I’ve found over my lifetime that the best books, television shows, films, music, you name it, are usually discovered when least expected; in other words, being at the right place at the right time. Several years ago, my three grandsons were spending a long weekend at my house. It was late on a Saturday night, but none of us were ready for bed. We wanted to watch a good science fiction show and began to check the listings on the Syfy channel. We came across a series name that we’d never heard before, The Mercury Men. There were ten episodes listed, but would we want to watch all ten? Join me after the jump to find out.
The Mercury Men
The Mercury Men is a sci-fi serial series that was written and directed by Christopher Preksta. The series consisted of ten episodes lasting between seven to ten minutes each. Each episode ended with a cliffhanger and featured Mark Tierno, Curt Wootton, Amy Staggs, and James Fitzgerald.
The Mercury Men was definitely low budget, but it was done well and that’s what kept the grandkids and I watching. Christopher Preksta is best known as the writer/director for his Captain Blasto Series which was nominated for two Streamy Awards. The Mercury Men was featured at the San Diego Comic Con in 2008.
The action takes place in 1975 Pittsburg with a lowly government worker named Edward Borman trapped inside his building with deadly aliens from Mercury, who are using the area as a staging ground for their planned invasion. Luckily, Borman is not alone. He soon receives help from a stranger named Jack Yaeger (Curt Wootton) who is from a secret organization called, “The League.” Together, they must stop the invaders doomsday device, the Gravity Engine, before it’s too late. The scenes are done in black and white, which adds to the creepiness of the story.
Mark Tierno’s Edward Borman is just your average nondescript, worker-drone, but because he’s no superhero and more a big coward, you find yourself invested in his surviving the invaders. The invaders are quite scary in spite of the simplicity of their makeup, but make no mistake about it; they are lethal.
The Mercury Men, which was Chris Preksta’s first time doing visual effects, was inspired by The Twilight Zone television series and, each episode features a director notes and a storyboard. The series reminds me of the old 1950’s Flash Gordon and Buck Roger series that I watched as a child long before there was a NASA or a landing on the moon.
Make sure to watch the director notes and storyboard where Chris Preksta explains the making of the characters and the storyline. Young upcoming film makers and independent film makers will get a lot of inspiration from the behind-the-scenes information. The Mercury Men series earned Chris Preksta a Best Director IAWTV Award in 2011 and a Best Visual Effects IAWTV Award in 2011, along with many other awards.
I hope to one day get an interview with Chris Preksta. My grandsons and I are patiently awaiting season two of The Mercury Men. We did watch all ten episodes in one night. We couldn’t help ourselves. The series was like a visual bag of potato chips – we couldn’t stop at one.
If you want to watch the series, you can find them on YouTube here