By Susan Siniawsky
It’s a good thing to try something new every so often whether it’s a new hairstyle or a strange food, or in my case, a different genre of show than I usually watch. I never watch space sci-fi, especially animated space sci-fi. As with most new things, I approached my task with a bit of trepidation, but no surprise to any who have watched Chronicles of Humanity, I was quickly hooked by the story.
The story takes place in the year 2340. Earth’s resources have been depleted. Only the mineral Ucasac has been found to supply the needed energy to Earth. Ucasac has so far only been found on Saturn’s moon Titan and the distant planet of Elmore. There is an accident in the mines on Titan and the miners revolt to demand safer working conditions. The government’s response is to send ships to blockade Titan, cutting off supplies, and allowing no means of escape, hoping the miners will surrender. The miners strike back in a space firefight, destroying a government ship and chasing off the other government ships. Following this, the mining colony is suspiciously destroyed. Journalist Katherine MacDonald is covering her first off-world story, the Titan miners’ uprising. She is the only survivor of the disaster and is sure the government is behind the destruction of the mining colony.
The series’ two seasons follow Katherine’s journey to uncover the truth. Along the way we meet Admiral Yasuko, military commander of Earth’s navy and her mysterious nameless Agent; the brave and down to earth Naval Captain Heyman and his second in command, Commander Fulmer; Adam and Ravyn Halesberth, owners of a cargo ship; Governor MacKenzie of New Devonport; and the shady character, Waresh.
The horrors that Katherine has witnessed, as well as the frustration she feels at being lied to in order to divert her from learning the truth of the disaster, lead to changes in her personality as she joins forces with the rebels.
Originally created by Damien Valentine as a short film in 2005, Chronicles of Humanity evolved from a story told in news segments to a full blown series featuring a great script with well developed characters voiced by terrific actors (be on the lookout for Felicia Day’s ‘Amanda’).
Valentine used Moviestorm software and a single computer to create the animation for the series. I urge everyone to check out the Chronicles of Humanity website which has many extra features, such as a production blog and descriptions of the characters, ships and maps in the series. There are even blooper reels and a music video featuring the great soundtrack by Erik Ekholm. Kudos to Mr. Valentine for changing my opinion of both space sci-fi and animated series.
***UPDATE*** Season 3 of Chronicles of Humanity – Renegades is every bit as absorbing as the first two seasons. Picking up where the story left off, the rebellion is still under way. Admiral Yasuko’s ruthless tactics against the insurgents demonstrate her motto of “Earth First, Earth Forever”. This season of the action packed series supplies plenty of political intrigue, mutinies, and even an alien invasion. Will humanity survive the devastation?
With each season of Chronicles of Humanity Damien Valentine matures as a story teller. There is a depth to his animated characters that enhances the plot and keeps the audience riveted. Although this looks like it could be the end of the series, Valentine has left a glimmer of hope for a fourth season. If it happens, I’ll be there.
Watch Chronicles of Humanity on their website.