Reviewed by Alicia Glass
Massive spoilers hide on the moon!
Set in a dystopian future far too close to reality for comfort, a team of astronauts heads to retrieve mysterious samples known as “lunar water” from an abandoned research space station!
Based on a 2014 short film called ‘The Sea of Tranquility’ written and directed by Choi Hang-yong, who also directed the Netflix series, the show wastes no time diving right into a complete lack of water planet-wide, due to something collectively known as desertification. Everyone now lives on a class system of colored badges to obtain their water; no pets are allowed pretty much anywhere anymore; food is dwindling, greens are almost unheard-of, meat is gone too. The class system that humanity has reluctantly settled into generally reserves the high echelons of water rations for the big-brained scientist types going bald trying to figure a solution to the water crisis, and that’s where we meet our central character for the first time – Doctor Song Ji-an (Bae Doona), an astrobiologist that the Ministry of National Defense insists absolutely must be part of this mission.
The lead of the team of astronauts headed to Balhae Base Research Station is Captain Han Yoon-jae (Gong Yoo). With the safety of his crew as the primary concern and limited information on the supposed “accidental radiation leak” of the station, Captain Han has an inevitable secret set of orders concerning the “lunar water” too. So does Lieutenant Ryoo Tae-suk, head engineer and former elite of the Ministry of National Defense, as well as main ships pilot Lieutenant Kim Sun (Lee Sung-wook), co-pilot Lee Gi-su (Choi Yong-woo) who switched with the real guy at the last minute, even mission Doctor Hong Ga-young (Kim Sun-young) has secret motivations for being here. And Dr. Song has purely personal reasons for wanting to investigate the “accidental radiation leak” that killed her sister, which never actually was. So what were they doing out in Balhae Base Research Station?
So basically, a kind of water was discovered on the moon, and Balhae Base was being used as a trial run for human-fish hybrid experimentation involving the “lunar water”. The last surviving person on the station after the horrific purge when the experiments inevitably got out of hand happens to be someone connected to Director Choi (Gil Hae-yeon), boss of the entire Space and Aeronautics Administration, and she wants it hushed up tighter than a dolphins butt, stat. The poor girl known only as “Luna 073” (Kim Si-a), a monster hybrid that resulted from the greed and utter foolishness of humanity is understandably, justifiably, enraged at the treatment forced upon her, and wastes no time making her stance on the whole “lunar water” debacle known to the surviving members of the Balhae Base rescue mission.
But is it a rescue mission, after all? The crew each came to Balhae Base with darker motivations, mostly “hush it all up with murder” type orders, and yet the one person who seemed to hold onto her stoicism throughout the mummification of humanity back on Earth, Dr. Song, finds the strength to grasp onto shreds remaining of human feeling and save Luna.
A bleak and depressingly real potential take on the evils humanity does to each-other when the things we take for granted as rights, like water, are scarce enough to be considered nonexistent, The Silent Sea serves as a fine viewing and reminder to not let damp secrets fester into soul rot!