This article contains spoilers for season 1 episode 1
When it comes to supernatural TV shows with superhumans taking the lead, there is not many networks that can rival The CW. Taking their skills to a larger scale – we are talking intergalactic – the CW has launched ‘Pandora’ and there has been quite a bit of interest surrounding it.
The show, which poses the element of intrigue in the very first scene, sets the stage for a huge drama, which is going to take many seasons to unravel, but we are getting slightly ahead of ourselves. The story set in the year 2199 starts with Jax (Priscilla Quintana), who goes for a long run, only to turn around and see that her entire colony – which housed her parents – are destroyed by something extra-terrestrial.
Heartbroken yet driven about finding out what caused the massacre Jax joins the Space Training Academy where she learns to defend the galaxy from various threats. She meets a bunch of people – human and otherwise – who become her second family. They definitely came at the right time, seeing as her uncle and professor, Donovan Osborn (Noah Huntley) turns out to be an unsentimental cold excuse of a family member.
In the pilot episode, which premiered on Tuesday, July 16, showed that Jax is wasting no time if figuring out the truth, and even as the people around her try to hide it from her, she will find it with the help of her friends. It does seem a little weird that every single one of them is willing to help her out – risking their spot in the school and their lives – despite meeting her literally hours prior.
In fact, that is probably the biggest shortcoming of the CW show, which spends literally no time in setting up the story. Within the first episode, we see that Jax’s life is destroyed; she is already in school, and making friends, even standing up for the school and the lone Zatarian Ralen (Ben Radcliffe). After she learns that the authorities aren’t going to do anything about her parents’ death, she takes the law in her own hearts, rallies her friends and goes on a mission to find out the truth.
Worse still, the dialogues are far from futuristic, let alone current. In fact, if these were ripped off from an old scripture set in the ‘80s we wouldn’t be surprised. Nor would it be surprising if we were to learn that the dialogues were changed last minute and the actors were saying their lines off a teleprompter.
There is so much happening in episode 1, but not much of a setup of explanation. The sad part is that the story shows potential, and The CW is a fertile soil for the story to grow – if you haven’t noticed, they give every show a fighting chance, and most others the opportunity to go on till whenever they want... ahem Supernatural ahem. ‘Pandora’ may have what it takes to stand on its own two feet, even reaching a cult status, but it requires a lot of work. If the pilot episode is just the starting point, and ‘Star Trek’ is the aim, maybe it will still surprise you in the coming episodes.
That being said, what ‘Pandora’ did perfectly, is representation and diversity – much like most other CW shows. However, with this show, they took it to intergalactic standards, with Jax standing up for Ralen, even though the people around her think his species are “violent,” “warlike,” and “treacherous.” The network’s incessant attempts to hold that reputation up are commendable.
Personally, I would give the show 3-4 more episodes before writing it off, because honestly there is nowhere but up to go from here. Season 1 episode 2 of ‘Pandora’ airs on Wednesday, July 23 on The CW.