Sona is a one-woman space drama in which the title character is hurtling through space, alone, with nothing but her thoughts and a cold computer for companionship. But unlike the 2013 film , in which Sandra Bullock fights to escape a similarly isolated situation, this show highlights the mental toll such a situation can create.
The show is one of the first scripted programs for Alpha, the geek-culture streaming service that until now has mostly been made up of hosted videos featuring personalities from the Nerdist and Geek and Sundry YouTube channels. It was finished with help from a Kickstarter campaign in April, debuting in August and posting its finale to the service Wednesday.
Unlike many direct-to-streaming shows out there, Sona's entire first season is more like a mini movie divided into eight episodes. Each episode is about 7 to 9 minutes long, making it ideal both for watching in small bites or as a short binge-watch.
Ashley Clements (The Lizzie Bennet Diaries), who plays Lieutenant Belyn Sona, is seen unraveling in each episode, both missing her husband, who happens to be an alien refugee from another world, and also fuming at the world that placed her into a difficult life situation -- before she was stranded in space.
Clements told CNET that while space itself is the primary setting for this series, the show itself is an allegory for depression.
Her character works under a government who decides that aliens are no longer welcome on Earth, but yet she is married to one. Flashbacks show Clements and her husband Akiva, played by Brendan Bradley, dealing with a world that openly expresses hate at their union due to Akiva being from a planet that's at war with Earth. Even though Akiva himself is not part of the opposing force, and lives with Sona as a refugee, the two find themselves dealing with hecklers and the possibility of deportation.
Essentially, Sona is more dystopian like 1984 and The Handmaid's Tale, and less upbeat like Star Trek.
While you wouldn't be able to tell this from watching the show itself, Sona was made over the course of two months in Clements' home, specifically the kitchen. Clements said that the confined space of the literally homemade set helped her get into character.
Clements made the show with Bradley, the latter also serving as director as well as co-star. Lauren Lopez plays the voice of the Computer and smaller roles are played by Wil Wheaton, Sarah Grace Hart, Jessica Cisneros Ramsey, Breanna Wing and Kadi Moreno.
Sona's first season is now fully streaming on the Alpha service, and a 60-day trial of the service is available using the code SPACE.
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