How Steve Carell’s ‘Space Force’ crew stacks up to other planetary nomads

How Steve Carell’s ‘Space Force’ crew stacks up to other planetary nomads

It’s all about your crew.

Steve Carell is back in his first lead TV role after a long stint on the big screen following his 2013 exit from “The Office.” In Netflix’s new workplace comedy “Space Force,” premiering Friday, he stars as General Mark Naird, who heads the operation to establish the sixth branch of the United States Armed Forces. Carell co-created the series with Greg Daniels as a satire of the very real upstart program.

Like all fictional characters who forged into the final frontier before him, Mark’s team’s problems arise from their own dysfunction just as much as mission-related issues.

His ragtag group includes a scientist played by John Malkovich, Lisa Kudrow as Mark’s wife Maggie, and Fred Willard — who died May 15 at age 86 — in his final acting role as Mark’s father.

So, how does Mark’s team stack up against some of TV’s other fictional interstellar crews? Let’s do a little stargazing.

‘Firefly’

"Firefly."
“Firefly.”©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

Joss Whedon’s cult-hit space western (short-lived on Fox from 2002 to 2003) follows the swaggering Captain Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) and his crew aboard the ship Serenity.

How much does their interpersonal drama interfere with their missions?
When Dr. Simon Tam (Sean Maher) smuggles his troubled sister River (Summer Glau) aboard, that creates nonstop trouble. Not to mention Wash’s (Alan Tudyk) jealousy of his wife Zoë’s (Gina Torres) relationship with Mal — and the captain’s continuous “aim to misbehave.”

‘The Orville’

"The Orville."
“The Orville.”20th Century Fox Licensing/Merch

With two seasons already aired on Fox and a third coming to Hulu at an unannounced date, “The Orville” follows the crew of the eponymous spaceship on planet-hopping adventures. Led by Capt. Ed Mercer (played by show creator Seth MacFarlane of “Family Guy” fame), there’s no shortage of laughs.

How much does their interpersonal drama interfere with their missions?
A lot. Ed’s ex-wife Kelly (Adrianne Palicki) is his first officer — even though she cheated on him with an alien archeologist played by Rob Lowe. Ouch. Another crew member, Lt. Commander Bortus (Peter Macon) is an alien whose species only urinates once a year, causing it to be a big production whenever they do.

‘The Expanse’

"The Expanse."
“The Expanse.”Everett Collection

This space drama follows the anti-heroes of the United Nations Security Council as they try to keep the peace in the solar system. (Syfy aired the first three seasons before canceling the series, which moved to Amazon for a fourth season; it was renewed for a fifth last summer.)

How much does their interpersonal drama interfere with their missions?
Mixed. They have their conflicts and squabbles — especially involving the combative Amos (Wes Chatham) — but at the end of the day, they’re a solid found-family.

‘Lost in Space’

"Lost in Space."
“Lost in Space.”Courtesy of Netflix

The three-season Netflix reboot of the classic 1965 series follows the Robinson family as they colonize the Alpha Centauri star system.

How much does their interpersonal drama interfere with their missions?
Not much. For the most part — barring some overzealous behavior from son Will (Maxwell Jenkins) as he goes exploring too far, or scheming by June Harris (Parker Posey) — the family supports each other. But the oddly muscular Robot often gets them into trouble.

‘Star Trek: Picard’

"Star Trek: Picard."
“Star Trek: Picard.”CBS

While there have been countless iterations of “Star Trek” since 1966, the most recent version is “Picard” on CBS All Access, starring Patrick Stewart in the titular role as Jean-Luc Picard.

How much does their interpersonal drama interfere with their missions?
Most of the drama is caused by Narek (Harry Treadaway), who was sent to spy on and seduce android Soji (Isa Briones).

‘Battlestar Galactica’

"Battlestar Galactica."
“Battlestar Galactica.”©Sci-Fi Channel/Courtesy Everett Collection

In the 2004 show — a reimagining of the original 1978 series — humans live in 12 colonies at war with creatures called Cylons.

How much does their interpersonal drama interfere with their missions?
The iconic Captain Kara Thrace (Katee Sackhoff), a k a Starbuck, causes most of the drama with her hot-headed bravery and penchant for diving headfirst into danger. But, hey, what commander doesn’t?

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