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Dans une galaxie près de chez vous (In A Galaxy Near You), abbreviated as Dans une galaxie, DUG or DUGPDCV, is a cult French-Canadian series parodying the sci-fi genre, most notably Star Trek. It was written by Claude Legault and Pierre-Yves Bernard. The series is first and foremost a comedic show filled with absurd humor, but has its moments of heart-rending drama and serious, if not slightly anvilicious, environmental message.

The premise is similar to that of Lost in Space. In the year 2034, the Earth has become so polluted it will soon be unable to sustain human life. The World Federation pulls its resources together and sends the spaceship Romano-Fafard and a crew of seven to find a habitable planet for humanity. However, not long into the first episode, the crew is informed that there are no habitable planets in the Milky Way Galaxy, and they will have to venture outside the Galaxy, effectively rendering all communications with Earth impossible. In their travels, the crew members explore far-flung new worlds (including a Casino planet named O'Vegas, a planet covered with nothing but telephone poles and another planet filled with dogs) and meet odd (if sometimes inexplicable) characters (including Réal Estate, a planet salesman; a Sith lord; and even the devil himself).

The series lasted for four seasons (1998-2001) and spawned two movies--the first in 2004, the second in 2008.


The crew consisted of:

  • Captain Charles Patenaude: Played by Guy Jodoin. The Captain and often Only Sane Man. Malaproper with a love of speeches verging on Metaphorgotten.
  • Psychologist Valence Leclerc: Played by Isabelle Brossard in season one, and by Sylvie Moreau from season 2 onwards. Team Mom and Love interest to the captain. She had a tendency to speak in heavy psychobabble before summing up her thoughts with "S/he's gone completely bonkers".
  • Bob Dieudonné-Marcelin: Played by Didier Lucien. The Ditz Pilot. Was revealed to be a Jedi in one of the final episodes, but his only "force" power was being able to hide his brain from mental attacks due to its small size. He is the only pilot on Earth who is able to handle the manual clutch-piloting of the ship.
  • Flavien Bouchard: Played by Claude Legault. The Lancer and The Ace radar operator. Lacked self-esteem in the first few episodes, but soon learned to stand up to anyone who isn't the captain (and even then...). Was revealed to be half-alien in one of the final episodes; unlocking its potential effectively gave him heightened senses and made him immortal. Treaded dangerously in Mary Sue waters due to being played by one of the show's head writers.
  • Brad Spitfire': Played by Stéphane Crête. Obviously inspired by Lost in Spaces Dr. Smith (and even referred to as him in one episode), he is a Card-Carrying Villain, Token Evil Teammate and Large Ham. An ineffectual, cowardly traitor who wishes for the mission to end as soon as possible.
  • Pétrolia Parenteau Stanislavski: Played by Mélanie Maynard. Teen Girl Genius who was able to build a fully sentient android with lawnmower parts. Love interest to both Bob and Flavien. Introduced in season 2.
  • Serge 1, 2, 3, ... 19: Played by Réal Bossé. Fully Sentient android built by Pétrolia, introduced along with her in season 2. Was destroyed 18 times over the course of the series and movies. Was originally more human than robot in terms of appearance and personality, but became a lot more robotic following his first destruction due to Pétrolia being unable to recover some of the core processor parts.
  • Mirabella Romario: Played by Pascale Montpetit. Only appeared in the first season. She was the ship's first doctor, actually a con artist who snuck onto the ship to escape the authorities using false credentials. Valence found out her secret early on but kept it to herself for the sake of the mission. Was Bob's Love Interest, and fled the Romano Fafard after her duplicity was found out.
  • Falbo Gotta: Played by Paul Ahmarani. Only appeared in the first season. He was the number one mercenary of the 21st century (and ex-high school teacher) who served as security chief (and more or less a One-Man Army) on the ship. Was lost on a savage planet while chasing the fugitive Mirabella.
Tropes used in Dans une Galaxie Près de Chez Vous include:

  The Devil: "They call me Satan, the devil, Baalzeebul, but my real name... IS STEVE!"

  • All Planets Are Earthlike: Averted and Parodied, the planets shown are either Inhabited, Conveniently Unhabitable (Radioactive surface, Truth Gas Atmosphere, Too small for the human population, etc.) or otherwise, just plain weird.
  • Alternative Continuity: The movies are set in a different continuity than that of the main series. Differences between the two continuity include the design of the ship, the Captain having a sister on Earth, Petrolia ending up with Flavien instead of Bob, etc.
  • Big Book of War: From the first movie, Brad's personal items include "Betrayal for Dummies."
  • Brown Note: In the first movie, the aliens vomit at the sound of the word "Human". This works even for the robot clones of the cast!
  • Captain Ersatz:
  • Catch Phrase: "Going where the hand of Men has never set foot.[1]"
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Brad's attempt at treason and physical or mental harm are generally played for humor, but during the middle of the last season, he is put on trial for his crimes after accidentally almost killing the Captain. The trial is done in a very serious light, and the Captain even mentions that if they were on an American ship, Brad would have been executed.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The sentient onboard computer, Gervais, was all but forgotten after the first season, without being Put on a Bus like Mirabella and Falbo.
  • Creator Provincialism: Turns out that Canada is the remaining superpower in-universe.
  • Dawson Casting: An odd example. Actors in their mid to late 30s play characters in their early to mid 20s. The Captain is said to be 26 (but 28 a few episodes later) in season 2, while he was played by 33 year old Guy Jodoin. Even worse, 38 year old Claude Legault played 23 years old (in the last season) Flavien Bouchard.
  • Despair Event Horizon: This ends up happening in the second film when The cast ends up in Limbo where they gets news that they have much less time than previously thought. They end up fufilling the Creamy leader's Batman Gambit of making a civilisation of harmless aliens GTFO their own planet so he can use the artifacts inside.
  • Downer Ending: The TV series ending and The second film's. See Shaggy Dog Story below.
  • Driving Stick: The Romeo-Fafard has a manual transmission and a clutch. Only Bob knows how to work it properly.
  • Evil Laugh: Brad attempted on once, only to choke in mid-laugh.
  • Fictional Video Game: "Try to save the king if you can"

  Olaf: "If you want to save him, you have to beat the ten challenges. I AM THE TENTH CHALLENGE!!!"

 Captain (reading Flavien's notes): "After 45 tries (to solve a riddle), I found out that there is a trick. Just put your right leg parallel to the ground, your left hand pointed to the sky, your head down, your right hand under your armpit... Come on! This is ridiculous!"

Captain (reading again): "No, it's not that ridiculous. Just do it and shut up."

      • Nausea Fuel: The 8th challenge, according to Serge (a rope bridge over a chasm).

  Serge: "That game's completely crazy! Lucky I don't have a digestive system or I would've emptied it."

  • Glamour Failure: The first movie's robot clones of the cast can be indentified by vomiting at hearing the word "Human". This works even for the Bob clone in the beginning but everyone thought he had reflux from eating too much berries. He was dispatched when Flavien noticed he didn't asked a question.
  • Green Aesop: Half of the premise of the show.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: The Captain's, Brad's and Flavien's. Brad's parents didn't like him because they wanted a daughter (and dressed him as a girl for the first few years of his life), Flavien was an orphan who was moved from foster home to foster home (of his mothers once sent him to a girl's summer camp because the boy's was full and she didn't want him around during the summer), and the Captain had a very distant relationship with his father, even though he doesn't seem to realise it (he considers his father telling him "it's raining" a very intimate moment).
    • Brad's childhood in particular borders on a running gag, as it doubles as his Freudian Excuse. He once insults someone by saying terrible things about their childhood, culminating with "Kids at school once had a contest of whom could throw the biggest rock at you, and your teacher won." only to stop and say "No wait, that's my childhood."
  • Human Alien: Most of the time, any time an alien will show up, they'll end up looking no different than the crew. Otherwise, they will be Rubber Forehead Aliens or outright Starfish Aliens.
  • Humans Are Bastards: And how. The crew usually refer to the 6 5 4 billion humans left on Earth as morons, and when encountering alien life forms who know about Earth, their reaction is usually unpleasant. In the movies, aliens went so far as to vomit when hearing the word "Human". A prophet the crew visited claimed that they would eventually find a habitable planet, but that a terrible creature would guard it. The terrible creature turned out to be a second human crew, who, unlike the original team, had no problem with killing the tribes that were already inhabitting the "promised" planet.
    • The final episode has the crew finding their goal of a perfect planet to move humanity and sends a signal back home. When the first ships get there... they just start a whole NEW war and force the crew to leave in a hurry, determined to find another perfect planet to leave behind the population of massive idiots.
  • I Have Many Names:

 The Devil: "I am Satan! Lucifer!! Belzebub!! The demon!!! But my real name is... Steve."

  • Insignia Rip Off Ritual: When Brad was finally demoted after nearly killing the captain. Took about 3 times to finally get all of Brad's hidden insignias off.
  • Jerkass: Dear lord, Brad Spitfire. He's not just a self-serving conniving bastard who will sell out everyone faster than he can yell "Please kill HIM first!" but is immensely proud of that fact, stating that this is the essential survival trait that has made the Spitfire family thrive and succeed. When he recovers his memory after alien Phlebotinum gives everyone Easy Amnesia, the first he does is try to be sure he's back to normal:

 Brad: "Okay, think back. You're ten years old and it's Christmas morning. You're on the porch with grandpa and the snowblower is coming... What do you say... Five bucks or your wheelchair ends up on the snow pile! (proudly) YES! I'M A DIRTY BASTARD!!!"

  • Lampshade Hanging: When the Captain asks Pétrolia why she hasn't finished fixing up Serge yet, she replies that she never has the time to do anything because something always happens, "it's like being in an adventure tv series".
  • Large Ham: Patenaude, especially considering his "template".

 Brad: "If you don't (let me go) I blow up the ship's hull with EXPLOOOOOOSIVE CHAAARGES!"

And that's only the first episode.

  • Metaphorgotten: Patenaude has a lot of trouble getting his metaphors and proverbs right.
  • My Friends and Zoidberg: "My friends... and Brad."
  • Pet the Dog: Brad eventually feels some genuine remorse for his action in the final two episodes, although he never really makes up for the mountains of crap he caused up to that point.
  • Projectile Toast: Due to Pétrolia upgrading the ship's toaster with "turbine springs [2]", the toasts managed to be launched at supersonic speeds. Bob ends up having one of the toasts embedded into his skull, missing his brain. The other bounced all over the place, without losing momentum.
  • Put on a Bus: During the first season, there were two additional characters, Mirabella Romario (a fake doctor) and Falbo Gotta (a mercenary). In the first episode of season 2, Mirabella's secret is exposed and she escapes to a jungle planet. Falbo is sent after her and is lost as well. The two characters never returned, but were mentionned a few times afterward.
  • Red Alert: Parodied, and how. Some of the most outrageous alerts include "Yellow Alert with Mauve Socks" and "Dark Blue Alert with a little dog on the side".
  • Running Gag: The best way to stop Brad is to simply karate chop his neck and exclaim "No, Brad!".
    • Hilariously done in the movie, where all the main cast do it at the very same time.
    • Serge getting destroyed repetitively in the first movie.
    • Whenever the captain mentions The Mission, it's with dramatic emphasis on those two words and everyone assumes a dramatic fists-on-hips pose, looking up and to the right into the distance.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: The second movie. The crew discovers that they have reach the end of the universe and that there is no habitable planets forr the humans, yet in their discoveries, they found a time riff who leads to a past version of Earth (in 2007). Charles Patenaude sends a message to the earthlings only for it to become an Internet Meme. So not only they failed to find a planet for the humans but the process will repeat itself in an other timeline.
  • Shout-Out: Pretty much to ANYTHING related to Science Fiction, but mostly Star Trek.
    • Otherwise, Hockey and especially the Montreal Canadiens.
  • Techno Babble: Always done on purpose.
  • The Devil Is a Loser: He's evil. He has no friends, no familly, no girlfriend and think he sucks. He just want to retire. All he need is a successor.
  • They Killed Kenny: Serge is killed often in the movies and this is Played for Laughs.
  • Token Minority: Bob.
  • The Other Darrin: Valence was played by two different actresses.
  • Used Future: The ship look like its made out of recycled junk... and probably IS! As of the second movie, it is also possible that its simply getting old. Considering all the damage it took during the course of the show, it makes sense.
    • The ship was revealed to be built by Spitfire Industries, and thus built on the cheap by cutting every possible corner. Truly a hallmark of Spitfire Industries if there was one, it's a wonder if even made it off the Earth to begin with.

 It's garanteed to last three years. And after three years? It's garanteed to break!

Notes

  1. Aller là où la main de l'homme n'a jamais mis le pied.
  2. Ressorts à turbines
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