Tachyon Drift was a five-part improvisational theatre sci-fi serial that ran at Det Andre Teateret in autumn 2013.
The serial followed the crew of the space ship Goliath, built by humans using alien technology beamed into the minds of children worldwide. The mission of the Goliath was twofold: to travel to a set of space coordinates delivered to humanity along with the technology, and to locate and discover what had happened to the space ship Genesis, sent out years earlier to discover what lay at those very same coordinates.
The plot follows some of the key crew members abroad - the serious, determined ship's captain Jason Drake; the dutiful, highly competent head of security Andrea Lane; the mysterious Doctor Sebelius and his emotionally detached daughter Lauren; the ship's linguistically challenged doctor Jensen and his augmented human nurse; and Carl and Lenny Colson, a pair of Detroit-raised brothers working as mechanics onboard the Goliath. As the story progresses, the personal story of the crew members - Captain Drake's relationship to the father he lost aboard the Gensis, the mystery of Lauren Sebelius' detached personality and missing mother, officer Lane's inexplicable animosity towards Lenny Colson - come out to mix with the overarching story.
What will they find at the deep-space coordinates? Who sent the messages to the children? What happened to the Genesis?
These works contain examples of:
- Action Girl - Andrea Lane.
- Aliens are Bastards - The Ancient is out to take over the bodies of all of humanity for his own non-corporeal race to use as People Puppets.
- Brain Uploading - Young Sebelius sets out to fix the washing machine, but ends up becoming one with the starship Goliath. It's kinda a long story...
- Bio-Augmentation - Nurse is an "augmented human" - luckily, since they needed someone to go out into space and they only had one working spacesuit.
- Computer Voice - True to subtrope, the utilitarian, military-like Goliath has a male, synthesized voice.
- Captain's Log - Captain Drake regularly sits down to record his log on video.
- Contamination Situation - Seems to happen strangely often. The virus-fungus-fog-thing, the sudden-onset-aging...
- Chekhov's Gun - Placed in the steel box at the back of the stage in episode 4, used in episode 5.
- Dead Person Conversation - Captain Drake and his father, after the Goliath finds the Genesis.
- Did You Just Romance Cthulhu? - Poor Professor Sebelius turns out to have had an Interspecies Romance with the Ancient while it was posing as a human woman.
- Which the Ancient reveals while in the body of Captain Drake. Awkward.
- Resulting in Half-Human Hybrid Lauren.
- Disappeared Dad - The Captain's father was the captain of the Genesis, and Drake Turn Out Like His Father.
- I'm Crying, but I Don't Know Why - "Why is this body crying?" asks the Ancient, while in the body of Captain Drake.
- Meanwhile, the audience is left wondering whether this is actual deployment of the trope, or an All Part of the Show incident. Is the Ancient crying because the actor playing him is both talented and trope-savvy enough to show us how, buried by the Ancient, Captain Drake is despairing over its actions? Or because the actor did a dramatic fall-to-his-knees that must've hurt in the previous scene?
- In a World... - The online trailer employs several of the tropes' Common Dramatic Elements:
- Setting: "In July 2077" plus. Word of God says 2083.
- Final tagline: "And this time, we're coming back."
- Title shot
- Coming this time: Every Friday at 9 PM.
- Knee Capping - Not as effective against the Ancient as one could wish.
- Love Confession - Poor Lenny Colson's video.
- Marijuana Is LSD - "Captaaain... Captaaain..."
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! - Probably what's about to happen when Andrea Lane and the others convince Captain Drake to escape with them during the finale, when he's decided to sacrifice himself to keep the Ancient and his race from reaching Earth. Then he goes off with Lane and the others, the Ancient probably still piggybacking along.
- Non-Uniform Uniform - No one's wearing the same thing, but common elements in the crew's uniforms include: khaki, waistcoats, and dark blue.
- Most of the main characters have very different roles and ranks on the ship, which provides a nice in-universe explanation for uniform variation. Appropriately, Drake and his Disappeared Dad (both Captains) are the ones wearing the most similar uniforms.
- Off-the-Shelf FX - As is appropriate for an improv stage production. The laboratory equipment of Dr Jensen is represented by an upturned plastic crate with LED-lights inside, while the ship's control panel is played by a scanner.
- (Does that mean that all information appearing on the control panel is seen through A Scanner Darkly?)
- (Go home, Troper, you're drunk.)
- Shout-Out: Several throughout the series:
- Andrea Lane asks whether she should "go down to the river... deck."
- Secret Relationship - Andrea Lane and Lenny Colson.
- Terra Form - The Earth turns out to have been terraformed to look like the Ancient's planet. Or the Ancient's planet turns out to have been Earth All Along? This troper had problems keeping up at the end.
- The Lost Lenore - Lenny Colson's ex-girlfriend.
- Those Two Guys - The brothers Colson.
- Something Completely Different - Although the rest of the series is in English, episode 2 has the entire crew speaking in Norwegian. In-universe explanation: the Goliath wants the ship's doctor, Jensen, to feel included in the crew.
- The Kirk - Captain Drake.
- Title Drop - As the crew come out of stasis at the beginning of each episode, the ship's computer namedrops the Tachyon drift.