At first glance, Final Space looks like yet another Netflix adult animation but get under its skin and you find something quite different.
Final Space tells the story of Gary, a cocky young Space pilot who is serving a five-year prison sentence on-board the Galaxy One prison ship. He befriends a cute alien that he names Mooncake which turns out to be a planet destroying weapon. He’s then hunted mercilessly by a being named The Lord Commander.
The Lord Commander wants Mooncake as it’s the key to unlocking Final Space, a dimension ruled by world destroying Titans. Quite why the Lord Commander wants to open it isn’t clear but he’s mad with power and wants to rule every realm, that much is clear.
So it’s an interesting concept but nothing groundbreaking from the description. So what sets this apart from other animated series’?
Final Space is really well written. Yes, the comedy can occasionally feel like it’s trying to be edgy in places but actually, it’s done in a very self-aware way which works surprisingly well.
Where it really excels though is in the character creation, it builds emotion like few other animated series and you really feel for the characters when they go through some pretty horrific stuff. Another point worth making is that this isn’t some fluffy feel-good comedy show, it’s dark.
Darkside of the genre
By the end of the series pretty much every character is killed trying to save the Earth from the Lord Commander. Almost all of the deaths really hit you as well, this is achieved perfectly by Gary’s constant dwelling on the bad events, a clever idea which really drives home not only his character but also the atmosphere of the show.
The season ending is bleak, really bleak. We really expected the series to end a lighter note. Each episode started with a short glimpse into the future where Gary is floating in space as his oxygen runs out. This comes to its logical end but it doesn’t end there. He meets his father in the afterlife who offers him a chance to go back. He takes it but the last thing we see is him floating, seemingly dead in space.
Voice of the people
As well as Gary, voiced by Olan Rogers (Conan, BalloonShop) who also wrote and created the series, Final Space also has several other great characters with equally impressive voice casting.
There’s David Tennant (Dr Who, Jessica Jones) as The Lord Commander, Fred Armisen (Portlandia, Anchorman) as the annoying KVN, Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants, Adventure Time) as HUE, Tika Sumpter (Ride Along, Southside With You) as Quinn, Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead, Okja) as Little Cato, Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy) as John Goodspeed, Conan O’Brien (Conan, Now You See Me) and even John DiMaggio (Futurama, Adventure Time) performs various roles.
We’ll have to wait for season 2 to see if he’s actually saved, we presume he will be unless season 2 follows a whole new set of characters.
In all honesty, we were surprised by how much we loved this show. It was a revelation that something so witty and bold could have been released with so little fanfare.
This really is up there with the best and we don’t say that lightly.
The good news for us is that season 2 is already confirmed and Olan Rogers has also stated on Twitter that he’s written at least six seasons worth of ideas for the show including a definitive ending.
If you like you’re Animation punchy, a bit childish but unapologetically bleak and brutal then you have to check out Final Space. You won’t be disappointed, just make sure you buy some cookies before you start watching.
Looking for more space-based comedy? Check out our review of The Orville.