The art of the web series has come a long way. It amazes me just how good some of these are. Original ideas are turned into some of the most fascinating stories and a lot of them are better than most feature films. People complain about how Hollywood is fresh out of original ideas and while that’s mostly true, there are diamonds in the rough out there. You just have to know where to look.
One of the first places to look is on SyFy’s website. This past Monday they launched a new web series called The Mercury Men and it’s awesome. The series was filmed in black and white and plays out like the old science fiction serials. The story is based in Pittsburg in 1975 and centers on Edward Borman (Mark Tierno). Edward is a typical office drone, who just wants to close up shop for the night. As he’s preparing to leave the office, the building is invaded by glowing beings. Edward can only look on when his co-workers are being picked off one by one. Just as Edward thinks his time is up, the mysterious Jack Yaeger (Curt Wootton) shows up to take on the Mercury Men. Working as part of a mysterious organization known as “The League”, Jack tries to stop the Mercury Men and thwart their plans to unleash their doomsday device, the Gravity Engine.
The great thing about the web series format is that the episodes are nice and short. The bad thing about a really great web series is that the episodes are too damned short. This series contains a total of 10 episodes that run about seven minutes each. There are currently four episodes available to watch and new episodes are released daily, Monday through Friday, through next week. Thankfully they’re being kind and releasing them so quickly instead of a new episode once a week. I hate that. I get really impatient and want to see what’s going to happen next. Season finale cliffhangers absolutely slay me.
Watching this makes me think of old Twilight Zone episodes. It’s got that retro look and feel to it and after the first episode, I found myself getting sucked right in. When I watch those old Twilight Zone episodes, I always think “Man, they don’t make ’em like that anymore.” Well Christopher Preksta did thank goodness and he did a damned fine job too.
Check out the original trailer below, then head on over to SyFy’s Mercury Men page to get caught up.