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Galaxy Quest TV series finds home at Amazon

Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

Amazon Studios is developing a series based on the 1999 cult classic Galaxy Quest, a loving and absurdist parody of Star Trek in which a washed up group of science fiction actors are kidnapped into an intergalactic conflict that believes they're real science fiction heroes.

Starring a phenomenally chosen cast that included Sigourney Weaver, Tim Allen, Alan Rickman, Sam Rockwell, Tony Shalhoub and Justin Long, Galaxy Quest followed the actors who'd portrayed characters in a classic (and eponymous) show about an inter-species crew exploring space... and had never really gone on to do much more, other than appear at cons and promotional events.

Galaxy quest

Things get hairy when a group of aliens kidnap the whole crew and reveal that they have no concept of fiction. They believe that the series Galaxy Quest was a documentary, and they need Captain Taggart and the crew to save their race from annihilation. It was a paper-thin concept if you thought about it for more than five minutes (if the show Galaxy Quest was fictional and the aliens based all their technology on it... why does it work?), but you didn't care: the film was just too funny and endearing.

Production on the TV series is still an an early stage, with no hard commitment to film a season or even — at this point — a pilot for Amazon's streaming platform, reports Entertainment Weekly. While there's no word on whether any of the film's cast will return for the show, there are plenty of returning creatives involved, like the film's co-writer Robert Gordon, director Dean Parisot and executive producers Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein.

What was fairly unique about Galaxy Quest was that it was a movie about the absurdity of a nerdy interest that never poked fun at nerds. Numerous Star Trek actors have said that Galaxy Quest's celebration of the fans of Star Trek was what endeared the film to them, but Patrick Stewart — who refused to see the movie on principle until colleague Jonathan Frakes told him that he must go see it in a crowded theater as soon as possible — says it best:

No one laughed louder or longer in the cinema than I did, but the idea that the ship was saved and all of our heroes in that movie were saved simply by the fact that there were fans who did understand the scientific principles on which the ship worked was absolutely wonderful. And it was both funny and also touching in that it paid tribute to the dedication of these fans.