Peter Leigh played by Game of Thrones' Richard Madden

Any TV show that puts god in space, I will watch. And this is exactly what Amazon's pilot for Oasis appears to be about—god in space.

The story: The year is 2032, the earth is an environmental and economic mess, and all hope lies on Oasis, a colony at the edge of the galaxy. It costs $100 million to send a single person to Oasis, which has a population of about 200 humans. The sandstorms on Oasis are nightmarish, but when the weather is calm, several planets in its solar system are visible in the sky. For reasons that are unknown, the founder of this colony—which is managed by a multinational corporation—has brought a priest, Peter Leigh (Game of Thrones' Richard Madden), to the planet at great expense. Something weird is going on that science cannot explain. A man of god is needed. He must make sense of what appears to be supernatural events.

A breakdown: The earth in this show has lots in common with the earths in Interstellar and Children of Men. It is a dying world, and humans are heading toward extinction. What are we to do? In Interstellar, the solution is similar to that of Oasis—go to a planet that has a future. In Children of Men, nothing can be done. The humans in that movie are waiting for a miracle—and it happens. The spaceship in Oasis is like the ordinary-looking spaceships in Gattaca, but the astronauts wear spacesuits and not, as with Gattaca, just suits. The makers of Oasis put very little creative energy into its spaceship and the trip between Earth and this new planet at the edge of the galaxy. The astronauts enter the ship, fall into a sort of death-sleep, and are brought to consciousness, months later, in the new world.

The base on the planet is a lot like the one in the recent, terrible young-adult film The Space Between Us, and the way it functions and feeds the colony has much in common with the spaceship in Danny Boyle's also terrible Sunshine. Now, there is one good thing about Sunshine, and that is Icarus II (the spaceship). And what makes this spaceship unique is that it understands what life is. Life is always other life. We will not travel deep into space just as humans. It will be as humans/bacteria/plants/bugs. The Icarus II has lots of mud, bacteria, bugs, and plants recycling living matter, and it has a gardener as one of its crewmembers. The base on Oasis is also a lively place. Humans are not the only earthlings colonizing the planet. Plants and bacteria are here, too—and maybe even bugs. Indeed, one of the stars of the show is a botanist and former weed grower, played by hippie-looking Haley Joel "I See Dead People" Osment. He is all grown now and at home in this trippy new world.

As for the new world, it looks a lot like the Mars in Anthony Hoffman's awful Red Planet, but, like the world orbited by the cosmonauts in Andrei Tarkovsky's masterpiece Solaris, there is something strange, even supernatural about this place. It does not just fuck with the minds of humans, but it appears to have water with strange or psychedelic properties. This is why the colony's founder and CEO decided to spend $100 million on the priest's trip. He believes the planet's mysteries can be solved not by science but by sensitivity to the spiritual realm. In this theology, god is not just a force on earth, but one whose ambient being spreads to every corner of the universe. He must be here on the planet, must be flowing through and filling the vibrant voids that connect its rocks and water and the heads of its new inhabitants.

God is also in the 2004 TV reboot of Battlestar Galactica. The god in this TV show comes with a twist: The machines made by humans believe in his existence, whereas the humans do not. One would think that machines would be the atheists, as they know who their maker is. But they are the believers, and the humans almost never talk or think about god. When faced with the choice of believing either (1) some microscopic event evolved step-by-step over millions of years to create them (large apes with large brains) or (2) god created them with his magical breath, the humans in Battlestar Galactica clearly chose the former. They are rational. The robots, on the other hand, are god-crazy. They go on and on about the master plan that God has for the whole universe and how their war with humans fits into this master plan.

In the pilot for Oasis, the priest—who has a dark past (he is a born-again Christian)—gives one brief sermon to the colonists. He tells his congregation of unhappy scientists and technicians that he does not have all the answers to life and the universe. He, like the rest of them, is searching for answers. In a word, the priest is not god-crazy. He is the type of Christian who would be chased out of an evangelical church.

So what is the priest doing on this planet? A hint appears at the end of the pilot (which, by the way, has a strong cast, is visually sexy, and is competently directed): In space, god can hear you scream. recommended