Salvation is a new series on Netflix, and I have to say I really enjoyed watching it last night, because it is very much different from the programme I normally watch. In a good way.
I was never a fan of action but I am a fan of sci-fi and investigative programme. This series belongs to the latter and on top of that it has some action, for action lovers.
In a nutshell, the world is about to end in 186 days and the team working in the US Government is trying to save it. However, not everyone is equally committed towards saving the whole world. Some are perfectly fine with saving the Western hemisphere only while those who oppose this selfish view are desperately looking for ways to produce an alternative plan and save the world as a whole.
However, that is not all. The Government is killing those who know too much fearing the information leak which would cause anarchy and panic. Nevertheless, one journalist is also onto something, which further complicates matters.
The person in the Government’s office who is leading the rebellion, commits treason nearly on a daily basis and who is genuinely committed to saving the world is a spokeswomen Grace Barrows (Jennifer Finnigan). She is giving information and assistance to Darius Tanz (Santiago Cabrera) who is working together with MIT scientist Dr Malcom Croft (Dennis Boutsikaris) and MIT student Liam Cole (Charlie Rowe).
It is not just that the story is developing fast that appeals to me in this particular series, but also a fascinating and quite a novel representation of public relations as a profession. Thus, Grace is the one who is the most positive person here as she selflessly risks persecution for a treason, violation of the hierarchy and she is also risking her personal relationship with her boss, whose pass code she steals to gain an unauthorised access to uranium that Darius needs to develop an alternative method of destroying the asteroid threatening to destroy the Earth. This is quite a surprising representation of PR, traditionally portrayed in a very negative light. See the film below to get a sense of the usual opinion of PR as a deceitful profession meant to create false perceptions and spin the truth only.
There is however a small element of negative representation when, in episode one, Harris (Ian Anthony Dale) is asking Grace to go to the media and portray what has just been said in a classified meeting in nice words as only she can. This fits into perception of PR as a spin machine, but the overall representation of Grace as PR person is remarkable.
However, representation of journalists is negative. Thus, Amanda (Shazi Raja) discovers there is a story going on and that the Government is hiding something. Instead of being open about who she is and what she does, she is taking secret photos and threatens to publish them, follows people around, hangs around diplomatic parties to spy Government officials and tries to flirt with Liam to get the insider information. Nevertheless, she even tries to blackmail and intimidate. While her way of not giving up from the story and sensing that something is wrong is a good portrayal of journalism as a profession and the ultimate dedication of journalists, the overall portrayal is negative. She is in a nutshell portrayed as a person who will do what it takes for a story. While this is true of many journalists, it is not always the case and every generalisation is dangerous.
However, to go back to series, it is a really dynamic portrayal of a fight with time to save not just oneself but the world as a whole. And all this is happening while days on Earth are potentially numbered…
Thank you for reading.