US tv series (2000-2001). Renaissance Pictures/Universal Television Network. Syndicated. Created by R J Stewart and Robert G Tapert. Executive producer: Sam Raimi. Producers: Janine Dickens, Chloe Smith. Directors included T J Scott, Rick Jacobsen and Andrew Merrifield. Writers included Carl Ellsworth, Kevin Lund, Chris Black and Hilary Bader. Cast includes Elizabeth Hawthorne, Victoria Pratt, Jennifer Sky and Gina Torres. 28 episodes total; first season 22 to 25 minutes; second season 42 to 45 minutes. Colour.
Exotic dancer Cleopatra or "Cleo" (Sky) is undergoing breast augmentation surgery in 2000 when complications arise; she is placed in experimental Suspended Animation and forgotten about. In the year 2525 the scantily clad female warriors Hel or Helen (Torres) and Rose (Pratt) find her capsule and accidentally awaken her into a world where humanity has been nearly exterminated by flying Robots called Baileys. Their creator, Dr George Bailey, made these for environmental clean-up; the machines decided, perhaps with some justification, that the real contamination was humanity, and drove what was left of the race into Underground refuges. Combat teams like Hel's are directed by Voice (Hawthorne) through Communications devices implanted in their craniums. Humanity must also deal with "Betrayers", powerful Androids created by renegade Scientist Creegan, who supported the Baileys' extermination effort. These androids can copy a person to the last detail, including their memories, and become a perfect duplicate before killing the human. There are human cults which worship the Betrayers and even sacrifice themselves to them. Cleo is at first awed and frightened by the world of 2525, but becomes a helpful member of the team. The ladies often make use of sf gadgetry including Force Fields, Antigravity and Ray Guns.
Many viewers were puzzled by this Satire on Sex and sf in general, having probably expected a more traditional action-adventure programme. Cleopatra 2525 was often syndicated as part of the Back2Back Action Hour. Owing to the revealing outfits worn, it was often restricted to late-night time slots. With the second season's longer episodes, script improvements, but the series was soon cancelled. Torres sings a somewhat altered version of the 1969 pop music hit "In the Year 2525" by Zager and Evans, itself an sf-oriented song, as the series theme music. [GSt]
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