SF elements: SF TV show actors meet aliens for real
In the early 1980s Galaxy Quest was a hit SF TV show. Twenty years on, its actors make their living on the media convention tour, squabbling, bitching, disillusioned, but trying not to alienate their bread and butter: the dedicated fan base. Then some real aliens arrive, asking for the crew to save them from some really nasty baddies. These aliens don’t have the concept of fiction, and have based their entire civilisation on Galaxy Quest episodes – right down to a (working) copy of the NSEA Protector.
Oh, this is wonderful! A glorious spoof of Star Trek and its ilk, it has oodles of lovely details, has a real plot of its own, and is very funny, but without being cruel to the fans. The characters grow from disillusioned has-beens, to enjoying playing at fighting the alien baddies, to realising this is for real and they are totally out of their depth, while all the time being bombarded with hysterical SF clichés that are somehow worked into the plot – the ducts, the technobabble, the countdown, the red-shirt, the cute kid, ... – and the characters themselves are aware of those clichés. Clever, funny, and fun.
-- Andrew Plotkin, rec.arts.sf.written, July 2000
reviewed 29 April 2000
-- Kevin Wald, rec.music.filk, April 2000