You don't have to be a Trekkie to enjoy Galaxy Quest, a sparkling blend of sci-fi and comedy that affectionately spoofs every Star Trek cliché known to man, Romulan, or Klingon. Fans of Alien will also enjoy watching Sigourney Weaver let her (blonde!) hair down as an actress who - along with the cast of her cancelled Trek-style TV show - is whisked off to space to fight some genuine galactic bad guys.
Life hasn't been the same for the stars of Galaxy Quest since their show was pulled in 1982. Twenty-five years on, they're scraping a living - just - by trading on past glories and making demeaning public appearances at geeky conventions.
Gwen DeMarco (Weaver) is sick to death of her bubbly airhead character - though not as much as Alexander Dane (Alan Rickman), a Shakespearean actor who never lived down his role as the show's Spock-like, purple-headed alien. Only Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen) still gets a buzz out of playing Commander Taggart, courageous captain of the NSEA Protector.
When a trio of shiny-suited oddballs turn up at his door, Jason dismisses them as sad groupies. Little does he realise they belong to an alien race called the Thermians, who mistakenly intercepted transmissions of the Galaxy Quest show for genuine historical documentaries. Before they know it, Jason and his fellow "astronauts" are transported to Klatu Nebula to assist the Thermians in their war against reptilian tyrant Sarris.
Those familiar with the genre conventions of Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica will spot all the subtle in-jokes. But director Dean Parisot ensures his film still delivers the requisite amount of eye-popping effects and hi-tech thrills to qualify as a terrific sci-fi adventure in its own right.
The only surprise is that the cast hasn't yet reassembled for a sequel.