Hyperdrive (TV series)
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (October 2009)|
|Created by||Kevin Cecil
|No. of series||2|
|No. of episodes||12 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||29 minutes|
|Original channel||BBC Two|
|Original run||11 January 2006– 16 August 2007|
Hyperdrive is a British television science fiction sitcom broadcast by BBC Two in 2006 and 2007. Created under the working title of Full Power. In a 2008 interview, Kevin Eldon commented that he considered a third series was unlikely to be commissioned. Set in 2151 and 2152, it follows the crew of HMS Camden Lock as they stumble through their heroic mission to protect British interests in a changing galaxy.
The series is written by Kevin Cecil and Andy Riley, directed by John Henderson and produced by Alex Walsh-Taylor. The first episode was broadcast on BBC Two on 11 January 2006. A second series began on 12 July 2007 on BBC Two.
Cast and characters 
- Nick Frost plays the character of Space Commander Michael "Mike" "Lucky Jack" "Hendo" Henderson – According to the official website of the series, Henderson's "Space Force File" describes Henderson's career arc this way: "Henderson rose through the ranks in exactly the way we say people can in the recruitment ads, yet endeavour to prevent in practice. Henderson shows initiative; always a dangerous sign." It also says Henderson's education was received at Dagenham Secondary Modern and New Portsmouth Cadet Camp. The website further describes Henderson is an idealistic explorer, eager to meet new races, and feels he is undervalued given his low-priority assignments. Frost's character also has a recurring theme, his favourite show, Captain Helix. He is very protective of his Commander's chair, which he refers to as "Spinning Jenny."
- Kevin Eldon as First Officer Eduardo Pauline York – a brilliant scientist and tactician, second in command of the Camden Lock. He is also a borderline sociopath, obsessed with and taking immense joy in violence, needing only the slightest provocation to attack someone. He believes in a hardline doctrine and feels Commander Henderson is too lenient regarding the crew and application of regulations. He does not trust Technical Officer Jeffers, and has the ability to hold his breath for seven and a half hours to avoid the effects of sedative gas. He also shows great affection towards Sandstrom, appearing to be in love with her at certain points in the show, even becoming jealous when Vine is kissing Sandstrom in his "Pub-conscious". Like his friend Henderson, York also watches Captain Helix.
- Miranda Hart as Diplomatic Officer Chloe Alice Teal – Teal has a large and obvious crush on Commander Henderson, who has not responded to her advances. Teal's skills as a diplomat could be questioned, as during the episode Hello, Queppu, her drunken outburst results in the Queppu imprisoning the three senior officers of the Camden Lock. She failed her final exam to become an officer, and is only present on the HMS Camden Lock as her father is an ambassador. She is also the yoga instructor on the ship.
- Stephen Evans as Navigator Dave Vine – Vine's greatest apparent achievement to date is purchasing a planet in an auction. The planet was quickly renamed Vineworld with such locations as Vine City 1 and Vine Ridge. Vine is a quiet member of the crew, uncomfortable with standing up to the outgoing personality of Jeffers or the authoritarianism of York. He is a collector of 1990s "antiques", believing it to be a simpler time; this is reflected by his "pub-conscious", which is the only dream he has, a pub in 1995, where it is revealed that he, like York, is attracted to Sandstrom.
- Dan Antopolski as Technical Officer Karl Jeffers – an easy going and lax member of the bridge crew who has been placed in command of the Camden Lock on at least two occasions by Commander Henderson. He dislikes York and makes written notes on all the senior officer's mistakes. Jeffers has a liking for alien music; in particular, he enjoyed listening to the Lallakiss war anthem, "Kill the Humans", whilst on duty.
- Petra Massey as Sandstrom – an "enhanced human", a cyborg interface needed to ensure the Camden Lock keeps functioning. She agreed to have her body and mind modified in exchange for the Space Force paying off her student loan, assuming the offer would not be made if the procedure was not safe. Her personality was then overwritten and she functions much like an android, although chocolate seems to have an adverse emotional effect on her, leading to hypersexuality. She seems to have a lot of affection for York, and is much more obvious about her feelings for him than he is about his for her. She gets very jealous whenever another Enhanced comes on board.
- Maggie Service as a variety of Computer Voices – these serve primarily as throwaway lines and interstitials, and include user interfaces (To access the toilet, enter the second, fourth and eighty-third numbers in your security code) and shipwide announcements (Attention all crew: Today is Take Your Clone to Work Day. If you don't have a clone, go and see the Clone Officer on Level 7). In series two, other computer voices are played by Ewan Bailey.
- Waen Shepherd as Gareth Stannis, the actor who plays the title part in the television drama Captain Helix, watched obsessively by Captain Henderson in the privacy of his cabin as a source of emotional comfort. Captain Helix — who resembles a somewhat camper version of Doctor Who — may also not be quite what he seems.
HMS Camden Lock 
The design for HMS Camden Lock was based loosely upon the BT Tower in London. It is a 'Wendover' class ship and measures 376m long by 90m wide. The ship's registration is XH558 - the same serial number as the last flying Avro Vulcan bomber. Shuttlebay doors on the Camden are shown with the Union Jack embossed on them, which is part of the proudly British theme of the series. Camden Lock is the name of a lock on a canal in the real Camden in London.
The Camden Lock is powered by "P-Rods", with the P standing for Perfectly safe, although it is rumoured to stand for Plutonium. Her maximum speed is 170 Vs—any higher and the reactors overheat. Her maximum crush depth is 197 atmospheres.
The Camden Lock is armed with missiles and pulse weapons of some form. The laser guns wielded by her crew bear a striking resemblance to crutches.
Alien Races 
The Glish 
The Glish are repulsive-looking, slimy creatures who like to communicate by drooling and licking. Commander Henderson causes a diplomatic conflict by not allowing the Glish ambassadors to rub their genitals on his face.
The Queppu 
A Medieval-ish race living on a mostly desert planet. They have a pseudo-feudal society with monarchical (if not totalitarian) government. Typical dress includes jester-like bright red latex suits. The despotic and insane king desires that everyone marvel at his civilization, for example, he possesses a "Doom Ray", with which he threatens Henderson, Teal, and York and at which he expects them to marvel. The princess bares remarkable resemblance to Lucrezia Borgia. As revealed in "Artifact", they gained a space-faring capability after half of the population was sold as food to an insectoid species to 'grind up in their mandibles to feed to their larval young.' The King described this as a good trade.
The Lallakkis 
A pseudo-Medieval race. They dress in somber brown leather, appear unkempt, have the mental capability of 10-year-olds, and are eager to play chicken and use violence at slightest irritation. Every war the race participates in, a battle song is written. One of their battle songs is "Kill the Humans", which includes a death threat for Commander Henderson in the lyrics. The race is possibly caricatures of the British Chav subculture, or the Ali G stereotype of white youth.
The Bulaagh 
A highly advanced race, but very haughty, looking down on everyone else. Not as trigger-happy as the Lallakkis, but nevertheless ally themselves against Britain with the Lallakkis after Commander Henderson caused the destruction of an asteroid that was the subject of a dispute between the two races.
The Red Shiny Robots of Vortis 
A parody of the Star Trek: The Next Generation Borg. A race eager to absorb information and knowledge of various races, exterminating them in the process. They appear to be clad in red latex, they extract the minds of the lifeforms into the "data-sphere" which leaves the bodies dead, although it has the weakness of disruption if those who are having their minds "harvested" think of falsehoods (allusion to the Star Fleet attempt to plant an optical illusion computational worm in the Borg collective in the I, Borg episode).
There is also a model of Red Shiny Robot of Vortis used for infiltration, designed to look like attractive women, though based on the episode, it's debatable whether they truly understand the concept of attractive.
The Engulfers 
Extradimensional beings of pure energy, they consume atoms and excrete black holes. They are able to swallow spaceships whole.
The Scrane 
Interstellar pirates who are interested in stealing the most lethal weapon the Space Fleet has at its disposal.
Episode list 
The original pilot episode was first named "Lepus" and later "Full Power", It starred Sanjeev Bhaskar as Henderson and Mark Gatiss as York, the rest of the cast was the same as in the series. It was directed by Armando Iannucci and was never aired.
Series 1 (2006) 
|#||#||Title||Directed by||Original air date|
|1||1||"A Gift from the Glish"||John Henderson||11 January 2006|
|2||2||"Hello, Queppu"||John Henderson||18 January 2006|
|3||3||"Weekend Off"||John Henderson||25 January 2006|
|4||4||"Asteroid"||John Henderson||31 January 2006|
|5||5||"Clare"||John Henderson||7 February 2006|
|6||6||"Assessment"||John Henderson||14 February 2006|
Series 2 (2007) 
|#||#||Title||Directed by||Original air date|
|7||1||"Green Javelins"||John Henderson||12 July 2007|
|8||2||"Artefact"||John Henderson||19 July 2007|
|9||3||"Admiral's Daughter"||John Henderson||26 July 2007|
|10||4||"Harvest"||John Henderson||2 August 2007|
|11||5||"Dreamgate"||John Henderson||9 August 2007|
|12||6||"Convoy"||John Henderson||16 August 2007|
- "British Sitcom Guide - Hyperdrive". Retrieved 14 February 2009.
- Hyperdrive at BBC Online
- Hyperdrive at BBC Programmes
- Hyperdrive at TV.com
- Hyperdrive at the Internet Movie Database
- Hyperdrive at the British Comedy Guide
- Hyperdrive - Radio times
- Qurios Entertainment, responsible for animation, graphics and visual effects
- Hybrid Enterprises Ltd, responsible for all Prosthetic & Creature Makeup Effects