A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
One of my favorite moments in "Galaxy Quest" takes place as a Red Digital Readout is ticking off the second until a spaceship is blown to smithereens. The only person who can save it is a teenage science fiction fan far away on Earth--and he has just been ordered by his mother to take out the garbage. But then the ship is saved! How? I won't spoil the moment, except to say the ship is modeled in every possible respect on a ship that appears on a TV show, and that includes a digital readout that is also consistent with TV cliches.
"Galaxy Quest" begins at a convention for the fans of a cult TV program not a million light years removed from "Star Trek." Anyone who has seen "Trekkies," the documentary about "Star Trek" fans, will recognize this world at once--a world of fanatics who take the show very seriously indeed, packing hotel ballrooms to screen classic episodes of the show and get autographs from its aging cast members.
Backstage in a dressing room, Alexander Dane (Alan Rickman), who played an alien who was a doctor on the show, vows, "I won't say that stupid line one more time." Other cast members are enraged that the show's star is late as usual. He is Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen), who plays Cmdr. Peter Quincy Taggart and is not a million light years removed from William Shatner. The heroine is Gwen DeMarco (Sigourney Weaver), who plays Lt. Tawny Madison and complains that TV Guide only interviewed her about her boobs.
Something strange is about to happen. A race of aliens, which has intercepted broadcasts of the show in outer space and mistaken them for "historical documents," arrives on Earth and transports the entire crew into space, placing them on board a spaceship that has been carefully modeled on the sets of the show. Taggart, who is hung over and thinks he's at another fan event, is impressed by the ship: "Usually it's just something made out of cardboard in someone's garage."