Space…the dark expanse. These are the wanderings of a ship and her crew, destined to roam until called home again. They search for new life, new planets, new hope. They are the Space Searchers!
These are the much-quoted words of the intro to a much beloved sci-fi show with legions upon legions of fiercely loyal fans. Started as a bet among friends as to who could create a show so bad it was good, so cheesy, it practically oozed, Space Searchers blossomed into a massive hit. Today, at the Space Searchers Con in California, the fandom in all its corny glory would be celebrated!
Fan boys and fan girls from around the country and even the world would descend on the unsuspecting citizens of Los Angeles, in their Songklin costumes and outlandish makeup, bedazzled in their Sanluroms body suits, neon-colored wigs and glitter face paint; some chose the lesser aliens of the show, each as colorful as the last, but most chose the uniform of the Space Allegiance or SA, the organization that backed the adventurous crew of the USS Industrious, or USS Indy for short.
Most prevalent was that of the Indy's handsome, brash and far too melodramatic captain, William Krik, ( his friends call him 'Will', the ladies 'Willie'). Second among the popular cosplayers was the Indy's Second-In-Command, another alien from the planet Nacluv in the Andromeda Strain- Posck. With his blue-tinted skin, elfin ears, perpetually raised eyebrows and an exceptionally high IQ he keeps hidden by his devotion to his diva of a captain…he is a fan favorite. The third was that of the Southern renegade and the Indy's head of medical operations, Leo "Muscles" McBass (like the fish, not the instrument. Get it wrong and you get "Damnit, Will! Like the fish, the fish!")
They other main crew members, British Engineering Officer, Monty Limer, helmsmen Cosack, a Russian and Slavo, a Slav and Afrika, a lieutenant and Head Communications officer from Jersey (she also had an affair with the dear Captain, which was famously depicted in season 4, episode 15-16. The episodes remain among the best), were also there in cosplay. In fact, they all would be there in-person in the evening as part of the festival.
The fans milled around, cameras and autograph books at the ready-one could hear odd grunts and moans from several of the fans cosplaying Songklins-an outsider might think they were in pain or having a fit. Actually they are speaking Songklin, the made-up language of their favorite, evil aliens sworn to fight Krik and his crew, or any Space Alligance ship they encountered. It usually takes five years to learn, but for these fans, it took three.
A group of 'Sorean aliens', the ambitious traders that often helped out the Indy, were stuck behind another, larger group of 'Nacluvans' when an argument breaks out over the attack Posck's misguided brother Te Pingers staged on an innocent caravan of Soreans in Season 3, episode 9. Apparently the 'Soreans' believed Te Pingers did it for Posck because Posck wanted the Soreans to join the Space Allegiance, something they refused to do even as they traded with them. By having his fellow Nacluvans attack, Posck would prove that they needed SA's protection. Of course the group of 'Nacluvans' object to this vehemently! Posck would never order such a thing! A fistfight nearly breaks out as security arrives to settle things.
From across the room, another group of 'Nacluvans' cheer as their comrades are led out. The entire convention floor is buzzing when several shrieks sound. Then more are heard and why not, the dashing Capt. Krik is onstage! Amid their fangasms (a term in geek to describe the feeling one has when their object of obsession appears), the fans rush the stage, crying and cheering.
The handsome captain, with his jet black hair, dark, mysterious eyes, tall, muscular frame and killer smile, commands the crowd with ease. In his usual, overly dramatic style, he tells the fans of grave news: the Sanlorums' are on the warpath! He's been in contact with the Indy and they tell him a warparty may be on its way here, now. The crowd erupts again-this is serious! An angry Sanlorum is a dangerous Sanlorum. Some of the 'crew members' try to join the Captain on-stage, offering their services, but security pulls them back.
Capt. Krik promises the Sanlorums will be stopped, that the Indy is on the look-out and there's no reason to panic. The crowd eats it up, returning the fisted SA salute Krik gives them before he disappears. The crowd is murmuring again, not moving for several moments until convention promoters prompt them to start visiting booths. Now, one might think this whole thing as obviously staged, scripted. After all, it's because of a show…a scripted, fake show! These people are actors, not real…but such a person is an outsider, a nonbeliever! They don't understand the meaning behind Space Searchers, or the show itself, so what do they know?
Much later, as more convention goers begin arriving, the lights go out! The stage is then illuminated in a strange, greenish-blue glow and lo and behold, Sarouke, the devilish Sanlorum Commander and sworn enemy of Krik has appeared! As cousins to the Nacluvans, they look similar, something that has caused problems for Posck in the past. But the Nacluvans are much more peaceful…the convention goers have reason to be concerned when a Sanlorum is around.
He pulls his phaser and waves it menacingly, demanding Krik be brought to him at once! The convention erupts in anger; several 'crew members' again try to take the stage to defend their favorite Space Allegiance captain but they are pulled back once more. A pulsating sound fills the room and the Indy crew appears in a flash of a strobe light. Thunderous applause and cheering greets them but they have no time to react-Sarouke attacks! He lunges for the Captain and as they struggle, Krik's blue command body suit is torn suggestively—his trademark and the crowd cheers.
More Sanlorums appear, ready to fight-the crowd is at fever pitch, security is having more and more trouble trying to keep them off-stage. Krik is pushed towards the edge of the platform and several 'Naculvans' bunch up behind him to catch him just in case. He pushes himself away from the edge and leaps on to Sarouke's back, putting him in a chokehold. His crew and their Sanlorum opponents have cleared the way, obviously aware it's between the two commanders. They struggle-oh, is it brutal!—the crowd is chanting Krik's name, even the 'Sanlorum' cosplayers have abandoned their chosen aliens and cheer the Captain.
The two collapse in a heap and Krik backs away from Sarouke, his own phaser raised. The cheers abruptly end and a heavy silence replaces it as the crowd watches with bated breath, wondering what the Captain will do. He has every reason to kill Sarouke—he attacked first after all, called out a Space Allegiance Captain and forced a fight. The Captain milks it for all it's worth until he lowers his weapon and his booming voice carries out over the crowd: "The Space Allegiance stands for peace, unity and prosperity, not bloodlust, not killing, not this. No, I won't kill you. There's no honor in this…but there is honor in peace."
He then offers Sarouke his hand, which Sarouke eyes and hesitantly takes. He stands slowly with Krik's help. He bows his head in respect and gratitude for the Captain's mercy…because he wouldn't have been so kind. In fact he isn't! The Sanlorum commander pulls a dangerous looking knife and as Krik fires his phaser in defense, the lights go down. The crowd descends into a panic and some leap on the stage. But when they come back up, those who made the stage are the only ones there.
It takes security twenty minutes to get things back under control. It's an unstable control, though, as many are in tears. Then Convention promoters appear to them the Captain is okay, however the Sanlorum captain isn't. Does this mean war? Stay tuned for the first episode of season six, airing in a few weeks, to find out!
They cheer loudly again, chanting Space Searchers over and over. So, how does one understand the madness of a geek's obsession? You don't, actually. It's impossible. If you're not in it, don't bother trying—even those that act in the favorite show can't, they just ride the wave as far as it will go-and then wait for syndication, where the real money is. Maybe even a movie deal.