'The 100' is 'Star Trek' meets 'Hunger Games'

A scene from CW's The 100 (Handout)

A scene from CW's The 100 (Handout)

Bill Harris, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:08 PM ET

You'll decipher quickly in the first episode of The 100 that the title can't be taken literally in a numerical sense for very long.

“It shouldn't be called The 100,” executive producer Jason Rothenberg said. “By the end of season one, it should be called, like, The 50."

Then as Rothenberg glanced at the various cast members from The 100 who were seated nearby, he added, “I'm kidding, I'm kidding, I'm kidding.”

Well, you know, not so much. Given the risky endeavor that the main characters embark upon – or are sent upon without their consent, as is the case with most of them – there are bound to be casualties on The 100, which debuts Wednesday, March 19 on CW. Episodes of the series also will be available on Netflix the day after TV broadcast.

Based on a book by Kass Morgan, the setup of The 100 is intriguing. It has been 97 years since a nuclear apocalypse killed all the people on Earth. The only surviving humans were on international space stations which were in orbit at the time. The 12 space stations eventually were linked together into a big facility now known as the Ark.

But with the population of the Ark having reached 4,000, it is running out of resources, although that little nugget of information has not been shared with everyone. Despite the fact that radiation levels on mankind's former planet still may be dangerously high, an expendable group of 100 juvenile criminals is sent from the Ark to Earth, to see if it's in any way inhabitable.

The juvenile criminals don't really have much to lose, since by the laws of the Ark, they all were going to be executed on their 18th birthdays anyway. But that also means some of them, now that they're free, have ambiguous feelings about “saving” the space-bound civilization that jettisoned them. And of more immediate concern, who knows what kinds of dangerous creatures have survived on Earth, and in what form?

Given all that, The 100 is kind of Star Trek meets Lord of the Flies meets The Hunger Games meets Jurassic Park meets the history of Australia, recalling that nation's roots as a British penal colony.

“It's funny, I did a pilot in Australia where I played a convict in 1788, when the first fleet (from Britain) landed in Australia,” said Australian actress Eliza Taylor, who plays lead character Clarke Griffin in The 100. “There were a lot of very similar undertones, I guess, in this show. So yeah, I think there is a connection.”

Among those joining Clarke on the dangerous mission to Earth is a hunky daredevil named Finn (Thomas McDonell) and the “illegal” brother-sister duo of Bellamy (Bob Morley) and Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos). At the heart of the in-fighting up on the Ark are Clarke's widowed mother Abby (Paige Turco), Chancellor Jaha (Isaiah Washington) and shadowy second-in-command Kane (Lost’s Henry Ian Cusick), who seems a little too keen to cull the herd.

So yes, the title may be The 100, but sometimes you can take a bit of creative licence with numbers. You know, just like income taxes.

Twitter: @billharris_tv

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

 


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