Galaxy Quest is a possibly dodgy film starring, among others, Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman. It is a spoof on Star Trek, in particular Star Trek: The Original Series. Fans of Star Trek will find it easier to spot the gags, the first flight of the space craft is taken right from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. But, there is no real reason for other sci-fi fans not to enjoy it.
Brief Plot Outline
The film follows the fortunes of the cast of a cancelled sci-fi series called Galaxy Quest. These out of work actors are forced to subsist on the conference trail and opening supermarkets. The film's slow start gets a swift kick when the aliens arrive. The aliens, Thermians, are a peaceful humanoid species who have seen the 'historical documents' of the Galaxy Quest series. To help them defeat a great threat, they reproduce everything in the series down to the smallest detail. It is from here that the film shines. The whole crew, and an extra who appeared as a security guard in the Galaxy Quest series are taken into space and, basically, left to save the Thermians. From here, if you are a Star Trek fan, the film becomes solid gold.
The central characters work well together, with plenty of jokes coming from them bouncing off each other. Tim Allen plays the William Shatner-alike Jason Nesmith well, not so much of the stilted voice, but obvious Shatner-esque qualities with the gung-ho outlook, and a fair amount of depth in the more introspective moments1.
Alan Rickman as Alexander Dane plays an excellent disillusioned and cynical Spock-alike, desperately trying to keep the more idealistic and gullible members of the crew's feet on the ground.
Sigourney Weaver provides the sex appeal in a very surprising blonde and bouncy way, and Tony Shaloub plays the engineer Fred Kwan, quite happy with his life and very laid back. However, for some, it is Sam Rockwell playing Guy Fleegman, the extra in the series, that steals the show. His sly comments, knowledge of the original series and the templates 2 that it followed are not only useful for the characters in the film, but provide much of the best humour. Guy Fleegman, in the Galaxy Quest TV series played an extra that was 'killed by a lava monster before the first commercial'.
Though a real gem for hard core sci-fi fans this film provides plenty of laughs for the uninitiated, especially with the transporter antics. However, Dean Parisot, the director, brought a special light touch to the work of screen writers David Howard and Robert Gordon, that seems to indicate that all three enjoy and have an extremely good knowledge of Star Trek and conventions.
Galaxy Quest pokes fun at Star Trek, its fans, convention-goers and sci-fi in general, but in such a way that they all feel included.