Ascension is a 2014 Canadian/U.S.-American science fiction mystery drama television miniseries of six episodes. It was created by Philip Levens and Adrian A. Cruz, with the pilot written and executive produced by Levens.
Ascension was inspired by the real-life Project Orion that existed under the administration of President John F. Kennedy. The show sets up an alternate version of reality beginning in 1963, in which Kennedy and the U.S. government, fearing the Cold War will escalate and lead to the destruction of Earth, launch a spaceship to colonize a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, assuring the survival of the human race.
In the show the USS Ascension is a massive, self-sustaining generation ship that is on a 100 year journey to Proxima Centauri – meaning only the children and grandchildren of the original crew of 600 volunteers will be alive when they arrive.
The story begins 51 years into their journey (i.e. in the present), as they approach the point of no return. The action begins with the mysterious murder of a young woman – the first homicide since the Ascension was launched. The investigation causes the ship’s crew to question the true nature of their mission…
It is revealed that the Ascension is in fact not a spaceship and never left Earth; it is actually a psychological experiment being carried out in a mock spaceship inside a secret underground facility. The current director of the project, Dr. Harris Enzmann (Gil Bellows), is attempting to use the experiment to evolve a superhuman. This appears to be successful in the form of Christa (Ellie O’Brien), a young girl born onboard who displays a number of telekinetic powers. Enzmann’s mission is opposed by others in the organization, and the murder sparks off a series of events that lead to Enzmann’s position being put in jeopardy.
To add to his troubles, an onboard accident results in one of the ship’s workers, the prime murder suspect, being ejected from the “ship”. He escapes confinement and meets a local reporter who is investigating the organization, along with the help of an investigator hired by the organization to solve the murder.