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Introduction
It is 2525 and the world has been turned upside down. Monstrous airborne machines called Baileys have taken over the surface of the Earth while humans are forced to live underground. Most of humanity has abandoned hope of ever reclaiming the surface of the Earth, but there are those who remain fiercely committed to the cause. Among them are the brave female warriors Hel (played by Gina Torres) and Sarge (played by Victoria Pratt). They are joined by Cleopatra (played by Jennifer Sky), a 21st Century girl who wakes up 500 years after being cryogenically frozen. Armed with hi-tech weapons, and with help from the mysterious Voice that Hel hears through a receptor planted in her jaw, the three join together to try and reclaim the surface of the earth for mankind.

After a major all out war between human kind and bailey kind, with neither side winning or losing, it’s now Hel's enemy Creegan who governs the Bailey Race. His personal obsession with Hel is what the first season is mainly about. Creegan has the power to destroy it all in an instant and there's nothing the team can do about.

The trio ready to fight a Bailey!
Cleopatra 2525 only ran for two seasons before being cancelled, which is shame as it is a great action sci-fi adventure series.

Episodes

Disc One
Quest for Firepower
Sarge and Hel go to the surface to steal a weapon from a Bailey, and then discover the ditzy Cleo while running from a Betrayer robot. Cryofrozen for 500 years, Cleopatra learns that the year is 2525; what's left of mankind lives underground, driven there by the alien Baileys. Hel and Sarge fight the machines in an attempt to survive, aided by good robots such as Mauser.

Creegan
Hel, Sarge and Cleopatra are in the lab with Mauser when Creegan, a Joker type villain, and his mutant minions ambush them. Blasting the robots scientists to pieces, Creegan's gang makes off with Mauser's body parts before the trio can stop them and before Voice can purge him off all top-secret information. The trio have to rescue him, or destroy him, before Creegan can download vital information from Mauser's memory banks.

Flying Lessons
Hel and Sarge are teaching Cleopatra how to fly through the underground shafts when they chance upon a group of Mordecis who are abducting a human girl from the arms of her father. Although the initially refuse to help, Cleopatra appeals to them to be heroes and help rescue the girl. With a combination of pole dancing, gambling, and, of course, a wrist-gun fight, the trio rescues a group of enslaved humans.

Mind Games
Raina, a powerful mutant able to control thoughts, escapes, and gets Hel distrusting Voice, and Sarge paranoid about Hel - all in order to track down Voice. It's up to Cleo to save the day!

Home / Rescue Part One
After the trio fights a new form of Betrayer robot modeled to look like someone Sarge once knew they travel to the surface to find the factory where the Baileys create the Betrayers. They find a village of people who are willingly sacrifice themselves to the Baileys, believing that the aliens will take them back to the Mother Planet where they'll be reunited with old friends. Unfortunately the next to be chosen is Lily, Sarge's younger sister. Cleo, with a baffling display of 20th century sci-fi clichés, convinces the village they should send Sarge instead, but it is Lily and Cleo who get taken.

Home / Rescue Part Two
Lily begins to believe Cleo about the danger, but a little too late, as they start being turned into betrayer robots. The Baileys also want to find out more about Voice. Sarge and Hel track the pair to the factory, and rescue them just in the nick of time.

Run, Cleo, Run
Sarge is on a dangerous mission, to get the map of all the underground shafts and tunnels, and needs help if she is to keep her head from being blown off. Voice tells Hel not to go, but to send Cleo. No one is sure if Cleo is up to it - including herself - but she does succeed. Hel and Sarge accept Cleo as a full member of the team.

Disc Two

Choices
The trio go to an Artificial Surface Level - where communities try to live "normal" lives - in search of a Betrayer-hunting team. Once they discover the Betrayer, they are forced to break up a happy family. There is a hint that the Baileys think of Voice as their "Betrayer".

Perceptions
The return of Creegan sees him trying to locate Voice by using Hel. He tricks her by using a holoimage of her father. She threatens to blow herself and him up to stop him locating Voice, but he persuades her that Voice has been lying to her, and she doesn't. But she does escape before the tracking is complete.

Trial and Error
Two Betrayer droids storm the underground facility on a mission to capture the telepathic villainess Raina. Raina used to be a Team Leader for Voice, and her telepathic abilities came from an experiment Voice did on her. Now she is a psychopath. Hel, Sarge and Cleo are there to stop them, but it's Raina (momentarily freed from a mental inhibitor) who forces the Betrayers to kill each other. Voice sends Raina to the surface with Sarge and Hel to see if she can mind-control a Bailey, while Cleo stays below ground with one finger on a destruct switch that will kill Raina if she attempts to harm her two companions.

Double
Cleopatra manages to outwit the female Betrayer, which is pursuing her, and then she encounters Hel and Sarge in a bar. Cleo claims that it's taken her weeks to find them after escaping the Baileys (as seen in the previous two-parter "Home / Rescue"), but when the real Cleopatra turns up, the girls surmise that one of the Cleopatras is a Betrayer robot. All of Mauser's and Voice's tests are inconclusive as to which one of the Cleos is real, but a chrono-test reveals that one of them is only 22 days old. Hel and Sarge blast the fake Cleo, but she doesn't regenerate like the Betrayers do. Hel may just have killed the real Cleopatra. The girls and Mauser soon learn the truth; Cleopatra 2 is indeed a Betrayer, but because her programming was disrupted, she is unaware she is a droid, nor is she a danger to them.

The Last Stand
Hel and Cleo follow Sarge on a mission to assist Jake Lawson, a famous Protector of the upper levels. They find him and a man named Jerbo under heavy fire from underworld mercenaries, and they're shocked to find that the cocky Lawson is protecting dozens of barrels of plutonium. As Jerbo struggles to erect a force field to protect the plutonium, Sarge tells Lawson he was her role model... despite the fact that he once shot her. When a relay switch gets fried in a fire fight, one of the groups will have to stay behind to activate the force field, but that person will be trapped if they do. Lawson draws the short straw and Sarge kisses him before they mask their escape, leaving him behind. Back in their headquarters, Voice finds an ancient tunnel leading to a crypt with the plutonium. Acting on a hunch Sarge goes back alone, confronting Jake; he planned to sell the plutonium to buy his own underground level. They fight and Sarge shoots Lawson, walking away as he dies.

Cleopatra following the voice of her mother!
Hell and Highwater Part One
Voice sends Hel, Sarge and Cleo on a mission to locate the source of a distress call far beneath the ocean's surface. Their craft (a converted mining mole) soon arrives in an underwater city, whose human inhabitants are the ancestors of a group of ancient environmentalists. Led by Schrager and his brother, it is clear they are hiding something. Cleopatra begins hearing the voice of her mother asking for help, while Sarge sets out to try and get a message up to Mauser and Voice on the surface. Meanwhile, Hel talks to Gragner and he tells her that some of his people are ready to join forces with the surface dwellers, but others (like his brother) are strict isolationists. Hel returns to their quarters to find Cleo missing, and Hel and the re-weaponed Sarge have to track their friend through the city. They find her in a chamber, where her mother's voice led her; in it is a huge partially disassembled Bailey. Hel and Sarge can only watch in horror as the Bailey sends out an energy tentacle that puts Cleo in a trance.

Hell and Highwater Part Two
Cleo is speaking as the voice of the disassembled Bailey, which is "dying". Before Hel and Sarge can find out more, Schrager and Grabger arrive with back up. Schrager shoots Sarge in the chest and the trio of women is locked away in their quarters. Schrager installs a power device from the Bailey in a doomsday machine he plans to unleash upon the underworld's levels and its human population. Granger returns Hel and Sarge's weapons to the women and helps stabilize Sarge, but her wounds are too severe. Hel takes Sarge along as she and Cleo head to the main hanger to stop Schrager. In the Bailey's chamber, Sarge dies but the Bailey sends a particle beam down to her, expending its own final life energy to revive her. The trio vaporize the remains of the Bailey so it cannot be plundered for technology any further and set off to stop Schrager. In the hanger, they engage in a fire fight with the Schrager, and Cleo and Gragner manage to disarm his weapon. Gragner tackles his brother, enabling Hel and Sarge to kill Schrager. The trio returns to the surface with the power device, and tell Voice and Mauser about the Bailey's heroic sacrifice to save Sarge.

Video
All the episodes are presented in 4:3 full screen, and although some people may find that a negative, preferring wide screen, the episodes were originally filmed for 4:3. One thing that struck me with this DVD release is the quality of the video - it truly is excellent. There is not one bit of graininess, it is very smooth and the colours are very strong and vibrant.

Audio
Although the audio is very clear it is only Dolby Digital (2.0) Stereo, I would really like to hear it in 5.1 surround sound. There is nothing spectacular, just good clear sound with no distortions.

Extras
Unfortunately, there are no extras in this collection, which I think is a great shame. Even a short documentary on the costumes and stunt scenes would have been good. Or perhaps some character and/or actor bios could have been added.

Overall
When a review copy of this title landed on my desk I was at first sceptical; although I had heard of the show before, I had never watched it. Now that I have had a chance to watch it I have to say that its premise is very good, so good in fact I am surprised it hasn't been done before. And I think it is a great shame that it only ran for two seasons, and I am left wondering whether its seemingly low popularity was anything to do with a lack of publicity.

Each episode runs for just 30 minutes, but there is a lot of action packed into that half hour and considering the relatively short running time, character development is good. I highly recommend this for fans of the series; compared to the cost of other "box set" releases of TV series' the cost of this set is comparatively cheap (just £24.99 from Play.com). Another good reason for getting hold of a copy of this collection is the excellent quality of the video; it is excellent. Even if you have never heard of Cleopatra 2525 before, as I hadn't, if you like sci-fi action then you will like this DVD.


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