Galaxy Quest

Galaxy Quest is a surprisingly entertaining film that not only manages to make us laugh but also presents a good satire of how obsessive fans of TV shows can become.

Jason Nesmith aka Cmdr. Peter Quincy Taggart (Tim Alleon), Alexander Dane aka Dr. Lazarus (Alan Rickman), Gwen DeMarco aka Lt. Tawny Madison (Sigourney Weaver), Fred Kawn aka Tech Sergeant Chen (Tony Shalhoub), and Tommy Webber aka Laredo (Daryl Mitchell) are all actors from the retired TV show Galaxy Quest who survive primarily on making guest and commercial appearances for a few bucks. That is, until they run into the Thermians, a race of aliens who have watched the TV show from a faraway planet and believe it to be historical record. The aliens have a problem dealing with the evil despot Sarris (Robin Sachs) and want Cmdr. Taggart to save them. At first, Nesmith/Taggart doesn't realise the predicament he is in, but after overcoming the initial adjustment period, he and the rest of the crew manage to come through to save the day.

The movie creates a Galaxy Quest series in an incredibly realistic manner: there are the standard catch phrases, whole technology based on the series (which gets the actors into trouble since the Thermians have modelled their lives after the TV show), and a huge fan following who go to great lengths to impersonate their idols. The sets, the fans, and the personalities of the actors mimic the original Star Trek series extremely well and are a source of great humour.

The transition between the two parts of the film, the first where Nesmith/Taggart and his companions are taken to the Thermian spaceship and adjust to their new reality, and the second part where the crew fights Sarris, is done well. The former is a bit slow-paced, but funny, and the latter features some exciting action scenes.

Galaxy Quest is based upon an idea I vaguely recall from Star Trek, where aliens had obtained information that was fictional in nature from Earth and assumed it to be real. And it is executed extremely well. Definitely worth the matinee fare.

Movie ram-blings || Ram Samudrala ||