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Ascension - S01 E01

Sci-Fi . Drama

The passengers of a starship on a century-long voyage to populate a new world begin to question the true nature of their covert mission when 50 years into their journey, which began in 1963, a young woman turns up dead of suspicious circumstances.

Episode Title: Chapter One
Airs: 2014-12-15 at 09:00 pm
  • Matt Roush

    The less revealed about the story the better. Let's just say that if you make it to the end of Monday's introductory chapter, you'll very likely feel compelled to see where else this unusual space/soap opera is heading.

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Gail Pennington

    The characters are well-enough developed in the early going.... As the story deepens, though, it also becomes so complicated that it threatens to squeeze out marginal fans of the genre.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • David Hinckley

    The dialogue only occasionally gets "Star Trek"-ish, and the special effects are nothing special. But it’s not a bad story, it moves well and you don’t have to wait a hundred years for the conclusion.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Neil Genzlinger

    The opening installment is sharp over all but has squishy spots; that makes you wonder if the premise and the execution are up to the challenge of a series run.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Brian Tallerico

    Some of the performances are thin and I wish the dialogue went through one more rewrite but it’s the narrative here that’s surprisingly fun. Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    Ascension is a handsomely made riff on an irresistibly interesting story pitch.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Robert Lloyd

    I like what I've seen, though there are more than a couple of moments where the only possible reaction is "Naaah."

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Jeff Jensen

    Everything intriguing is nearly squandered by poor casting and clunky scripting. Still, I suspect the first night's climactic reveal, while clumsily foreshadowed, will make you return for the second.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Amy Amatangelo

    The direction, at times, has a jerky feel. The dialogue is riddled with cliches.... But just when the whole miniseries, which Syfy is clearly hoping will become a regular series, is starting to feel mundane, there’s a last-minute twist that will demand your attention. It has the potential to make the series fascinating and much more than it originally seems.

    Boston Herald Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    Ascension has tons of potential and meets a little more than half of it in this early going.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • David Hiltbrand

    Ascension is hokey and hyper-staged (in the same way CBS's recent astronaut thriller, Extant, was). But there's a twist at the end of the first night that should have you coming back.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    There are several intriguing concepts built into Syfy’s Ascension, but the execution is not quite up to snuff in the first episode and infuriating by the conclusion.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    Ascension” initially mixes genuinely clever twists with what amounts to a semi-claustrophobic soap opera.... Yet as the mythology mounts, some of the parallel plots become considerably less interesting, even as Levens keeps piling on additional sci-fi riffs and cliches.

    Variety Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    Ascension aspires to be a cautionary tale on a grand scale. But its cardboard characters and a paint-by-the-numbers script just aren’t up to the task.

    Uncle Barky Full Review