The Cambridge Geek

Napoleon Moon

A pilot for a science fiction comedy, set in a dystopian future in which everything is...well, about as awful as you might expect, though the new Space Fleet is looking quite exciting.

Napoleon (Paterson Joseph) is a gadabout, recently home from a relaxing spa break he took to resolve a few relationship troubles. Unfortunately for him, being a billionaire, he is an excellent target for Cash (Kemah Bob), his (airborne) Tuk Tuk driver, who has a job in mind that needs two people, a worrying deadline that gives her a lot of motivation, and a relaxed approach to kidnapping.

There's a certain Doctor Who feel in the world of this, though that might be because of just how many tropes it's had over the years. So here we've got environmental disasters (plastic storms), troublesome personal assistant AIs (the ubiquitous Clive 5 - an excellently silly name), and weird creatures (the odd genetic hybrids people make for Christmas presents). Also ironically named police, and sludge food. It's impressive just how many details this manages to throw in over the course of the episode via quick gags.

World-building is all well and good, but what about characters? Napoleon is unlikable, as he's meant to be, a smarmy devil who is a bit too used to getting his own way. Pushed perhaps a little too far that way, as I struggled to summon up any sympathy for him, but may be being built as a karma-earning arsehole. Cash, on the other hand is fantastic, a desperate woman trying to keep her head above water as honestly as possible, but not afraid to push back where needed to get things done. And Clive is the usual source of AI dry humour.

Enjoyably silly, but with a decently solid core to it that would hopefully allow more to be built on it. Wouldn't be surprised if this one got another four episodes.

Score 5

Tagged: Radio Comedy Cast Sitcom Science fiction