After watching the initial trailer to this promising new sci-fi comedy, Final Space feels full of hope, sharp wit and a colourful group of characters travelling through space, stumbling into trouble every step of the way. Whilst Final Space does do a good job of moving the plot forward and bringing enough originality to every episode, it also feels tonally confused for much of its run time, unsure whether to embrace its drama or comedy. Final Space does eventually lean more heavily toward its more serious, dramatic moments that ultimately offset the comedy present in every episode. The jokes linger a tad too long, the characters feel one-dimensional and most never really evolve beyond their initial archetypes at the start of the series. Whilst there are certainly some stand out moments, almost all of them come from the dramatic moments rather than the comedy making the initial premise of this being a comedy difficult to judge given the serious tone to the show.
Set in the depths of deep space, Final Space sees astronaut Gary (Olan Rogers) living out his jail sentence on board a prison ship with a hyperactive robot and an emotionless AI controlling the ship for company. When a giant green ball known as Mooncake flies into Gary’s face, the two form an instant connection even after finding out the cuddly creature is actually a planet destroying weapon. Hunted relentlessly by the evil Lord Commander (David Tennant), Gary joins forces with a cat-like alien called Avocato (Coty Galloway) and together they try to escape the clutches of the Lord Commander while tracking down and attempting to free Avocato’s son, Little Cato (Steven Yeun), all whilst avoiding Mooncake being caught. The story moves at a rapid pace and the episodes are chock full of chases, gun fights, explosions and a whole lot of humour throughout the 10 episodes to keep things moving quickly.
Despite some obvious tonal confusion during the episodes as Final Space struggles to find a harmonic balance between its more serious and comedic elements, there’s certainly some memorable scenes here. Late on one particular episode sees Avocato make a shocking choice that takes the entire group by surprise, Gary begins to show some redeeming qualities beyond the initial idiot trope he adopts for much of the season and some of the jokes are genuinely well-timed and funny. The Lord Commander is deliciously evil too and voiced by the delightful David Tennant, injects a great dose of maniacal charisma into the scenes he shows up in. On the opposite side of the spectrum is Gary who, despite the best intentions from voice actor Olan Rogers, feels bland and cliched for most of the series. Playing on the tired trope seen too often in animated comedies of being obliviously stupid, Gary lacks any originality which certainly juxtaposes with the decent art design throughout the episodes.
Visually, Final Space looks great and the myriad of different planets and alien species the group encounter certainly helps with this. Seeing the various bright, vibrant worlds brings a lot more colour into the series and every scene is brimming with a beautiful medley of visual splendour. If there’s one gripe here it’s with the character models that are a little basic in their design, especially the facial animations.
While Final Space certainly has its moments, the tonally confused nature of this animation give this a somewhat mixed reaction to the series. There will of course be some that love Final Space and it certainly ticks some boxes for what you’d expect from this sort of show but never really innovates beyond the initial premise it sticks with at the start of the series. While the story is certainly interesting enough to keep you watching, the comedy is very hit or miss throughout the 10 episodes and more often than not, it’ll be the dramatic moments that stick when the comedy misses the mark.