Category Archives: Television

Lexx 3.03 & 3.04

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Lexx 3.03 – Gametown

Stanley begins plotting how to destroy the planet Water without alerting Kai and Xev, or steering the starving Lexx. May gets better or worse, depending on his attitude. After waking the moth breeders, Kai goes to Gametown to find some food for Lexx. Gametown is a floating city inhabited with aerobics enthusiasts who play basketball all day. There is one inhabitant who is not quite right: Fifi. He doesn’t play the games by the rules, and he quickly betrays everyone, by stealing all the moths and food, then heading over to Fire, to surrender himself to Duke, so he can destroy Water. Stanley’s attempts on Water are foiled by Xev, who nearly strangles him, then smothers him with her breasts. May ridicules him, and heads off with Prince.

Some interesting plot turns, but undermined by slow pacing and lacking any tension or excitement. The weird thing is that on a mainly water planet, with no sign of land, the food offered is mainly fruits !!
Where is the fish and seafood ?
(3/5)

 

Lexx 3.04 – Boomtown

Duke and Fifi attack Gametown. They kill everyone he knows and raze the town. Duke likes Fifi. Kai requisitions an attacking moth, and then heads over to Boomtown with Bunny and Xev. All they do in Boomtown is eat and have sex. Stan is thrilled to find a number of the women willing to sleep with him, but Xev isn’t so lucky, as the men have adapted way of avoiding sex by interminable foreplay. Bunny makes several efforts to have sex with Kai, which he finally deterrents only by cutting of his left hand to demonstrate that he is not alive. Back on Fire, May kills Prince in a questionable gambit, then Duke and Fifi decide they’ll paint May and his former deputy with explosive tar, and burn them. Duke and Fifi fly to Boomtown and burn it.

The most frustrating thing about this episode is Xev, for a long time she has complained about lack of sex and showing she can be aggressive when it comes to Stan. But in a situation with a willing male, suddenly she becomes submissive. And the character of Fifi makes no sense at all. Where did he come from and why has he become psycho # 3. Kai’s unwillingness is indulge in sex is strange, given that all of his appendages appear to be working. At least Stan finally gets his way, but why is he wearing a nappy ? Very illogical episode (1/5)

 

 

The Cloud Minders

(Episode of Star Trek)

This troubled planet is a place of the most violent contrasts. Those that receive the rewards are totally separated from those who shoulder the burdens. It is not a wise leadership.

Spock – “The Cloud Minders” Star Trek first broadcast 28/2/1969

Is this just a coincidence ?
The very weekend I am reading the book “When Corporation rule the World” by David Korten this star trek episode is aired on TV4. I thought I had seen them all. Korten uses this future morality tale to highlight the problems he sees with the world today.

This book chronicles the economic history of the last 50 years, since the Bretton Woods conference and the creation of the IMF and World Bank.

Korten tell how large corporations have influenced the economic world and ensured a system that is to their advantage.
Some of the accusations are a bit to simplistic for my liking, the impression gained is that all the evils of the 20th century can be laid at the feet of big business. He fails to take into account other trends of our modern world, especially the influence of technology.

Most of the trends and influences he outlines ring true, anyone who has read similar books will recognize the themes –
* reduction of environmental standards
* the error of growth based economics
* undermining of democratic process

Indeed, some of the work he quotes I read in previous books in similar subjects. All those interested in economics should read the Cobb/Daly book “For the common good”, as this must be the most quoted book on “new” economics.

Some notable quotes from the book –
According to Joe Kurtzman, editor of Harvard Business Review –
* For every $1 circulating in the productive world economy, $20-$50 circulates in the world of pure finance.
* In international currency markets alone, $800billion to $1 trillion changes hands each day. Far in excess of the $20-$25 billion required to cover trade in goods and services.

Production accounts for only 25% of the selling price of a typical product.

Overall a good read. The prose is good, and not too technical.
Most of the book concentrates on the problems, with the solutions being kept until the last few chapters. Korten doesn’t propose solutions, he simply states the strategies that others have started to enact.

I sympathize, therefore, with those who would minimize, rather than those who would maximize, economic entanglements between nations.

Ideas, knowledge, art, hospitality, travel – these are the things which should of their nature be international. But lets goods be homespun whenever it is reasonably and conveniently possible, and above all, let finance be primarily national.
– John Maynard Keynes

(c) Nigel Baker 29/3/98

Lexx 3.01 & 3.02

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The third season comprises 13 episodes in which the Lexx is trapped in orbit around the warring planets Fire and Water, and the crew encounters an enigmatic and cheerful evil being known as Prince, who may be the Devil. The two planets orbit each other at extremely close distance, and share one atmosphere, allowing the inhabitants to pass freely between them. Fire is the afterlife for all evil souls, the inhabitants of which are continually engaged in attacks on Planet Water, which is the afterlife of all good souls. Fire is filmed between the dunes of Namibia and the Gothic architecture of Berlin. The rulers of Fire are Prince and Duke, who both reincarnate whenever it suits them. Water appears to have no ruler, and contains a small population of hedonists on floating islands.

Lexx 3.01 – Fie and Water (6 Feb 2000)
After being adrift for 4332 years, Lexx comes into orbit of the planets Fire and Water. The leader of Fire, Prince, heads an expedition in a balloon to intercept the Lexx. He brings back Stan and Xev to Fire, discarding Stan as of little use, and setting him to torture. He tries to woo Xev, and she nearly falls in love with the romantic ruler of a dramatic planet. Kai wakes up, repairs 790, who becomes fixated upon him, and then (having no moth) he decides to long-jump down to planet Water, to find the crew.

Lexx 3.02 – May (13 Feb 2000)
After jumping down to planet Water, Kai finds the beautiful May; the lone survivor of an attack on a Water city. He requisitions an attacking gondola, and sails over to planet Fire. After realising Stanley is the key to the Lexx, Prince brings Stanley back into the picture; dismissing his torture and near execution, as merely “a test”. After all being rescued by Kai, May begins to convince Stanley to destroy Fire. Lexx is starving, and they become aware of how stuck they are. As May lapses into death from a small wound on her shoulder, Prince comes to Stanley as a ghost, and tells him that he can have May forever, if he destroys planet Water.

An interesting premise and a good setup for some interesting science fiction. The problem is that the directing is so lethargic and the script so predictable that there is no tension or excitement to be had.  (3/5)

 

Lexx 2.20

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Lexx 2.20 – End of the Universe (23 April 1999)

In a last-ditch bid to save the light universe from Mantrid’s drones, 790 discovers (way too late), that he can create self replicating drones of his own, to fight Mantrid. Kai and 790 hatch a cunning plan to distract Mantrid, long enough for him to make the mistake of moving too many drones around them, thus engulfing them all in a giant black hole, collapsing the light universe, and shooting the Lexx into the Dark Zone. Lyekka’s pod is damaged, and she demonstrates yet more inexplicable talents, transforming herself into a Lyekka drone, and pulling Mantrid from his interface. She is killed in the process, somehow lodging part of herself in Stan’s mind.

This is the very definition of ‘Deus ex Machina’ (god from the machine). The term means a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly resolved by the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability or object. 790 gets replicating power and Lyekka transforms. Apart from this rather contrived ending to season 2, it’s satisfying in the large battle scenes and resolution to the Mantrid story.
(4/5)

 

 

Lexx 2.18-19

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Lexx 2.18 – Brigadoom
As the crew of the Lexx desperately flee Mantrid’s army of robot drones, they encounter a strange, floating theater in space. Once they are inside, an elaborate musical production begins that recounts the history of Kai and his people, the Brunnen-G. Kai and Xev both find themselves taking part in the musical: Kai as himself when he was alive, Xev as Kai’s unnamed lover. At the episode’s end the musical’s message of proudly fighting even in the face of sure defeat convinces Stanley Tweedle to join his friends in battle against Mantrid. The inspiration for this episode is the musical Brigadoon, where a cursed town only appears one day every hundred years.

Not as bad as it sounds. The music is good, very Lloyd-Weber and more importantly the play convinces Stanley that they need to change their tactics. (4/5)

Lexx 2.19 – Brizon (16 April 1999)
In an attempt to fight the Mantrid drones, the crew seek assistance from anyone still alive in the rapidly shrinking universe and conveniently find Brizon, Mantrid’s teacher, mentor and predecessor in the role of Supreme Bio-Vizier. Brizon is little more than an engineered, animated corpse, who hijacks Xev’s liver, and tries to extort sex from her (hopefully using Stan’s penis). He continues his amusing rivalry with Mantrid. His plan to defeat Mantrid involves capturing a working drone arm and activating a code he had previously installed in Mantrid’s machine’s programming. Mantrid plays dead for a little while, and then announces that it was all his devious plan from the start.

In which a new villian is introduced, does some sleazy things and then exits.  (3/5)

 

Lexx 2.16-17

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Lexx 2.16 – The Web
The crew learn that the only way to escape Mantrid is to flee to the Dark Zone. The only remaining portal is at the exact centre of the universe, and Kai warns them that many bizarre and improbable things exist there. A sinister, alien creature captures the Lexx and possesses the ship’s hapless captain, Stanley Tweedle. The ship’s robot 790, attempts to alert the crew that something is wrong with Stan, but by now they’ve all gotten so used to 790 abusing Stan that nobody takes 790’s warnings about Stan seriously. The Web tells the story in a relatively straightforward manner, while The Net fills in the background material, explaining various plot threads and introducing others.

Lexx 2.17 – The Net
The Net fills in the background material, explaining various plot threads and introducing others from the previous episode, “The Web.” The two episodes are very similar and share a large number of scenes, possibly due to budget constraints.

These two episodes tell the same story with slight differences. The second is unnecessary. Not a bad story, but a bit too strung-out with a weak plot. (2/5)

Lexx 2.14-15

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Lexx 2.14 – Patches in the Sky
Stan is having bad dreams and Xev tells him to do something “mighty” to feel better. Stan accidentally blows up a robot-manned manganese mining planet, after the robot administrator tells him of the Narco-Lounger, that allows people to enter and control their dreams. Fruitcake, a past customer of the Narco-Lounger tells the owner of Narco-World, Gubby, about Patches in the Sky, created by Mantrid’s Drones ongoing destruction of the whole universe. The terrible reality of this turns Gubby to drugs. Stan and crew arrive and Stan uses the machine to enter his dreams. Stans dreams turn into nightmares as he dreams of being chased first by the dead robot administrator and then by Giggerota. Xev must enter to save him, while Kai struggles to save them both.

At last a good attempt at an original script, despite being full of TV tropes from the 1960’s (3/5)

Lexx 2.15 – Woz
When 790 reluctantly reveals that Xev has a built-in expiry date that’s only 79 hours away, the Lexx heads to the planet Woz where the only remaining Lusticon, the love-slave transformation device, is. Before they can use it to reset Xev’s expiry date, however, Stan and Kai are sucked into a war being waged between the Wozzard and The Dark Lady, each having very different opinions about the morality of the Lusticon.

This episode is a bad parody of the movie “Wizard of Oz” (2/5)

Lexx 2.12-13

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Lexx 2.12 – Norb
Norb, the adopted son of Pa Gollean (2.08), runs across a giant Candy House Satellite. Suddenly, it’s consumed by Mantrid Drones. It contains a colourful version of the Divine Order emblem, who then begin to chase Norb. Norb barely escapes by ejecting as his Charger is overrun by drones. Lexx and the crew hear his distress call in space and pick him up. Once inside he acts very differently from when previously encountered and suddenly his body comes apart to reveal 5 Mantrid Drones. In the process, Norb/Drones kill 790, crushing the tiny piece of human brain that enabled him to love Xev. The drones also deliver a message from Mantrid: “Let the contest begin”. Kai and Xev use Kai’s protoblood and a protein regenerator to bring 790 back. The Drones begin to “eat” Lexx and make more drones with his parts. The Lexx must reverse its particle drive to save itself.

At last, something that isn’t trying to be a parody and uses previously established characters. The problem that the solution is rather obvious and the story rather insubstantial. (3/5)

Lexx 2.13 – Twilight (March 5, 1999)
When Stanley Tweedle becomes gravely ill, the crew of the Lexx take him to the planet Ruuma. There they encounter a ghastly family: the father, Roada, is a scheming sleazeball, the last vestige of the Divine order, left behind on the planet by his brethren after the death of His Shadow; the mother, Hidea, is a shrew; the daughter, Lomea, is a surly goth teen. Ruuma has the power to bring the dead back to a kind of shambling life, and the many corpses of His Divine Shadow’s earlier bodies reside here, constantly trying to break in and devour the family. It was Roada’s job to look after the bodies when the Cluster was still in operation, but now he’s losing control of the situation and it seems the family won’t survive long. The same forces that animate the corpses has an unusual effect on Kai and after Xev is bitten it’s up to Lyekka to save the day.

A rather uninspiring Zombie story. Not sure if it’s supposed to be a parody as it lacks both laughs and any tension or horror. (2/5)

 

Lexx 2.10-11

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Lexx 2.10 – Wake the Dead
A group of restless and none-too-intelligent teens comes aboard the Lexx, and after ‘partying like stink’ one of them accidentally reprograms Kai to become a psychotic killing machine. Kai then sets to work systematically murdering each of the teens, taking an uncharacteristic delight in violence. After hunting and killing his prey one by one Xev and Stan fear they may have to abandon the Lexx forever only to be saved at the last moment when Kai runs out of Protoblood.

A very boring parody of teen slasher films. (1/10)

Lexx 2.11 – Nook
Stanley Tweedle isn’t interested in exploring, but Xev convinces him to do so, saying that she’ll have sex with him if she doesn’t find somebody to have sex with on the planet first. Stan agrees, and when they venture to the planet they find an order of monks who profess to have no idea what a woman is. It is a repressive and stagnant place, where the monks copy writings out of ancient books without knowing how to read, so that they will not be corrupted by dangerous ideas. Kai asks their leader, Brother Randor, how they procreate without women, but Brother Randor claims ignorance of such matters. Meanwhile, Xev is stirring up trouble by making sexual overtures to various monks.

Some interesting ideas, but undermined by illogical plot and characters. (2/5)

 

 

Lexx 2.7-9

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Lexx 2.7 – Love Grows
The episode follows a crew of sleazy space miners – two men and one large woman – who contract a gender-changing and ultimately fatal virus which they then unwittingly share with the crew of the Lexx. While the disease does not affect the external appearance, it changes the genitals and the voice and works on the mind, making men extremely demure and making women into voracious sexual predators. In this episode Stanley Tweedle finally fulfills his dream of having sex with his crewmate Xev Bellringer, although it is arguably more of a rape and during the encounter their genders are reversed.

The setup has potential, but once everyone is on the Lexx, it descends into a very badly written and directed 1960’s soft-core porn parody. This is the worst episode so far. (1/5)

Lexx 2.8 – White Trash
The Golleans, a family of incestuous cannibal rednecks, has stowed away on the Lexx. After a night of passion with Sissy Gollean, Stanley Tweedle is caught by the jealous Pa Gollean, who plans to kill Stan until Sissy convinces him to let them get married instead. Pa agrees, and then forces Stan to steer the ship to his home planet Vermal so Pa can get revenge on the remaining inhabitants. Whilst on the planet Kai helps Pa’s adopted son Norb escape his unpleasant parents on his real father’s space ship – The Charger.

Just when I thought they had reached the bottom, comes this rubbish every-bad-stereotype hick story. The only character of interest is the young boy who escapes the planet before Lexx destroys it. (1/5)

Lexx 2.9 – 791
The crew of the Lexx get a distress signal from a crashed ship on an uninhabited planet. Stanley Tweedle refuses to go down to investigate, but Lyekka insists that she needs food, and if she doesn’t get it she’ll be forced to eat the crew. Lyekka plans to eat any survivors down on the surface, but Xev understandably has some moral qualms about this. Once inside the crashed ship, they find jars containing still-beating hearts and 790 finds a cyborg body with which he hopes to finally consummate his love of Xev.

Despite the rip-off of the 1979 space horror-thriller “Alien”, this actually works. There is sufficient tension, plot twists and atmosphere for a good episode. Finally Stan gets to assert himself and take a positive single action. (4/5)