Beginning its life as the creation of independent internet filmmaker (or YouTuber to you and me) Olan Rogers, Final Space was first shown on Reddit in 2018 with Olan Rogers doing a number of the voices. It was later developed and shown on TBS this time spawning an impressive voice cast including David Tennant and the legendary Ron Pearlman as John Goodspeed with Olan Rogers continuing to voice the role of Gary.
Abbie and I are both fans of animation from Disney to Family Guy and everything in between. We enjoyed Rick and Morty and recently Abbie discovered another series on Netflix: Final Space. It seemed to be a good mix of action, comedy, gore and colourful characters in the Rick and Morty mould so we sat down to watch it.
The episodes revolve around series protagonist Gary Goodspeed drifting in space in a suit with his life support systems slowly failing. His companion is an AI named H.U.E. who sounds a lot like Hal 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Hope seems to be gone, and with no apparent hope of rescue Gary thinks back to how he ended up drifting in space with only a certainty of death awaiting him.
Gary was a prisoner sentenced to serve 5 years onboard a prison ship named Galaxy One, his only companions were the ship’s AI and a floating-sphere with two arms named Kevin that is designed to keep Gary from going insane through loneliness. Onboard the ship he also has a group of emotionless robots that fix the ship and generally do odd jobs. Gary’s sentence is due to end within a few days when he encounters a green-blob that he names “Mooncake”. To me he looks like a flying basketball with puppy dog eyes and a little mouth. What Gary does not know that the innocent looking green-sphere is capable of destroying entire planets.
Meanwhile The Lord Commander (voiced by David Tennant) is hunting down Mooncake because he needs the small green alien in order to fully open a breach in Time/Space to a place known only as Final Space. He dispatches mercenaries to retrieve Mooncake from Gary and the Galaxy One but Gary has no intention of allowing anyone to take his new friend from him...
As you know I like all things sci-fi especially when you humans take a look at the big black surrounding you and decide to set a show or movie there. Usually there is some grain of truth however small in what you create, and Final Space is no acceptation. There are entities out there which are capable of wiping out entire planets or solar systems, and not all of them are obvious doomsday weapons. Mooncake is cute and cuddly looking...hang on I’ll get a better picture of him...
See, cute isn’t he??
Do you honestly think that he would be capable of destroying a planet or hurting anyone??
The telekinetic Lord Commander will stop at nothing to get his hands on Mooncake, and I love David Tennant’s voice work for the character. As the series goes on he gets more and more desperate as well as dangerous as he mercilessly hunts down Gary, Mooncake and the growing crew of the Galaxy One. Gary and Mooncake are not alone for long. They are soon joined by a mercenary that was originally sent to hunt them down and capture Mooncake. The Lord Commander is a tyrant warlord that will not hesitate to torture and murder anyone that gets in his way.
Gary is naturally an idiot that has delusions of grandeur and views himself as being the captain of his prison ship and has a deep dislike of Kevin. The universe itself is pretty fleshed out with a Star Trek-like Federation called the Infinity Guard which is trying to seal the breach into final space but they fail to realise exactly what they are up against.
The reason Gary was incarcerated is because he was trying to impress an Officer Quinn Airgone (voiced by Tika Sumpter), and accidently blew up 70-odd Infinity Guard ships (no one was killed) but he was locked away for his incompetence. However, despite their rocky start Gary is still convinced that there is a connection between the two and after Quinn is forced to go rogue in order to try and seal the breach she comes across Gary once again.
Gary is a bit Homer Simpson or Phillip J Fry-like, you know the well meaning idiot that generally fails to understand what is happening around them but always manage to save the day in the end. What Final Space does really well is the framing device, we know Gary ends up drifting alone in space with his life support failing, but we don’t know how he ends up there.
For a generally light hearted sci-fi show it is also capable of being pretty gory at times, the Lord Commander is telekinetic and uses his mind-powers to rip people apart limb by painful limb. So like Rick and Morty just because this is an animation it is not afraid to do things that are pretty brutal as well as harrowing at times.
That is the mark of a good show, it knows when to be funny, when to be serious and when to be downright shocking. The Lord Commander grows increasingly desperate as the series continues, he is obviously confronting his own mortality, and his hopes for salvation may lie within the breach.
The series comprises of only 10 episodes but this is a good thing because it means we don’t have any “filler” episodes. Each one has a purpose and each one move Gary and Co towards a confrontation with the Lord Commander.
If you have Netflix then I urge you to check this show out, a second series has been commissioned to be aired sometime in 2019 but exactly where the series is going in the future I don’t know. But I look forward to finding out. Final Space is getting a Thumbs Up because it is a good opening chapter to what has a hell of a lot of potential that boasts the likes of several famous faces voicing different characters.
8/10 – A short series but that works in its favour. The series ends on a rather sombre note but with a second series having been commissioned I look forward to seeing where things go in Final Space Season Two.