The 100 (Season 1)
Jake Griffin pays with his life for attempting to go public about the Ark's rapidly deteriorating life support systems. 'Floating' is Ark's execution method of choice.

A devastating nuclear war wiped out almost all life on Earth. The only known survivors of this nuclear holocaust were about 400 astronauts - the residents of twelve space stations which were, at the moment when ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads were launched, in Earth's orbit. These orbital outposts belonged to twelve countries that had advanced space faring capabilities at the time of the conflict: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China (with Shenzhen space station), France, India, Japan, Russia (with Mir-3 space station), UK, USA, Venezuela and (cough, cough) Uganda (presumably having an advanced space program at the time!).

Seeing what happened to Earth, the remnants of humanity decided to cooperate in order to survive and combined the twelve smaller space stations (reusing some components, such as solar cells, from hundreds, now useless, communication satellites) into a single colossal space habitat named The Ark. During the following 97 years the population of the Ark grew to over 2600, stretching the resources and the life support system to the breaking point.

Bellamy Blake and Clarke Griffin quickly emerge as the natural leaders of the group of juvenile convicts.

To curb the population growth, the Ark’s government introduces one-child policy. Those who are in breach of this policy, or otherwise break the draconian laws of this unforgiving micro world, face the death penalty by 'floating' out of the airlock into space (except for perpetrators under 18 years of age, who get jailed).

To make things worse, the Ark's life support systems are found to be critically failing, with the amount of oxygen in the air dropping to dangerous levels. Because the Ark does not contain the components necessary for the repair of the life support system, there is no known solution to this problem. The Council, impelled by a chief medical officer Dr. Abigail 'Abby' Griffin, comes with a last-ditch attempt to determine if Earth is habitable again. 100 juvenile prisoners are given a second chance to prove their worth to the society and sent to the surface in a one-way lander. All of them are fitted with a wristband health monitor, which transmits their vital life signs, such as heartbeat and body temperature, back to the Ark, where scientists can determine whether the radiation dropped to safe levels.

In an act of defiance, the larger part of youngsters remove and destroy their wristband life signs monitors shortly after the landing.

The lander lands relatively safely, with only a single casualty, and teenage delinquents find themselves amidst a pristine forest, with no visible signs of radiation maleffects (save for an odd example of mutated fauna, such as a disfigured deer or bioluminescent butterflies). The two-way radio is destroyed on impact though, preventing the crew from communicating with the Ark. As expected in a post-apocalyptic scenario, not all goes according to plan though. While some of The 100 were imprisoned unjustly, there are also some real hardened criminals amongst them - cue power struggle, forging of alliances and forming of new hierarchies commencing in earnest. Before long, one charismatic young convict emerges as a leader of the group. Unfortunately, he has a hidden agenda and, under the ruse of 'shaking of the shackles' and gaining freedom from the oppression of adults, encourages the youngsters to remove and destroy their wristband monitors.

Later on, one especially technically-minded teen comes up with an ingenious plan to modify one of the wristband monitors and convert it into a one-way Morse Code transmitter. The plan backfires though, resulting in short circuiting the circuit board of the device and frying all the remaining wristband monitors, leaving the Ark’s occupants in a total darkness as to what befell The 100.

Raven Reyes makes it down to Earth in an old refurbished escape pod, in order to restore the communication between the Ark and The 100.

While the scientists aboard the Ark watch helplessly one life signs monitor going quiet after another, not knowing whether this is due to the high radiation levels or some other factor entirely, the depletion of oxygen in the Ark’s air accelerates. Not knowing if The 100 are alive or dead, and consequently if Earth is safe or not, the council has no option but to 'cull' 320 volunteers by disconnecting the air supply to their quarters in Section 17, in a bid to buy some time for the remaining inhabitants of the space station.

Dr. Griffin, desperate to know what happened to her daughter Clarke, who is amongst The 100, helps Raven Reyes - an on-board mechanic, to repair an old escape pod and reach the Earth and The 100. The communication between the Ark and The 100 is restored and the inhabitants of the space station learn that the Earth is habitable again. Despite the tragic loss of 320 'culled' family members and friends, everybody is in a jovial mood and the preparations of 'Exodus', how is the plan of their return to Earth codenamed, commence.

The 100 soon realise that they are not alone. They have to fight for the Earth with the 'grounders' - remnants of the populace who survived the nuclear war.

Alas, the council keeps one more dark secret: the population of The Ark, even after the 'cull' is well over 2200 souls, while the combined capacity of the available 'dropships' is mere 700 personnel. While the councillors are agonising over this seemingly unsolvable conundrum, The 100 are dealing with their own pressing problems, the ongoing conflict with the savage yet dexterous peoples who survived the nuclear war, the so called 'grounders' amongst many others.

'The 100' is flooded with stereotypes, inconsistencies and simplifications (how for instance, the series’ writers would envisage the hapless survivors assembling the twelve dissimilar space stations, each in a completely different orbit, in an apparent absence of any space ships other than the single-purpose-built dropships?) but the show’s suspenseful atmosphere and the solid performance from the cast will assure that you will be returning for more.

The 100 was renewed for a second season, returning in October 2014.