Tucked away in a corner of Amazon rests a little sci-fi/comedy series by the name of Nobility. Many who might be browsing new shows to try out might simply gloss over this one, writing it off as simply another online space show or being turned off by the lower production value. However, if you take the the time to watch Nobility‘s first three episodes on Amazon Prime, you may just find a little charm and something to enjoy.
Billed as a cross between The Office and Firefly with a Star Trek twist, Nobility follows the crew of the C.A.S. Nobility, considered humanity’s most powerful starship. Despite the Nobility’s greater reputation however, we quickly learn that the crew is more than a little dysfunctional.
Science fiction fans will recognize a number of familiar faces from the genre. In it’s cast, Nobility includes Cas Avnar (The Expanse), Doug Jones (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, Star Trek: Discovery), Tory Higginson (Stargate: Atlantis), Christopher Judge (Stargate: SG-1), Adrienne Wilkinson (Xena, Star Trek: Renegades), James Kyson (Heroes), Darren Jacobs, Ellen Dubin, and of course, Walter Koenig of Star Trek fame. Much of Nobility‘s charm lies in the clear love for the genre from the actors and the rest of the cast and crew. Despite the evident low budget, they clearly had a lot of fun putting the series together.
The series sets itself up as a comedy – the premise could arguably boil down simply to a crew of misfits, forced to be followed around by documentary cameras, fumble around the galaxy. However, while some jokes made me laugh, the humor wasn’t necessarily the strength of the show. The crew of the Nobility quickly find themselves in the thick of political and religions plot to challenge the status quo of the galaxy and find their newest crew-member may have divided loyalties. This intrigue at first seemed a bit contrived, but quickly became one of the more interesting aspects of the show and gave way for some bits of real drama amidst the whacky hijinks. When members of the cast were given opportunities to step away from the jokes, they seemed to thrive by delivering more dramatic performances (especially Cas Avnar’s Captain Eric Cern).
Despite comparing itself to The Office, Firefly, and Star Trek, I’d say that Nobility most closely resembles another sci-fi/comedy websires, Paul Feig’s criminally underrated Other Space. Whereas Other Space thrived through the use of whacky plot points and outlandish crew interactions, I believe Nobility can set itself apart by becoming a bit more straight-faced. Nobility could benefit by giving its cast more opportunity to play up the drama, maybe by working itself more into a dramedy rather than full-fledged comedy.
While Nobility has currently garnered about 3.5 stars on Amazon from over 160 reviews and has gotten a decent amount of attention via word of mouth and comic-con events, it’s future is yet undecided. The show is by no means a masterpiece, but I believe it has potential. If given the opportunity to continue, I hope it can refine its approach by elaborating on the plot and developing the relationships between the crew while still retaining some of the quirky aspects that make them misfits to begin with.