· culture ·

The premise (which, to me, is just funny on its own) is that the space ship 'HMS Camden Lock' is on a mission to promote Peterborough as an enterprise zone throughout the galaxy ("It's got a Farmer's Market!"). A somewhat thankless and futile task one might think, and one that really peeves the psychopathic and trigger-happy First Officer, York. However, the Commander Michael (Nick Frost) insists that it's a "sideways move" within Space Force.

After the navigator spills coffee on the navigation console (Michael: "What have I told you about hot drinks on the consoles?"), Jeffers reluctantly agrees to fix the system, with Michael (a real luser if there ever was one), looking over his shoulder and making helpful suggestions. Jeffers' contempt when Michael just hits the Restart button, thus reverting the system to default settings, rather than doing a full custom rebuild, is classic SysAdmin.

The default settings are horribly familiar to anyone who has used a badly written operating system (naming no names...). "Please enter digits 1, 2 and 83 of your personal security number to gain access to the men's toilets." In a crisis situation, the weapons insist on the Commander hearing and verbally accepting the Terms and Conditions ("Note that use of third party ammunition will invalidate your warranty...") while he's trying to kill the ravening monster trying to eat Jeffers' leg.

I love it. It reminds me a little of Galaxy Quest in the very affectionate but deadly accurate sending up of the Sci-Fi genre.