As evidenced by properties like Quark, Red Dwarf, Galaxy Quest, and John Scalzi’s Redshirts, there is a long tradition of skewering various aspects of Star Trek universe. The worst of these satiric takes focus solely on the surface level aspects of Roddenberry’s creation—the space age architecture, funny sounding alien names, and unwieldy props. The best reveal the satirists’ familiarity and love of the series, while still poking holes in its many plot contrivances and cliche-driven stories. The latest entry into this sub-genre is Cracked’s Starship Icarus, a four-part series of shorts that follows the maintenance support crew of a large intergalactic spaceship. And while there are some of those easy shots at “funky aliens“ and numerous dick jokes, Icarus shows an affinity for these types of space exploration stories while musing on the realistic implications of having replicators, going into deep space, or dealing with the IT support tickets of the crew of a spacefaring vessel.
Created and written by David Wong, Starship Icarus introduces this odd world to its viewers by employing another long standing tradition—the sci-fi take on Rip Van Winkle (as seen in Sleeper, Futurama, and Idiocracy). Beeb (played by Daniel O’Brien) is awoken from cryosleep and thrust into a world of corporate bureaucracy and constant impending doom. Focusing mostly on the office drones and irksome monotony that would be inherent for the non-stars of a Star Trek show, the series offers insight into exactly who would sign up to be on a deep space voyage for decades away from Earth. Icarus also improves with each installment and is able create a few real characters rather than simple spoof caricatures, ensuring that it’s not just a bunch of references but instead its own unique entity.
The entire series can be found here and the first installment is embedded below.
The Ridiculous Reality of Life in Space: Starship Icarus 1 — powered by Cracked.com