Galaxy Quest

December 25th, 1999


Galaxy Quest

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Still of Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tim Allen, Tony Shalhoub and Sam Rockwell in Galaxy QuestStill of Tim Allen and Enrico Colantoni in Galaxy QuestStill of Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tim Allen, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell and Daryl Mitchell in Galaxy QuestGalaxy QuestStill of Enrico Colantoni and Missi Pyle in Galaxy QuestStill of Tim Allen in Galaxy Quest

The alumni cast of a cult space TV show have to play their roles as the real thing when an alien race needs their help.

Release Year: 1999

Rating: 7.2/10 (66,410 voted)

Critic's Score: 70/100

Director: Dean Parisot

Stars: Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman

The sci-fi television series Galaxy Quest, which took place aboard the intergalactic spaceship NSEA Protector, starred Jason Nesmith as suave Commander Peter Quincy Taggert, Gwen DeMarco as sexy communications person Lt. Tawny Madison (a role which consisted solely of repeating what the computer stated, much to Gwen's annoyance), Shakespearean trained Sir Alexander Dane as alien Dr. Lazarus, Fred Kwan as engineer Tech Sgt. Chen, and Tommy Webber as child gunner Laredo. Seventeen years after the show last aired, it lives on in the hearts of its rabid fans. However it lives on in infamy for its stars, who have not been able to find meaningful acting work since. Their current lives revolve around cashing in on however those roles will afford, which usually entails attending fan conventions or worse, such as shopping mall openings. Only Jason seems to relish his lot in life, until he finds out that his co-stars detest him because of his superior attitude as "the Commander"...

Writers: David Howard, David Howard

Tim Allen - Jason Nesmith
Sigourney Weaver - Gwen DeMarco
Alan Rickman - Alexander Dane
Tony Shalhoub - Fred Kwan
Sam Rockwell - Guy Fleegman
Daryl Mitchell - Tommy Webber
Enrico Colantoni - Mathesar
Robin Sachs - Sarris
Patrick Breen - Quellek
Missi Pyle - Laliari
Jed Rees - Teb
Justin Long - Brandon
Jeremy Howard - Kyle
Kaitlin Cullum - Katelyn
Jonathan Feyer - Hollister

Taglines: The show has been cancelled... But the adventure is just beginning.

Release Date: 25 December 1999

Filming Locations: Culver Studios - 9336 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $7,012,630 (USA) (26 December 1999) (2412 Screens)

Gross: $71,423,726 (USA) (30 April 2000)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

In theaters, the film was presented at 1.85:1 for the first 20 minutes. When Tim Allen first realizes he's on a real spaceship and the vista of Thermia is revealed, the screen image widened to 2.35:1 as the parting walls of the spaceship revealed the vista.

Continuity: Sarris and Jason have their ships going head to head. Jason calls for Mark 4 speed and the exterior shot of the ship shows nothing behind it. When Jason reveals to Sarris that he's "dragging mines" the exterior shot now shows mines right on the ship's tail.

[first lines]
Laredo: Exiting the time knot now, sir.
Tech Sgt. Chen: We're alive.
Laredo: We made it, Commander. We made it.
Dr. Lazarus: By Grabthar's hammer, we live to tell the tale.
Voice of Computer: Systems registering functional.
Lt. Tawny Madison: All systems are working, Commander.
Commander Peter Quincy Taggart: I don't like it. It was too easy.
Laredo: Wait. Oh, no! They're everywhere. There are time knots opening everywhere.
Lt. Tawny Madison: A trap!

User Review

Funny, thoughtful spoof

Rating: 9/10

I still don't quite understand why "GQ" never conquered the box office. The movie is clever, hysterically funny, surprisingly moving and, as one reviewer pointed out, more respectful of (and better at communicating) the ideals of "Star Trek" than any of the recent "Trek" movies or television incarnations. The script is inventive, the special effects are vivid and powerful (especially when the actors see the real ship for the first time, and when the rock monster rampages through the ship), and the characters are incredibly well drawn.

I'm also puzzled by the negative reactions some people have to the film. Does the film fail to register because the "Trek" social phenomenon is unfamiliar to them, thus there's no frame of reference? I'd really like to know.

Comedy is possibly the hardest genre to get right, because line delivery, timing, direction and character shading all have to be pretty much perfect or the movie just won't be funny. GQ nails these elements -- right on the head and in virtually every scene -- and keeps up the pace by constantly moving its characters forward. Tony Shalhoub (Fred), Sam Rockwell (Guy Fleegman) and Enrico Colantoni (Mathesar) in particular are so dead-on perfect in their scenes that lack of box office and the Academy's traditional indifference to comedy are probably the only reasons these guys didn't get Oscar nods. (Okay, well, 1999 was also an incredibly strong year for American cinema.)

But GQ is also strangely moving -- particularly in the way it derives comedy from despair. The actor characters' lives are in ruins, not unlike the aliens they eventually save from extinction. Perhaps this is why -- even though the characters don't know it yet -- the two groups get along so well and why the actors make the decision to actually become their TV characters in the end. This may also be why the dismay in Mathesar's face when he learns the truth is so painful.

I suspect GQ also got lumped in with the likes of "Scary Movie" and "The Naked Gun" movies in the public's collective conscious: It was perceived as just another spoof and therefore not worthy of significant attention. I hope the movie develops enough of a cult following that it one day reaches that wider audience it deserves.


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