Space Force puts Steve Carell (The Morning Show) in the lead role of four-star General Mark Naird, tasked with running the titular sixth branch of the armed services, which has an offscreen President who likes to tweet a lot, and wants this service to ensure that man returns to the moon by 2024… even though now, it’s closer than you think, as the year is 2023.
The series comes from the same people as the American version of The Office, and while I loved the UK original, I couldn’t get a handle on the US version at all. A friend suggested try the second season, given that the first one followed the UK plotlines too closely before branching out on its own, but while I got what was going on, it didn’t grab me. This did look a lot better, though.
As we begin, Naird has to work with his arch enemy, Kick Grabaston (Noah Emmerich), the latter clearly unhappy about the fact that Naird has just been promoted to the same rank as him, thus not being able to lord it over him any more. He’s even more unhappy about the fact that, as he’s in charge of the air force, he had thought he was about to never have to see Naird again, but thanks to our hero’s latest signing, they’ll have to work together more than ever.
Meanwhile, Dr. Adrian Mallory (John Malkovich) thinks the launch of a $6bn satellite should be scrapped because it’s going to go wrong, and since it’s a series with Mr Carell, you know things rarely go right for his characters… but can he pull one out the bag, this time? Stay tuned.
Along the way, Mark uses a government satellite to locate his mother after she’s gone wandering off (perhaps not breaking the law, but certainly breaking the spirit of the law? That’s an oft-used phrase, lately); and he’s separated from his wife, Maggie (Lisa Kudrow), but under what circumstances? I’ll leave you to discover that.
And even when I saw the trailer, it must’ve been over 30 years since I heard the Beach Boys’ Kokomo, released in 1988, as part of their brief comeback and featuring in the film Cocktail. I thought it had made No.1 in the UK, but it was only No.25! Either way, I still knew every word that I heard, and before you watch this, you can gen-up with the song, above. The song also plays out over the end credits, but it’s a shame it fades out the chorus just before it gets through that.
So far, I’ve seen the first two episodes – and will check out more, and as well as manoeuvring a chimp and a dog in space, amongst the humour is a great exchange between Carell and Malkovich’s characters:
- Naird: “I wish we had a tractor beam, like in Star Trek.”
Mallory: “Well, we don’t have…”
Naird (interrupting): “I know that.”
Mallory: “’cause they don’t exist.”
Naird (dismissive): “Yes, yes, yes.
The first episode is dedicted to Fred Willard, who passed away recently, and who plays Mark’s father, Fred. There’s also an appearance, as a Marine Corps Commandant, from Patrick Warburton, best known as playing Joe in Family Guy, and he really puts the deep voice on here 🙂
Space Force is not available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but is on Netflix from this Friday, May 29th.
Episodes 1-3 Score: 7.5/10
Series Directors: Paul King, Tom Marshall, Daina Reid
Producer: Michael Maccarone
Creators: Greg Daniels, Steve Carell
Writers: Shepard Boucher, Aasia LaShay Bullock, Brent Forrester, Yael Green, Connor Hines, Lauren Houseman, Maxwell Theodore Vivian
General Mark R. Naird: Steve Carell
Dr. Adrian Mallory: John Malkovich
F. Tony Scarapiducci: Ben Schwartz
Erin Naird: Diana Silvers
Angela Ali: Tawny Newsome
Maggie Naird: Lisa Kudrow
Obie Hanrahan: Owen Daniels
Kick Grabaston: Noah Emmerich
Yuri ‘Bobby’ Telatovich: Alex Sparrow
Kelly King: Jessica St. Clair
Fred Naird: Fred Willard
Dr. Chan Kaifang: Jimmy O Yang
Brad Gregory: Don Lake
Julio: Hector Duran
Duncan Tabner: Spencer House
Dr. Vandeveld: Thomas Ohrstrom
Baxter: Jamison Webb
Louise: Carolyn Wilson
Dr. Carter: Exie Booker
Marine Corps Commandant: Patrick Warburton
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.