Lexx-Season 1 (1997)

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Released 11-Jul-2007

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Featurette-Making Of-Four "Making Of" Featurettes
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 346:28
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Paul Donovan
Ron Oliver
Rainer Matsutani
Robert Sigl
Studio
Distributor

Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Brian Downey
Michael McManus
Jeffrey Hirschfield
Eva Habermann
Case 4-Way Cross-Dual
RPI ? Music Marty Simon


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    After a mistakenly getting caught up in a rebel attack against His Divine Shadow, the mysterious leader of the cult that controls the Light Universe with an iron fist, low-level security guard Stanley H. Tweedle finds himself the captain of the Lexx - the most powerful ship in the Galaxy.

    Three others that are caught up in Stanley's escape form the sentient crew of the Lexx, along with an army of mindless drone-like people that the ship controls to conduct repairs and such. There's Zev, a stunningly good looking human-lizard mutant hybrid who was created to be a love-slave. 790 is a detached robot head who accidentally received the mind-programming originally intended for Zev and is now in love with her. Finally, Kai is the last of an ancient warrior race known as the Brunnen-G, who had been all but wiped out by His Divine Shadow hundreds of years ago following a prophecy that the Brunnen-G will overthrow His Divine Shadow (His Divine Shadow being a consciousness that hops between physical bodies as required, essentially living forever). Kai has been brainwashed into being a deadly assassin, working for His Divine Shadow before he escapes aboard the Lexx.

    The Lexx itself is in fact a biological organism, a strange insect-like organism that can fly through space and has the weapon-like ability to fire a beam that can destroy planets.

    The plot itself is probably starting to sound a little familiar to anyone who has ever watched Farscape. The general concept for Lexx is indeed quite similar to Farscape (though Lexx was actually produced a good two years before Farscape), but the show itself is very different. Where Farscape always had a relatively family-friendly edge, Lexx is driven by lust, violence and a very black sense of humour. There are sex jokes and naughtiness-aplenty as well as plenty of gooey deaths and gooey biological bits and bobs aboard the ship. Lexx pushes the boundaries of sci-fi a lot further than Farscape ever did with its plot, featuring some of the most off-the-wall gonzo sci-fi plotting ever committed to tape.

    Force Entertainment, also distributors of Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda, have come through again for Australian sci-fi fans. Don't let the relative age of Lexx put you off, it has aged quite well despite some dated special effects (which were a strange mixture of cutting-edge and B-grade at the time the show was first produced). Lexx is must-see viewing for any sci-fi fan (but you may want to keep it away from the little-uns). There simply isn't anything else quite like it.

    As a cult sci-fi show, Lexx was produced in whatever format financing would allow. Consequently, no two seasons are the same in their physical structure (or their storylines, for that matter). This first season comprises four feature-length episodes. The four episodes play out as follows:

  1. I Worship His Shadow - Stanley, Zev and 790 escape aboard the Lexx amidst a spectacular plot to steal the Lexx being conducted by the scantily-clad rebel leader Thodin (Barry Bostwick). The rebels are pursued by the re-animated corpse of the last of the Brunnen-G, Kai, who proceeds to assassinate them one by one. The Lexx heads for the Dark Zone, another universe, pursued by His Divine Shadow and his flagship.
  2. Super Nova - The Lexx heads for the planet Brunnis, the ancestral home of the Brunnen-G, in an effort to find a way to extend Kai's very limited lifespan. Instead, they find themselves in a ghost town filled with video messages from the planets last inhabitant (Tim Curry), being chased by a mad cannibal woman and trying to prevent the solar system's star from going super-nova.
  3. Eating Pattern - Low on fuel, the Lexx heads for a garbage dump planet to feed. When the crew reach the planet they believe Kai to be dead and bury him. As they return to the ship, they encounter a tribal band the planets inhabitants, led by the maniacal Bog (Rutger Hauer), who are infested with symbiotic worms that control their behaviour.
  4. Giga Shadow - As the proto-blood that keeps Kai alive has nearly run out, the Lexx and its crew return to the Cluster (the home planet to His Divine Shadow) in the Light Universe to try and get some more. When they arrive they find that the planet's population has been "cleansed" of all life in preparation for the rebirth of the Giga Shadow - the ultimate form of His Divine Shadow. A heretic priest named Yottskry (Malcom McDowell) is re-animated to help along the rebirth, but ends up helping the crew of the Lexx prevent the rebirth of the Giga Shadow. Meanwhile, Stanley Tweedle is pursued by S&M loving space mercenaries as he guards the Lexx.

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    Transfer Quality

    Video

        The video quality is decent for a modest budget series that is now ten years old.

        The show is presented in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio and is not 16:9 enhanced (nor should it be).

        The foreground image is reasonably sharp throughout, but edge enhancement is occasionally noticeable. Effects-heavy scenes tend to display a noticeable amount of pixelation, though this is due to the limitations of the digital effects technology of the day rather than a poor transfer to DVD. A modest level of tape grain and low level noise is visible in many scenes, particularly those with heavy use of digital effects. There is a good amount of shadow detail visible and the many shades of black look good, though not great.

        The colours used in the show look a little garish, but fit the trashy aesthetic of the show. They have been accurately rendered in the transfer.

        Occasional white flecks and small film artefacts are visible throughout the episodes. A large tape tracking band can be seen at 25:36 of episode 4, but that is the only significant artefact arising from the tape transfer other than low level noise.

        There are no subtitles available on these discs

        The series is spread across four single layer discs.

    Video Ratings Summary
    Sharpness
    Shadow Detail
    Colour
    Grain/Pixelization
    Film-To-Video Artefacts
    Film Artefacts
    Overall

    Audio

        There is one Dolby Digital 2.0 (192 Kbps) audio track available for each episode.

        The soundtrack is rather quiet, but quite clear once the volume has been adjusted accordingly.

        The dialogue is clear and appears to be well synchronised to the video.

        The score consists of fairly cheap synthesizer orchestral music that suits the frequently over-the-top tone of the show.

        There is no noticeable surround speaker usage. The subwoofer picks up a modest amount of bottom end from time to time, but it is not terribly noticeable.

    Audio Ratings Summary
    Dialogue
    Audio Sync
    Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
    Surround Channel Use
    Subwoofer
    Overall

    Extras

    Main Menu Audio and Animation

        Basic menu animations with a short audio clip from the score.

    I Worship His Shadow Making Of Featurette (15:03)

        This "making of" featurette was first produced for the Region 2 UK release of Lexx. It consists of the producer/writer and two co-writers sitting about and talking about how the show care about. It also features the original five minute demo-reel that was taken around the world to drum up funding for the project. This short featurette openly concedes to be contractual padding for the DVD, but it is much more interesting padding than many of the press-kit style bonus featurettes on other DVDs.

    Super Nova Making Of Featurette (15:46)

        Again hosted by the three writers of the show, this featurette concentrates on the production side of the show, particularly the visual design, sets and special effects. There are plenty of interviews with the crew members responsible for each aspect and a look at how different sets and effects were constructed.

    Eating Pattern Making Of Featurette (15:43)

        Again hosted by the three writers of the show, this featurette concentrates on the cast. It consists of interviews with the primary cast of Lexx as well as some of the guest stars, including Rutger Hauer.

    Giga Shadow Making Of Featurette (14:35)

        Again hosted by the three writers of the show, this featurette profiles the director of the episode, the involvement of Malcolm McDowell in the episode and what lies in store in future seasons of Lexx.

    Censorship

        There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

    R4 vs R1

    NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

        Being a Canada/Germany co-production that was partly financed with British money and a cult show at that, the rights to Lexx in different countries are a jumble. At various points in time different seasons have been in and out of print by a variety of distributors. It will be a first for any territory if Australia manages to get all four seasons released by one distributor! The first season is a particularly hard beast to find and is currently out of print in every other English-speaking territory.

        The series was first available in Region 2 UK in two box sets, each featuring two of the films as well as a Making Of featurette for each (the same ones we have on Region 4), Trailers, text biographies for the cast, and some basic DVD-ROM content. These sets are now out of print.

        The series was available as four separate discs in Region 1 Canada (This season has not been available in the USA), and featured Trailers and Making Of featurettes (the same ones we have on Region 4) as extras. These discs have been out of print for several years now, however.

        The Region 4 edition weighs up well in comparison to all the foreign editions in terms of features. The virtue of its ready availability makes it the only real choice for anyone looking to pick up this series.

    Summary

        An innovative and trashy sci-fi drama come comedy aimed at an adult audience. The extras are modest and shamelessly admit to being filler, but make for entertaining filler.

        The video and audio presentation is decent without being great.

    Ratings (out of 5)

    Video
    Audio
    Extras
    Plot
    Overall

    © Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
    Thursday, August 09, 2007
    Review Equipment
    DVDSony Playstation 3, using S-Video output
    Display Samsung 116cm LA46M81BD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
    Audio DecoderPioneer VSX-D512. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
    AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
    Speakers150W DTX front speakers, and a 100W centre and 2 surrounds, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

    Other Reviews NONE
    Comments (Add)
    Great Review - REPLY POSTED
    Force Video And Andromeda - David M REPLY POSTED
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    Great series - Lynton