Cleopatra 2525 (2000-2001)
This is a show that I don’t remember watching that much at the time, but I have decided to review it because because it’s another one that fits into an area of TV scheduling that I have found interesting, which is the Channel 5 on weekend afternoons slot in the late-90s/early-2000s that featured various enjoyable but little-remembered shows for teenagers including Harry And Cosh and The Tribe that I feel deserve more recognition.
Cleopatra 2525 is a post-apocalyptic science-fiction show which looking back had a daft idea and could be classed as rather trashy, and it’s not really clear if everyone is playing it entirely seriously. The show was made in Auckland (by the same company as Xena: Warrior Princess) but was an American production, where it was shown in syndication, before being imported to the UK on Channel 5, where it was usually shown on Saturday afternoons around 2pm.
There wasn’t a huge amount of publicity for the show, mostly because of its not very high-profile timeslot, but I do remember seeing an article in a TV magazine including a picture of the cast and thinking that’ll be something I should watch. The show begins in the year 2000 where Cleopatra (Jennifer Sky) who is an exotic dancer is having cosmetic surgery that goes wrong, leading to her being put into suspended animation.
Then, 525 years later, Cleopatra is awoken, and it is now the year 2525 (and, yes, the show’s theme music was indeed a variation of the chart-topping single “In The Year 2525”). It is fair to say that things have changed somewhat since. Cleo joins Helen and Sarge to create a team who often have to fight against the Baileys, powerful armed flying machines that now control Earth, meaning that all the humans (and robots and everything else) have been driven underground.
Helen is also assisted by The Voice, who often gives advice in her ear. Our trio have to try and save people and encounter all kinds of villains throughout the episodes. It is clear to the others that Cleopatra is somewhat out of step with everyone else with her rather outdated phrases and constant screaming, and we see her as she tries to adjust to 26th century life, including the huge advances in technology. Will the future really be like this, I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be taking all this seriously.
There were 28 episodes of Cleopatra 2525, and most of them were about half-an-hour long. The show ended rather abruptly at the end of the second series. It might have been a good idea at the time to conclude with a big cliffhanger, but we’ll never know what happened next. I think that a few episodes were released on DVD, but that was about it for merchandise, where were the figurines and computer games.