Tripping the Rift: S01E01: God is Our Pilot
Alright, Tripping the Rift is finally here! And it’s been a long five year wait for new trippin material. For those fans who’ve followed the show from the beginning, you know that its been one delay after another. TTR2 was never released, and the series came out a year later then expected. But that’s all over with now, because the series has finally aired.
And the wait was worth it! While the show was obviously toned down for television, it hasn’t lost its edge and sarcastic wit at all. And much like the short film, the series begins with a line that also lampoons sci fi clichés.
“Anyone else noticed that we keep passing the same stars and planets every 30 seconds?”, questions Whip. Haha finally a scifi show points this out.
Chode, ah Chode good to see you again its been too long, tells him that its the screen saver and then shuts it off. once that screensaver is minimized the same starfield and planets reappear. Not that anyone aboard the Free Enterprise, I mean the Jupiter 42 noticed.
Soon afterward the ship merges onto a major space lane. You can tell its a major route because hundreds of video billboards line the route. There’s ads for anything and everything, but like a proper tightwad, Chode drones out the billboards much like how most of us automatically close pop-up ads. He ignores all of them except one. This ad is for a maiden voyage back to the beginning of time.
Chode is sold onto the idea of going back in time to the big bang. Why I don’t know, but if its anything like the Chode of the short film its to A) Make/steal a buck or B) Piss someone off. This time it’s B. He tells his valiant crew that he wants to prove that there is no god. This immediately gets the rest of the crew riled up. The rest of the crew is surprisingly reverent. Including the two synthetic members, Gus and Six of One. Apparently synthetics have a choice, they can worship the traditional god, or they programmers. Six of One tells us that she’d rather pay homage to someone who doesn’t need acne medicine and chronically masturbates. She accentuates this with a “jack-off” hand sign. Six of One, nice new look, really like the new hair and the Dune eyes
Whip asks when they’re all leaving. but Chode tells him that it’ll only be himself and Gus on this trip. Six of One is not happy at all. She wants to meet god himself, and have passionate sex with him. She starts rubbing up against the purple blob, and fakes an orgasm, screaming “Oh, god! Oh god!” Chode isn’t impressed, and pushes Six of One away. Chode really is an idiot. If I had Six of One rubbing up against me….
Chode orders the ship to depart to the nearest timeport, Gus sets the coordinates, and T’Nuk hits the gas, but the ship doesn’t move. The ship’s AI, Bob, doesn’t really feel like moving. He’s agoraphobic, which means he has a fear of open spaces, and he kinda likes it on the crowded highway. A surprisingly tame T’Nuk calls him “agoraphobic” and tells him to get his ass in gear. Bob resents being labeled with a single word and proceeds to find one word to describe each member of the crew: T’Nuk: Bitch, Six of One: Whore, Whip: Slacker, Gus: Wimp, and Chode: thief. Seems accurate to me. Before the crew can react he takes off a full speed and throws everyone to the back of the bridge.
At the timeport, Gus and Chode have to disguise themselves in the most obnoxious clothes they can find. Chode is worried that the Confederacy will spot him, and arrest him. Apparently he stole Six of One of one from them and they want her back, a lot! The bounty on his head is $1 BILLION. Chode should turn himself in for the reward. Gus inquires why he just doesn’t give Six of One back. The answer is simple, Six of One is a really good lay, and Chode isn’t giving that up any time soon. Gus finds the explanation disgusting. Chode rightly points out that the only reason he’s not trying to bang Six of One is because he can’t afford the penile attachment. Just then a robot walks by with several long “banging” attachments hanging from his waist. If only it were that easy….
On their way to the terminal, Gus runs into the love of his artificial life, Nancy. She’s here with her church group aka the godfreaks, protesting the trip back to the beginning of time. Apparently they took time off from their day jobs, religious protesting of stem cell research to cure horrible diseases, I love this show! for this protest. She asks Gus what he’s doing at the time port, and before he can come up with a lame excuse, Chode screams out to him that they be late for their trip to the beginning of time. Nancy is not happy about it, Gus rather quickly says that god told them to do it, and runs away!
I’d like to point out at this point that the crew did a fantastic job making all the background aliens at the timeport. They’re all so diverse and creative. Good stuff.
Security is a joke at the timeport. Unlike modern day airports, you can take bombs, guns and weapons onto the timeships. But not food. Bring food is punishable by death. But similar to the airports of today is the racial profiling. Two bird aliens in Muslim woman’s attire get ransacked by security and thrown into a holding cell. They claim its racial profiling, but security insists that its just a random check. Yea sure I soon believe this! Because the other prisoners are also clearly Arabic, and even bare a resemblance to some modern day terrorists.
Lets do the Time Warp Again! After taking their seats on the time plane, it takes off into the stars. Or a giant pair of lips actually. Any sadgeezer would recognize this immediately as the lips of Rocky Horror Picture Show, except that they’re purple. The next scene is a rather cool looking sequence of the ship flowing back in time watching a nearby planet devolve and evolve during the time-ships voyage. Mid-flight some of the passengers supply the entertainment. A group of aliens decide to join the Mile High Club. As normal on these flights, the Venetian stewardess inducts the new members into the highly elite club. The orgy is broadcasted on all the view-screens on the ship. And all I got on my last flight was lousy Tomb Raider 2.
By now the ship is in open space, flanked by blue wavy lines on either side. These lines can cause extreme turbulence, and tornados that will ultimately tear the ship apart. So what makes everyone so confident that they’ll survive: alcohol! But eventually, even liquor isn’t enough to overcome this danger, and the pilots decide to turn around.
When the ship arrives back at the timeport, Chode decides to stay behind, and hijack the ship. He’s determined to go back to the beginning of time. So after the flight crew leaves, he and Gus hijack the ship. Or rather Chode ties up Gus and does it himself. The journey is relatively uneventful, damn no alien sex this time except at some point neat the beginning of time they encounter another timeship piloted by another Chode and Gus. Cool! Soon afterwards they arrive at the begging of time. They get to see the big bang, complete with digital readout of how much time has elapsed. Guess what they don’t see? God. Gus is totally shocked at the lack of the almighty. He begins to breakdown. That asshole Chode comforts him by saying that he can call him god. God is in fact there, he was crushed under the tires of the timeship. D’oh!
When they return back to the present, everything has changed. Its like Woodstock. Everyone is happy. It’s all about peace and love. It takes the buffoon Chode a while to realize it though. The biggest shock is when they return back to the Jupiter 42. Whip is captain, T’Nuk and Six of One are lesbian lovers, Six of One is a geek, and Bob is a daredevil. Even Nancy, the former godfreak ahs become a total nympho. In fact Bob’s new way to one-word describe the crew is T’Nuk: Sweet, Six of One: Innocent, Whip: Dedicated, Gus: Brave and Chode: Giver. HA! Chode is utterly freaked out! He reviews the footage of their time trip, only to discover that they accidentally killed god! Chode doesn’t care though, because everything is better without god. Even the bible-banger Gus quickly gets over it when he realizes its for the better.
And everything is better for everyone! That is until Chode introduces evil to the universe. After robbing a few banks, others catch on to evil and the entire universe breaks out into anarchy. Everyone starts with the rape pillage and plunder thing! Eventually it becomes too much to handle and Chode and Gus travel back in time to prevent themselves from killing god. Hence that other ship with a Chode and Gus we saw earlier. They travel back in time to just before they arrive at the beginning of time and warn the big guy. He says that he’ll reward them greatly for their saving him. Or so he claims. Just as they previous Chode and Gus emerge, god ducks out of the way, and leaves the duo to be slaughtered. The trippin god is most definitely a scornful one!
And with that the long awaited premier ends. It ends on a depressing Aeon Flux note though. I kinda depressing seeing their lifeless bodies. No worries though, because their former selves are still alive to come back for next weeks episode.
I’d rate this pilot episode a long awaited 48,725 out of 10. with points taken off because the original creators Chuck Austin and Chris Moeller were sacked from the project.
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Tripping the Rift reviews are © 2003 – 2019 Ryan Bechtel.
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Tripping the Rift names, characters and everything else associated with the series are the property of Chris Moeller, Chuck Austen and Dark Bunny Productions, CineGroup and the Sci Fi Channel.