Space Force (TV series)
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Promotional release poster
|Music by||Carter Burwell|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||10 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||27–36 minutes|
|Picture format||4K (2:1 UHDTV in Dolby Vision)|
|Audio format||Dolby Atmos|
|Original release||May 29, 2020|
Space Force is an American comedy television series created by Greg Daniels and Steve Carell. It is centered on a group of people tasked with establishing the sixth branch of the United States Armed Forces, the United States Space Force. It stars Steve Carell, John Malkovich, Ben Schwartz, Diana Silvers, Lisa Kudrow, Tawny Newsome and Jimmy O Yang. The series premiered on Netflix on May 29, 2020.
Space Force is a workplace comedy series that centers on a group of people tasked with establishing the sixth branch of the United States Armed Forces, the United States Space Force. Carell's character, Mark Naird, is the first general of the Space Force, and is in charge of the effort and the series follows his collaboration to get "boots on the moon" by 2024, per the orders of the president.
- Steve Carell as General Mark R. Naird, the Space Force's first Chief of Space Operations
- John Malkovich as Dr. Adrian Mallory, Space Force chief scientist
- Ben Schwartz as F. Tony "Fuck Tony" Scarapiducci, Space Force social media director
- Diana Silvers as Erin Naird, Mark's teenage daughter
- Tawny Newsome as Captain Angela Ali, a Space Force helicopter pilot, and later, astronaut
- Don Lake as Brigadier General Bradley Gregory who serves as Naird's adjutant
- Noah Emmerich as General Kick Grabaston, Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force
- Alex Sparrow as Captain Yuri "Bobby" Telatovich, a Russian Space Forces liaison with U.S. Space Force
- Roy Wood Jr. as Colonel Bert Mellows, U.S. Army liaison to the Space Force
- Jane Lynch as Chief of Naval Operations
- Diedrich Bader as General Rongley, Chief of Staff of the United States Army
- Patrick Warburton as General Dabney Stramm, Commandant of the Marine Corps
- Larry Joe Campbell as Admiral Louis Biffoont, Commandant of the Coast Guard
- Spencer House as Duncan Tabner, a Space Force security guard from Alabama
- Jamison Webb as Major Lee Baxter
- Brandon Molale as Captain Clarke Luffinch, USAF
- Dan Bakkedahl as John Blandsmith, Secretary of Defense
- Ginger Gonzaga as Anabela Ysidro-Campos, also known as AYC, a parody of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
- Concetta Tomei as Representative Pitosi, a parody of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
- Alan Blumenfeld as Senator Schugler, a parody of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer
- Jimmy O. Yang as Dr. Chan Kaifang, Dr. Mallory's lead assistant
- Jessica St. Clair as Kelly King, structural engineer and civil contractor
- Thomas Ohrstrom as Dr. Vandeveld
- Nancy Lantis as Dr. Wolf
- Punam Patel as Ranatunga
- Chris Gethard as Eddie Broser
- Owen Daniels as Obie Hanrahan
- Aparna Nancherla as Pella Bhat
- Hector Duran as Julio Díaz-José
- Carolyn Wilson as Louise Papaleo
- Vivis Colombetti as Hilde
- Amanda Lund as Anna
- Marc Sully Saint-Fleur as Jean Baptiste Bosou
- Scott Michael Morgan as Emmett Bunyan
- Rahul Nath as Dr. Chandreshekar
- Tommy Cook as Representative Bob White
- Asif Ali as Captain Dave Powers
- Michael Hitchcock as Jerome Lalosz
- Alice Wetterlund as Major Jane Pike
- Kaitlin Olson as Edison Jaymes, "an Elizabeth Holmes-esque tech wiz"
- Janina Gavankar as Hannah Howard, Jaymes' social media manager
- Bruce Locke as General Tsengjun
- Megan Grano as Reporter No. 2 (Meredith)
- Jessica McKenna as Participant No. 2
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||"The Launch"||Paul King||Steve Carell & Greg Daniels||May 29, 2020|
|Air Force Lieutenant General Mark Naird is promoted to full four-star general and is hoping to take over as the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. But he is appointed as the first Chief of Operations of the newest United States military branch: the United States Space Force, which has branched from the Air Force, led by his enemy, General Kick Grabaston. His family, including daughter Erin and wife Maggie, are relocated to Wild Horse, Colorado so that he can work at the new base there. One year later, the Space Force is about to launch a new satellite called Epsilon 6 into orbit. The Space Force is disorganized and fledgling, Mark is constantly bombarded by obstacles and adversaries, Erin detests her new home, and Maggie is now in prison. Against the advice of his advisors and scientists, including Space Force scientist Dr. Adrian Mallory, Mark orders the launch of Epsilon 6. Despite initial concerns, and in front of a delegation of prominent members of Congress, Epsilon 6 successfully reaches orbit. Later that night, as Mark and Adrian celebrate, Mark, observing Epsilon 6 through a telescope, sees a massive Chinese satellite intentionally clip the solar panels, the satellite's only power source, putting Epsilon 6 in jeopardy.|
|2||"Save Epsilon 6!"||Tom Marshall||Greg Daniels||May 29, 2020|
|After the solar panels were removed from Epsilon 6, Mark and Adrian try to come up with a plan to reattach the solar panels to the Epsilon 6 spacecraft before their different orbital trajectories take them too far apart. Despite other proposals from his science team, Mark decides to use a chimpanzee, Marcus, and a dog, Theodore, who were in orbit for a promotional mission. After negotiating with Marcus, they convince him to conduct an extravehicular activity to reattach the solar panels, but he is unsuccessful and breaks the tether to his spacecraft, flinging him far away. Marcus is recovered by a Chinese space station. They try to get Theodore to finish the repairs only to discover that Marcus had eaten Theodore some time ago. Mark attempts to resign from his position, but that is denied by the Secretary of Defense.|
|3||"Mark and Mallory Go to Washington"||Tom Marshall||Shepard Boucher||May 29, 2020|
|Mark and Adrian travel to Washington, D.C. to present the case for the Space Force budget to the House Armed Services Committee. Erin is suspended from school and attempts to travel with her father back to Washington, D.C., but he has Angela watch her for the day instead. Mark requests an increased Space Force budget before Congress, while Grabaston attempts to convince Adrian to betray Mark so that Grabaston can re-absorb the Space Force. Adrian argues on behalf of Mark's goal of the increased militarization of space, while Mark argues for the scientific advancements that space exploration offers – the other's specialities. Satisfied by their answers, the committee dismisses the Space Force representatives from the hearing and simultaneously begins to investigate inflated Air Force budgets, to Grabaston's dismay.|
|4||"Lunar Habitat"||Paul King||Lauren Houseman||May 29, 2020|
|One of the participants in a 2-year experiment on a mock lunar habitat leaves before the end of the experiment. Not wanting to waste the experiment, Mark volunteers to join the team for the one remaining week. He struggles to befriend the other participants and refuses to acknowledge his personal stresses. After he stubbornly goes on a run and passes out, Mark is rescued by the other participants, who he finally connects with. With her father away, Erin attempts to throw a party but is disappointed when none of her invited guests show up. She visits Maggie in prison, who tells her that her father is struggling and that he needs her support. The First Lady of the United States designs new ostentatious uniforms for the Space Force, and F. Tony encourages her Chief of Staff to send them over the objections of Brad. With the experiment over, Mark gets rid of the new uniforms and returns home.|
|5||"Space Flag"||Dee Rees||Brent Forrester||May 29, 2020|
|The Space Force and the Air Force are competing in Space Flag, an exercise that primarily focuses on a lunar combat scenario. Each team is equipped with powered exoskeleton prototypes to test their effectiveness in recovering equipment from a dead spaceman. Adrian does not support Space Flag, as he argues that it is not properly testing the Space Force and that space warfare violates the morals of space travel; his exoskeleton selection offers limited mobility compared to the Air Force's exoskeleton, causing Mark to believe that he is trying to sabotage the exercise. Throughout most of the exercise, the Air Force team, led personally by Grabaston defeats all of the Space Force team except Mark. Adrian electronically interferes with the Air Force exoskeletons, allowing Mark to defeat the remaining team and win the exercise for the Space Force.|
|6||"The Spy"||Dee Rees||Aasia Lashay Bullock & Connor Hines||May 29, 2020|
|Mark is planning to visit Maggie in prison for a conjugal visit but is interrupted when India launches a rocket that appears to use stolen US technology. Suspecting there is a spy, Mark organizes a search to find potential leaks within the Space Force. After determining that Chan, Kelly, and Bobby are not spies, he suspects that Adrian is the spy after finding he had sent an encrypted e-mail. Mark publicly decrypts the file to find a video that Adrian had sent to Jerome, one of the lunar habitat participants, to express his love. Mark receives a call from the Secretary of Defense, who explains there was no spy, and India had developed the technology on its own.|
|7||"Edison Jaymes"||Jeff Blitz||Yael Green||May 29, 2020|
|The president of the United States directs that the Space Force contract its rocket fuel from Edison Jaymes, a successful tech entrepreneur. She meets with Mark and demonstrates the positive environmental impact of her improved rocket fuel, Skinny Fuel, but F. Tony learns from his hated counterpart working for Jaymes that it will not work as planned. Mark covertly changes the rocket fuel for the launch of the Prospector satellite from Skinny Fuel back to the original formula, resulting in a successful launch while still publicizing Jaymes's company. In return, he requests that she inform the president that no private companies are needed for the Space Force. Once it is established in a lunar orbit, the Prospector satellite returns images from the surface, revealing a Chinese base.|
|8||"Conjugal Visit"||David Rogers||Maxwell Theodore Vivian||May 29, 2020|
|Mark and Erin go to the prison to visit Maggie. Mark states that he would like alone time with Maggie and leaves Erin by the helicopter, where she begins speaking with some of the inmates about her mother. Much to Mark's disappointment, Maggie tells him that she would like for them to have an open marriage, as she is unsatisfied by the relatively few times that they can see each other. After the visit is done, Mark flies home but leaves Erin at the prison. Chan drives Angela to Denver to get LASIK, and they form a friendship. Adrian, F. Tony, and Brad search for candidates to work on the upcoming lunar habitat, and select the badly inexperienced Eddie and Pella.|
|9||"It's Good to Be Back on the Moon"||Daina Reid||Paul Lieberstein||May 29, 2020|
|The Space Force One rocket carrying the habitat and crew achieves liftoff and orbit, but before they land the Chinese establish the Mare Tranquillitatis – Space Force One's landing site – as a 'territory of scientific research'. Adrian and Mark negotiate with their Chinese counterparts, but the negotiations fail badly, and the press discovers Eddie's criminal record. An enraged Adrian considers war. Space Force One lands, becoming Habitat One, and Angela walks on the moon, intending to say, "It's good to be back on the moon," as her memorable line, but she stutters and accidentally says, "It's good to be black on the moon." The crew of Habitat One celebrates, but the victory is premature when Space Force is horrified by the discovery that a Chinese rover has deliberately rolled over the Lunar Flag Assembly planted by Apollo 11. Meanwhile, Erin discovers that Mark has been dating Kelly, and when she informs Maggie, the latter reveals that she, too, is dating Louise, a prison guard, to Erin's fury.|
|10||"Proportionate Response"||Daina Reid||Greg Daniels||May 29, 2020|
|The Joint Chiefs of Staff debate the legality of China's actions and discuss war, to Mark's dismay, in fear of a domino effect that would start a nuclear war, eventually destroying the majority of the world. Meanwhile, Erin vandalizes Kelly's car and gets fired from her job. Mark discusses his mild suggestions for the habitat assault, and all the Joint Chiefs (aside from General Grabaston) concur, but the Secretary of Defense overrules them and orders Mark to completely destroy the Chinese base. Mark reluctantly reveals to the crew that Habitat One is armed, and the crew starts training for the use of firearms. Enraged, Adrian resigns, but Mark changes his mind and conspires with Adrian to disobey his orders. Erin joins a group of suspicious men on the way to their 'party' but discovers that they actually plan to use drugs. Mark orders the Habitat One crew to disassemble their arms and use the parts for habitat modifications. Angered by Mark's defiance of the attack orders, the president sends Grabaston to establish a military coup thanks to Air Force teams who storm the Wild Horse facility, arresting guard Duncan, Mark, and Adrian; doing a hostile takeover of command; and Grabaston orders the crew to assault the base with wrenches, after finding out that the firearms were disabled. After getting a call from Erin regarding the 'party', Mark escapes. Erin is saved by Mark via helicopter, and Maggie escapes from prison with Louise, and they too board the helicopter. Meanwhile, the Habitat One crew returns from their sabotage mission, only to discover that the Chinese have completely crippled the American base. Mark turns the helicopter back.|
On January 16, 2019, it was announced that Netflix had given the production a series order for a ten-episode first season. The series is co-created by Greg Daniels and Steve Carell and is executive produced by Daniels, Carell, and Howard Klein through 3 Arts Entertainment.
Alongside the initial series order announcement, it was confirmed that Carell would star in the series.
On September 26, 2019, it was announced that John Malkovich, Ben Schwartz, Diana Silvers and Tawny Newsome had joined that series as main cast and Jimmy O. Yang, Alex Sparrow and Don Lake as recurring cast. In October 2019, Noah Emmerich, Fred Willard and Jessica St. Clair joined the cast in recurring roles. In April 2020, it was announced Lisa Kudrow had joined the cast in a recurring role. In May 2020, it was reported that Jane Lynch and Roy Wood Jr. were cast in recurring roles.
The series features the last television performance by Willard, who died on May 15, 2020, two weeks before the show's release.
Principal photography for the first season commenced in Los Angeles, California, on September 26, 2019, and ended on January 10, 2020. Most exterior shots of the fictional Space Force base were shot on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills.
At their Q2 report meeting in July 2020, Netflix reported the series had been viewed by about 40 million households since its release. In August 2020, it was estimated that 8.3% of subscribers had watched the series over its first month.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the first season of the series has an approval rating of 38% based on 95 reviews, with an average rating of 5.78/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "An all-star cast and blockbuster-worthy special effects aren't enough to keep Space Force's uneven blend of earnestness and satire from spinning quickly out of comedic orbit." On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 49 out of 100, based on 38 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times praised Carell, for his "impeccable comedic timing and his uncanny ability to play yet another character who's often an insufferable buffoon with not a speck of self-awareness" but criticized the hit-and-miss humor, and unrealized potential, saying "Don’t get me wrong; I enjoyed Space Force... It’s just with all the credentials of the main contributors, we hoped for greatness and got ... pretty good." Caroline Framke of Variety wrote: "For all the heft behind it, Space Force should be an easy win. Ten episodes later, it's safer to say that Space Force is really just okay." Rahul Desai of Film Companion gave a mixed review, "Space Force is stuck between the space of The Office and the force of Veep." Nick Allen, writing for RogerEbert.com says, "Space Force has the supporting characters to color its cringe-worthy absurdity," praising its cast but calling out on the story's incompetence. The Guardian gave the first season of the series only 2 out of 5 saying, "Above all, despite occasional laughs to be gleaned from the twist that Malkovich can give the most unpromising of lines, Space Force is not funny, which makes it hard to class as a comedy." Joshua Rivera from The Verge gave Space Force a disappointing review stating that "the show falls apart before it even gets going", chiefly because it strays away from the sharp political satire that shows such as Veep had nailed and instead "adheres to the conventions of the workplace comedy."
- "Carter Burwell Scoring Netflix's 'Space Force' | Film Music Reporter". filmmusicreporter.com. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
Carter Burwell (Fargo, Carol, Twilight, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, True Grit) has recently scored the first season of the upcoming Netflix original series Space Force
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