Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Lexx - The Complete Series.

Lexx was a science fiction TV series that ran for four seasons between 1997 and 2002.
A Canadian-German co production (a most peculiar union if i ever did see...and it shows during the series too..) , Lexx was not your usual run of the mill Sci-Fi fayre, as it featured a hell of a lot of surreal story lines, mixed in with some high concept sci-fi and decidedly "adults only" situations and dialogue.

Each season was centred around an overall theme, along with a secondary theme and a few episode specific sub plots, as well as the overall story arc of the crew of the Lexx simply looking for somewhere nice to live after they fled their own horrible or boring lives.

I first saw Lexx in 1997, when it first aired in the UK on the , then new, Channel 5, usually on late on a Friday night.
Unlike the other sci-fi that was airing on the various channels of the time, Lexx was refreshingly different to me as it wasn't pretentious and it actually felt like watching a normal drama series. The characters simply lived in the bizarre universe created by the series and paid very little attention to the rather odd things going off around them, as though they were just normal everyday occurrences.
The tongue in cheek humour and adult story lines really appealed to me as a teenager, and unlike most of the people I knew at the time, I actually "got" most of the story lines and plot points.

The storyline of the entire series is set at soem unspecified point in the far future, and pans out across approximately 8000 years, and in places features some rather intricate plot developments wich take a while to get your head around....

2008 years ago - 
In the far, far future, the universe is populated by an incalcuable number of humans, with very few alien species mentioned throughout. Most of the universe is ruled over by the Divine order, an empire of 20,000 worlds that cower in fear of a being known as "His Divine Shadow", a seemingly immortal entity that posesses the bodies of chosen humans and who has seemingly supernatural powers.
Kai, a young warrior from the planet Brunnis-2, leads a group of other young people in a defiant and totally pointless defence of his home planet, which has come under attack by His Divine Shadows flagship of the time, the ForeShadow.
The defence is totally ineffective, all but Kai are killed and Brunnis-2 is destroyed by the ForeShadows planet destroying weapon, so, as a last act of desperation, Kai rams the ForeShadows command pod, serverely injuring himself in the process and bringing him into the presence of His Divine Shadow.
His Shadow explains that he has heard of a prophecy that states that the last of the Brunnen-G, Kais people, will kill him and end his tyrannical rule, so he takes pleasure in knowing that the Brunnen-G are now extinct. His Shadow then personally kills Kai and takes his memories, but rather than having the body disposed of, he orders it preserved as a curiosity for future use.

8 Years ago -
 Assistant deputy back up courier Stanley H Tweedle of the Ostral-B heretics, a group of worlds violently opposed to the Divine Order, travels to a pleasure satellite and is embarrassed when his pathetic attempts to barter for sexual services by offering to trade various bits of junk from his spaceship fail to get him what he wants. His pompousity  makes him more attractive to the owners of the establishment though, after he blabs and tells them who he is and what he does for a living, so they let him in.
After he has satisfied his lustful yearnings, he returns to the Ostral-B secret base, completely unaware that His Shadows new flagship, the GigaShadow, has followed him after the owners of the pleasure satellite have passed on the morsel of information they managed to trick out of him.
Within minutes of his arrival back at the secret base, the GigaShadow destroys it utterly, leaving Stanley adrift in his damaged spacecraft. He sends out a distress signal and is tricked into being captured by a pair of sadistic mercenaries, who spend the next couple of months inflicting humiliating sexual tortures on him before trading him to the Divine order once they find that one of his teeth hides secret codes for gaining entry into the Ostral-B heretics' homeworld defences.

Season 1 - (4 episodes at 2 hours each)
 Stanley Tweedle lives out a miserable existence on "The Cluster", the homeworld of the divine order, as a security guard class 4, the lowest ranking position within the orders workforce.
After being traded to the divine order, they kept him alive just in case he could be of some use to them in the future, but the mind numbingly boring life he leads on the cluster leads to him having real problems with authority, so he always manages to land himself on trouble.
One day while at work (his job is to simply press a button to allow transport ships to dock at his docking bay, which hardly ever gets used) a transport ship containing Thodin, leader of the Ostral-B heretics, as well as Zev Bellringer of the planet B3K, is diverted to Stanleys station. Stanley, relishing the absolute minuscule amount of power he has, at first refuses to allow it to land, (being as the ships captain cant remember the landing code, which no one actually uses any more being as the cluster is one massive fortress), but Stanley is overruled by a more senior officer, and the ship lands, with most of the prisoners being transported on it recognising Stanley and referring to him as "The arch traitor" as they are offloaded and taken for summary justice, ending in most of them being cut up for their organic materials.

Zev of B3K is an extremely unattractive woman, who for the crimes of "failing to perform her wifely duties" and "humiliating her husband in the temple" (she punched her husband after he rejected her during the ceremony for their arranged marriage) Is sentenced to be transformed into a love slave, where she will spend the rest of her life willingly providing sexual services to the divine orders soldiers.

Through a series of bizarre incidents, Stanley ends up gaining possession of the key to the Lexx, which he, Zev, Kai and 790 then steal and use to bring about the death of the Divine Shadow.

Season 2- (20 episodes of 45 minutes each)
This series' main story arc revolves around the crew of the Lexx trying to prevent Mantrid, the former bio-vizier of His Shadows divine order, from destroying the universe, but the secondary story arc deals with Stanley and Zevs ( now renamed "Xev" due to a change in the actress playing her,) largely unsuccessful attempts to get laid.
The series culminates in a final apocalyptic battle between the Lexx and Mantrids forces, ending when the light universe is finally destroyed.
The Lexx manages to escape at the last minute when a portal to the dark zone materialises and sucks the Lexx through......

Season 3 - (13 episodes of 45 minutes each)
This series marked a change of tone in the narrative. Set largely in and around the twin worlds of "Fire" and "Water", the stories of season 3 were a lot more surreal in their tone and this series was generally unpopular as it dealt with some far more esoteric themes.
The main theme of the series deals with the concepts of life and death, as well as the concepts of good, evil and the morally ambiguous.

The Lexx, drained from the battle with Mantrid and then the strain of crossing into the dark zone, informs the crew that it cannot do anything until it feeds, meaning that the ship cannot move under its own power, and that it cannot even provide food for them while it drifts to a planet that it can feed from.
790 calculates that the nearest planet that the Lexx can feed on would take anything between 500 and 16,000 years for them to drift to, so the crew put themselves into cryostasis to wait out the long journey....
3882 years later-
The Lexx is pulled into the gravity well of the twin worlds of Fire and Water, and the crew is awoken by an expedition from the planet Fire, led by a mysterious man simply called "Prince".
The twin worlds share a single atmosphere, and are polar opposites, Fire is an uninhabitable wasteland populated by evil people, whereas Water is a planet rich with life and populated by good people. Both planets are at war with each other , although the people of Fire are always the aggressors.
As the series unfolds, the crew of the Lexx run into people on both Fire and Water who they know to have died, but yet they still live, moreover, no one on either world is afraid of death, or stays dead for very long when they are killed.
All of this series takes place over the course of about two weeks in real time, with very little action taking place on the Lexx itself, and for the first time incorporates a series of recurring secondary characters, all of whom have a part to play in a series of power games orchestrated by Prince, whose soul preoccupations are destroying Water, and stealing the Lexx.
At the end of the series, both Fire and Water are destroyed, and the soulds of the people trapped there fly off into space, converging on a small blue planet in the exact opposite orbit to where Fire and Water were.....

Season 4 - (24 episodes of 45 minutes each)
The Lexx arrives on Earth, seemingly in the 21st century, however things are not quite as they would first seem, especially when they run into Prince again, this time round though, Prince, although still immortal, cannot resurrect himself in the form of anyone he chooses. Prince uses his position as head of the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms to once again try to steal the Lexx so that he may continue spreading his own brand of evil across the universe, however the crew of the Lexx are always there to stop him, as well as some weir alien drone probes, that seem to take great delight in entering peoples bodies via the anus....

All in all, Lexx was a good series, although very slow and hard going in places, it is still worth a watch even now, as many sci-fi series made after have borrowed concepts used in it, but there has yet to be another series made that successfully blends surreal humor with good storytelling and adult drama.

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