Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

It is a well-known and popular fact that things are not always what they seem.

True. Despite the presence of a great many performing dolphins, together with the implied suggestion that this was an understanding film adaptation of Douglas Adams’ great radio series The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, I knew that what I was actually watching was in fact nothing more interesting than the back of someone else’s chair.

Flicking through Singapore Airlines’ in-flight magazine, it became obvious that someone somewhere had anticipated my sitting here today, and had become determined not to show my kind of movie on this flight. No Marx Brothers, no King Of The Rocket Men, no Nurses Reunion - just who picks these shows out anyway? I mean come on Singapore Airlines, instead of just rerunning old stuff, you should be funding new programmes.

After 20 years in hiding, Wolfie grits his teeth and returns to Tooting. But Ronnie Lynch has a long memory…

But, no, instead we get a rerun of Frasier...

Then, beneath the blurb on Hitchhiker, I suddenly found myself affected by a rare piece of effective cross-placement advertising.

It said something like “Hey – if you like rubbish apathetically-scripted comedy science-fiction movies, then you should watch Dream Ship Surprise – Period 1 over on Channel 33⅓!”
Waaiitaaaminnnuttte… was this that German Star Trek parody that I saw so derided in Starburst (or some such sf mag) a while back? The one the reviewer had said only had one joke, which was (chortle) that in it Kirk and Spock (snigger snigger) were gay?

Oh, dear. It was a long flight. I didn't really have much choice.

And, it must be said, if you can forgive this crippling central premise, and ignore all the smut, and commit yourself to this film in that way which it is only possible to do on a 26-hour flight, then, allowing for the subtitles, the story is in fact still quite poor.

The opening flash-forward is never repeated when we catch up, the gay love-story is so ill-conceived (I can't believe I just typed that) that a second heterosexual one has to be included too, and as is common in Hollywood science-fiction - no-one realises that a time-machine can be used twice.

On the plus side, as comedy it’s very well directed, the cast were clearly enjoying themselves, and some of the musical numbers are quite catchy, notably Space Taxi To The Sky.

In short, it all looks like it’s a lot more fun than it actually is.

A bit like the Hitchhiker movie.

(available here)
Join us next time, when guest-host Krusty The Klown drops in to tell why he hates Star Trek so much, and reveals the real reason why NASA’s space-exploration program has stalled even worse than his own kareer.


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