Final Space is a sci-fi comedy-drama animation series made for Netflix and written by Olan Rogers. On first glance, you may assume it’s a carbon copy of Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty, but don’t be quick to make that judgment. Whilst Rick and Morty has lodged itself firmly in the hearts of geeks with a penchant for darker, balls-to-the-wall humour, Final Space delivers that too, with a handful of loveable (and detestable) characters woven into a strong story with a bittersweet cliffhanger and scenes that leave you in tears.
With season two due to drop mid to late 2019, it’s never been a better time to sink your teeth into this surprisingly satisfying series! But with so many shows airing on Netflix right now, why should you watch it?
It tugs at the heartstrings
It’s uncommon for a comedy animation to pack as much of an emotional punch as Final Space does. It’s easy to assume that it’ll be yet another hollow plot with one-dimensional characters, but straight from the first episode, we’re launched into the story.
We meet Gary Goodspeed, a seemingly arrogant and self-absorbed Captain of the Galaxy One, with only robots for company. Learning he is, in fact, serving a five-year prison sentence on the deserted ship, we’re immediately curious as to what he has possibly done to land himself floating through space completely alone, save for H.U.E. and the loathsome KVN. He meets Mooncake, who is incredibly adorable, and also happens to be a planet destroyer who Gary swears to protect at all costs.
During the next ten episodes, we’re catapulted into the dramatic story at warp speed; meeting Quinn, the apple of Gary’s eye, Avocato and little Cato, and the Lord Commander, along with a handful of other supporting characters as they battle for Earth, and fight their own demons in the process in a series of heart-wrenching flashbacks, tough decisions, and great loss.
The plotline is cleverly executed, too; rather than being centred around the technologies, planets, worlds, and other unknowns that would typically have to be explained – and therefore lose half the audience to boredom – the importance is placed more heavily around how the characters react to events that happen around them, so we can fill in the blanks ourselves. Gags and witty remarks take the sting out of desperately sad moments, and vice versa; you’ll always be kept on your toes, making the entire season easy to binge in one session.
It’s actually pretty funny
Fast-paced, witty humour that’s made for adults, but isn’t lewd or low-brow just for the sake of it; Final Space delivers it in bucketloads. Each character has their own brand of humour, whether that’s ‘Real, Raw Gary’ taking himself far too seriously, or Tribore’s habit of speaking in rhetorical questions. Each character bounces off the other, making for some hilarious scenes, cleverly interlaced with those hard-hitting, dramatic moments.
The characters are multi-faceted
Often, characters that are written into shows like Final Space either remain unchanged by what happens to them and serve one purpose or, like Ebenezer Scrooge, are completely shaken and are never snarky, bitter, or gloomy again.
Final Space does away with simplistic, one-dimensional characters, and instead, we see they retain their personalities through the series, which makes us love them a whole lot more – even KVN. Without the cast of characters, some of which are totally loveable, others completely skin-crawlingly irritating, the story wouldn’t be as rich or diverse. The relationships between them, whether it’s the firm friendship between Gary and Avocato, Gary’s unrequited love for Quinn, or even H.U.E.’s ability to make Gary (sometimes) see reason make the story relatable, believable, and when those sad or dramatic moments happen, we actually care about the outcome.
Mooncake is adorable
Despite having the ability to blow up whole planets, Mooncake is just toothachingly adorable. It’s easy to see why Gary Goodspeed wanted to keep him safe! Gary names him Mooncake hinting that ‘he reminds him of a friend he had long ago’, setting us up with a flashback of his father. Fans of the show went crazy for Mooncake and have made tons of fan art, cakes, plushies, and cushion covers to celebrate his cuteness. Chookity!
David Tennant plays a great villain
The star of Doctor Who, Broadchurch, and Jessica Jones plays unhinged villain Lord Commander, who makes it his mission to steal back Mooncake to stop himself from dying. Cruel, unflinching, and powerful, the Lord Commander will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Every villain has their own story, however, which we learn about in a tear-jerking scene towards the end of the series. Delving into his past, we find the alternative side to him, without the usual ‘baddie becomes good’ trope.
What’s next for season two?
Olan Rogers has announced recently that work on series two began at the beginning of 2018, looking to be ready to unleash in mid-to-late 2019. Whilst there hasn’t been any spoilers or hints towards the plot for the next season, he guarantees that fans of the first series won’t be disappointed – the characters have developed even more and the original cast looks to return.
This post was written by Francesca Harrall, a British gaming writer. With 20+ years of PC and console gaming under her belt, she relishes any opportunity to tell stories about gaming, TV, and movies. She enjoys reading sci-fi, buying stationery, and of course, playing video games (anything gory or story-driven. Or both). Follow her on Twitter.