-2002). Alliance Atlantis Communications and Tribune Entertainment. Created by Gene Roddenberry. Producers include Majel Barett Roddenberry, Paul Gertz, David Kirschner, and Seaton McLean. Writers include Gertz, John Whelpley, George Geiger, and D C Fontana. Directors include Brenton Spencer, Andrew Potter, Ross Clyde, and Vincenzo Natali. Cast includes Kevin Kilner as William Boone, Robert Leeshock as Liam Kincaid, Jayne Heitmeyer as Renee Palmer, Von Flores as Ronald Sandoval, Lisa Howard as Lily Marquette, Richard Chevolleau as Marcus "Augur" Deveraux, David Hemblen as Jonathan Doors, Leni Parker as Da'an, and Anita LaSelva as Zo'or. 110 one-hour episodes.
The first of two series developed around the turn of the twenty-first century from ideas by the late Roddenberry (who gets sole creator credit despite having died years before the series began development), the other being Andromeda (2000-2005). The premise sees the Earth visited by Aliens called Taelons, who present themselves as humanity's friends (their official title is Companions) and who have gifted Earth with many technological advancements. Nevertheless, a human group suspects the Taelons' motivations, and recruits William Boone, the newly appointed bodyguard to the North American companion, Da'an, to their cause. Like all of the Taelons' human bodyguards, Boone is to be implanted with a neural implant meant to increase his abilities, but which will also alter his personality to make him completely loyal to the Taelons. The resistance manages to disable this function of Boone's implant, which makes him the perfect double agent.
The series was retooled and redirected several times over the course of its five seasons. Boone was killed at the end of the first season and replaced as series lead by Liam Kincaid, an alien-human hybrid, who himself was replaced in the fifth season by human resistance member Renee Palmer. Other main characters were also subject to frequent replacement (only one cast member, alien-controlled bodyguard turned bad guy Ronald Sandoval, appeared in all 110 episodes). The Taelons were eventually replaced as the series' main antagonists by other alien species, and in the fifth season disappeared entirely in favor of a new Villain, the Atavus. This inconsistency, as well as indifferent writing and acting, resulted in a centreless work that, much like Andromeda, never managed to find the story it wanted to tell.
Various authors contributed to a Shared World franchise based on the series. These Ties include The First Protector (2000) by James White, a distant prequel to the series action; Requiem for Boone (2000) by Debra Doyle and James D Macdonald; and the concluding Legacy (2002) by Glenn R Sixbury. [AN]
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