Space Station 76: Classic Disco-Era Sci-Fi Parody Cleared for Launch

Boogie down, everyone. I’ve got disco sci-fi fever in the form of Space Station 76!

Ahhh, disco sci-fi, where everyone is young and gorgeous, and nobody has to do any actual work. The men wear their hair long, the women are all double agents who are obsessed with their bangs, and there is a wholly improbable, imminent threat that will result in the destruction of all mankind (but ultimately doesn’t, because of science and a little white suburban know-how).

There was big news out of SXSW over the weekend for fans of retro-ish throwback comedy. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has picked up the international rights to Jack Plotnick’s Space Station 76.  This domestic dramedy, or dramatic comedy for you plebs, takes place in a 1970s-inspired vision of the future, a la Buck Rogers and Space 1999, and features a truly intriguing cast ensemble: Matt Bomer, Marisa Coughlan, Jerry O’Connell, Kali Rocha, Kylie Rogers, Liv Tyler, and Patrick Wilson.

Here is the full plot summary as presented by ComingSoon.com:

For Misty, a thirty year-old sexpot housewife, one of the benefits of living on the Omega 76 Space Station is getting to spend time with Dr. Bot, a valium-prescribing therapist droid. This frustrates her technician husband, Ted, who desperately wishes they could go back to the time when she was in love with him, and fully engaged with the raising of their daughter, Sunshine. Although only seven years old, Sunshine’s been left to fend for herself on the ship, as Ted and Misty are constantly occupied with their mundane jobs and pursuits of self-fulfillment.

Life on the space station really isn’t much different than it was in suburban communities of the 70’s, except for maybe the added danger of having Captain Glenn Terry, a bitter, suicidal wreck of a man, at the helm of the ship. Drowning in resentment and struggling with his bisexuality, Glen hides the secret that he had a rocky affair with his ex-Assistant Captain, Daniel, who left the ship under mysterious circumstances. Replacing him is Jessica Marlowe, an ambitious and mostly misunderstood feminist, whose arrival on the ship inadvertently ignites tensions among the group. The Omega 76 is her chance to prove that a woman can succeed in a “man’s world,” and her way of proving to herself that a having a career can be just as meaningful as having a family. But she’s not fooling anyone. Her by-the-books mentality starts to unravel the Captain, and her fast friendship with Sunshine sparks a degree of jealousy in Misty. Accustomed to being the center of her daughter’s world, self-absorbed Misty doesn’t respond well to having to compete for attention with this new woman in power.

Dissatisfied with the monotony of her domestic routine, however unable to take responsibility for her life, Misty turns to Dr. Bot for solace. She’s not the only one self-medicating – Glenn’s grief over losing Daniel drives him to drink way more than a Captain should. Especially while driving. Glenn suffers a botched reconnection with his former lover and several embarrassing suicide attempts. But his life isn’t the only one in danger – a careless mistake on the bridge causes a near-miss with an asteroid the size of Texas. Jessica becomes furious with his incompetence, and the two constantly butt heads. The only people not at odds with each other are Jessica and Ted: two lonely souls whose friendship moves quickly past the friend zone. When it becomes obvious that her neglected husband also prefers Jessica over her, Misty takes aim.

Caught in the crosshairs is little Sunshine, set adrift like a rover in the Me Decade of space. As the adults search for meaning within their empty lives, barely contained lust, jealousy, and anger all bubble to the surface. The ship’s annual holiday party is their chance for reconciliation. Will they make amends and do what’s best for the future, or will their lives fall silently into chaos?

Space Station 76 opened to positive reviews at SXSW on March 8, 2014. It will be released in theaters sometime this year, though an exact date has yet to be set.

READ ALSO: RAMBO, BUT GAY: Coming Out to a Theater Near You! | 10 Reasons MTV’s Teen Wolf is Surprisingly Not Awful

Jannika Coons (@JerkasaurusRex) is a pop culture enthusiast, amateur historian, freelance graphic designer, and a self-confessed geek. She loves puns, b-movies, and Byzantine history, and is one third of the creative talent behind Cullen the Kettle Black, a Twilight parody web comic. 

Previous post:

Next post: