Synopsis: Marty finds himself on quite the adventure when, after being sentenced to time helping colonize the moon, he finds a flower.
High Moon is a trip and a half. If you like science fiction, you won’t be disappointed. Even if you’re not a huge fan of the realm of sci-fi, I think you still won’t be disappointed. You see, the great thing about the shows Bryan Fuller produces is that they are so heavily genre specific but still put together in a way even the layman can enjoy them. He takes genre shows to the next level, and High Moon is no exception.
Based on the John Christopher novel The Lotus Cave, High Moon takes its viewers on a journey to a future earth. America is slowly but surely colonizing the moon, but gets more than it bargained for when a flower is discovered on the moon’s surface. Two inmates, sentenced to do work on the moon, find a flower amongst the rubble of a crashed satellite. Unfortunately for them, it sends their lives into a tailspin. One’s life ends while the other lives, only to end up going on the adventure of his life.
Throw in the politics of colonizing planetary bodies, some Indian ninja assassins, and a giant robotic dinosaur, and we’ve got one hell of a science fiction masterpiece in the making. To top it all off, even though there aren’t any huge Hollywood names, the cast manages to rock my television screen and deliver a fantastic performance.
You’re just not going to like the ending.
Perhaps the most fascinating and frustrating part is that High Moon wasn’t originally scripted to be a onetime made-for-television movie. It was a television pilot that failed to snag a season, and that’s heartbreaking because it is stunningly good.
The acting aside, it is the writing and cinematography that set High Moon apart. As is Bryan Fuller’s modus operandi, he managed to produce a show that is equal parts pretty as it is well put together. He and Jim “Danger” Gray worked together on the script and though there is a serious, overarching plot that demands attention, they managed to slip in all sorts of fun little references, puns, and a lot of alliteration into the dialogue. From the looks of it, the actors had as much fun with the dialogue as the writers probably had writing it.
Finally, when it comes down to cinematography I appreciate what High Moon put together. It wasn’t over done or over-the-top. The fun part? There was a bit of the cheesy, hokey, classic science fiction feel which did the content justice. The story didn’t rely on the visuals which is how it should be. Instead, the characters and the writing behind them took the spotlight in typical science fiction fashion. While it might be nice to look at spectacularly realistic space scenes, that’s not the reason I love science fiction. I love the genre for the depth of the writing and the way it calls out to a modern society.
Science fiction takes the world we know and twists it in such a way that makes it easier to digest the lessons concealed in the writing. I look at High Moon and see the struggles in society mirrored in the storyline while providing a way to escape those struggles at the same time we’re facing them.
All in all, High Moon gets high praise from me. It is exactly what I want out of a weekday science fiction made-for-television movie. I’m just disappointed it wasn’t picked up for an entire season because it definitely deserves it.