Galaxy Quest TV show

What’s going on with that Galaxy Quest TV show? According to writer Paul Scheer, the television spin-off of the 1999 sci-fi comedy is currently in a “hold pattern” due to some behind-the-scenes shake-ups. But when the series does arrive, it’s going to be “what The Force Awakens is to Star Wars.”

Back in 2015, word broke that a Galaxy Quest TV show was in the works. In 2017, Human Giant co-creator and The League co-star and writer Paul Scheer was announced as a writer on the series. Now, Scheer has provided an update. Appearing on The Wrap‘s Shoot This Now podcast, Scheer says Galaxy Quest is currently in a “hold pattern” on the account of the firing of Paramount TV president Amy Powell:

“We currently are in a little bit of a hold pattern because our executive at Paramount, Amy Powell, was fired for some insensitive comments.”

This doesn’t mean the show is dead, just that things have slowed down for the time. When Galaxy Quest does happen, though, Scheer thinks it’s going to be the equivalent of what The Force Awakens was to Star Wars, particularly in the way it introducers new characters:

“We want to create this kind of thing that feels like this epic sequel, but a continuation. I compared it to what ‘The Force Awakens’ is to ‘Star Wars.’ It is continuing a story but bringing in new characters.”

It’s interesting that Scheer is comparing the show to a Star Wars film rather than the J.J. Abrams Star Trek reboot. But Trek was attempting to tell a new story with familiar characters, while it seems the Galaxy Quest show, like Force Awakens, will attempt to tell a familiar story with new characters. Scheer goes on to say that it’s important to him that the Galaxy Quest show brings something new to the table, rather than just re-hashing the same ideas from the movie. “We need to kind of change it up,” he says, adding:

“My pitch for ‘Galaxy Quest’ was, ‘How can we kind of blow this out and pay off things for the fans that love ‘Galaxy Quest,’ but more importantly — and the thing that I really wanted to do is — appeal to the ‘me’ of now. Who’s the 18-year-old version of me that loved ‘Galaxy Quest’ now? What would they want to see? Because I think that that is a movie that we haven’t really made yet: the ‘Tropic Thunder’ in the world of modern-day science fiction,” Scheer added. “When ‘Galaxy Quest’ came out, it was a niche thing, ‘Star Trek’ fandom is a niche thing. Now it is selling out Hall H in Comic-Con, so that’s kind of the impetus for the continuation.”

The 1999 film starred Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, and Daryl Mitchel as the cast of a Star Trek-like TV series who, years after the cancellation of the show, find themselves on a real spaceship in the midst of a real intergalactic adventure. Back in 2017, Scheer provided some details on how the show might play out:

“The thing I keep on saying about it, without giving too much away – because it’s going to be so long before people get to see it, I don’t want people to get too burnt out on me telling you what it’s about before it gets to that point – but for me, it was really important to do service to a Galaxy Quest story that gives you everything that you want and indoctrinates people who have never seen Galaxy Quest into what the fun of that world is. That Tropic Thunder, Galaxy Quest world. And also to continue the story of our original characters and have consequences from the first film.”

The writer went on to add:

“So it is mixing two casts. It’s separate kind of adventures that kind of merge, and I’m looking at this first season not as episodic, but as a serialized story. So, the only way I’ve been looking at it is, using everything from the first movie and making the reasons for everything not just – I want to avoid anything that could be viewed as a reboot for reboot’s sake.”

All of this sounds very promising, and I have total faith in Scheer. That said, I can’t help but wonder if Galaxy Quest will work as a TV show. The film felt fairly self-contained, and concluded things rather succinctly. I’m more than willing to see how the show turns out, though – whenever it sees the light of day. When that happens, the Galaxy Quest TV series will be streaming on Amazon.

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