Hyperdrive was a comedy SF series that ran for two seasons on BBC. (2006-2007) It’s set in the 22nd century and follows the adventures of a crew on a ship the HMS Camden Lock who are there on behalf of the British government to represent its interests. It stars Nick Frost, known from Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and his many collaborators with his friend Simon Pegg. It also stars Miranda Hart, whom I always enjoy. She’s done a lot of comedy, but is now probably more familiar to overseas audiences as Chummy in Call the Midwife.
As it’s a comedy show, about a crew of misfits. Captain Henderson is an idealist whose ability to lead is not always up to his ideals. Still, he manages to win most cases. When he’s down he watches a show called Captain Helix which has all the ideals of intergalactic exploration he wishes were true. His First Officer is York (Kevin Eldon) who is always eager for a fight and wants to be an authoritarian leader; Diplomatic Officer Teal (Miranda York) whose not all that great at her job but very eager and has a crush on the captain. Navigator Vine (Stephen Evans) who dreams of the simpler times of the 1990’s. Technical Officer Jeffers (Dan Antopolski) who has little respect for the other officers and makes notes of their mistake. There is also Sandstorm (Petra Massey ) an enhanced human cyborg.
Most of the episodes surround diplomatic mistakes, first contact gone wrong, that kind of thing. It’s supposed to be a comedy show and I enjoyed it, even if the jokes were a bit predictable. It’s good for people who watch a lot of SF and know how to laugh at their enjoyment of it and its clear the writers do have a deep affection for the genre.
Special Unit 2 was a two season show (2001-2002) on UPN. It follows a Chicago police division charged without the task of solving crimes involving creatures from mythology and folklore, called Links. Special Unit 2 is a more of a light hearted drama than strictly comedy, but its not meant to be a mysterious or dark show. It’s fun and that’s needed.
It follows detectives O’Malley (Michael Landes) and Benson (Alexondra Lee) as they solve crimes. There is also the police captain Page (Richard Gant) and the Link liaison, a gnome named Carl (Danny Woodburn). (Jonathan Togo of CSI fame is in Season 2; as well as Pauley Perrette of NCIS) The headquarters of Special Unit 2 is located in a building with a laundromat as a facade.
It’s a fun show. I didn’t enjoy it as much as Hyperdrive. For some reason, even though its only 2001, it’s comes across as very dated. I guess the jokes were simply to contemporary and fall flat a bit. Still, it’s fun. I might give it another try.