The Future Is Now
Main Cast: Steve Zahn, Natalie Martinez
Creator: Jay Beattie, Dan Dworkin
So who’s looking for a short series to binge watch? I know I always am. So let’s talk about The Crossing, shall we? This ABC science fiction drama was a mid-season replacement and has already been canceled after a single season, but I still think the eleven episodes are worth a watch. Sure, that seems weird, but stay with me.
The Crossing is based on the premise that at some point in the future, things are so bad that a group of people build a time machine to come back to 2018, calling it “the long peace.” Clearly those people did not have access to Twitter posts from this time period. Anyway, something goes awry and they appear in the water off the coast of Oregon. They are in every sense refugees seeking asylum, just not from a place, but a time.
I do love it when movie and TV producers take on time travel, with its many inherent issues (from changing the past, or the future, or running into your own grandma, you know the drill). Casting the time travelers as war refugees is quite clever and timely. The sheriff (Steve Zahn) in the small town where the 47 survivors wash up is first on the scene, but it doesn’t take long for Homeland Security to take over. From there on things go downhill for the refugees, most of whom want nothing more than to live in a time period where they aren’t being hunted by enhanced beings called Apex.
A few wrinkles – there may be an Apex among them, there may be people in the government who know more than they’re saying, and people from the future are still people, so not all of them are heroes.
The premise is pretty solid (for a time travel series), with the bedraggled refugees trying to tell their story to skeptical small town police and the feds. It leaves a lot of room for intrigue inside the group as well as among those who are supposed to be helping them. We get to know the sheriff pretty well, and a few of the refugees. Reece (Natalie Martinez who I recognize primarily from her role as the deputy sheriff in Under the Dome) is a straggling survivor who desperately wants to locate her daughter. Caleb (Marcuis W. Harris) brings with him both baggage and leadership skills. His wife Rebecca (Simone Kessell) brings with her maternal instinct and concern for everyone’s well-being. Agent Emma Ren (Sandrine Holt) gives us a skeptical eye within federal law enforcement. The performances are good if not spectacular, and I think the actors would have grown into their characters more fully had they been given more seasons.
So why watch a one season series that got canceled? Because it’s a suspenseful, interesting show filled with time travel and some pretty pertinent social commentary. That’s not something I can pass up. The treatment of the refugees (they are placed in a camp), the future from which they came (which has been devastated by the misuse of technology), rampant corruption within the federal government – these are all interesting little side notes pointing to our own society at this unfortunate moment in time. They help ground the series, which is pretty dystopian in concept despite the idyllic Pacific Northwest setting, with seeds from our current world that make it seem almost possible. Except the time travel part, that’s just fun.
The Crossing is streaming on Hulu, and I’m sure will eventually come out on DVD. You may be able to catch it on the ABC website or On Demand for a little while longer as well. Give it a shot – it’s a quick 11 episode binge that will satisfy those of us with a taste for time travel.
You can usually find Sue watching dysfunctional family indie dramas in order to make her own household seem normal. She is the Editorial Manager at Silver Beacon Marketing and an aspiring Crazy Cat Lady.