Lexx-Season 2 (1998)

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Released 12-Sep-2007

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Featurette-Making Of
Interviews-Cast & Crew
Trailer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1998
Running Time 916:01 (Case: 918)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (5:46)
Multi Disc Set (5)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Christoph Schrewe
Chris Bould
William Fleming
Paul Donovan
Studio
Distributor

Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Amaray Variant
RPI ? Music Marty Simon


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.29:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Series 2 of Lexx kicks off right where the first season ended (for a full review of that series click here. Stan (the bumbling, lonely captain played by Brian Downey), Zev (a lusty half woman half lizard played by Eva Habermann), 790 (a grumpy robotic head voiced by Jeffrey Hirschfield), Kai (a monotone undead assassin played by Michael McManus) and the Lexx (their ship) have defeated His Divine Shadow and seemingly killed off the insect army. They now drift through the post-apocalyptic universe, vaguely looking for a place to live or, more often, something to provide some fleeting pleasure. Alas, the remnant spirit of the evil insects has infected a mad scientist's already warped mind and while our favourite crew are hopping through space looking for something to keep them amused, the universe is being gobbled up behind them.

    Whereas the first series of Lexx consisted of four feature length movies, season 2 moves to a more standard format of twenty 45 minute episodes. The change works well in the end, although the series does take a while to find its feet. The first half of the series is a little hit and miss as a result, mainly due to the writers having trouble shoehorning in an over-arching story. The second half of the series is excellent, however. The CGI and effects of this series are vastly improved from the first series.

    There are a couple of character changes in this series. The delightful Zev meets a heroic demise early in the piece (thanks to scheduling conflicts with Eva Habermann), only to be replaced by her clone Xev (Xenia Seeberg) - a convenient plot device to keep the character with a noticeably different actress. Also introduced is the occasional character Lyekka (Louise Wischermann), a shape shifting man-eating plant lady who takes her basic form from the woman of Stan's dreams.

    The episodes in this series are as follows:

  1. Mantrid - Under the influence of a lingering evil spirit, Kai convinces the crew to capture the larvae of the Gigashadow insect that was defeated in the first season and take it to an imprisoned bio-vizier (think tricked-out genetic engineer) named Mantrid.
  2. Terminal - After Stan's heart is pulverized in an accident, Zev risks her life to have Stan healed at a crooked private medical facility while a sinister posse of doctors try to steal the Lexx to further their plans to dominate the Universe.
  3. Lyekka - A mysterious pod enters the Lexx, bringing with it a shape shifting plant-lady named Lyekka. Meanwhile, the Lexx gobbles up a passing spacecraft containing three potato-loving yokels. Lyekka causes a little trouble for the other visitors, but ultimately generates Xev as a thank-you for the ship's hospitality.
  4. Luvliner - The crew are lured onto a floating bordello where they are kidnapped by a couple of low-lifes looking to take over the Lexx.
  5. Lafftrak - After landing on a planet that broadcasts TV signals across the galaxy, the crew are forced to partake in the filming of a series of shows. What starts out as harmless entertainment soon turns sinister when the ratings begin to slip.
  6. Stan's Trial - Stan is lured onto yet another Bordello ship where he is captured in a sting operation and forced to stand trial for his past incompetence, which saw 100 planets destroyed by His Divine Shadow.
  7. Love Grows - The Lexx swallows a ship illegally smuggling genetic waste. This gives the ship some tummy troubles and has some strange effects on the crews of the two ships.
  8. White Trash - A family of hillbillies, who have been stowing away on-board since Stan first stole the Lexx, make themselves known and commandeer the Lexx, hoping to use it to end an old family feud.
  9. 791 - 790 discovers a cyborg body on board a crashed prison ship whose SOS signal the Lexx follows. After attaching himself to the body, 790 suffers severe multiple personality problems as the crew deal with the surviving prisoners on the ship.
  10. Wake The Dead - The Lexx stumbles upon a freighter containing a crew of teenagers who borrowed their father's ship to party for the weekend, but accidentally spent 300 years in cryo-sleep thanks to their inability to operate the vehicle properly. Once they are awoken, the show descends into a parody of 1980s teen slasher movies!
  11. Nook - The crew land on a planet inhabited by a group of monks who guard the secrets of the Universe in their library but are forbidden to read them. Much to Xev's delight, the monks have never met a woman before and their night of debauchery for the winter solstice is about to begin...
  12. Norb - The Lexx stumbles upon Norb, the youngest son of the Hillbillies encounter earlier in the season. Unfortunately, Norb has recently had a run-in with Mantrid's army of drones and isn't quite the same boy he once was.
  13. Twilight - Stan has fallen ill and the Lexx heads for a planet known for its healing properties, Ruuma, to try and cure him. Unfortunately, the healing properties of the planet have an unusual effect on the dead - including Kai.
  14. Patches In The Sky - The crew head to an orbiting attraction that features a device known as the Narcolounger; a device that allows people to actually experience their dreams in the flesh. While Stan is drawn into one of his own nightmares, the rest of the crew discover that the universe is slowly disappearing.
  15. Woz - When 790 explains to the crew that Xev is about to reach her use-by date, after which she will de-activate, the crew head to the one planet that still has the love-slave transformation equipment that can save her life, Woz. In exchange for the help of the Wozard, Stan and Kai set out to hunt down the evil witch who rules the land. A hilarious parody of The Wizard of Oz and rabid feminism.
  16. The Web - With the universe disappearing around them, the crew decide to take the Lexx to the centre of the Universe and find a way to travel to the opposing "Dark" Universe. On the way they are trapped in a living web by a strange creature.
  17. The Net - The same story as The Web, only told Rashomon-style through the perspective of Stan rather than the rest of the crew.
  18. Brigadoom - On their way to the centre of the Universe, the crew stumble upon a theatre that is telling the life story of Kai and his people, the Brunnen-G.
  19. Brizon - The crew encounter Brizon, the bio-vizier who was once the mentor of Mantrid (the evil thing that is now swallowing the universe). Soon after enlisting his help to stop Mantrid, it becomes clear that a double-cross is in the works.
  20. End Of The Universe - As Mantrid finishes dismantling of the "Light" Universe, the crew manage to escape to the "Dark" universe - only to discover that the Mantrid menace may not be over.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is fair for a modest budget series, but far from reference standard (particularly when compared with other older shows, like the classic Doctor Who range).

    The show is presented in its original 1.29:1 aspect ratio and is not 16:9 enhanced (nor should it be).

    The image is not terribly sharp, about what you would you would expect of a brand new VHS tape, in part due to the show's original video-based source. The video-based source has also led to a significant amount of low-level noise being present in the video throughout every episode. While it does not make the video unwatchable, it certainly detracts from the overall look. On the upside, there is a good level of detail in darker scenes and shadows.

    The colours used in the show look a little garish, but fit the trashy aesthetic of the show. They are a little on the pale side in terms of colour balance, though not enough to warrant too much complaining.

    Occasional white flecks and small film artefacts are visible throughout the episodes. Occasional tape tracking errors can also be seen in a handful of episodes, although they are typically one or two lines of video interference at most and no episode contains more than one or two such occurrences. This does not make the shows unwatchable, but is certainly rather sloppy production. Thankfully, and a little surprisingly given the low-level noise issues, the video has no signs of pixelation or macro blocking thanks to a pretty good bitrate throughout (it seems that converting the analogue video to digital was a messy process, but all was good afterward).

    There are no subtitles available on these discs.

    The series is spread across five dual-layer discs, with layer breaks occurring between scenes in the third episode of each disc.

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

Audio

    There is one English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192 Kbps) track present for each episode. It is of a reasonable standard in terms of quality.

    The dialogue is clear and well timed throughout.

    The music is very distinctive and conveys the sentiment of the show well. The music sounds reasonably clean in the mix.

    There is no noticeable surround usage. The subwoofer gets a small amount of use from the bottom end of the mix, though not a great deal.

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

Extras

Cast and Crew Interviews

    Each disc in this set contains one interview with a member of the cast or crew. Each discusses their role in the show, but there isn't much in the way of anecdotes (or much personality). The interviewees are: Michael McManus (who plays Kai, 3:14), Paul Donovan (Producer/Director, 3:16), Brian Downey (who plays Stan, 2:13), the robot head 790 (3:00) and Les Krisan (Director of Photography, 2:24).

Making Of Featurette (10:01, 10:39 and 3:43)

    Split into three parts, which are spread across three of the discs in the set, this featurette looks at the end to end making of the series. The featurette comprises interviews with the cast and crew, montages of the production work and clips from the show. It's all a little bit dry and not nearly as informative as the "Making Of" featurettes included on the first season set, but certainly worth a look for fans. The first part focuses on the show generally. The second part focuses on the effects. The third part focuses on the series' writing and plot development.

Season Three Trailer

    An effects-laden trailer for the following season of Lexx.

R4 vs R1

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

    This season of Lexx is currently available in Region 1 with all the features on the Region 4 edition, save for the Season 3 Trailer as well as the following additional features:

    In terms of raw content, this puts the Region 1 edition ahead of the Region 4 edition - The catch being that it comes with a RRP about three times that of the Region 4 edition.

    This series was previously available in Region 2 UK as four separately packaged discs, but has since been discontinued. That edition contained the features seen on the Region 1 edition plus additional Commentary tracks.

Summary

    A very entertaining continuation to Lexx - a mature sci-fi show with a wicked sense of humour. There are a few more misses here than the original series, but the hits more than make up for them.

    The video presentation is a little disappointing, but still perfectly watchable. The audio is decent. The extras are modest but worthwhile.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Friday, November 23, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI 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

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