Dark Angel was a science fiction based series set in Seattle in the year 2019. It was created by James Cameron, and starred Jessica Alba as Max Guevara, a genetically enhanced soldier who escaped from her creators as a child. She then spent the following years trying to track down her fellow super soldiers, while trying to live as normal a life as she could.
The series ran for two seasons between the years 2000 and 2002. It was cancelled in 2002 due to budget costs and lower ratings for the second season.Season One
In the first season, per James Cameron’s directing, the show revolves more around Max’s super-human abilities as a transgenic soldier with feline DNA. While Max is still portrayed as a “different” young woman trying to lead some semblance of a normal life, viewers get more of a sense of Max’s Manticore-endowed, superior abilities (i.e. the abilities to see objects and hear conversations from afar, leap very high, outrun enemies, overpower most other human beings, etc.) and to some extent, her transgenic burdens (the constant need for tryptophan pills and the uncontrollable feline behavior related to going into heat). Also, Max’s main priority is to find her other eleven siblings, with whom she escaped as a child in 2009, and evade capture by her Manticore enemies. Season one has more of a run-and-hide tone to it than season two.
Season one focuses on all of Max’s unique abilities (and strongly emphasizes them) as a genetically engineered powerhouse because she is only one of twelve Manticore escapees and also because Dark Angel was trying to establish itself in the TV Sci-Fi world in its infancy and used Max’s abilities to reel in the attention. In addition to the aforementioned features, Dark Angel Season One concerns Manticore’s use of super soldiers that resembled normal human beings. There are some characters stronger than or as strong as Max, but these characters look and act (somewhat) just like normal human beings. Max only has to worry about one party that wants her ensnared for good – Lydecker, who represents the Manticore Corporation as a whole. However, Max did occasionally have to contend with a Manticore competitor, Red Series, that also sought to capture her. In regards to the setting, there is much more of a Third World Country feel to the show and it is easy to ascertain the daily struggles that most post-pulse Seattle-dwellers encounter, especially when Walter (the corrupt police officer and secret boyfriend of Kendra’s) puts a strain on Max and Kendra’s living situation in regards to the bribes he requires to not report their squatting. At the end of the season, Max, Zack and a group of X5's join forces with Logan and Lydecker himself, to launch an attack on Manticore... with disastrous consequences.Season Two
With the destruction of the Manticore facility, escapees are resurfacing in large numbers. Going beyond the transgenic soldiers seen before (with enhanced speed, strength, and reflexes, and combat training), new soldiers are seen with other abilities, somewhat similar to those seen in superhero comics. This leads to a "freak of the week" premise, where soldiers bred for more specific purposes make appearances, which includes a character specializing in heuristics (although his abilities are more akin to precognition), characters bred for aquatic missions (they have gills and can breathe underwater). Max also meets Joshua, the first transgenic ever created, who has dog-like facial features, strength enormous even by transgenic standards, and is the only one who lacks a barcode. He also becomes a recurring character. This leads to much more comic situations and a much lighter hearted feel, coupled with the addition of Alec, the wisecracking supersoldier and comic foil to the level-headed Max.
Other main characters undergo fairly drastic changes, such as Logan losing some of the angst related to his condition (he can now walk with mechanical assistance), Max's no longer needing tryptophan, and Max no longer being able to touch Logan without killing him because of a virus, engenered to Eye's Only's DNA, that she was injected with while back at Manticore. The show also adds elements of a mysterious cult and prophecies, which remain unresolved. The season (and series) concluded with a hostage situation at Jam Pony, which forced Max and Alec to reveal themselves as being transgenic. This also causes all transgenics to come together and work as a team. In the final scene, the Transgenic flag is raised and the curtain falls on what was a brilliant series.