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Virtuality's Joyride Has an Ending Set to Stun

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Virtuality David Gray/NBC

Ronald D. Moore's long-awaited pilot TV movie, Virtuality, airs tonight on Fox, and it's your ticket to escape the M.J. sads and thrill out in space for a couple hours.

Don't skip a ride on the starship Phaeton just because the show didn't get picked up to series. As executive producer Michael Taylor points out, other networks are still "very interested"—and resolutions can be overrated. Virtuality, says Taylor, "is interesting in a way because of the questions it raises. It's really more about asking questions than providing answers."

In asking these questions—from defining infidelity and the essence of life to the inevitability of gay marriage—this show appeals to all televisionaries...

VIRTUALITY, Kerry Bishe, Ritchie Coster, Eric Jensen, Nelson Lee, Joy Bryant, Clea Duvall, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Sienna Guillory, James D'Arcy, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Gene Farber, Omar Metwally and Jimmi Simpson Kharen Hill/FOX

Virtuality, for the Sci-Fi Fans: OK, the setting and plot may seem familiar at first (12 astronauts on a years-long mission to kinda save the Earth), and during a particular group dining scene the tension mounts as you expect an alien to bust out of a crew member's gut. That doesn't happen, but the tension never eases. You never know what to expect next—especially, in the pithy words of castmember Erik Jensen, the "slam-bang ending."

Virtuality, for the Sci-Fi Haters: Forget the spaceship. Seriously. The well-rounded characters, their relationships and the mysteries and menace they confront will enthrall everyone from drama devotees to armchair detectives.

Virtuality, for the Reality-TV Fans: Did we forget to mention the crew are being filmed for Edge of Never, a reality series chronicling the Phaeton's mission? Billions of Earth's citizens are watching a produced version of the astronauts' experience via confessionals, dramatic confrontations and sneaky camera shots. The reality show is edited by the ship's psychologist (and possible creepy mastermind), and the show he puts together is electric—thanks to director Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights), who forced the actors to improvise many of their scenes.

Virtuality, for the TV Fans: Whatever your genre, you'll appreciate the combined talents of Taylor, Berg, RDM and a stellar cast (led by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Clea DuVall)—with a finish like nothing you've ever seen on television before.

But maybe it's just the beginning...

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Virtuality airs tonight at 8 on Fox. Check it out and then come back here to discuss! Should it become a continuing series? What do you think is the deal with you-know-what? Comment below!