10

I remember a kind of science fiction series being shown in Australia during early evenings just after the children's slot. Likely for teens and families. This was around the mid 2000s, possibly just a bit before or after, and I don't believe it lasted very long on TV. It may have been a US or UK import as I found some of the accents and places odd at the time, alongside the overall tone of the series being quite darker than others I remember.

I struggle to place most wider aspects like the overall setting besides it being at least present day or near-future, but I know a key part were these people, mainly younger teenage children, with various special powers (think mind-reading, ESP etcetera). I can still just about picture one or two them in the opening sequence now (one was an Asian girl and the other was I think a youngish boy). Couldn't tell you who the actual actors were though.

It seemed to be largely anthology-based with just a few constant characters from what I can recall, but that's not to say all of it was.

Some specific episode plot aspects I remember

  • A sort of advanced techno-virus that could infect both people and a computer
  • A group of orphan children and youths living like animals in a big wasteland
  • A girl suffering from a prematuring condition being treated with a sacrifice
  • Vague stuff about a farm and dreaming (may have been two separate episodes?)

Some other specific bits and pieces I seem to recall are a odd/creepy synth sound effect often playing whenever the special powers were used, some stuff (related?) about colour changing eyes, and some older characters e.g. teachers and professors from a school or secret organisation project mentoring the kids. These could be muddled up with another show though.

Tried looking this up based on all these a while ago now and either came up with nothing or a bunch of things that didn't seem to make much sense or exactly fit all of this. Hope someone can help this time.

5
  • 1
    "A group of orphan children and youths living like animals in a big wasteland" brings to mind a post-apocalyptic setting. Would that be an accurate description? Jan 12 at 3:38
  • 1
    Could be "The Tribe" (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tribe_(1999_TV_series). A virus kills all adult. kids are left to fend for themselves. Some of the kids have ESP (one of titular tribes lives on a farm and older sister has prophetic dreams) and some later episodes take place in virtual world, allowing for what you remember (telekinesis, throwing fireballs etc).
    – jo1storm
    Jan 12 at 8:26
  • ^ Both of the above comments are helpful but I don't think I saw much of The Tribe, and I remember the wasteland being specific to that episode. Thanks anyway :)
    – darkseed92
    Jan 12 at 13:41
  • 1
    This sounds so familiar to me and I remember the part of the children living in wasteland. By any chance one of the character has half blue and half red/pink hair?
    – user170929
    Jan 12 at 15:29
  • @meowmeowbeans - possibly, I did manage to recover this image of what I think was the wasteland children in the series I remember, albeit with one cropped out of shot: imgur.com/a/LZECsz3
    – darkseed92
    Jan 13 at 2:08

2 Answers 2

15

This is Life Force (2000).

Image of the main cast of "Life Force" (2000).

According to the Wikipedia page, the show centres on four children -- a pair of siblings named Greg and Karen Webber, and two other children with psychic powers, named Mai-Li Cheung and Ash Karnak -- who live on a post-apocalyptic Earth that is now mostly flooded due to global warming.

It's a British show that ran for 13 episodes and aired in Australia in the early 2000s.

Life Force is a British science fiction children's television series broadcast in 2000 on ITV. Produced by Childsplay Productions for CITV, the series was devised and produced by Peter Tabern, who wrote and directed its episodes alongside co-writers Rik Carmichael, John Hay, and Greg McQueen, and directors Lorne Magory and Justin Chadwick. Set in a post-apocalyptic future, in which global warming has drowned vast swathes of the planet and left its remains in chaos, four children, two possessing psychic powers, are hunted by an oppressive government.

Life Force ran for one 13-episode series on UK television, and was also shown in Australia during the early 2000s. Greeted with viewer complaints, disjointed scheduling, and unsatisfactory ratings on its original broadcasts by ITV, in spite of it receiving critical acclaim, the series has not been commercially released or repeated since.

[...]

In the aftermath of the climate disaster, young siblings Greg and Karen Webber are left to fend for themselves on Black Combe Island. Their parents, Amy and Richard, are arrested and imprisoned by The Commission following the discovery of their work teaching science at the island's school in the hopes of raising a new generation of physicists, and involvement in Greenwatch, an underground environmental pressure collective composed of the remaining ecologic scientists across the world, communicating through intermittently available satellite links.

Greg and Karen team up and attempt to continue their efforts alongside Mai-Li Cheung and Ash Karnak, two particularly able 'sender' children with whom their parents had been teaching, and Goodman, an old Greenwatch campaigner and family friend acting as their guardian. Kurt Glemser, a malevolent 'sender' agent working for The Commission, pursues the children as they investigate and try to solve issues caused by the disaster; helping and protecting the lives of those who have been endangered by the chaos of the new climate perils that have developed.

Episode 7 apparently involves a group of mutant children living in a giant scrapyard.

In need of an old car part to power Goodman's broken electricity generator, Ash and Greg travel to the Cartmel scrap market, where goods are now bought by civilians in exchange for euros or bartering items of value with each other. The boys find the part available for sale, however its owner demands an unviable return. They instead decide to try their luck at Devil's Island, a mound of land largely consisting of a giant scrapyard with a dangerous reputation. While looking around the deserted site, they discover that it is inhabited by numerous feral, mutant dog-like children of varying morality, living as a pack amongst the vast waste.

Episode 8 apparently involves some type of psychic virus and a computer.

Joshua, a young 'sender' who has been arrested by The Commission, appears to go missing while under their authorised escort transference. Now a fugitive seemingly looking for help from the children, it is eventually revealed that the boy and the Greenwatch personal computer have been programmed with a life-threatening psychic virus by Dr. Galina Renkova, developed by her with malicious intent to make the telepaths progressively attack and destroy one another.

Episode 11 apparently involves a scientist plotting to sacrifice Mai-Li in an attempt to cure his daughter of a rapid-ageing condition.

Greg and Mai-Li investigate an empty dinghy, drifting away in the sea. Suddenly drugged and kidnapped, Greg wakes up in a house with no memory of the prior events, and a young girl, Marianne, tells him that he was found floating alone. Unbeknownst to Greg while he is looked after, her father, Professor Peterson, plots to experiment with and ultimately sacrifice a captive Mai-Li in an attempt to cure his daughter of the rapid-ageing condition that she is actually suffering from.

4
  • 4
    Thanks so much I think this is pretty much it! There's some parts I have no memory of here, and I do remember glossing over this series before when I was originally looking for what I remembered some years ago, but don't recall there being this much identifiable detail on it online back then (although I notice there still aren't any actual full episodes out there, just the wiki page, a couple clips and this fansite - lifeforcecitv.wordpress.com). All of that has helped massively.
    – darkseed92
    Jan 12 at 13:47
  • 1
    From what I remember the amount of sea level rise depicted was shall we say, a bit "Noachian", like the only part of the UK that remained were parts of the Scottish and Welsh highlands, which even if all the ice melted on earth you wouldn't even get close to. Jan 12 at 20:22
  • @Crazymoomin - yeah reading up on it apparently the series took place around everything left of Britain, i.e. a few small islands in what would've been its north west. No idea if those would've remained in such a scenario too or were kept above water for the sake of what seems to be a somewhat scientifically inaccurate premise 😅
    – darkseed92
    Jan 13 at 2:05
  • 2
    @Crazymoomin There's this movie called "water world" that I think you better stay away from /s
    – Peter M
    Jan 13 at 17:45
0

Could this be Heroes, which is a SciFi series featuring a lot of different characters who learn that they have different superpowers, including things like flight, telepathy, time manipulation and regeneration.

The series is intended to follow comic-book like story arcs, with short multi-episode stories within a larger encompassing story. There doesn't appear to be a young Asian girl, but there is a young(ish) Asian man Hiro Nakamura, played by Masi Oka, and the series does feature a high-school aged cheerleader, Claire Bennet, played by Hayden Panettiere.

The first series aired in Australia in 2007, which puts it in the right time-frame, but was aired at 8:30 pm rather than earlier in the evening.

I've not watched much of it, so can't tell you much about particular episodes or even story arcs etc, so I don't know if there were any parts that involved the scenes you describe.

The Wikipedia page mentions that there the producer wanted unusual music (see 4th paragraph in linked section), and each special effect and character has a leitmotif

5
  • 2
    Heroes was clearly American and ran for multiple seasons, with each season having an ongoing storyline that each episode contributed to rather than episodes having "one-off" stories. It had a reasonably large but constant ensemble cast throughout each season (and mostly into the next season). Definitely not a match for the description. Jan 12 at 12:05
  • 2
    Yeah this is somewhat close but not it. Thanks for the suggestion though
    – darkseed92
    Jan 12 at 13:42
  • @KerrAvon2055 Yes, Heroes is definitely American, though OP was looking for a USA or UK import. I thought they had reasonably large cast changes between series, though might just have been the large cast giving me that impression as I didn't watch it much.
    – bob1
    Jan 13 at 21:39
  • @bob1 I think Heroes did sound like an okay guess on paper. From what I've read since it was answered, Life Force also had some ongoing story elements alongside the self-contained plot episodes I saw, so what really sets the latter apart is how it only lasted one season. Apparently it was pretty controversial over in the UK, got complaints over being "too scary" for its more kids-oriented afternoon timeslot there, then was shown only on early mornings to diminishing viewership... if they'd just found a better place for it I do think it could've easily gone off and successfully continued too.
    – darkseed92
    Jan 14 at 2:08
  • @darkseed92 I agree, and you are the asker, so have the best idea of what you are looking for. This site (SF&F) also encourages partial matches, so I thought I would put it out there as a possibility.
    – bob1
    Jan 14 at 2:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.