Having looked forward to viewing the pilot for some time, well more so since producer Jonathan Brown appeared on G&T, I obtained an early entry ticket for Memorabilia solely to enable me to catch the show and Q&A session with a 10:15 kick off. I have to say the time slot didn’t help much as the vast majority of attendees didn’t arrive until 11.00 am and those with early entry were more concerned with obtaining autographs before the rush started. Around 30 people were seated when I arrived and I chose the front row along with my daughter and just one other person.
To my surprise, there was no introduction on stage and the screens burst into life with no warning which meant any opening credits passed unnoticed. The opening voice over sounded a bit blurred to me but the general gist was that Earth was at war in the year 3034 and we were now on the bridge of the ‘Dreadnought Nemesis’ with its commander ‘Captain Blowhard’.
For those not aware of the plot/storyline, the ‘Dreadnought Nemesis’ is sent back to the Earth of today to hunt down a group of aliens (The Reptids!) who are hell bent on releasing a biological weapon that will destroy mankind and obviously everyone in 3034. The main joke appears to evolve around the fact that all emotion is suppressed in 3034 but on route back to our time, emotion is returned to the Nemesis crew only far stronger than it should be. This leads to a number of on-board outbursts of emotion mostly of a sexual nature. Meanwhile two members of the crew are ‘beamed’ down to earth where they follow a signal to a café and decide to sample 2006 food, oddly sprinkling what appears to be pepper onto a ‘spotted dick’ pudding induces an orgasmic frenzy onto the female member of earth bound pair. Meanwhile back on Nemesis, an alien that has stowed aboard is being interrogated by the captain and a female sidekick who seems to be getting excited by beating up the alien, the poor alien is then jettisoned into space and explodes, splattering over the crafts window.
Along the way, several characters are introduced, Captain Blowhard is played by Claudia Christian (Babylon 5), Jeremy Bulloch plays a mad ships Doctor, basically a bit of a pervert with a hair problem and a number of established actors play other oddball roles. We have a hologram who seems to be 2nd in command and a really bizarre maintenance couple that seemed to be experiencing some kind of sexual awakening. Danny John Jules’ role as an Admiral is limited to a short appearance on the ship’s communication screen, giving them the order to go back and save Earth. The half hour show went past quite quickly, but at the end only half of the attendees were left seated, a point that seemed to ruffle Claudia Christian’s feathers a little.
As the cast came on stage, introduced by Danny, Claudia was heard to say “wow, gee, ten people”, which was wrong as my daughter counted 15, but still. All in all, I think there were 5 or 6 questions like “how did everyone get on, making it”, “how did it compare to other stuff they had done” and “how were the cast chosen” etc, with each crew and cast member offering their accounts. I left my gem of a question until last which at least seemed to spur Jonathan Brown into action. So, “what was the current state of play regarding a television channel taking up the show”, I asked.
Apparently, they have had to make 6 further complete episodes with several parties interested in buying them and they expect something to happen next year, they also emphasised that everyone involved was very keen and confidence was very high. As the session ended, not soon enough for Claudia Christian it appeared as she stood up several times asking if that was all, everyone trundled off back stage apart from Jeremy Bulloch. Announcing that it was a ‘great’ question he jumped off the stage and walked up to me clutching what I assume was his breakfast, and continued telling me how the episodes had been made in a huge rush but were very good and how the sets were almost destroyed but rescued and now housed in a different place. It was at this point I realised there was only my daughter and me left in the stage zone and a few moments later I was wishing him good luck with it all and walked out of the zone with him. What a nice bloke.
I guess at this point I should say what I thought of the actual show and to be fair, I think it is the kind of show that could get a large cult following. I have to say though, I cant really see this as a mainstream success. The production is big, the effects on the whole are excellent and some of the shots would not look out of place in big American sci-fi show. The cast is very good and a lot of the acting is far better than in say, Hyperdrive, it also looks better, but sadly, what let it down for me, was the simple fact that I didn’t find it funny. I think my 14 year old daughter summed it up after ten minutes by asking if it was meant to be a comedy.
I think there was enough there for me to give it another chance and I hope it does make it and I guess others may find it hilarious, but I have to be honest and give it the thumbs down, overall, I found it disappointing.