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Dark Angel
Darkangel-logo.png
Dark Angel title card
Format Science fiction
Action/Adventure
Drama
Created by James Cameron
Charles H. Eglee
Starring Jessica Alba
Michael Weatherly
Alimi Ballard
Jennifer Blanc
Richard Gunn
J. C. MacKenzie
Valarie Rae Miller
Jensen Ackles
Martin Cummins
Kevin Durand
Ashley Scott
and John Savage
Country of origin United States
Canada
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 43 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) James Cameron
Charles H. Eglee
René Echevarria
Running time 43 minutes
86 minutes ("Pilot")
62 minutes ("Freak Nation")
Broadcast
Original channel Fox
Original run October 3, 2000 (2000-10-03) – May 3, 2002 (2002-05-03)

Dark Angel is an American biopunk/cyberpunk science fiction television program created by James Cameron and Charles H. Eglee. The show premiered in the United States and Canada on the Fox network on October 3, 2000, but was canceled after two seasons. Set in a post-apocalyptic Seattle, the show chronicles the life of Max Guevara (X5-452), a genetically enhanced super-soldier, portrayed by Jessica Alba as an adult and Geneva Locke as a child, who, after escaping from a covert government biotech/military facility as a child, tries to lead some semblance of a normal life and constantly try to elude capture by government agents, while searching for her genetically-enhanced brothers and sisters scattered in the aftermath of their escape.

The program is set in Seattle, Washington, USA, but was actually filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada at Lions Gate Studios.

Contents

Overview

In the year 2009, a genetically enhanced, 9-year-old female super-soldier who calls herself Max Guevara (Jessica Alba), escapes along with eleven others like her from a secret government institution, codenamed Manticore, where they were born, raised and trained to be soldiers and assassins. On June 1, 2009, months after Max's escape, terrorists detonate an electromagnetic pulse weapon in the atmosphere over the U.S., which destroys the vast majority of computer and communication systems, throwing the country into utter chaos.

The first season begins ten years later in 2019, as it follows the life of the now 19-year-old Max as she struggles to search for her Manticore brothers and sisters. In a United States which is now barely more than a Third World nation, she tries to live her life, evade capture, and learn to trust and love. She becomes involved with Logan Cale (Michael Weatherly), an underground cyber-journalist with the alias Eyes Only, who recruits her to help fight corruption in the post-Pulse world, while at the same time she makes a living as a bicycle messenger at a courier company named Jam Pony along with her friends Original Cindy (Valarie Rae Miller), Herbal Thought (Alimi Ballard), and Sketchy (Richard Gunn). Other X-5s are periodically introduced, most significantly Zack (William Gregory Lee), the unit leader and eldest brother. The Manticore hunt for the escaped X-5s is led by Colonel Donald Lydecker (John Savage), who is ousted at the end of the season by the even more ruthless Elizabeth Renfro (Nana Visitor).

In the second season of the show, the tone changes as Max and Logan bring down Manticore and free all the transgenics within. Two others become main characters: Alec (Jensen Ackles), a fellow X-5 who joins Jam Pony, and Joshua (Kevin Durand), a transgenic with canine DNA. Max later learns that Joshua was the first transgenic created by Manticore's founder Sandeman. It becomes apparent that Manticore produced many different human/animal mixes as well as other experiments with unique abilities. A major theme in the second season is the discovery of an even more deadly enemy than Lydecker or Renfro, namely a millennia-old breeding cult similar in structure to the Illuminati. This has resulted in humans even more formidable than the Manticore-produced transgenics, and even some with strong telekinetic powers. Ames White (Martin Cummins), a government agent introduced early in the second season trying to eliminate the loose transgenics, is revealed to be a member of the cult. When a strange message written in Max's genetic code makes an appearance on her skin, it is revealed that Sandeman is a renegade from the breeding cult and Ames White is his son, who is still loyal to the cult and hates his father's transgenic creations with a passion. The second season ends before Sandeman's plan for Max can be revealed.

Cast and characters

Main characters

The following characters were featured in the opening credits of the program.

Character Starring Recurring Actor/Actress Notes
Max Guevara (X5-452) Season 1-2 - Jessica Alba genetically enhanced transgenic super-soldier, Jam Pony courier
Logan Cale ("Eyes Only") Season 1-2 - Michael Weatherly cyber-journalist
"Original Cindy" (Cynthia McEachin) Season 1-2 - Valarie Rae Miller Jam Pony courier, best friend (and later roommate) to Max
Col. Donald Lydecker Season 1 Season 2, Episodes 1-3 John Savage head of Manticore
"Normal" (Reagan Ronald) Season 1-2 - J.C. MacKenzie head of Jam Pony
"Sketchy" (Calvin Theodore) Season 1-2 - Richard Gunn Jam Pony courier
Alec McDowell (X5-494) Season 2 - Jensen Ackles genetically enhanced transgenic super-soldier, Jam Pony courier
Herbal Thought Season 1 - Alimi Ballard Jam Pony courier, Rastafarian
Kendra Maibaum Season 1, Episodes 1-13 - Jennifer Blanc Max's first roommate
Joshua Season 2 - Kevin Durand human-canine experimental creature
Ames White Season 2 - Martin Cummins government agent, conclave member
Asha Barlow Season 2, Episodes 5-22 Season 2, Episodes 1-4 Ashley Scott member of the S.1.W. resistance movement, friend to Logan

The 12 original escapees

The following characters escaped in the original 2009 Escape from Manticore. They were only featured throughout season 1. Ben (from episode 1x18) and Alec (from season 2) were twins. Max also has a twin Sam who appeared in episode 2x19.

  • Max (X5-452) (Jessica Alba) (Every Episode)
  • Zack (X5-599) (William Gregory Lee) (1x6, 1x8, 1x9, 1x14, 1x20, 1x21, 1x22, 2x1, & 2x7)
  • Ben (X5-493) (Jensen Ackles) (Episode 1x18) (deceased)
  • Brin (X5-734) (Nicole Bilderback) (Episodes 1x8, 1x20, 1x21, & 1x22)
  • Tinga (X5-656) (Lisa Ann Cabasa) (Episodes 1x14, 1x20, 1x21, & 1x22) (deceased)
  • Zane (X5-205) (Unnamed Actor) (Episode 1x14)
  • Syl (X5-701) (Nicki Aycox) (Episode 1x22)
  • Krit (X5-471) (Joshua Alba) (Episode 1x22)
  • Jondy (X5-210) (never shown as an adult)
  • Seth (X5-751) (from the book)
  • Vada (from the book)
  • Kavi (from the book)
  • Three other characters were mentioned as being in Max's group but didn't participate in the escape for various reasons. These included Jack (X5-417), who died after suffering from seizures, Eva (X5-766), who got shot and never got a taste of freedom, and Jace (X5-798) (Shireen Crutchfield in Episode 15), who turned back at the last minute.

Music

Soundtrack

Score

The score for the series was composed and conducted by Joel McNeely. The score for the pilot episode was available in part on the original official website darkangeltheseries.com. Complete tracks included:[citation needed]

  1. "Opening Escape"
  2. "Bicycle Ride"
  3. "Nine"
  4. "Break In"
  5. "The Mirror"
  6. "Lauren"
  7. "You're the Whack"
  8. "Warehouse"
  9. "Rescue"
  10. "Theme"

A few tracks were later released by Joel McNeely on his blog. The track "Bicycle Ride" was used as the end credits for the duration of the series.

Dark Angel: Complete Score From The Dark Angel Pilot
Included as part of the original publicity press kit was the score for the pilot episode. This 37 track CD was for promotional use only and not for resale. This promo CD is the only known publication of the Dark Angel pilot score in its entirety and is extremely rare.[citation needed]

  1. Opening Escape
  2. Flashback
  3. Bicycle Ride
  4. Max's Eagle Eyes
  5. Motorcycle To Laundromat
  6. Nine at the Time
  7. Break-In At Logan's
  8. Max Leaves Logan's
  9. Seizure Flashback
  10. Max visits Theo
  11. Good Old Days
  12. Laundromat Attack
  13. Statue Gift
  14. The Mirror
  15. Fencing The Statue
  16. Alley Chat
  17. Flashlight Sting
  18. Theo's Dead
  19. Seizures And Escape
  20. Shootout Footage
  21. Lydecker Meeting
  22. Logan In Hospital
  23. Max Saves Logan
  24. Max Helps Lauren
  25. Sonrisa's Mansion
  26. Max Meets Sonrisa
  27. Max Offers Lauren
  28. Lauren talks
  29. Max Gets the Money
  30. You're The Whack
  31. Bruno Shoots Max
  32. Max To The Warehouse
  33. Warehouse Rescue
  34. Reunion
  35. Theos Ashes
  36. Max - Logan - Space Needle
  37. Expanded Space Needle Theme (Unused)

Individual Episode Tracks

The show's score was also complemented by a unique blend of sounds from various high-profile artists. Many genres were demonstrated including rap, hip-hop, soul, rnb, techno & metal. Listed here is a partial list of songs heard throughout the series. They are listed chronologically by season, episode number & are listed by order of appearance.

Season 1

  • 1.01 Public Enemy ft. MC Lyte – Dark Angel Theme
  • 1.01 Lil’ Mo ft. Naam – Club 2G
  • 1.04 Trina ft. Trick Daddy - Pull Over
  • 1.05 Missy Elliott - Smooth Chick
  • 1.06 Tracy Bonham - Behind Every Good Woman
  • 1.07 Hardknox – Resistance Is Futile
  • 1.08 Sibelius – Valse Triste
  • 1.09 Monifah – How You Gonna Love Me Baby
  • 1.10 De La Soul ft. Chaka Khan – It’s All Good
  • 1.11 Q-Tip – Moving With U
  • 1.11 The Commodores – Brick House
  • 1.13 Herbaliser – When I Shine
  • 1.13 DJ Clue & Lil Mo ft. Fabulous – Superwoman
  • 1.16 Melky Sedeck – Attractions
  • 1.16 Melky Sedeck – Mi Amor
  • 1.18 Abstract Rude & Tribe Unique – Something About This Music
  • 1.20 Missy Elliot, Q-Tip, Nas & Eve – Hot Boyz
  • 1.20 Da Brat ft. Ja Rule – Back Up
  • 1.20 MC Lyte – Roll With Tha Thick Of Us (Composed by Lana Moorer & Flip Wilcox, this song has never been commercially released)

Season 2

  • 2.02 Mystic – The Life
  • 2.02 Kurupt ft. Nate Dogg – Space Boogie
  • 2.02 HED PE – Bartender
  • 2.02 HED PE – Killing Time
  • 2.03 The Crystal Method - Name Of The Game
  • 2.03 Tone Loc – Do The Wild Thing
  • 2.04 George Clinton - Atomic Dog
  • 2.04 Da Brat ft. Kelly Price - Runnin Out Of Time
  • 2.04 Sunshine Anderson – Where Have You Been
  • 2.04 Defari – Say It Twice
  • 2.05 Gorillaz - Clint Eastwood
  • 2.05 Latrelle – The Wrong Girl
  • 2.05 D12 ft. Eminem - Fight Music
  • 2.05 Mystikal - Mystikal Fever
  • 2.06 Tech N9ne ft. Grant Rice -- Tormented
  • 2.06 Herbaliser – Mission Improbable
  • 2.07 Mystic – Girlfriend, Sistagirl
  • 2.08 Foxy Brown ft. Kelis – Candy
  • 2.08 Missy Elliott ft. Ludacris - One Minute Man
  • 2.09 Timbaland & Magoo ft. Beck & Aaliyah - I Am Music
  • 2.10 LFO - If I Can’t Have You
  • 2.11 Chopin – Etude in E Major op. 10 No. 3
  • 2.12 Alicia Keys – Troubles
  • 2.15 Damizza ft. Shade Sheist & N.U.N.E. – Bad News
  • 2.15 Khia – My Neck, My Back
  • 2.15 John Forte ft. Tricky – Trouble Again
  • 2.15 Crystal Method – Roll It Up
  • 2.17 Samantha Cole – Bring It To Me
  • 2.17 Cee-Lo - Closet Freak
  • 2.19 MC Lyte – No Dealz
  • 2.19 Niki Haris – The One
  • 2.20 Bring It to Me [Dark Angel Remix]
  • 2.20 Spooks – Things I’ve Seen
  • 2.21 Swollen Members – High Road

Production

Background to series

Director James Cameron had planned to make a film of the comic book character Spider-Man. Unable to do so, Cameron moved to television and created the story of Max, a new superheroine. Dark Angel was influenced by cyberpunk, current superhero genres, and third-wave feminism.

Broadcast history

The first season of the show premiered on Fox on Tuesday, October 3, 2000. The show aired on Tuesday nights after That '70s Show and Titus during the 2000 - 2001 television season and did well with both critics and audiences, averaging 10.1 million viewers during its first season on the air.

The following season, however, Fox made the bold decision to move Dark Angel to Friday nights preceding the network's new series Pasadena in order to try and reverse their string of bad luck with the Friday night death slot curse and to give the network's new series 24 a better time period during the week. Their efforts to improve Friday nights were unsuccessful though as Pasadena failed to find an audience and was canceled before the end of its first season on the night, while Dark Angel saw its second season audience drop by nearly 4 million viewers between the first and second seasons, resulting in its inevitable cancellation as well, despite a strong and vocal fan base and a finale directed by series creator James Cameron.

Though fans of the show attribute Dark Angel's decline in ratings to Fox's decision to move the series to a lower-rated night of the week, many also cite changes in the show's format and tone during its second season as reasons for the large decrease in viewership. These changes were said to be a result of budgetary concerns—any high-concept television series that heavily utilizes special effects are expensive to produce—and the departure of several actors, as John Savage, Alimi Ballard and Jennifer Blanc had all left the series as regulars and popular recurring actors William Gregory Lee and Nana Visitor had been written out of the show prior to its cancellation. The final episode of the series aired on May 3, 2002.

After the end of the show's second season, a third season appeared to be close to getting the green light, but Fox instead canceled the show at the last minute in order to make room for Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon's new science fiction series Firefly on the network's schedule. Incidentally, Firefly suffered the same fate as Dark Angel and was subsequently canceled the following season as well.

Though canceled due to sagging ratings in its second season, Dark Angel has high availability with most on-demand services as the Sci-Fi Channel in the United States and E4 in the United Kingdom regularly air reruns of both seasons. As of 2003, both seasons of the show are also widely available on DVD.

US ratings

Season Premiere Final U.S. ratings Network Rank
1 2000-2001 October 3, 2000 May 22, 2001 10.1 million[1] Fox #70
2 2001-2002 September 28, 2001 May 3, 2002 6.00 million[2] Fox #114

Episodes

DVD releases

20th Century Fox released Seasons 1 and 2 of Dark Angel on DVD in Region 1 & Region 2 in 2003. Both seasons were re-released in Region 1 on June 5, 2007, with slim packaging.[3] The Region 1 releases contain several special features including commentaries, bloopers, deleted scenes and featurettes.

DVD Name Ep # Region 1 Region 2
Season 1 22 May 20, 2003 February 24, 2003
Season 2 21 October 21, 2003 June 2, 2003

Awards

  • 2000: Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television — Jessica Alba in Dark Angel
  • 2001: People's Choice Award for Favorite Television New Dramatic Series
  • 2001: TV Guide Awards for Breakout Star of the Year — Jessica Alba in Dark Angel
  • 2001: Teen Choice Awards for Choice Actress — Jessica Alba in Dark Angel
  • 2001: Canadian Society of Cinematographers Awards for Best Cinematography in a TV Series
  • 2001: International Monitor Awards for Best Visual Effects in a TV series
  • 2001 Nominated for Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series (Drama) - Jessica Alba in Dark Angel

Spinoffs

Written by Max Allan Collins, a trilogy of novels expands upon the Dark Angel television series.

  • Dark Angel: Before the Dawn (2002) is a prequel to the television series, taking a detailed look at Max's past between 2009 and 2019. It introduced another '09 escapee, Seth. After Max and her siblings had escaped, Seth slipped out in the confusion and eventually ended up in Seattle, where he worked for Logan as a personal agent. The book is listed on Amazon.com as "Before the Dawn (Dark Angel)".
  • Dark Angel: Skin Game (2003) immediately follows the events of "Freak Nation," the final episode of Season 2, describing the days between March and May 2021. Skin Game focuses on a killer terrorising the streets of Seattle and the growing suspicion and evidence that the killer could possibly be a transgenic. As the killings escalate, the US Army and National Guard prepare themselves for an invasion of Terminal City.
  • Dark Angel: After the Dark (2003) follows Skin Game, describing the days in December 2021. Relationships are torn apart after Logan reveals a shattering truth about his past to Max, but when Logan is kidnapped, questions are set aside as Max's investigation into the capture leads to an old enemy, The Breeding Cult members of the Conclave. With the aid of a team of Transgenics, Max vows to find those responsible for the kidnapping, unaware that the Conclave are not only anticipating her arrival, but the arrival of The Coming. After the Dark answers many questions raised in the second season; The curing of Max's virus, the Conclave's agenda, the return of Lydecker and C.J. Sandeman, and Max and Logan finally getting together. (ISBN 9780345451842)
  • Dark Angel: The Eyes Only Dossier (2003) collects documents pertaining to four ongoing Eyes Only investigations, tangentially related to Manticore and the Dark Angel universe.

References

External links


Simple English

Dark Angel is an American science fiction television series created by James Cameron and Charles H. Eglee, which ran from 2000 to 2002 on the FOX network. Dark Angel tells the story of the life of Max Guevara (X5-452), a genetically enhanced super-soldier, portrayed by Jessica Alba as an adult, and Geneva Locke as a child.

The program is set in Seattle, Washington, but was actually filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada at Lions Gate Studios.








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