Pilot for a satirical animated series about space conquest, the meaning of life and proctology.
Free To View
Producer/s : Kevos van der Meiren, David Nicolas
Director/s : David Nicolas, Laurent Nicolas
Writer/s : David Nicolas, Lola Devon
Actor/s : Conrad Vernon, Steve Little
A Bit of a Melon
The central notion of the astronaut on the first mission to Mars being accompanied by a super-intelligent genetically modified melon, is as wacky as they come. And the rapid non-sequiteur storyline, at least at the start, is reminiscent of Seth Macfarlane. It sets up the melon to be a kind of Brian, the Family Guy pet, give or take an added obsession with design. It would be stereotyping to say the melon is gay, but it does give astronaut Dave a new pink spacesuit and a zebra-striped rocket, and it’s laugh out loud funny.
So too is the sinisterly-named Dr Finger, obsessed with rectal examinations. But the ground control boss being called Youston is, well, a bit lame, and warns that this is going to fall short of Macfarlane’s inventiveness.
The problem is that instead of pursuing the comic potential of astronaut-plus-melon, the thing descends into an attempted parody of 2001 A Space Odyssey. (He’s called Dave, geddit?). I was expecting jokey SF references, such as to Captain Kirk, R2D2, Apes, or even Major Tom, but not a whole minute of the Stargate sequence-lite, and an even longer yawn through 2001’s “time warp” sequence where Dave meets his older self.
After all this indulgence even the older Dave’s exploding catheter bag falls flat. The thing has run out of ideas, and I was longing for someone to say “Youston, we have a problem.”
Undoubtedly, a huge effort has gone into its production, and the animatioin achieves a fine distinctive “look”. It was selected for the 2017 Sundance Festival. Must have been a lot of 2001 fans on the panel. It may be worth a view as a one-off piece, but it’s a pilot for a webseries. Great animation, duff screenplay.