Final Space, from Internet filmmaker Olan Rogers, is an original sci-fi comedy from TBS and jam packed with silliness, charm, threat, romance and heart. With an impressive voice cast, Netflix’s 10-episode adult animation (contains moderate violence, bloody images and sex references) follows an average space joe and his green blob to a disaster threatening the earth and possibly the universe itself.
Gary Goodspeed (voiced by creator Rogers) is imprisoned on the Infinity Guard spaceship Galaxy One for destroying 92 Infinity Guard ships, and a small family run Mexican restaurant, while trying to impress a woman in a bar. Quinn Airgon (Tika Sumpter) is not impressed. Gary’s only companions are H.U.E. (Tom Kenny) – the ship’s cookie-withholding AI computer – KVN (Fred Armisen), a Deep Space Insanity Avoidance Companion, who is a total jerk, the SAMES – the ship’s collective of interchangeable droids (mostly Hank, Carl, Rob, Boobs) – and, at a stretch, Beth the refrigerator.
Days from the end of his uneventful sentence, Gary befriends E35-1, destroyer of worlds, and names the cute floaty green blob Mooncake. This brings Gary to the attention of the Lord Commander (played to peak evil by David Tennant), who needs Mooncake to extend his power, or end the universe, or possibly both.
Gary, while ostensibly a screw-up, shows there’s more to him than meets the eye: he displays courage, empathy and an ability to make friends (except KVN), including would-be captor Avocato (Coty Galloway). Like Gary, the series also holds unexpected depth – each episode starts with Gary lingering in deep space with only H.U.E., headless corpses and 10 minutes of oxygen.
Final Space is full of sci-fi references, which connoisseurs of the genre will enjoy. (A special mention has to go to David Tennant who is chewing scenery as the Emperor Palpatine-like Lord Commander.) But the characters develop as the plot progresses, setting it apart from other similarly pitched adult cartoons – the closest comparisons are Rick & Morty and Futurama, and, while Final Space is as cynical as these, its emotional depth and hilariously realised characters distinguish it from both. With a second season already announced, this has the makings of a cult hit – maybe sometime soon, we’ll be able to purchase a Mooncake plushy.
Final Space Season 1 is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.