US tv series (1998-2001; vt 7 Days). Paramount Network Television Productions for the UPN network. Created by Christopher and Zachary Crowe. Directors include Charles Correll, David Livingston and John McPherson. Writers include Stephen Beck, Harry Cason and Tim Finch. Cast includes Don Franklin, Jonathan LaPaglia and Justina Vail. 66 45-minute episodes. Colour.
The Backstep Project is a secret National Security Agency Time Travel project reverse-engineered from Technology obtained in 1947 from a crashed Alien Spaceships in Roswell, New Mexico (see UFOs). The maximum range of the resulting Time Machine or Chronosphere is seven days into the past (hence the series title and "Backstep"), owing to the restricted amount of the required "Element-115" fuel available. Former CIA operative Commander Frank Parker (LaPaglia) pilots the Chronosphere on missions to change past events which would harm or have harmed US national security. He is aided by Dr Olga Vukavitch (Vail) from Russia, any incipient romance invariably being frustrated by Backsteps and Time Paradoxes; the backup chrononaut is Captain Craig Donovan (Franklin), who never succeeds in replacing Parker. Project Backstep operates from a desert facility in Nevada called Never Never Land, to which the Chronosphere is returned by an NSA recovery team after each outing and (typically) crash-landing. Never Never Land also houses surviving aliens from the 1947 crash, kept in Suspended Animation. Many episodes deal with espionage and similar plots against the US which must be foiled via time travel; another alien or "Time Gremlin" also appears, and there are attempts by Russian agents to steal portions of the technology (Russia has recovered its own UFO from a Siberian crash but lags behind US understanding of related Physics). Seven Days may have been inspired by the success of The X-Files (1993-2002), to which it bore some similarities. [GSt/DRL]
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