The UMP Cruiser is Back!

(Above photo courtesy of Dust)

After drifting for three years beyond the streaming universe, all eight half-hour episodes of Paul Feig’s Other Space are scheduled to touch down on Dust this Saturday, August 1. The free sci-fi service can be found at watchdust.com or on Roku.

Much like Other Space’s fictional UMP Cruiser in the year 2105, the series itself became lost almost from its start. Other Space debuted on Yahoo! Screen in 2015 and saw its hopes of a second season vaporize when Yahoo! Screen shut down in 2016. It then beamed over to an “originals” section of Yahoo! TV, which would itself soon disappear. 

In 2017, Feig — renowned as the creator of cult classic series Freaks & Geeks and as director of feature comedies like Bridesmaids – posted the entire series on Tumblr in an attempt to build up a groundswell of interest.

Then, nothing for three years…which to rabid fans must have been akin to the situation in episode five, when crewmates Mike (Eugene Cordero) and Tina (Milana Vayntrub, best known as bubbly Lily in AT&T commercials, 2013-2017 and 2020) find that six hours of spaceship time are equal to eight months on the planet they’re exploring.

That same episode also contains one of our favorite Other Space plotlines: a shipboard “robot revolution” led by a defective coffee machine (you can glimpse this coffee bot in the background on the far left of the photo atop of this article).

Speaking of robots, let’s give a shoutout to A.R.T., the ship’s main robot. He’s voiced by Trace Beaulieu, who was apparently typecast, having been the voice of Crow T. Robot and other characters on the original Mystery Science Theater 3000 starting in 1988. But Other Space’s casting director (Allison Jones, Emmy winner for Veep and Freaks and Geeks) knew exactly what she was doing — since A.R.T.’s best friend aboard ship is Zalian, a somewhat wayward engineer played by none other than Beaulieu’s MST3K on-screen collaborator Joel Hodgson!

Other Space, Dust
(Zalian with A.R.T. in the foreground. Source: Yahoo)

Zalian is decades older than all the other crew members (perhaps even than all of them combined, since who knows what a human’s lifespan will be in 85 years!). The age difference plays into one of Other Space’s funniest scenes, when the ship’s captain, Stewart (Karan Soni, who would soon play Dopinder in Deadpool and its sequel) is forced to fly the Cruiser manually following an electronic outage.

Stewart:  “That was incredible….The ship physically moved based on how I moved my hands!”

Zalian: “Back in the old days, that’s how vehicles worked. You know, I drove a car once.”

Stewart (teasingly): “You maniac!”

Other Space, Dust
(Source: YouTube video)

We must also mention the other crew members – played by Bess Rous and Neil Casey, who flank Hodgson in the photo atop this story – and the ship’s very lifelike computer-screen avatar, played by Conor Leslie (right, with love interest Casey).

In the end, Other Space is a rather silly, yet charming, space comedy that we’d recommend for a four-hour diversionary binge.

And we’d love to see what would happen in a second season, since…SPOILER ALERT..the first season ends with the onboard arrival of an alien (Sarah Baker, who would go on to play Michael Douglas’ daughter in Netflix’s The Kominsky Method).

 

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About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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