The alumni cast of a space opera television series have to play their roles as the real thing when an alien race needs their help. However, they also have to defend both Earth and the alien race from a reptilian warlord.
The sci-fi television series "Galaxy Quest", which took place aboard the intergalactic spaceship NSEA Protector, starred Jason Nesmith as suave Commander Peter Quincy Taggart, Gwen DeMarco as sexy communications person Lt. Tawny Madison (a role which consisted solely of repeating what the computer stated, much to Gwen's chagrin), Shakespearean trained Sir Alexander Dane as alien Dr. Lazarus, Fred Kwan as engineer Tech Sergeant Chen, and Tommy Webber as child pilot Laredo. Eighteen years after the series last aired, it lives on in the hearts of its rabid fans. However, it lives on in infamy for its stars, who have not been able to find meaningful acting work since. Their current lives revolve around cashing in on however those roles will afford, which usually entails attending fan conventions or worse, such as electronic store openings. Only Jason seems to relish his lot in life, until he finds out that his co-stars detest him because of his superior attitude as "the Commander", and ...Written by
Harold Ramis wanted to cast Alec Baldwin in the lead role, which he turned down. Steve Martin and Kevin Kline were considered, though Kline turned it down for family reasons. When Tim Allen was cast, Ramis left the project. After seeing the film, Ramis said he was ultimately impressed with Allen's performance. See more »
When the crew approach the surface of the planet in order to land, a crescent moon is visible in the sky. However the crescent shows that the light is coming from ahead and to the left, whilst the shadows on the planet are from a sun which is over to the right. See more »
A long time ago, I read a very entertaining & humorous short story in a book collection of Star Trek stories by fan authors, a whimsical piece about how several of the real Trek actors, such as Shatner & Nimoy, get zapped into the Trek universe, as if it was real, and are forced to enact their TV roles in a real setting. This movie captures that whimsy and is very entertaining, as a result. It begins rather mundanely - on purpose - during a standard science fiction convention, in which several actors, whose careers nosedived after starring in a canceled sci-fi TV show, are relegated to these cheesy appearances, signing autographs and hiding their disgust at what they've been reduced to. Well, except Tim Allen, who starts off very cheery until he has some ice water thrown in his face, a surprisingly effective moment. All the actors playing the actors fill out their roles very well. Tim Allen used to be the Capt.Kirk-type commander on the TV show; Weaver played his communications officer, like Uhura, and always repeated computer statements; Rickman was the alien doctor; Shalhoub was the Scotty-like tech man below decks; Mitchell was the pilot, like Sulu. Rockwell ends up along for the ride, even though he only appeared in one episode, as an expendable crewman.
When everything shifts, about 20 minutes in, it's not very subtle. All of a sudden, these has-been actors are thrust into a very real galactic adventure. It's kind of a jaw-dropping scene, meant to inspire awe, and, at the same time, the humor is quite clever and thought out. The actors' reactions when they're first transported over several light years are priceless. And, even in already good moments like these, the filmmakers throw in an extra little slice of comedy, as one of the actors does not react as expected. Rickman stands out a bit as the huffy British actor, showing exasperation in almost every scene he's in, but it's never tiresome. Weaver & Allen exceed expectations, however; we're not used to seeing them in roles such as this. Allen is known for comedy, but here he's expected to draw out a character with a long history as a pretentious, sometimes failed actor, and he succeeds nicely. Rockwell nails the role of the nervous 3rd-stringer, a throwaway part usually, which he somehow manages to use to steal a scene or two. And Shalhoub, who we're used to being interesting by now, is very much so as the somewhat oddly serene member of the group. But the biggest surprises are Mitchell & Colantoni, whom I was unfamiliar with; Mitchell is terrifically funny attempting to navigate the real starship, while Colantoni offers the most unique interpretation of how a real alien would act & speak.
There was obvious tinkering just before release of this movie to avoid a harsher rating or reduce the length, but these changes could not remove the charm of this sci-fi parody. And, simply labeling it parody may not do it justice. I think only those Trekkers who regard Star Trek as their personal religion may be offended by it; otherwise, any Trek fan should applaud this as mostly a tribute to such entertaining TV shows, recognizing all the little reminders of what made them such great shows. The theme of tolerance, for example, is represented by the strangely different but similar-to-us aliens who the audience cannot help but grow very fond of by the end of the story. On top of that, the so-called sci-fi geek fans, usually the object of scorn, are made the heroes by the end of the film. Everyone has their value in such a universe.
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