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Galaxy Quest Poster

Your April 2008 UMC Results Are In!

Tagline: "The show has been cancelled...but the adventure is just beginning."

Pizza: Nope!

Preshow Entertainment: POLICE SQUAD (IN COLOR!)



A few years back, we watched three episodes of POLICE SQUAD. It was time to watch the other three. Click here for a POLICE SQUAD write-up.


Sir Alexander Dane (Alan Rickman) as resident Vulcanic engineer Dr. Lazarus
Everyone's known him. Some guy, maybe at work, who's quiet and not really all that funny. So when he suddenly blurts out a humorous comment, it kills. And that's why the usually sober, stoic, classy and regal Alan Rickman is the bright star in this GALAXY QUEST. Not that comedian Tim Allen isn't funny, he is (this is a great role for him), and so are all the members of the Galaxy Quest crew. But Rickman commits to his character, the bitter actor Sir Alexander Dane, as if he were playing a princely Dane on Broadway.

Gwen DeMarco (Sigourney Weaver) as Tawny Madison
It's years after the crew of TV space show GALAXY QUEST fought its last battle, and its cast is boldly going to conventions to sell autographs at $15 a pop. The loyal and wacky crowd of "Questrians" (if you think they're an exaggeration, rent TREKKIES) is crazy for the cast - Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen) as Commander Taggart, Sir Alexander Dane as resident Vulcanic engineer Dr. Lazarus, and Gwen DeMarco (Sigourney Weaver) as Tawny Madison, relegated to repeating what the computer says and wearing low-cut space apparel. While they're all doing it because that's where the black hole of their careers brought them, Jason is cockier. He was the star of the show, and like on the series, sees the others as his supporting crew.

Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen) as Commander Taggart
He wakes up the next morning to what he thinks are more fans dressed as aliens, and thus begins his and our adventure. For these are not mere mortal geeks, they really are aliens. The GQ crew is transported to a ship where the friendly Thermians ask them to save their race from the evil Sarris (hmm, isn't there a film critic with that name?). Incapable of understanding lies, the Thermians had watched all the GQ shows thinking they were historical documents. It's a good thing they didn't catch Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear.

Thermians Lailani (Missi Pyle) and Mathesar (Enrico Colantoni)
So our washed-up actors are conscripted, and they soon find themselves saving the galaxy. Trouble is, they don't know what they're doing. Luckily (or not), the Thermians built the ship to spec - of the TV show ship. So when Laredo (Daryl Mitchell) has to undock from the space station (in a scene out of the first TREK movie), he pulls it out like a teen learning to drive, side-swiping the sides of the garage.

Tushy-bearing gremlin
For a high concept comedy, it has a fair amount of things going on. The crew has to figure out not only how to work things, but also how to get out of jams, sometimes incorporating techniques used in the old episodes. This is especially a problem for Guy (a very funny Sam Rockwell), a day player who was killed in episode 81. He jitters through the movie, fearing he's the expendable one. So off they go, fending off cute little tushy-bearing gremlins and a cool giant rock man while on their mission to kicking some serious Sarris ass.

Bad dude, Sarris
And all the time, the dialogue, often dry, nonchalant and petty considering the circumstances, is also sharp, droll, and sometimes even laugh-out-loud funny. Me? I loved when Tommy was negotiating the ship through a mine field cloud, with Dane telling him, "Can you possibly try not to hit every single one?" And Tony Shaloub as the very un-Asian tech Sgt. Chen, calmly reporting "That was a hell of a thing" after being transported from earth to the Thermian's star port. There's also very good throwaway lines, like "We have enjoyed preparing many of your esoteric dishes. Your Monte Cristo sandwich is a current favorite among the adventurous."

Galaxy Quest cast
Naturally, there's an overabundance of TREK allusions, some winky, others obvious, like the TV show's pompous star, and the co-star who wishes he can break away from his hybrid-alien-with-a-catch-phrase typecast, who may have well written a book called "I Am Not Dr. Lazarus." And Chen's take on TREK's Scotty's "I can't give you any more power, Captain!" becomes a low-key "Hey guys, I just wanted you to know that, the reactors won't take it; the ship is breaking apart and all that. Just FYI." But the in-jokes don't end there. There's something about Sigourney Weaver complaining about crawling through space ship ducts that seems awfully familiar.

GALAXY QUEST is not a balls-out parody like AIRPLANE!, it's more like a roast. There's a love for the STAR TREK universe here that helps everyone, Trekkie or not, beam aboard.

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