The 23rd century Earth of Skyland, the new Nicktoons sci-fi animated series, isn't as solid as the one we know. Broken into millions of jagged "blocks" that orbit around the planet's core, the world is ruled by an evil dictatorship called the Sphere, which uses its robotic military and some powerful telekinetics called Seijins to control the planet's water supply. Niggling against the Sphere, hiding in a cluster of uncharted blocks, is a ragtag group of pirates – the last vestige of the rebellion against the Sphere.
A pretty familiar set-up to anyone who's watched even a smidgeon of sci-fi in the last thirty years (for Seijins-with-telekinesis read the Force; for robotic military read Cylons; for pirate rebels read space cowboys in a Firefly, for water read water, etc.) – though the pleasure, presumably, resides in the details. As produced by Canadian animators using motion capture and a host of other computer generated techniques, Skyland is a visually splendid concoction, especially when its animators focus on the floating blocks and simultaneously futuristic/archaic looking hardware that its heroes and villains pilot. That it's much less impressive focusing on people, all of who appear to have hair composed of solid chunks of plastic, is symptomatic of this genre fare.
Skyland's protagonists are Lena and Mahad, young sibs who are forced to flee when their Seijin mother Mila is discovered found by the robotic Brigadiers. Sphere Commander Oslo, a bald-headed Seijin with a Eurotrash accent (even the 23rd century still has its regionalist speaking patterns, apparently), has a thing for Ma Mila, who he sees as half of a prophecy (oh yeah, we just had to have a prophecy, didn't we?) that foretells of a power of light changing the world.
Since Seijins get their power from the sun, Oslo's conclusion makes some sense, but it's possible that he has the wrong Seijin since 12-year-old Lena shares her mother's abilities. He sends out Diwan, his Seijin second-in-command, who looks like Annie Lennox with a red tattoo (or perhaps a forelock of red hair – it's difficult to tell) on her shaved head, to retrieve the brother-&-sister, who have hidden in the territories. Ma Mila, meanwhile, is sent to Kharzem Prison, where she's kept caged away from the sunlight. Her only respite is provided in those necessary expository moments when Oslo brings her back up to fill us in on more back story.