Despite Tragic Setbacks, Paul Scheer Onboard and the New Galaxy Quest Series is Back on Track for an Eventual Release
Everyone’s favorite gap-toothed geek, Paul Scheer, recently and officially announced (well, as official as a Twitter post can be, anyway) that he would be writing the new Galaxy Quest series, which has been shrouded in mystery since its reveal by Amazon in 2015. According to reports from The Hollywood Reporter, the new Galaxy Quest series is being produced as Amazon’s hopeful competition to the smash-hit television phenomenon, Game of Thrones.
Though personally, I believe it would be incredibly difficult for any TV show, especially one based on a modestly budgeted sci-fi movie from 1999, to rival the incredible success of Game of Thrones. To clarify, this is not a dis on Galaxy Quest at all. Few movies become the cult classic that Galaxy Quest became, and I am personally a huge fan of the original movie. I have some thoughts, but first, the facts.
The Latest Facts on the Amazon New Galaxy Quest Series
The new Galaxy Quest series, being written by Paul Scheer of The League, Ultimate Spider-man, and more, will be created by and for Amazon, and executive produced by Mark Johnson (the producer of Galaxy Quest the movie), Robert Gordon (the writer behind Galaxy Quest the movie), and Johnson’s banner partner, Melissa Bernstein.
Robert Gordon, the original writer of the film, actually wrote the outline and ideas for the TV series before handing the torch to Paul Scheer.
According to Scheer’s interview with /Film, the new Galaxy Quest series will be “mixing two casts,” and expand on the “consequences” of the original movie. However, the new show will not exactly be a sequel, and it won’t exactly be a reboot. It will be set in the Galaxy Quest universe, there will be a new cast, and whispers are that at least one or two of the original cast members will return, but the whispers don’t say whom that may be. As I said earlier, shrouded in mystery.
Some Background on the Original Galaxy Quest film
For those who haven’t seen the amazing 1999 sci-fi film Galaxy Quest, here’s the gist. The cast of a wildly popular, but canceled fictional TV show that was essentially Star Trek are reunited at a sci-fi convention, and end up on a real spaceship fighting real aliens with the fate of an entire alien race on the line. And that alien race happened to receive transmissions from Earth and thus believes that the TV show is an historical account, and therefore the cast of Galaxy Quest are actually space heroes.
The humor of the movie is derived not only from its star-studded cast [Tim Allen (Tim the Toolman Taylor), Sigourney Weaver (Ripley), the late, great Alan Rickman (Snape), and Tony Shalhoub (the alien pawnshop broker Jeebs from Men in Black)], but from the parody of both Star Trek and it’s incredibly dedicated fans. And this leads me to…
Galaxy Quest was absolutely hilarious, but it didn’t do super great at the box office when it came out, even though Trekkies and the whole sci-fi convention thing were present, and yet still obscure enough to be lame and laughable, and thus lend itself to the humor of the meta-parody masterpiece that is the original film. The greater population in the late 90’s, early 2000’s was aware of the nerd movement, but it hadn’t yet hit the mainstream as it has in the last decade. Now, as Scheer mentioned in an interview, “Sci-fi heroes are rock stars now” in the eyes of the general public, instead of being idolized by just the geeky underground.
I think that this evolution of the average movie consumer will dampen or maybe even remove some of the humor from the original Galaxy Quest formula if Scheer and Amazon do indeed follow the blueprint laid out in the original film. Because nerdy stuff is “cool” now, the self-aware, self-deprecating reflection of nerd culture by nerds and for nerds in the original won’t have the same impact.
Final Thoughts on the new Galaxy Quest series coming out on Amazon
I’m sure lots of people will tune in to Amazon to watch the new Galaxy Quest series, and I’m personally super excited about it. That being said, I hope that Scheer and his team can put a new slant on the original film’s concept to account for the new generation of TV and movie watchers that have been at least partially indoctrinated into the world of sci-fi and nerd humor, thanks to all the comic book movies, Star Wars and Star Trek sequels and remakes, and all else coming out lately.
Amazon has already proven with The Man in the High Castle that they can do right when adapting the work of Phillip K. Dick (something that is not always a given, and yes, I’m looking at you Paycheck and Next). So, I view it as good news that Deadline’s reporting Amazon is getting involved (along with Sony TV) is distributing Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, a new 10-episode sci-fi anthology series based on Dick’s work…
What are your thoughts? Do you think I’m just worrying over nothing? Or do you agree that the changes in the media market that have normalized science fiction will limit the effectiveness of the original films humor? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment, and we’ll update you with new news about the new Galaxy Quest series as it comes out!
Featured Image: courtesy of Dreamworks