Named after its central character, Aeon Flux (or, Æon Flux), this bizarre series began as six, 2–3 minute segments that aired as part of MTV’s 1991 series Liquid Television. Five, 3–5 minute individual stories formed the show’s second season, which also aired on Liquid TV.
Set in a dystopian future, the series focused on the exploits of female secret agent Aeon Flux as she carried out missions against a largely unexplained adversarial organization. Viewers had to glean story details from the actions of the characters in conjunction with the episode title, because the characters never spoke. Aeon’s uncommonly honed skills in shooting, acrobatics, infiltration and espionage made themselves readily apparent as she carried out her covert duties, but a lapse in judgment or some fluke mishap led to her demise by the end of every story in the series’ first and second seasons.
The series continued for a third season in 1995, but with several significant changes. Episodes expanded to a half-hour in length, the characters finally spoke, and Aeon didn’t die in every episode — although her fate was, at times, far from envious. Back story revealed itself in small doses, but the series maintained its ambiguous tone. Furthermore, there was no indication whether the stories were tied together as part of a continuous whole, or if they were largely independent and simply involved the same characters.
A few story elements revealed themselves and remained consistent throughout: A series of continuous walls and defensive zones equipped with automated weapons divided a large metropolis in two. This barrier made crossing from one side to the other a deadly undertaking. On one side lay the nation of Monica; a free nation with no heads of state, for which Aeon Flux was an agent. On the other side lay the nation of Bregna; an authoritarian state headed by Trevor Goodchild, who considered denial of personal freedom a fair exchange for the orderly life of the Breens under his rule. Although marked as the villain of the series, Trevor deemed himself a visionary who ultimately had mankind’s best interests at heart. Thus, he expended a good deal of effort in finding scientific means for evolving or changing humanity to conform to his vision of a perfect society. Aeon Flux put a good deal of effort into preventing Trevor’s designs from reaching fruition.
Aeon and Trevor clearly had a past in which they were familiar with one another. As much as their ideological viewpoints were opposed, they had at one time been romantically involved, and some remnant of those feelings remained. They might be battling one moment and locking lips the next, so long as their carnal desires didn’t put the mission at stake.
Ten episodes made up the third and final season. In all likelihood the series’ unfathomable nature formed a large part of its charm, for it ended with little more conclusive background information than when it began.
Utopia or Deuteranopia?
A Last Time for Everything
Ether Drift Theory
(1991) part of Liquid TV; originally shown in 6 parts, each 2-3 min
(1992) part of Liquid TV; 3-5 min each
(1995) 1/2 hour episodes