The polluted, ravaged Earth may no longer be habitable, but Chiron, the closest planet to Proxima Centauri B, offers some hope for the future of the human race. A generation ship, on which the remnants of our race persist by a fragile thread, has finally arrived after two hundred years at its destination star. But humanity’s nature – our nobility, our determination, our ingenuity, yes, but also our greed and our terrible arrogance – jeopardize the success of the mission. When competing ideologues on board the Unity literally tear it apart before planetfall, the few thousand survivors who reach Chiron’s surface restart civilization in the image of their social philosophies: communism, capitalism, militarism, technocracy, anarchy, ecology, religious fundamentalism, alienism, etc. It’s a brand new start for the human race, but one that promises a familiar future if we make the same mistakes that destroyed Earth hundreds of years before. Will we be able to reconcile our own survival with the alien flora, fauna, and gaia that are threatened by – and threaten – our existence?
Proxima Centauri is a TV adaptation of Sid Meier’s 1999 strategy computer game, Alpha Centauri. The pilot, “Planetfall”, dramatizes the question of what it would take to unite the human race and the environment. The answer lies buried under action, intrigue, and speculation about the different ways we can be transfigured by technology.