Amazon’s planned Galaxy Quest TV series hit a tragic setback in April 2016, after the death of actor Alan Rickman. He had played Alexander Dane/Dr. Lazarus in the cult hit 1999 sci-fi comedy, alongside Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shalhoub, and Sam Rockwell. His character was essentially the “Spock” figure in the film’s Star Trek-esque show-within-the-show, a classically trained actor embittered about having become typecast by his role as a lumpy-headed alien. While details about Amazon’s take on Galaxy Quest were sparse at the time, it was clear that the loss of Rickman would have a huge impact on whatever the show would eventually be, so there was no surprise when Amazon announced the project was on indefinite hold. Now, over a year later, Galaxy Quest is starting to find its way forward, courtesy of a new writer.
The Hollywood Reporter brings word that Galaxy Quest is powering back up with writer/comedian Paul Scheer at the helm. Scheer is best known for his role as Andre in FX’s The League, but he also created Adult Swim’s NTSF:SD:SUV and was a member of the cult MTV comedy troupe Human Giant alongside Aziz Ansari and Rob Huebel. He’ll take over writing duties from Robert Gordon, who wrote the original Galaxy Quest film. Gordon is still on board as an executive producer.
Although the project is described as “a new take on the cult movie,” there’s no word yet whether this incarnation will end up featuring Allen, Weaver, Rockwell, or anyone else from the film cast. Even if they recast or take a “Galaxy Quest: The Next Generation” approach, it seems likely that we’d get cameos from some or all of them as the series goes forward. At the time of Rickman’s death, Allen’s schedule had also become an issue, as he was then starring in ABC’s Last Man Standing. That series was canceled last March, so Allen would theoretically be available for Galaxy Quest, barring other commitments.
Either way, this is a perfect time for Amazon to get Galaxy Quest back on track. The film was a fond riff on both Star Trek and Trek fandom, and both are very much back in the limelight thanks to CBS All Access‘ upcoming Star Trek: Discovery, which premieres next month. Fox also has Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville premiering in September, and that show looks to be borrowing a lot from Galaxy Quest in terms of style, look, and sense of humor.
Here’s hoping Paul Scheer proves to be just the captain Galaxy Quest needed to chart the course for a long, successful run.