Galaxy Quest was a 1999 sci-fi comedy movie that was heavily inspired by Star Trek and gently poked fun at that show. It’s premise was quite a fun one; what if all the actors from an old cult TV series suddenly found themselves in space, battling aliens and the like. The movie has enjoyed a cult following ever since its release. The Galaxy Quest Restoration Project is one such example; it’s a fan-made, not-for-profit audio drama that reimagines the fictional TV show.
In other words, The Galaxy Quest Restoration Project: Lillith is a labour of love. All the voice actors are also fans of the movie and everyone involved has given up some spare time to produce this short audio drama, which can be downloaded, free of charge, at www.galaxyquest.tv.
Lillith starts off with an interview with Gwenn Demarko, played by Sigourney Weaver in the movie and voiced by Jen Rhodes in this production. Demarko talks about her career and how she came to play the role of Lt. Tawny Madison in Galaxy Quest. It’s essentially a short skit, establishing the character of Demarko as a somewhat bitter and fairly sarcastic actress who still resents her fellow co-stars. The humour is quite simple (and mostly reliant on gags), but the performances are strong and it works well.
The main story is a short but sweet Galaxy Quest adventure. Because this is audio, the clunky movements of the actors is replaced by less than smooth exposition. This adds to the overall effect and gives the production a real ‘70s charm. Given that the cast are trying to imitate established actors who were themselves trying to play other actors playing specific cheesy sci-fi roles, the cast do very well indeed. Trying to impersonate Alan Rickman is a tall order, but impersonating Alan Rickman who was impersonating Leonard Nimoy as a spock-like alien? The cast handle it all very well indeed.
The plot is okay; it’s your typical ‘Alien menace of the week’ storyline which runs along pretty obvious lines. The plot has plenty shout-outs to 20th century sci-fi tropes and is quite fun. The dialogue does feel a little like it’s been lifted out of a game of Artemis Bridge Simulator at times, but then the technical jargon is supposed to be simplistic so this works in its favour.
Overall, The Galaxy Quest Restoration Project: Lillith is a very promising start to what could well be compulsive listening.