In 2151, the mission of Her Majesty's Ship Camden Lock is to convince alien governments to relocate their businesses to Britain. The motley crew is a bunch of good-for-nothings led by the ...
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In 2151, the mission of Her Majesty's Ship Camden Lock is to convince alien governments to relocate their businesses to Britain. The motley crew is a bunch of good-for-nothings led by the equally useless but well-meaning Commander Henderson.Written by
Dror Birkman <email@example.com>
In space, no one can see that you're ugly. Thank god the aliens are uglier.
On first pass, this sci-fi comedy immediately invites comparisons with Red Dwarf, Star Trek, and even The Office. However, Hyperdrive is really just the everyday working class gone forth, not so much boldly, but just... there.
The commander of the Camden Lock, Henderson, played warmly by Nick Frost, dreams of doing something great for Britain as he commands his ineffectual crew, ineffectually. His intentions overreach his ability, but he's no smarmy David Brent. This is a bloke who shoulders his responsibility, but could easily end up down the pub with the rest of the crew on a Friday afternoon.
This is a good role for Frost, who has previously played second-fiddle to Simon Pegg in such fan-boy classics as Spaced and Shaun of the Dead. Frost proves he is capable of gentle comedic moments, inhabiting his role with subtlety. This may be lost on some of the more rabid sci-fi crowd, who may be irked to find that this is a very different beast than say, the abrasiveness of the Rimmer/Lister relationship from Red Dwarf. It may be a stretch to say that the crew-mates of the Camden Lock enjoy each other's company but they don't actively hate each other.
The rest of the crew is rounded out nicely by Teal, the Alien Liaison officer, who has a crush on Henderson. First Officer York is gleefully homicidal, and Jeffers is note-perfect as the ship's Tech Officer, who displays just the right amount of contempt and long-suffering for his fellow humans. Sandstrom, the ship's "enhanced human" and Pilot (an obvious stab at such pilot roles found in shows like Andromeda or Farscape) provides a little mystery, and curiously, a strange eroticism. Her vacant smile is stunning.
Overall, Hyperdrive is a rewarding comedy, if you're willing to let go of hyper-critical thinking and allow yourself to enter into a far-flung universe that seems more close to home than you may think. Despite some rather average (and rare) script moments, there's enough of a foundation here to build a show that could yet become as revered and loved as a certain crimson miniature.
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