If you are anything like me — and you are — you watched Galaxy Quest at least four times this weekend. You already know that it is commonly referred to as “the greatest Star Trek film of all time,” that Takei loved it despite initial misgivings, that Tony Shaloub’s stoner subplot was imperfectly cut to get a PG rating, and that David Mamet (!) thinks it’s one of the most structurally perfect movies ever made. You’ve read the oral history of Galaxy Quest enough times that it’s become perfectly clear just how much the rest of the cast hated Tim Allen:
Parisot: I was a little nervous about Tim, because I cast everybody except for him. But Tim was perfect, just perfect for this role.
Alan Rickman (Alexander Dane/Dr. Lazarus): Tim Allen used to kick the door open to the make-up trailer. We would be all lined up and he would say “Number one is here!”
Rockwell: If the chairs were taken, Tim would shout, “That’s fine, I’m first on the call sheet, but I’ll go take a walk and come back when you’re ready!”
Weaver: I think that is the only persona Tim has. There’s a lot of waiting around. Tim never stopped joking.
Shalhoub: A lot of fart jokes with Tim. Some weren’t jokes, some were actually farts.
Pyle: It was like working with 12 year old boys.
Parisot: You can’t get annoyed at Tim. Tim is like your little brother who comes in and just goofs around. Maybe it got annoying for Alan, but you could never tell whether that was Alan being in character or Alan actually responding to Tim.
And you know, of course, that for the last fifteen years, there’s been periodic talk of a Galaxy Quest TV show. It would be perfect. Why wouldn’t it be perfect? Star Trek went from television to film; Galaxy Quest should do the same in reverse.
Let us cast it.
Captain Jason Nesmith
Part of the gag of Galaxy Quest was that, like the Star Trek movies at the time, most of the cast was approaching over-the-hill status. So, like the Star Trek franchise, we’re going to have to reboot younger, because I want like, a solid thirteen seasons of this. And I want Jake Johnson. He can mug with the best of them, and he has that weird sometimes-handsome, sometimes-weird-looking quality that Shatner had in his glory days. He’s also much less irritating than Tim Allen, and that’s a necessary quality when you’re going to be spending an hour a week with a character for the next couple of years.
His character on New Girl once described himself as “fat, old-fashioned Coney Island strong,” and that’s exactly what an Expy of Captain Kirk out to be. Johnson’s in.
Fuck Tim Allen, for real, though.
Naya Rivera is perfect for Gwen DeMarco because her character is basically “Sexual Yelling” and we already know she can pull that off; plus it’s a great way to get out of playing a teenager for the next fifteen years. The fun part about DeMarco is that you’re practically playing two characters: one a carefully voice-modulated computer bimbo (think the girl who voiced the robot in the Steve Guttenberg episode of Party Down), the other an infuriated wreck on the verge of constant breakdown (“This episode was poorly written!”)
Richard Ayaode is British and I like him enormously. I did not put any more thought into this casting choice.
That’s a lie! His shaman character on The Mighty Boosh was always dripping disdain. That’s the entire character, right there. He’s got this on lock.
So, part of the Kwan gag is that it’s a non-East Asian guy playing an East Asian guy, a nod to the sometimes-outlandish racebending of the original series. Great!
I also think it’s enough of a change of pace from Abed on Community that it would be a legitimately good decision for his career. Kwan is supremely chilled out among a cast that is constantly throwing a shit fit. Bring back the stoner subplot that was originally cut — you can have stoners on TV now, right?
More importantly, Danny Pudi was born for sci-fi TV work. He should have been on TNG. This is the best substitute I can offer him.
BRING BACK SAM ROCKWELL. It’s perfect; he will be the Stacey Dash of the GQ franchise, showing up in whatever new manifestation the series takes. What was once the most expendable character becomes the most consistent.
Hear me out before you run away from a nearly-shirtless Corbin Bleu. Tommy Webber was probably the most thinly-written character in the movie; he was The Black Guy and he wasn’t very good at driving. But he was supposed to be a washed-up former child star trying to figure out who he really is, and who better to bring that kind of desperate, angry energy to the project than a former supporting member of the High School Musical cast?
Lake Bell could pull off that creepy voice in her sleep. She’s kind of a big deal now, so I think the most we could get her for is a semi-recurring character — which, on an episodic TV show, is all the Thermians would be, I think. But she would be so much fun every time she showed up.
It should be illegal for Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt not to work together. Without Barratt, Fielding is an irritating tryhard with a tendency to socialize with Russell Brand. They should be constantly showing up in American television as wonderful, weird, carefully-realized characters who appear for three to five minutes and linger in your mind forever.
Okay, I guess, someone make this happen now, is what happens next.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.