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First Wave

Reviewed by Beth Hannan Rimmels

The science fiction action show First Wave is certainly unusual. How many programs can combine the prophecies of Nostradamus and beautiful WWF wrestling star Sable? And pull it off?

Cross, Spence and LaBelle (L-R)

First Wave debuted on the Sci-Fi Channel last year, combining equal parts of The Fugitive, alien conspiracy a la The X-Files and millennium paranoia while not being as dark or grotesque as Fox’s canceled Millennium, which is fitting since the show was created by former X-Files writer Chris Brancato and executive produced by Francis Ford Coppola.

Cade Foster (Sebastian Spence) is First Wave’s man on the run. Rather than a one-armed man, aliens killed Foster’s wife and framed him for murder because Foster is the "twice blessed man" prophesied by Nostradamus in 1564. The famous seer predicted the destruction of Earth in three waves. Today (1999-2000), the Gua, an alien race whose home world is dying, have infiltrated Earth in preparation for invasion. The first wave is here, and Foster is out to expose and stop them with the help of Eddie "Crazy Eddie" Nambulous (Rob LaBelle), publisher of The Paranoid Times and the guidance of Nostradamus’ coded prophecies.

In the season two premiere, scheduled for 7 and 10 p.m. January 9, the Gua transfer the consciousness of their greatest warrior, Lucas (played by Sable) to Earth and implant it in a specially prepared, human-appearing body that contains more Gua genetic material than the usual bodies they use. This gives her greater strength but also means she would be detected as non-human if given a medical exam. Lucas is to test Foster’s warrior capabilities as a way of determining whether the second wave of invasion should begin immediately.

Sebastian Spence

First Wave is an entertaining hodgepodge of familiar science fiction themes. Shot in Canada, it’s appropriately moody without being bleak. Foster is a likeable hero, and Crazy Eddie is a quirky sidekick. Meryl Streep has nothing to worry about from Sable’s acting, but the show was smart enough to play to her strengths and minimize her weaknesses as an actress. Joshua’s (Roger Cross) motives and decisions add suspense as Foster can never quite tell if the Gua scientist really is trying to help him — and why — or is just laying an elaborate trap.

All in all, I wouldn’t stay home waiting for an episode of First Wave with baited breath, but there are far worse ways to spend a Sunday night.

Rating: B

Review 1999 Beth Hannan Rimmels. First Wave 1999 Sci Fi Channel/Karen Moskowitz
Accompanying photographs 1999 Sci Fi Channel/Karen Moskowitz.

 

 

 

 

Review 1999 Beth Hannan Rimmels. Accompanying photographs  .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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