Yeah...there are surprisingly no obvious references to this. Even more surprisingly, there are no threads about it. Good job, boognish.
Anyway, I can't think of any overt references. Then again, there are no overt references to almost-as-funny Brit sci-sitcom Red Dwarf, but this thread
and the article it contains point out a large number of similarities, much like your character comparisons above.
This matter deserves serious thought...unfortunately, I need to go take a Phys101 quiz, so I'll be back later, after other people have done the research for me.