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The Underrated Sci-Fi Drama You Can Stream On Amazon

We sure do love a world-ending scenario in our fiction, and oftentimes we love it because it offers an opportunity to show humanity rising above our petty squabbles to work together and save the day. Arguably director Roland Emmerich's most beloved film, "Independence Day," is largely about how the only way to defeat an invading alien horde is through a coordinated global military strike. In other words, it's about working together. 

Aliens aren't the only enemy humanity has to face from space. Another story we tend to see again and again in our fiction is one about the asteroid set to collide with Earth. In fiction, these stories date all the way back to H.G. Wells' apocalyptic short story "The Star." In film, asteroid-based apocalyptic tales first really found purchase in the modern zeitgeist with movies like "The Green Slime," before hitting their first peak with the destruction movies of the '70s like "Meteor" and "Impact!"

Most modern viewers probably associate meteor movies with '90s films like "Deep Impact" and, even more famously, 1998's Michael Bay classic "Armageddon." And while that Bruce Willis- and Ben Affleck-starring action film certainly features its fair share of psychologically compromised individuals, it's mostly about a rag-tag bunch beating the odds and sacrificing themselves to save the world from a giant asteroid.

However, if you take the asteroid apocalypse concept and transplant to an ongoing, serialized television format, there has to be more human conflict — there has to be an acknowledgement that we might not all face our asteroidal end with poise and grace — and that's where the CBS series "Salvation" comes in.

A show about how humanity deals with catastrophe: badly

"Salvation" is a CBS drama centering around the threat of an asteroid hitting Earth that originally aired in 2017. While there are plenty of heavenly bodies which either come close-ish to Earth or burn up in our atmosphere before striking the planet proper, it's worth noting that "Salvation" did air one year after asteroid 2016 QA2 came within 50,000 miles of Earth in August 2016. For some this was a reminder of the Chelyabinsk asteroid which did explode over Russia back in February 2013. In other words, fear of asteroids was in the cultural consciousness.

What separates "Salvation" from something like "Deep Impact" and "Armageddon" is that its TV format gives it a lot more breathing room to take a more "Lost"-esque approach to the asteroid apocalypse. That translates into an ongoing serialized story of the asteroid apocalypse. It's something we haven't really seen before. Unsurprisingly, the series also places a solid focus on the conflict between the United States of America and Russia — two countries whose space race could always have technically had lethal consequences.

The entire run of "Salvation" is streaming now on Amazon Prime.