Hyperdrive Pilot

In this week’s SFX, in an article about Hyperdrive, they casually mention the following:

“A pilot was made starring Iranian comedian Omid Djalili as Henderson, the captain of the Camden Lock, and Mark Gatiss as the psychpathic First Officer York. Come series time, their parts had been nabbed by Nick Frost (his first lead) and Kevin Eldon.”

Iiiiiiiinteresting. Presumably it’ll show up on the inevitable DVD.The article also mentions that Cecil and Riley had specifically heard the BBC was looking for a replacement for Red Dwarf and to “ride on Doctor Who‘s coattails”. Not that I think this would have any impact on any potential Series IX – I’m sure if Doug ever wanted to do it, the BBC wouldn’t turn down a guaranteed 8 million viewers – but I just find it interesting that the BBC’s motivations really were that obvious!

There’s a repeat of the first episode tonight on BBC TWO at 10:00pm. I’m going to give it another try – and hopefully get round to writing a review. Although if I get bored halfway through again, I may not bother.

49 Responses to Hyperdrive Pilot

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  1. Oh yes – SFX review here:

    http://www.sfx.co.uk/tv_reviews/hyperdrive_a_gift_from_the_glish

    “If Hyperspace cuts back on the “zaniness” and aims for the more Dark Star/The Office-in-space-vibe it displays at certain moments then it may develop into a show worth watching.”

    Gah. If anything, if they show’s going to have a chance of being any good, they need to *up* the silliness!

    Still, at least SFX managed to use a tedious Office comparison like EVERY SINGLE REVIEWER DOES WHEN REVIEWING ANYTHING EVER these days.

  2. Now, Nick Frost with Mark Gatiss? I don’t see how that could fail.

  3. >Now, Nick Frost with Mark Gatiss? I don’t see how that could fail.

    Damn right. I haven’t seen the show yet…and probably won’t until it gets a DVD release…but come on. Gatiss is a brilliant comic actor. It would seem a mistake to boot him out of anything.

  4. Omid Djalili?!?!

    Now THAT’S what I’ve been talking about, needing a bigger ‘character’ to flesh out the part. (Just as Craig did with Lister.) Between Omid, Gatiss and a studio audience…well, this could have been hilarious.

  5. I would like to see a review, John. Do it for the children.

  6. I was planning to do one. As much as anything else, I want to give it the most fair chance possible.

    BUT I FELL ASLEEP AND MISSED THE PISSING REPEAT.

    If I can get my hands on a copy next week, I’ll write one.

  7. I’m betting that both Mark Gatiss and Omid Djalili pulled out of it themselves when they realised how shit it was going to be. They are both way too good for the show (but so are Frost and Eldon). I’m pretty surprised that Gatiss even got involved with this.

    I’m betting that the pilot had a different tone to what we ended up with. But I’m actually glad they didn’t go the conventional sitcom route because it then really would have been treading on Dwarf’s toes.

    > Series IX – I’m sure if Doug ever wanted to do it, the BBC wouldn’t turn down a guaranteed 8 million viewers

    It’s pretty bold to say it would get 8 million. Yes, BITR pt.1 got it – and doesn’t it just pain you that the Dwarf ep with the biggest ratings is one of the shittest – and the DVDs have done well, but I can’t see it happening, unless the BBC trailed it like crazy, and it wasn’t put on against something popular. When was the last time a non-BBC1 comedy got that large an audience?

  8. Perhaps the multi-channel environment means that 8 million is a tad optomistic. But you have to remember that Red Dwarf has the biggest audience for a BBC TWO sitcom *ever*, so comparisons with other shows aren’t that relevant.

    I’d say perhaps 7 million.

  9. BITR pt 1 is a great opening installment.

  10. Yeah, I have no complaints with BITR 1 at all. I remember being pleased as FUCK when we finally got it on VHS here in the states…it was no let down…there were a lot of laughs and Chris was right back on form.

    Every time I’ve watched it since I still have a little of that leftover excitement.

  11. I’m not saying that BITR pt.1 is a piece of shit (it’s one of the better VIII eps), just that I would rather it was something like Gunmen or anything from the previous series that was at the top of the ratings.

    Whatever, surely the BBC wouldn’t refuse another Dwarf series, or at least a one off special.

  12. Ah. Crossed wires, there.

  13. > I’m not saying that BITR pt.1 is a piece of shit

    Ahem:

    > one of the shittest

    :-)

  14. There is a distinct difference between ‘piece of shit’ and ‘one of the shittest’. No Dwarf episode is a ‘piece of shit’. Perhaps I should have said ‘one of the worst’ episodes. And remember, when I’m saying this I’m talking about all 52 episodes. BITR pt.1 is one of the less-good episodes of the 52. But so is BITR pt.2, pt.3, Krytie TV, Pete, Only The Good… Let me put it this way…….VIII sucks, HOWEVER it doesn’t suck as hard as some other comedy shows. And it features Rimmer and Lister talking to each other in scenes, which is a bonus. Sadly it also features the Dibbbbbleys, the Blue Midget dance and a horrible CG dinosaur. Not to mention some stupid cop-outs and screwing up of Dwarf’s previous use of excellent sci-fi (well, this really began in Tikka).

    Oh just…get lost, the lot of you! I don’t mean *American movie voice* ‘get Lost, on DVD NOW!!’, I mean…just get lost.

  15. It’s all about context.

  16. It’s all about context.

  17. It’s all about context.

  18. Oh arse…

    See you in ten minutes.

  19. Back to Hyperdrive. It seems to be a bit better this week.

  20. I finally laughed at the show! When he reached for her breast. Immature perhaps but funny. Nick Frost is miscast, I reckon. He’s almost like Ricky Gervais in space. But Kevin Eldon is better.

  21. But the plot kinda failed. The aliens and the imprisonment seemed a tad predictable. And there really wasn’t anything in the way of plot on the planet. Nothing was accomplished, there wasn’t really any crisis. Was I the only one left saying ‘Red Dwarf could have played out the plot of the entire episode in five minutes?’

  22. Crisis… or conflict.

  23. > ‘Red Dwarf could have played out the plot of the entire episode in five minutes?

    How about ten minutes? Cos it’s practically the middle ten of Emohawk – land, find new culture, romance chief’s daughter, piss them off and flee.

    No, Dwarf wasn’t the first to do it, either. But nor did they make it the main storyline for the ep. Sure, it’s a bit messy, but Emohawk has a bizarrely clear 3-act structure. Ten minutes of crew versus space filth, ten minutes of GELFs, ten minutes of morphy madness. There’s a movie’s worth of plot in there.

  24. Gave it a miss. Was so bored with last week’s episode, I really didn’t have the effort.

  25. Last night’s episode was much, much better than last week’s, very funny, especially the part where York’s crushing the fruit, and the DOOM RAY (Hold still!).

    Okay, so there may not have been a great deal of plot, but it made me laugh, which is the main thing, in my opinion.

  26. > Ten minutes of crew versus space filth, ten minutes of GELFs, ten minutes of morphy madness.

    What about the ten minutes of rehash with Ace and Duane? :) :) :)

    > Last night’s episode was much, much better than last week’s, very funny, especially the part where York’s crushing the fruit, and the DOOM RAY (Hold still!).

    I agree that it was better and actually had a couple of laughs, but they are using so many dumb predictable devices like the Doom Ray it’s as though they expect no-one to have watched any parodies/comedy before… A ray that takes 3 days to kill someone? Surely that’s been done in maybe Austin Powers or something like that. Not that I’m totally against people stealing comedy, er I mean taking inspiration from others.

    I probably shouldn’t be so anal about it. But I’m still pissed off over the whole sitcoms are dead crap. It’s time for some greats like Graham Linehan and Steve Coogan to come back and show people how it’s done. Saying that, it’s more likely that Coogan’s new show will be done in faux docu-style with no laughter. Remember he was slagged off for doing I’m Alan Partridge series 2 (provisionally titled ‘I’m Still Alan Partridge’, which was shot down by the BBC because it made the series sound tiresome…) in front of an audience with an ‘annoying’ laughter track. Whoever slagged him off were idiots. How could you do the whole Bond scene without an audience?

  27. I thought it was better this week. It’s still got a long way to go, but it’s improving. I shall stick with it.

  28. The Eleventh Hour was pretty poor. Though we did see Ashley Jensen in the nude. Well, we mostly a guy’s arse but I’m pretty sure I could maybe just about possibly see… something.

  29. >There’s a movie’s worth of plot in there.

    Hint hint?

  30. Hyperdrive IS the new Red Dwarf.

    2 Episodes in and allready it’s making way for snooker.

  31. “>There’s a movie’s worth of plot in there.

    Hint hint?”

    Come on…

  32. I’m trying to like it. The guy with the curly hair and beard reminds me of someone but I cannot pin it down.

  33. I’ve actually missed the last two episodes.

    I didn’t mean to – I really wanted to watch them. But… well, I’ve not missed a single minute of Life On Mars. Work it out for yourself.

  34. Good for you. The Hyperdrive universe really is pathetic. Anyone see the discovery of the orgy scene last night?

  35. I’ve actually missed the last two episodes.

    I didn’t mean to – I really wanted to watch them. But… well, I’ve not missed a single minute of Life On Mars. Work it out for yourself.

    Substitute “really” in the second paragraph with “quite”, and I’m pretty much exactly the same.

    LOM is great in spite of the fact that it’s not really a time-travel show at all – it’s basically a mix of all the best bits of two completely different kinds of cop shows. And somehow (helped by a bloody great pair of lead actors and a script that manages to have a hint of tongue-in-cheek while also playing the stories themselves completely straight – you can see why Graham’s writing a Who script) it works perfectly.

  36. Yeah, I’d prefer it if there was more of a even balance with the sci-fi aspects as, at times, it feels like a rather contrived way of reliving 70’s cop shows. Good fun though. And I LOVE the opening titles.

  37. Nice to see some development last night. Another decent episode.

    And I loved the Sex Room: ‘Bumhole’

  38. That should have read *character* development.

  39. Yeah, Jeffers and the other guy did have a few nice moments last night.

  40. D’you know something. The very first exchange in Red Dwarf tells you all you need to know about Rimmer and Lister’s relationship. That’s called good sitcom writing. Character development Shmaracter development.

  41. I like the way that the contrived character development scenes happened between Jeffers and The Other One when they were stuck on a planet together, with bugger all food, round a camp fire. You could say they were marooned there.

  42. I’m ashamed to say that I never really thought about that. It’s so obvious.

    Gotta love that instant fire, though.

  43. Re-watching it, I realise what’s been bugging me. It’s not like Red Dwarf – it’s more like Dave Hollins. Silly alien races, the Sex Room – it’s that kind of on-the-surface SF parody. They’re like radio sketch jokes.

    Which is, presumably, why there’s so far never been enough plot to decently fill out half an hour…

  44. I’ll be honest – if Red Dwarf VIII had been anything like Hyperdrive I’d have been a happy man.

  45. > I’ll be honest – if Red Dwarf VIII had been anything like Hyperdrive I’d have been a happy man.

    I’ve got two words for you, and one of them’s a swear word, or a ‘cuss’ if you’re American, so I won’t type them.

  46. >A pilot was made starring Iranian comedian Omid Djalili as Henderson, the captain of the
    >Camden Lock

    I have on *very* good authority that Henderson was played not by Omid Djalili, but by Sanjeev Baskhar in the pilot…

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