A marine biologist, an insurance salesman and a teen-aged boy find their lives fundamentally changed by the emergence of a new, and often dangerous, species of sea life, while government agents work to keep the affair under wraps.

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2006   2005  
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Laura Daughtery (15 episodes, 2005-2006)
...
 Rich Connelly (15 episodes, 2005-2006)
...
 Miles Barnett (15 episodes, 2005-2006)
...
 Savannah Barnett (12 episodes, 2005-2006)
...
 Davis Lee (11 episodes, 2005-2006)
...
 Sylvia Barnett (11 episodes, 2005-2006)
...
 Ron Barnett (11 episodes, 2005-2006)
...
 Phil Nance / ... (10 episodes, 2005-2006)
...
 Tracy Connelly (10 episodes, 2005-2006)
...
 Jesse Daughtery / ... (7 episodes, 2005-2006)
Caroline Kent ...
 Emily Connelly (7 episodes, 2005-2006)
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Storyline

What do naval officers in the South Antarctic Sea, a family in Wilmington, N.C., the oceanographic institute in Monterey, and fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico all have in common? They're all about to be the first to meet a new form of sea life -- it's beautiful, the kids may even want to play with it, and it likes to make the water warm. But what they don't know yet is that they are on the verge of a world disaster. "Surface" is a series full of continuously evolving twists that deliver across several long-term arcs. Written by Anonymous

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The fate of the world is in their hands. They just don't know it. See more »


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19 September 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fathom  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Regal Entertainment Group theatres did a cross promotion with NBC advertising this show. All of the promotion materials (i.e. posters, carpets, popcorn bags, etc.) had the show titled as "Fathom" well after the series was renamed "Surface". See more »

Quotes

Miles: There's something in the water.
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User Reviews

Involving Family Entertainment with Unsusual For Sci Fi Intelligent Women
14 February 2006 | by (Queens, NY) – See all my reviews

The 15 episodes of the first, and I wouldn't be surprised only, season of "Surface" worked as involvingly as if it were a mini-series like "Taken." The executive producers, Jonas and Josh Pate, never seemed to be stalling or creating filler but had clear character and story lines and trajectories set from the beginning.

The production values, including of the sea monsters, were very high for a weekly series, so that even if the series is not renewed viewing the DVD as a whole will be very entertaining. An important element in its success was the filming locations in North Carolina which provided more visual variety than we usually see in most series which are routinely filmed on either an L. A. back lot and environs or in the Vancouver area.

While there were tips of the hat to many other sci fi movies and shows of the past (Jay Ferguson's "Rich" certainly seems similarly obsessed as Richard Dreyfuss in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"; the daring duo's extreme adventures under the sea certainly seemed like a tribute to Jules Verne, let alone "The Abyss"; some sort of cryogenics facility seemed a lot like something we'd seen in "Coma;" their nemesis seemed to be borrowed from "The X Files," etc.) but it all came together freshly and with some unexpected twists.

Unusual for sci fi, the female roles were key and interesting. While I at first thought Lake Bell's "Dr. Laura Daughtery" was too young (not to mention impossibly gorgeous in a bathing suit) to be a marine biologist, over the first few episodes her threatened status as a newly minted PhD was dealt with spookily as part of the conspiracy to make her suspicious. Her scientific capabilities were always believable, even if her survival luck was amazing. I remained a little unclear about her personal time line of her life with her son, who she must have had when she was a teenager, and ex-husband (let alone the apparent ex-boyfriend "Jackson" who literally stuck out his neck for her). But her devotion to her son was a sweet recurring theme, even as she kept abandoning him to follow leads and escape henchmen.

Martha Plimpton had a delightful guest starring arc as a quirky, guilt-ridden scientist. And the teen age girls actually had brains and feelings. While the mom was clueless, so was the dad, amidst their extremely upper middle class lifestyle.

The relationships between the brainy females and their guys was always appealing, and their dialog sprightly. "Rich"s practical life skills as a fisherman and insurance agent, and brute physical force, were continually balancing "Laura"s scientific knowledge. I was very impressed that the series kept their relationship as a friendship with loyalty but no exaggerated sexual tension, as he is throughout a devoted family man to the wife and daughters he has had to leave behind on his quest, helping to make this appropriate family entertainment.

Teen Carter Jenkins' "Mile Barnett" was geekily adorable throughout, from his boyish loyalty to an unusual pet and his first crush on a girl who actually appreciates him, to his exploration, and finally embrace, of new found super powers. I particularly liked how the series helped him find his way through his volunteer work at the aquarium, which is shown as not just a commercial show but a serious scientific institution.

The story certainly capitalized on the world's recent experiences with natural disasters to believably surmise how people react, from prejudice to panic. A particularly effective episode incorporated MSNBC news and web coverage into the story line for a cynical commentary on old and new media.

Some of the travel times around the country seemed as unrealistic as in "Alias" as the central duo tracked down clues (and they seemed to get as much sleep as "Jack" in "24").

But the bringing together of the central characters and themes in the finale was convincing and exciting, even as it left open plenty of story lines for a network to capitalize on for a second season. NBC was smart to rerun episodes on the Sci Fi Channel and hopefully that could continue to build up interest in even short term renewal or mini-series conclusion.


41 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why on earth did they cancel this show? vznevada
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Season 2 to at least end the show properly! white_wolfus
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Well, it was rather interesting. dukeb0y
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