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Hyperdrive

Teens will scoff at corny British sci-fi comedy.

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence

Characters often use laser weapons that resemble toy guns. All violence is far-fetched and fairly corny -- like an alien creature gnawing on a man's leg while he calmly watches his friend struggle with the default settings on his gun to save him. Bloody scenes are limited to bright red liquid splashed on walls or people. Serious/lasting injuries are scarce.

Sex

Flirtatious exchanges between two characters are common, and there are occasional phallic references (a telescoping cylindrical walkway that extends between two spacecraft, for instance). Implied sexual humor typically relates to body parts, like aliens who say they communicate by rubbing their genitals on people's faces (which, thankfully, isn't shown).

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adults occasionally drink alcohol.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this corny British sci-fi comedy includes fairly mild sexual references (like aliens who greet strangers by licking their hands or rubbing genitals on their faces) and sexual tension and flirtatious exchanges between two main characters. Weapons of choice are laser guns that look more like kids' water guns than anything remotely dangerous, and the violence (shoot-outs with aliens, space-dwelling creatures who feast on human flesh) is far-fetched and downright phony. Teens will probably be quickly put off by the show's goofiness, but if they do tune in, rest assured that there's not too much to worry about.

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What's the story?

HYPERDRIVE is set in the year 2151, when Space Force -- the British conglomerate on all things galactic -- has deployed ambassadorial teams to the far reaches of the Milky Way to establish and maintain friendly relations with alien life forms. The crew of the Camden Lock has been charged with acting as diplomats and protecting British interests throughout the galaxy, and is led by Commander Henderson (Nick Frost), whose idealism is often tried by a menagerie of extraterrestrials, as well as his own mish-mash crew. They also conduct various transactions in the name of their homeland, traveling to other planets to create an intergalactic business presence in England and peddle British wares to their alien acquaintances. Reporting to Henderson are first officer York (Kevin Eldon), a certifiable psychopath who specializes in combat; perky diplomatic officer Teal (Miranda Hart), who sees stars whenever her boss is around; techie guru Jeffers (Dan Antopolski); and anxiety-ridden navigator Vine (Stephen Evans). The Camden Lock is piloted by a Sandstrom (Petra Massey), an experimental prototype whose imperfections are kept a secret to help maintain the aura of British scientific supremacy throughout the galaxy.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Chock full of cornball comedy, Hyperdrive may garner a few chuckles from viewers who can appreciate the multiple spoofs on sci-fi clichés (like oddball aliens and gadgets so technologically advanced that they outsmart human users, for example), but teens will probably roll their eyes at the goofiness and tune out. If tweens show an interest, be sure to give it a once-over first, since there are lots of sexual references that may be too much for them.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how this show might be different if it was produced in America. How is British and American humor different? What -- besides accents -- marks a show as being distinctly British? Families can also discuss our fascination with space. Do you think it's important for us to keep exploring space? Why? Are you interested in space travel? Where would you go if you could? Do you believe that alien life forms exist? How would the discovery of one change how we view our world and the galaxy?

TV details

Premiere date:July 12, 2007
Cast:Kevin Eldon, Miranda Hart, Nick Frost
Network:BBC America
Genre:Comedy
TV rating:TV-14

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