I’m a massive Stephen King fan; two of my favourite works are The Stand and The Mist. In the former, the world is brought down by a plague and the Americans that survive make their way across the nation to Boulder, Colo., recreating society out of a country with no power and no law. In The Mist, a cataclysmic thunderstorm tears a hole into another dimension, unleashing awful beasts that claim our planet as their own.
There’s plenty of both scenarios going on in Space and Syfy’s new series, Aftermath, and that’s just fine with me. Created and run by William Laurin and Glenn Davis (The Pinkertons, Missing), the 13-parter debuts Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on Space, with Joshua (James Tupper) and Karen Copeland (Anne Heche) trying to keep their family safe from an approaching hurricane. A hurricane on its own isn’t a big deal, except the Copelands live in Washington state, nowhere near warm water where those storms spin. Battery-powered radios crackle alternately of the end times and science and … horrors … cell service is nonexistent. If no texting wasn’t bad enough, some folks have gone nuts and are skinning each other alive.
It’s with this as the backdrop that Tuesday’s debut, “RVL 6768,” sets up one hell of a ride. (Keep an eye out for the episode title to show up in one memorable scene.) With so much going on in the first 10 minutes, I worried I’d be overwhelmed with information. Sci-fi series can do that as the world, the characters and parameters are set up, but that wasn’t the case with Aftermath. I credit that to Tupper and Heche’s characters who are islands of calm as the world goes to shit. Josh is a university professor who studies world cultures and beliefs, so he picks up on the significance of fish and snakes dropping out of the sky. Karen is a former Air Force pilot whose no-nonsense attitude and survival training will keep her family—son Matt (Levi Meaden) and twin sisters Briana (Taylor Hickson) and Dana (Julia Sarah Stone)—safe.
Her skills are called upon early and often as increasingly violent and odd folks begin popping up. Incredible CGI and effects turn merely scary situations into horrifying ones and one such scene causes the Copelands to leave their home in the rearview mirror and explore what America has become. And what it’s become is a terrifying place.
Aftermath airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on Space.
Images courtesy of Bell Media.