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Dark Angel is an American science fiction drama television series that premiered on the Fox network on October 3, 2000. Created by James Cameron and Charles H. Eglee, it stars Jessica Alba in her breakthrough role. Set in 2019, the series chronicles the life of Max Guevara (Alba), a runaway genetically enhanced supersoldier who escapes from a covert military facility as a child. In a dystopian near-future Seattle, she tries to lead a normal life while eluding capture by government agents and searching for her brothers and sisters scattered in the aftermath of their escape. Dark Angel was the first and only series produced by the company Cameron/Eglee Productions, and was filmed in Vancouver at Lions Gate Studios.
The high-budget pilot episode marked Cameron's television debut and was heavily promoted by Fox, reaching 17.4 million viewers. The first season, which was shown on Tuesday nights in the U.S., received mainly positive reviews and won several awards, including the People's Choice Award for Favorite New TV Drama, and averaged 10.4 million viewers per episode. Alba's portrayal of Max also received mostly positive reviews and several awards. For the second season, the show was moved to the less desirable air time of Friday night and received some criticism for new plot elements. It suffered from a drop in ratings, averaging 6 million viewers per episode, and was canceled.
A series of novels continued the storyline, and a video game adaptation was also released. Dark Angel is considered to have gothic and female empowerment themes; Max followed a long line of strong female characters in Cameron's work, including Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley. Cameron was also influenced by the manga Battle Angel Alita. Dark Angel is considered to be part of a wave of shows in the late 1990s and early 2000s that feature strong female characters, alongside Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xena: Warrior Princess, and La Femme Nikita.