I don’t know why NBC even tries these things. They clearly cannot do science based TV. Okay, ER was pretty good on a science side, but every thing else they do is an EPIC FAIL.
I didn’t go into this show with a lot of high expectations has other recent NBC shows have bombed, but hey, I’m willing to give it a go. I’m not sure I would even give this a “B” movie status on the SyFy (formerly SciFi) Network. Some of the original’s on SyFy are pretty bad, and this one would have a hard time making that network.
The basic plot of “The Meteor” involves a comet that hits 114 Kassandra, a main belt asteroid and knocks it out of its stable orbit into a collision course with Earth. A kook of a scientist who was fired from NASA/JPL played by Christopher Lloyd spots the impending dome and along with his assistant, played by Marla Sokoloff races from their exile observatory at the end of the Baja Peninsula with the information the Air Force will need to attack the planet killer.
Meanwhile, the JPL Science Advisor, played by Jason Alexander, that fired Lloyd’s character in the first place is at the Air Force’s Near Earth Astroid command center where the Air Force is monitoring the situation and plotting an nuclear missile strike.
A side plot revolves around a small California town, where the sheriff’s son, an LAPD officer who tries to bust his crazed partner has to try to keep the crazed partner from killing his daughter and his father the sheriff, played by Stacy Keach. The sheriff is trying to keep his small town from becoming mass chaos from the early meteor strikes that have been picking on it.
Science aside, this story is so full of stupid plot holes its not even funny.
Lets start with the exiled scientists. Instead of staying at the observatory where they can monitor things and transmit data over the internet, they decide to race along the Baja to get to JPL. Well, their older SUV breaks down and the character played by Lloyd gets hit by a truck while he’s standing in the road and killed. Note, I’m referring to the characters by their actor’s name because none of the character’s have memorable names. Assistant hitches a ride to a Police station, presumably in Tijuana, Mexico where she finds a couple of bad guys have taken over the police station and are now dressed as the cops and they try to molest her.
Now so far, she has been timid, scared and naive. Once the one dude ties to assault her, she manages to subdue him by beating the crap out of him with a fire extinguisher in a panic. But the suddenly she takes the gun from him, what looks like a .357 magnum revolver, and for the next 30 seconds, she is Laura Croft as she blasts her way out of the police station, dropping the other bad guy with three accurately placed shots and marches to the police car outside to drive to JPL where she immediately returns to her cowardly wimp character.
There is no way her character could squeeze off three shots from that gun. If she is the timid scientist, the first blast would have blown the gun right out of her hand and she probably would have missed anyway. Dumb character play.
Now to the Jason Alexander character. He’s a bumbling idiot. He doesn’t know squat and is panicked when put on the spot by the Air Force to come up with the answer. Well here is the problem. The janitors at JPL are smarter than this dude. JPL holds the brightest minds on the planet. This representation of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory is an insult to all the fine people that work at one of NASA’s main research facilities. There is no way on Earth that JPL would depend on some numbers from a fired quack to get the job done. They are too good.
Secondly, the Air Force has a bunch of smart people too and probably wouldn’t need NASA’s input to figure out how to deal with this large rock coming toward Earth. I haven’t even gotten to the bad science in here, this is just character issues.
And WTF is going on with this sub-plot with the crazed LAPD officer? It has no place in this film.
Its a two parter that finishes up Sunday, July 19th. I’ve committed too much energy to this show to not watch the conclusion but save yourself the time…..