When it comes to seeing Trek come back to TV, the right attitude is “Never give up, never surrender.” But perhaps not in the way you’d expect. At least that’s the takeaway from the rumor that Paramount Television is trying to sell a TV spin-off of Galaxy Quest.
Involved in the negotiations are original writer Robert Gordon and director Dean Parisot. Renewed interest in the property may have been born from last year’s MTV retrospective, when everyone involved said they’d like to do a sequel. Star Tim Allen said, “There’s a sequel somewhere. It’s written, but I haven’t really gotten a straight answer about it, but Hollywood is a very peculiar place. It is none of my business.”
Released in 1999, Galaxy Quest was well-timed for spoofing the Star Trek franchise – which had dominated the 1990s with three TV shows and four movies – but ahead of its time for predicting how nerd culture would take over the world. JJ Abrams said one of the biggest challenges of doing Star Trek (2009) was making a film for audiences who’d already seen Quest, “that completely mocks the [Star Trek] paradigm in its entirety.”
Whoever wrote this episode should die!
While Galaxy Quest does a wonderful job spoofing sci-fi clichés, it illustrates how the most important part about Trek isn’t anything that’s happened on screen: it’s the fan experience.
And fans might love it more than they did in 1999. At the 2013 Las Vegas Creation Convention, fans made headlines by voting “Into Darkness” as the worst Trek film ever – but the more remarkable anecdote from that poll was that Galaxy Quest was rated #7 – better than half of the actual Trek films. According to one report, Denise and Mike Okuda lobbied for it to be ranked better than all the actual films.
Again this is very early – it does seem odd that Galaxy Quest could come back to TV yet there’s no word on a new Trek series, but that might be the answer to the ultimate dilemma: how do you capitalize on the dedicated Trek fan base without alienating them? Answer: make a Trek series that isn’t really Trek.
It seems highly unlikely that a mere TV show could bring back Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shaloub, Jason Long, and Sam Rockwell – so would they recast the actors? It also remains to be seen if any Galaxy Quest show would take place in the same “real world” as the film or if it would be “in universe” and follow the adventures of the crew of the NSEA Protector as they swear vengeance by Grabthar’s Hammer, construct rudimentary lathes, and sleep with every Terrakian slave girl and Moon Princess they can find.