The Zone Zeroes in on Alphas

Sky’s pending sci-fi/fantasy showcase The Zone has picked up the Syfy channel series Alphas.

It follows a team of people whose brain anomalies imbue them with extraordinary mental and physical abilities.

Taking the law into their own hands, they investigate cases that suggest other Alpha activity to uncover what the CIA, FBI and Pentagon have not been able, or willing, to solve.

The cast is led by David Strathairn and was favourably reviewed in the US.

“As any fan of sci-fi or fantasy or horror knows, nothing is more important than quickly establishing the essential humanity of your characters before launching them into the stratosphere of implausibility,” the Los Angeles Times said.

“But Alphas deftly balances all the building blocks of great genre — nonhuman abilities, twisty plot, cool special effects, smart dialogue and characters you want to spend more time with.

“And that’s the most impressive superpower of all.”

Variety gave Alphas “high marks for effort and ingenuity, demonstrating a TV show needn’t provide major pyrotechnics or a reinvented wheel to lay the groundwork for solid summer entertainment where the characters, somewhat refreshingly, are only sort-of super.”

But the New York Times thought it “low on sci-fi mystery and intrigue and not yet convincing as ensemble drama. Right now it feels like the beta version.”

The Zone’s also announced it will screen from the beginning the under-rated Eureka, which MediaWorks used to have the rights to but never exploited beyond a couple of off-peak runs, and Warehouse 13, a less impressive MediaWorks property that also was written off prematurely.

The Zone launches in November but Sky has still to confirm if it will be in HD.

However, it has announced a partnership with the Armageddon Expo in late October: “It’s a match made in heaven or an alternate universe, either way we will keep you updated on stars from our shows that will be coming out to Armageddon over the next few weeks.”

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