Finally sci-fi is a hot TV topic. For what felt like far too long it was zombies, everywhere – which is fine if you’re a fan of the living dead. But, if you’re a fellow fan of sci-fi, well, we’ve had to wait for an age fir everything to fulfil it’s generational cycle and suddenly become fashionable again. It’s like fjords really.
Networks everywhere are scrambling to dig out what sci-fi scripts they’ve had gathering dust for the last 10 years. Or at least they should be. Star Trek: Discovery is proving popular…just about. (Hey do you remember when we had two Trek series on TV at the same time? Ha! Those were great days, brothers and sisters, great days.) Plus of course The Orville has been the surprise hit of the season and setting the sub-genre of sci-fi comedy on fire.
So it comes as a welcome relief that in an interview with /Film, writer Paul Scheer gave an update on the Galaxy Quest TV series, which has been on and off and then on again for years, with the latest iteration being promised by Amazon together with Paramount.
“Right now, I just handed in my first script to Amazon, so I’m in that zone. I’m excited about it. It’s a bigger idea that’s kind of morphed and changed a little bit. Not much. The thing I keep on saying about it, without giving too much away – because it’s going to be so long before people get to see it, I don’t want people to get too burnt out on me telling you what it’s about before it gets to that point – but for me, it was really important to do service to a Galaxy Quest story that gives you everything that you want and indoctrinates people who have never seen Galaxy Quest into what the fun of that world is. That Tropic Thunder, Galaxy Quest world. And also to continue the story of our original characters and have consequences from the first film.
“So it is mixing two casts. It’s separate kind of adventures that kind of merge, and I’m looking at this first season not as episodic, but as a serialized story. So, the only way I’ve been looking at it is, using everything from the first movie and making the reasons for everything not just – I want to avoid anything that could be viewed as a reboot for reboot’s sake. There are real reasons behind these choices – maybe too much so.
“And then the other jumping off point was, I love that in 1999, as a fan of Star Trek and going to these conventions since I was a kid: sci-fi, fantasy, those worlds have changed so drastically. I really wanted to capture the difference between the original cast of Star Trek and the J.J. Abrams cast of Star Trek. I think that, to me, is my entry point. Sci-fi heroes are rock stars now. If you look at Thor, in 1999 if that movie came out, it would not be received the way it is. People would not want to see a cosmic, galactic thing on that level. But now we’re accepting it. I think just by virtue of that switch in our environment, it’ll make the story feel a little bit more fresh.”
This sounds like it’s not a hard reboot and opens up the possibility of Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver and other actors (Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell?) from the movie returning to the franchise, sadly of course without the amazing Alan Rickman.
Scheer has also said there will be new characters, who will eventually meet up with the original cast, indicating that perhaps Galaxy Quest (the fictional show) has become a franchise in the years following the events of the film, either by getting a definitive reboot or something more similar to Star Trek: Discovery’s relationship to the world of Trek.
Lest we forget, in the 18 years since the movie, fandom has frankly exploded; it’s a world away from what it was 18 years ago. San Diego Comic-Con for example, in 1999 had an attendance of 42,000. These days, it’s more than 130,000 and that’s just the tickets. Tens of thousands more make a pilgrimage to participate in the events that take place all of the city. Added to which, there are now similarly themed conventions in cities all over the world, from Atlanta to Abu Dhabi. Marvel and DC films dominate the box office and Star Wars and Star Trek are now appearing on both the big and small screens. It could present a very interesting look into the change in fandom, the now “rock star” status of the actors and the enormous money-making machine it has become.
• San Diego Comic Con round up
• Star Trek: Discovery producer offers answer to continuity issues
• Star Trek: Discovery Voq/Tyler connection all but confirmed
• All the reviews of The Orville
• Every Star Trek: Discovery episode reviewed