Galaxy Quest


SF elements: SF TV show actors meet aliens for real

Galaxy Quest
[Allen, Rickman, Weaver]

In the early 1980s Galaxy Quest was a hit SF TV show. Twenty years on, its actors make their living on the media convention tour, squabbling, bitching, disillusioned, but trying not to alienate their bread and butter: the dedicated fan base. Then some real aliens arrive, asking for the crew to save them from some really nasty baddies. These aliens don’t have the concept of fiction, and have based their entire civilisation on Galaxy Quest episodes – right down to a (working) copy of the NSEA Protector.

[not so cute]

Oh, this is wonderful! A glorious spoof of Star Trek and its ilk, it has oodles of lovely details, has a real plot of its own, and is very funny, but without being cruel to the fans. The characters grow from disillusioned has-beens, to enjoying playing at fighting the alien baddies, to realising this is for real and they are totally out of their depth, while all the time being bombarded with hysterical SF clichés that are somehow worked into the plot – the ducts, the technobabble, the countdown, the red-shirt, the cute kid, ... – and the characters themselves are aware of those clichés. Clever, funny, and fun.

Galaxy Quest is the current example of a pure, precise Star Trek parody which Trek fans mostly loved. (I certainly did.)

You can exaggerate the bad parts into awfulness, or you can exaggerate the distinctive parts into silliness (while still being distinctive). The former gets you ired. The latter is a way to share what you love.

-- Andrew Plotkin, rec.arts.sf.written, July 2000

Rating: 2.5

[ unmissable | great stuff | worth watching | mind candy | waste of time | unfinishable ]

reviewed 29 April 2000


As I walked out in the streets of Laredo,
As I walked out in Laredo one day,
I spied a young cowboy, his head in a turban,
His head in a turban beneath a beret.

“I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy,”
I said, and inquired whom it was I addressed.
“It’s Wild Jean-Luc Singh that you’re talkin’ to now, boy
– The toughest galoot in the Gallic Sikh West.”

-- Kevin Wald,, April 2000