Zerks Log Merges Sci-fi and Comedy in Online Series

Ben Alpi brings Starship Captain Zerks Ganymedewski to life in this charming, low-budget series

Starship Captain Zerks Gandymedewski

Sci-fi meets blogging meets puppetry in this endearingly low-budget online comedy

Without actually doing any research, we can at least confirm that the proud history of sci-fi inspired humour stretches as far back as Abbott and Costello Go to Mars in 1953, but the genre’s greatest hindrance has always been the cost of special effects.

Fortunately, the web series Zerks Log has managed to keep things on the cheap after getting past the production costs on their first episode: Once they ponied up the dough to build the highly elaborate puppet head for alien starship captain Zerks Ganymedewski, it’s all been downhill. Then again, how expensive would you expect a series to be when there’s basically only one character, and all he does is sit still and talk to the camera?

Voiced by Ben Alpi, Zerks has just taken command of the Venturi 553 as the series begins, and he’s so excited that he’s barely able to feign sadness over the death of his predecessor. Each episode finds Zerks recording his latest blog, and with an ego rivaling that of Futurama’s Zapp Brannigan (and the limited IQ to match), it should come as no surprise that his remarks tend to fall somewhere between the ridiculous and the preposterous. Although members of Zerks’ crew may be heard on occasion, they’re rarely seen; in other words, this is, for all practical purposes, a one-alien show.

There’s more to Zerks Log than meets the eye, which becomes obvious as the series unfolds, but since it’s also listed in the “About” section of the website, it probably doesn’t count as a spoiler to note that these logs were all recorded after the disappearance of Zerks’ ship.

Did his incompetence lead to disaster, or is there a less-sinister explanation for his continued absence? Only the League of Outstanding Planets knows for sure, but let’s hope it’s the latter.

Originally published in TVW. For daily programming updates and on-screen Entertainment news, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.