Je me souviens...
Dans une galaxie près de chez vous
Television series, 1998 - 2001
Airing on the youth-oriented Canal Famille (family channel), Dans une galaxie près de chez vous ran 65 episodes (of 30 minutes) and was a real phenomenon in Québec, perhaps because the nation had previously never seen any home-made science-fiction on TV. The terribly low-budget show, which is generally refered to simply as "Galaxie" or "DUG", was very much humoristic in nature, and is probably best described as a parody of Star Trek, a space sitcom. A lot of the humour is heightened by the cheap look and feel of costumes and studio decors.
The title translates in english as "In a galaxy near you". It was originally intended to be called "Vadrouille de l'espace" (Space Mop), a mockery of "La patrouille du cosmos" (Cosmos Patrol), which is the french language title of Star Trek in Québec.
Galaxie unfolds in the year 2034, and revolves around the crew of the starship Romano Fafard as they embark on a mission to find a planet capable of sustaining humankind, since the Earth is threatened by the intense pollution. Throughout their voyages, the seven companions discover many seemingly appropriate planets, but an obstacle invariably prevents them from meeting the criteria, such as the presence of an indigenous population, or an abundance of cow-sized mosquitoes (for example).
Written by Pierre-Yves Bernard and Claude Legault, who also plays a part in the show, Galaxie has a decidedly Québécois flavour, and the hilarious nature of the script very much depends on one's ability to grasp puns and idioms in Québec's not-so-French slang. While it reached a mainly young audience due to being aired on a children's network, it soon developed a cult following among adults who appreciated the absurd humour, and now has a loyal following of "duggies".
The seven crew members are:
- Captain Charles Patenaude ( Guy Jodoin ), daring and pompous leader
- Flavien Bouchard ( Claude Legault ), searching for his alien father
- Bob Dieudonné Marcellin ( Didier Lucien ), the food-obsessed pilot
- Petrolia Staneslavsky ( Mélanie Ménard ), inventive half-Russian space orphan
- Serge ( Réal Bossé ), an android suffering from multiple personalities
- Valence Leclerc ( Isabelle Brossard in the 1st season, then portrayed by Sylvie Moreau ), the ship's medical officer and therapist
- Brad Spitfire ( Stéphane Crête ), a power-hungry scientist who wants to be captain
The show opens with a Star Trek-like monologue, which was modified after the second season because the federal government financing the series decided that the show had too little Canadian content. So the creators added references to Canada in the monologue, and strapped Canadian flags on the characters' uniforms. The original monologue goes like this:
"We are in 2034. The situation on Earth is catastrophic. The ozone layer has been completely destroyed by the carbon gases of automobiles, the chemical industry, and the poosh-poosh in little cans. The result: the Earth is cooking under the rays of the sun, the harvests are completed burnt, there is almost no drinking water left, and sunscreen companies get richer. The situation is getting urgent. We must find a planet where we can move 6 billion idiots. So it is that October 28th 2034, the spaceship Romano Fafard leaves earth to search the confines of the Universe. There, where the hand of Man has never set foot."
The movie, 2004
Three years after the show ended on TV, it was adapted for the big screen, directed by Claude Desrosiers. It stars all of the same actors, and follows the same basic plotline. That's pretty much all I know, since I haven't seen it yet and don't want to spoil it for myself by researching it any more. A second movie is scheduled to be released in 2008.