By Ken Tucker
Updated September 22, 1995 at 04:00 AM EDT

Sci-fi fans who enjoy vivid characters and atmospheric alternate worlds should probably give Space: Above and Beyond a wide berth. This new series from Glen Morgan and James Wong, who worked on the wonderful X-Files, is as slow and obvious as The X-Files is fast and subtle.

The year is 2063 and Earth is under attack from an alien race of creatures who, when they’re wounded, exude what looks like green Jell-O. Our heroes are young, gung ho Marine Corps cadets. And most of Space‘s two-hour pilot consists of showing the cadets in military training under the steely hand of Sgt. Major Frank Bougus (R. Lee Ermey), a leader who’s anything but bogus — his incessant, staccato rants are punishingly loud (I wanted to run out of the room to escape them).

It looks as if Space will center on three of the most-yelled-at cadets: doe-eyed Morgan Weisser as a callow youth; sloe-eyed Kristen Cloke as a tough cookie; and dead-eyed Rodney Rowland as an ”In Vitro” — a member of an artificially bred race who’s subjected to constant prejudice by other humans. With its tiresome Top Gun dogfights and Babylon 5 blabbiness, Space seems unlikely to spawn the rabid cult following that the Fox network hopes for. C-