Featuring an alternate history, an interstellar future, and Tricia Helfer, one of science fiction's favorite TV women in the lead, Syfy's Ascension seems poised to take its place in the Sci-Fi canon. But picking favorites within the show isn't always an easy job — Ascension's cast of characters is comprised of the progeny of former president John F. Kennedy's best and brightest — 600 Americans secretly placed aboard a ship and sent on a one-way mission to continue humanity, should the Cold War heat up.
Part of what makes Ascension so interesting is that you can easily put yourself in the shoes of those on the ship, even though what they're going through is totally nuts. In this Open Thread, we're asking you to build your own Kennedy-esque dream team. Choose wisely.
You'll need one of each of the following:
You're going to need someone to do the hard work, making sure that you can eat the plants, breathe the air, and take your helmets off on your new planet, should you ever get there. The problem is, all that analysis is hard work. Picking a scientist who is too high-profile might mean you end up with a specialist, or someone who hasn't been in the lab in a few years. This is a great opportunity to pick out your favorite researcher and give them the ultimate raise — up through the atmosphere.
Being on a spaceship is a bit like a submarine — after a while the air is just recycled farts and other people's breath. Getting something to eat that doesn't come out of a can or a packet might be pretty difficult. You need to bring someone along who can look past these day to day realities, evolve with the new humanity and look to the future.
Consider the expectations of your philosopher — do they need things to be cushy? Without a certain base level of comfort, their ability to produce might be compromised. Better to find the tenacious thinkers, the ones who overcame difficulties and had to walk uphill both ways to find a library as a kid — they're the ones who will lead the way.
You're going to need a social leader, someone who can instill in these assembled humans a sense of camaraderie, both among themselves and any new species they may encounter. A leader who can't see past human variations on skin color or gender in order to make peace isn't going to be very useful to you on the planet of the translucent people with five genders. They may insist they're excited about shaking appendages with a whole new world of aliens, but if they can't see past our minor variations, the truly foreign possibilities won't be well-received.
You'll obviously need your great thinkers and doers, but at some point we're going to have to make more people. It's tempting to align your interests with your Top Ten of Hollywood Babedom, but that might not be your best bet. When selecting for genetic purposes, you'll want to consider potential hereditary time bombs to your population.
Getting a little Tenth Grade Biology for a moment, it's key to remember that the greatest benefit of sexual rather than asexual reproduction is the potential for genetic diversity. Who is your ideal choice to be the Mitochondrial Adam or Eve for the rest of humanity?
Comment below with your picks for your own Ascension crew. No pressure — it's just the future of humanity.
Ascension. A 3 night event. Premieres Monday December 15 at 9/8c. Only On Syfy.
Tini Howard is a freelance blogger, journalist, resume writer, and novelist.