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Survival Code (TV) More at IMDbPro »Borealis (original title)

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54 out of 73 people found the following review useful:

Great near-future sci-fi.

Author: Scott Cushman
12 January 2013

As a stand alone movie, I can see how "Borealis" may be slightly disappointing. As the pilot for a new series though, it's awesome. Why? It leaves one wanting more.

In an all-too-near future, the arctic icecap has melted, opening the way for new trade routes, oil fields, mining operations, and other untapped resources for the international community to squabble over. At the center of it all is Vic's bar. Owned by a former cage fighter and now the customs agent for the Canadian government, the bar is the center of life in an emerging frontier town.

Like many sci-fi shows, "Borealis" owes much to the genre of Westerns. The characters include a likable town drunk, a good-hearted prostitute, native Inuit, and a couple characters vying for the role of lawman, including Vic. But, it comes with a definite 21st century spin, including an American archaeologist funded by the Russians, an activist biologist determined to protect and document what remains of the arctic ecosystem, and an enigmatic international diplomat.

While the premise relies on climate change, the show doesn't get bogged down in preaching about the global warming we are currently causing. It moves along at a fast pace, with murder, fights and intrigue as nations, corporations and Vic all try to establish dominance in this new frontier. And since it's in the near future, advances in technology are evident, but not distracting or far beyond our current comprehension.

What really sets this apart from other Canadian sci-fi and fantasy is the acting and writing. The cast is excellent, and the main characters are entirely believable. Ty Olsson's understated energy really carries the pilot, but I also found myself wanting to see more of and know more about the characters played by Bryan Dick, Michelle Harrison, Greyston Holt and Christine Horne.

To me, fiction is most successful when the characters come alive in your mind and you want to continue their stories. In that, "Borealis" completely succeeds. And I sincerely hope that a network such as Space or Syfy feels the same way, and will use this movie as the pilot of a series, as it seems intended to be.

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34 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

Borealis (2012) Feedback

Author: CRYSTAL ( from Miami, Florida
12 January 2013

I had brought up Borealis to one of its cast members. Ty Olsson back in November. I had seen a clip of it online. My first thought was wow never seen this movie. Looks intriguing. Plus Ty is a wonderful actor who in my opinion deserves way more recognition. After that, Ty requested fans to start promoting and spreading the word. Borealis finally aired Jan. 11, 2013. To me it was worth the wait. Superb cast, great premise, pacing, characters, scenery. Very interesting. It really has potential. Seeing it go to series would be so awesome. I really hope BellMediaPr, SpaceChannel and SyFy will pick it up. Shows like these need to be recognized and given a chance. I hope they listen to us fans. Because we won't give up. We support the actors and give them much appreciation. I really hope that in due time we will see Borealis's second episode and so on.

Thank you.

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29 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

FINALLY a Canadian show to be proud of.

Author: charlottekinzie-974-76327 from BC, Canada
16 January 2013

This show is about as close to perfect as a pilot can get. It's futuristic enough to be interesting but keeps it real. The acting is stellar. It's really got some of Canada's greatest talent in it.

Ty Olsson and Michelle Harrison had some delicious tension! It's funny, wise, exciting - there's a lot of be pleased with.

I've wanted to love a Canadian TV show for a very long time. Honestly? I'm a little shocked that "Borealis" hasn't been picked up.

People need to see this. Canadians need to see a that a Canadian Television show can be this kind of quality. This is the kind of production that sets a high standard.

If you missed it on the SPACE channel - it's streaming on

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11 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

What a misleading rating

Author: reborn-illuminati from Australia
12 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

**some spoiler** Seriously, whoever rated this movie up to 6-7, must have watched a different movie. This is a kind of movie that takes away some valuable time from your life. The IMDb rating is totally misleading. The story is childish.I would not recommend this movie to anyone. And the ending, well felt like suddenly they ran out of their budget and decided to finish the movie. Shocking. Some of the acting was good, but some substance has to be there. The plot is so common and predictable, most people would find hard to watch till the end. Seriously, why would united nations allow a cage match to happen between a customs officer and a crook when they know that one them are going to die. The more I think about , why would anyone make a movie with such weak script, I become more bewildered.

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Could have been a Contender....

Author: A_Different_Drummer from North America
10 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't know the full story to this production, and IMDb doesn't pay me enough per review to do a forensic investigation of each title. (Actually, they don't pay me anything per review, but who's counting?) However, based on the provenance of the players (Director mainly does TV work, the star Olsson mainly TV, etc etc) I am going to go out on a limb and say this was intended as a pilot. Not bad. Not bad at all. The Canuck Sci-Fi machine has produced some amazing stuff in the last few years (Eureka remains my fave) and there are some great ideas here with solid execution. Essentially, a sort of futuristic deep-cold LONGMIRE (see my review of the same name). Olsson is astonishing. Somewhere there is a casting director in Hollywood who will notice this and, in my view, great things lie ahead for him. Some uneven performances, notably Karan Oberoi as a Dudley Dooright sort of local cop. The script does not give Oberoi much to work with, the costume dept. gave him a uniform that is always too clean and too pressed for the story, and generally all his scenes tend to break the flow of the production. Nice to see Jon Slan, one of the godfathers of Canadian film, in the hopper. This "film" was nominated for a bunch of Canuck awards, and won a few, There are worse ways to spend a rainy afternoon.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Decent movie that never ends?

Author: jeff53590 from United States
25 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Overall, entertaining. Not Academy award caliber, but good actors just same. My only real problem with the film is that it just ends. Just as the movie is winding up, it ends. The protagonist (Vic) seems that he is about to do something about all the bad in town (don't want to spoil too much) and then the movie ends. Poof, credits role. What?

If this was a pilot (as some of the other reviewers have stated), they should have said so somewhere. This is not a special forces kind of movie, it is more of the not-so-nice-guy turns into the protector of the town kind of movie.

Comically, the pictures on the movie cover are apparently scenes from some other movie, nothing shown actually happens in the movie. I am really confused why they show a post-apocalyptic "metropolis" when this is set in the wastes of Canada.

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All that effort and it goes nowhere

Author: Leofwine_draca from United Kingdom
3 September 2016

SURVIVAL CODE was a TV movie originally conceived as a pilot episode of a new show, BOREALIS. The show was never picked up so the viewer is left with this oddly lightweight film that takes a great deal of time setting up various characters in a specific location and then just randomly ends having only cleared up one or two sub-plots. It's an unsatisfying viewing experience, one which made me wonder why I'd bothered when it came to an end.

This low budget effort is a Canadian movie set in the icy Canadian wastes. The story is about various factions fighting over land rights. Although it is set in the future, the science fiction aspects of the story are kept to a bare minimum, no doubt due to budgetary restraints. The characterisation is okay even though the movie lacks big name or even recognisable stars. Bizarrely, some random scenes of cage fighting have been inserted into the mix in order to 'up' the action quotient. It's not an entirely successful choice.

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The near future with unchanged human nature

Author: skoyles from Calgary AB Canada
17 January 2016

I recorded this movie and kept it for viewing on one of those days when my IQ would be mensurable only in negative numbers as I occasionally watch SyFy Channel movies or anything from The Asylum; junk food for the lazy mind, but this was from neither of the sources mentioned and was an excellent motion picture. The cast was fine, the writing and its unusual premise were top notch. The characters were three dimensional and uniformly interesting. I cared for these people and for their believable near future situation. Perhaps I am having a stupid day but the plot contained surprises that followed from preceding scenes. The violence was necessary to the plot and only the language is a bit much but that seems to be normal these day. If, as I suspect, this was a pilot film for an unrealized series it is a minor tragedy that it was not picked up. On its own it can stand proudly and is a credit to all involved.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A different kind of movie without it being different at all.

Author: thegene-2 from United States
6 May 2015

I just read all the reviews on IMDb and I have to say that from the people that gave it a 1 to the people that gave it a 10, I have to agree with most of what they say. This is a movie with good points and bad points. I gave it a 6 because of the fact that all the components were OK. That is hard to explain so let me give you a couple of examples. The acting was good - in some cases very good, but it was not great as the characters were not intended to be great. There were no real famous stars, but you felt you were watching very professional actors. The dialog was not exceptional, but it was very normal and normal is not bad. There are parts that are problems as said in the many of the reviews. My last example is that many people did not like the ending. I, on the other hand, will also say I did not like the ending, however, as ending's go these days it seems that for every good ending there are 10 that are not good. So to have one that one would not classify (at least in my mind) a bad ending, then it is again, OK. The movie was entertaining and yes at times you thought it might be an old western and at times really good science fiction. There are parts that if one would just watch that little bit, might end up thinking it was an adventure film, or a wilderness documentary, or a murder mystery, and yet, it was pretty much none of these to any real extent. I have never written a review like that as I have never seen a movie that fits into this category (which I can not think of a name for right now). Even basic terms seem not adequate to describe it. It is not a FEEL GOOD movie, but for sure not a TEAR JERKIER. It's not all that HAPPY and not all that SAD. I guess I might say that it was entertainment on a different level than most movies. I think that people that look for the big block busters and great stars and awesome special effects, have a hard time with this type of movie.I believe us older folks that have went thru silent moves up to the fantastic super movies of today, can appreciate both ends of the spectrum. So for all you older folks out there that can appreciate just a plain ordinary good movie - this one is well worth watching. Probably the most prominent thing I got from the reviews was that this would be one super pilot for a series. I believe that 100 percent. One last note: If I had read the reviews first I probably would not have watched the movie. And that would have been a loss I do feel.

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9 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Borealis would make a great series.

Author: lmacklem1 from London, Ontario, Canada
12 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Borealis has everything we've come to expect from a great Canadian television series: Great acting, writing, setting, and attention to detail. It also has great action sequences. All the characters are well-developed. The basic premise of international interests fighting over the few remaining oil and mineral deposits in the Arctic in the near future resonates with many of today's political and environmental conflicts. It's fitting that this area is presided over by a Canadian - Vic Carboneau trying to keep the peace while running his own bar/hotel/brothel and acting as the resident customs agent. The main cast includes Ty Olsson, Michelle Harrison, Patrick Gallagher, Cristina Rosato, Bryan Dick, Terry Chen, and Christine Horne. The biggest question is why this didn't proceed to series from this very, very promising pilot...

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