What makes for great science fiction?
In my opinion, it is not the presence of cutting-edge visual effects or the involvement of A-list directors and actors.
All great science fiction begins, as in any other genre, with a compelling story.
The sci-fi series SONA is an example of a sci-fi series powered primarily by its engaging narrative.
Created by, written, and starring Ashley Clements (The Lizzie Bennet Diaries), the show is set in the early 22nd century.
The series begins with a bang, as United Earth Space Corps. officer Lieutenant Belyn Sona (Clements) is forced to evacuate her starship, the Tarazed, right before its apparent destruction.
Alone in an escape pod adrift in space, Lt. Sona must confront her fraught past and personal demons in order to survive her ordeal.
It is through flashbacks that the viewer learns what has led Lt. Sona to her present dire circumstance.
At this point in earth’s future, humanity has achieved interstellar travel and has also encountered many intelligent alien civilizations throughout the galaxy. In fact, many of these alien beings have traveled to earth and made it their adopted home.
However, a marked rise in xenophobia causes earth’s governments to order all extraterrestrials to leave the planet.
Sona’s life partner, Akiva (Brendan Bradley) is an alien, so in a desperate attempt to remain together, she smuggles him aboard the Tarazed.
However, things go horribly wrong, leading to Lt. Sona being stranded alone in space with Akiva’s status unknown.
For the majority of the show’s eight-episode first season, the action takes place aboard the escape pod, with the craft’s artificial intelligence (voiced by Lauren Lopez) being Lt. Sona’s only companion.
In this way, the series is akin to a one-person play - which is a very good thing.
Clements shines as the titular protagonist. Lt. Sona is a multi-faceted character whose reactions and motivations ring true. Clements also skillfully weaves piercing social commentary regarding mental health and cultural intolerance into the narrative in a way that is germane and organic.
This is a testament to Clements’ skills as both an actor and writer.
The series direction by Brendan Bradley - who also portrays Akiva - succeeds in giving the show an extremely intimate, almost voyeuristic, feel as viewers accompany Sona on her emotional and situational journey.
Another hallmark of the series is the depiction of Sona and Akiva’s relationship. Their bond is a source of poignancy which forms the heartbeat of the series.
Watch the trailer for SONA here…
To discover how to watch the series, visit Legendary Digital Networks’ Alpha streaming service where SONA is an exclusive for the next several months.
Editor’s Note: The Alpha streaming service has ceased operations as of March 31, 2019. The producers of SONA are seeking a new distribution platform. Please visit sonaseries.com for future updates. We hope to see it back online soon!
Make sure to check out our podcast Eye On Sci-Fi. Join host and The 7th Matrix founder Rod T. Faulkner as he spotlights terrific indie SFF short films and web series.
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