Hyperdrive

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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Teal, Henderson and York, about to make a new enemy for all of mankind.

"That thing is eating my crew!"

"Only the slow ones. It's picking them off one by one, it's doing exactly what I would do. I think I almost love her."
Henderson and York, A Gift From the Glish

Attention all crew: nutrition advice. Lager is not a meal in itself. Eat food with your lager.

This show boils down to a British Warship (the HMS Camden Lock) in the year 2151 crewed by a Five-Man Band of Bunny Ears Lawyers who solve problems by making them bigger until they go away.

The show was quite well received critically but failed to get the ratings. It had two seasons in 2006 and 2007.

The Bridge Crew consists of:

  • Space Commander Michael Henderson: "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."
    • Recommended Action: "Send to a dangerous quadrant of the galaxy, where perhaps some alien race may deal with 'the Henderson problem' for us."
  • First Officer Eduardo York: "York is still the only trainee at Space Force Academy to ever kill someone in a role play workshop, after which he said he was 'just trying to make it realistic, wasn't that the idea, or are you disagreeing with me as well?'. A cold-hearted, brutal psychopath."
    • Recommended Action: "We need more like him."
  • Diplomatic officer Chloe Teal: "Teal was expected to excel in her final exams at Space Force academy, yet spent the entire three hours working out the best way to arrange her coloured pens. We couldn't flunk her though because her Dad's an ambassador."
    • Recommended Action: "The Camden Lock has proved a suitable place for her talents."
  • Technical Officer Jeffers: "Disobedient and insolent AND VERY GOOD IN BED, Jeffers CAN DRINK TWO BOTTLES OF CIDER WITHOUT NEEDING A WEE has been subject to several serious investigations, records of which have mysteriously disappeared from our central computer OH DEAR."
    • Recommended Action: "Investigate further. GOOD LUCK!"
  • Navigator Vine: "Suffering panic attacks and delusions, Vine is a danger to himself and the rest of his crew. He lives in fear of most things, including fear itself and the fear of fear itself. Oddly, he's fine with spiders."
    • Recommended Action: "Medicate if becomes severe."
  • Sandstrom: "Sandstrom is a prototype. It may be that there are problems with the enhancement process, but the project went four times over budget so it is vital that we don't draw any attention to them."
    • Recommended Action: "If pressed please say, 'The enhanced human project is a triumph of British engineering, and the early models which rampaged through Manchester should not blind us to that fact.'"

(Comments from official Space Force files on the BBC website.)


Tropes used in Hyperdrive include:
  • Aliens Speaking English: Lampshaded, "...their language is AMAZINGLY similar to English, which is jolly helpful..." Every alien language in the show is either English or English being spoken in a weird voice.
  • Ambiguously Bi: In the Deadly Game episode, Henderson doesn't seem bothered at all that he's the fan favorite for the gay male crowd. In fact, at the end of the episode he requests that the ship make a detour so he can appear at the opening of a disco/bathhouse/club (called "Spurt") because he was invited by his new gay fans. Considering this and his affection for Sandstrom, he's comfortably in this role.
  • Badass: Arguably York.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Both seasons. First: they are about to get gunned down by the Space Force after going rogue (turns out that Chloe's father stepped in). Second: Henderson gives everyone (including those keeping the air circulating and power on) the day off, leaving them with a few minutes' worth of air...
  • Brainwashed (and arguably crazy): Henderson in the season two finale
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: Possibly not Chloe.
  • Crazy Cultural Comparison: The alien races thrive on this.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Sandstrom.
  • Cyborg Helmsman: Sandstrom.
  • Deadly Game: A reality TV program no less.
  • Disintegrator Ray: Lampooned with the Queppunian Doom Ray. It only works if the target stays perfectly still for three days, and has a recharge time of 1 week.
  • Five-Man Band: Jeffers and Vine share the Smart Guy role.
  • Future Imperfect: "When he first discovered France, did Charles Dickens feel as I do now?"
  • Heroic Sociopath: York. Well, sometimes he is heroic, or at least on the right side.
  • Interspecies Romance: Hilariously averted with the Squick-inducing sex education video.
  • Mook Chivalry: Lampshaded and then Subverted; the Shiny Red Robots of Vortis behave this way, until Henderson points it out.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Lampshaded when the Commander and York find themselves on a narrow, rail-less walkway suspended hundreds of feet above a Swirly Energy Thingy.

Cmdr Henderson: Why would anything on this ship have to be so high?

  • Patrick Stewart Speech: Given by Henderson after their disasterous First Contact with Queppu. His crew decide that Deus Ex Nukina is a better response.
  • Rubber Forehead Aliens: Played straight, but to the point that it is hilarious (the aliens look really silly, especially the Queppunians, but this is never commented upon.)
  • Shout-Out: The ship has a resemblance to the BT Tower. Its registration number, XH558, is that of an Avro Vulcan bomber that was recently restored to flying condition.
  • Show Within a Show: Captain Helix. Responsible for the aforementioned brainwashing.
  • Single Tear
  • Spaceship Girl: Sandstrom, she used to be a ordinary human but volunteered to undergo cybernetic enhancement (including the removal of her memories and sentient thoughts) just to pay off her college debts. Somehow they could put Sandtroms mind back once her contracted tour of duty was over.
  • Techno Babble: Also played straight until it looks utterly daft.
  • Zany Scheme: Season 1, Episode 3