Starting out as a tabletop RPG produced by FASA, BattleTech has gone on to make appearances in multiple media. Probably the most well known are the video games and its spin-off series Mechwarrior. The franchise takes place in the future as outlying colonies known as the Inner Sphere is cut off from Earth and eventually wages war on each other, with different kingdoms and houses vying for control. At some point a new threat was added with The Clans, a group of warriors who share a code but also exist as groups fighting for dominance of both the Clans and now the Inner Sphere. It’s at this point that Saban Entertainment produced a thirteen episode series based on the games.
The show tells of the first appearance of Clan Jade Falcon as it took over the planet Sommerset, the first planet to fall under their assault. Adam Steiner, a cousin of one of the more powerful houses in the Sphere, was born there and uses his family name to bring together representatives of two of the warring houses–the Federated Commonwealth and the Draconis Combine, to form a force to reclaim Sommerset as the first battle to drive the Clans off. Thus they will be referred to in the series as the 1st Sommerset Strikers. Tonight’s episode is the invasion and attempt to create a counterforce. I keep thinking I already posted this for Saturday Night Showcase but since I didn’t let’s finally make me right.
The show is not canon in the BattleTech universe except as a work of fiction, like how Do You Remember Love is considered a movie in the actual Macross universe. There are a number of inconsistencies between events in the show and the longrunning story of the various games, though a game book was created to reconcile the events into the actual BattleTech universe. I picked it up because I enjoy the show and thought it was just a book about the show. I did learn more about the Battlemechs and the proper history of the universe though.
The “enhanced imaging” gimmick does come up again in the show. Whether it was intended to tie-in to the video games (I tried playing a demo of one and I wasn’t very good–the game is a bit too immersive to me but has a huge following and I was able to see why) or just a cost-saving method, or even just showing off CG it’s an odd inclusion but not nearly as bad as the attempts to work 3D into the cartoons of the period like Space Strikers or The Bots Master. We do learn where the clans came from but I won’t spoil it here. It’s quite a good series as our heroes try to get along and deal with this enemy. It’s worth checking out more episodes.