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My 2 Cents on Mantrid
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Bilbo67
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Mana: 
 Posted: Sat Nov 4th, 2006 12:31 am

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***In keeping with series chronology, we progress to season two.  But for a small handful of season four replies, these were my very first episode reviews (hence the brevity).  Roughly one year later, SciFi began airing Lexx from the start again, so I wrote a handful of follow-up reviews to the first few episodes (right before SciFi yanked the show for good).  Rather than try and edit two reviews into one, I decided to post both of them.  If the first couple reviews from summer '02 seem like they suck, it is because they probably do; but fear not, I quickly found my stride.

As before, now that we've gotten the self-aggrandizing twaddle out of the way, let us proceed***




My 2 Cents on Episode 2.1: Mantrid
(7/3/02)


YO-WAY-OH HELL YEAH! LEXX IS BACK BABY!

I don’t know what got into those suits at Sci-Fi. I would like to think that it was the accumulation of all the e-mail/letter writing campaigns out there on the net, or perhaps they simply came to their primordial senses and realized that the show deserves better than to simply drift off into obscurity. Whatever the reason...LEXX IS BACK BABY!

I caught Mantrid last night, and from here on out I’m going to make double sure that I either catch or tape every episode. I’d seen clips of Mantrid before, but that was before I became a loyal Lexxian, back in my “What-the-hell-is-this-crap!?!” phase. I have to say that it was weird to see our heroes again, knowing how everything is eventually going to turn out for them. The show had a completely different feel to it, but that’s to be expected since I haven’t seen any season 2 eps in almost two years, and each season differed from the others so dramatically.

As for the episode itself, I like how it picked up right where Giga Shadow left off. The American version of Giga omitted the “possessed Kai” ending, which always pissed me off. It’s eerily ironic how, after destroying the divine order, Kai was still His Shadow’s puppet, and it’s even more ironic how the crew inadvertently created the Mantrid we’d all come to know and love. This episode also got me to thinking, just how violent and epic were the insect wars? I mean, if one insect warrants blowing up an entire planet, and they’re not even sure that killed it, just imagine what a full scale bugs vs. Brunnen-G battle must have looked like.

It was also nice to see Zev again. Granted I always thought Xenia was a better actress, but my assessment is skewed, since, IMO, she has a better grasp of English than Eva. Still, seeing her only added to the nostalgic air about the whole experience, and, acting ability aside...GOOD GAWDALMIGHTY SHE’S HOT (who am I kidding, she wouldn’t waste words on me…probably have her people rough me up).

Well, it’s getting late, and I’m getting tired of typing, so I’m gonna call it quits for now. I will try to post a review for every episode. I know that is extremely redundant, but these episodes are new to me, so I hope you’ll bear with me.

Last but not least, for those who have seen the episode, didn’t Mantrid’s crony Vigo look Dr. Evil, after having suffered a number of blows to the head and adopting an “alternative lifestyle?” Just wondering.

Cheery bye.



************************** 

2 MORE Cents on Episode 2.1: Mantrid
(7/20/03)


 

Ok, first and foremost, here is a link to my first Mantrid review...

http://bboard.scifi.com/bboard/browse.cgi/1/5/1560/65086

As you can see (if you bothered to read it), my reviews back then were hardly what you’d call in depth. They got better with time. Anyhoo, I’ll be posting old links on all my double reviews because...oh hell, because I’m shallow and narcissistic.

I meant to post this review last week, but I’ve been working harder than Amy Fisher at the NBA All-Star game (somebody, please get that joke), and haven’t had time to sit down and string together a coherent chain of thoughts.

First and foremost, am I the only one who noticed this: in addition to clipping the opening credits down to bare bones, the quadrupeds at SCIFI put Xenia’s name in the cast list instead of Eva’s. Further proof that they never watch the damn show.
 
Last time I saw this ep I missed the opening 20 minutes or so, so it was nice to finally be able to catch the dearly departed HDS’ opening monologue. What I fail to understand is why they implied that the Lexx destroyed the Giga Shadow, when we all know that the Lexx was all but ineffective against it. It was like trying to knock down a building with a BB gun.  For my money, I’m willing to guess that because the title of the show is LEXX, and because when the show was first run 90% of the viewers probably hadn’t seen the original mini-series, it lent more credibility to the main cast, and, let’s be honest, revealing that a giant fuzzy worm saved the universe by chowing down on a brain the size of a house to which Malcolm McDowell’s face had been grafted may have scared a few people off. (Come on, we all said “WTF!?!” at one time or another).

The shadow-essence sweeping across Kai’s eyes looked pretty cool. Too bad they couldn’t have included it in the original series...instead, Kai simply leers at the camera for way too long (like an outtake from one of those sappy-sweet phone company commercials) and comes off looking stupid.

I completely forgot that they changed Lexx’s interior at the very beginning of season 2. It didn’t quite look the way it would come to, but it was definitely different. We know that this is due to Lexx still growing, and, once again, while they could have explained this, it would have been pointless, for all the aforementioned reasons.

So, now we know the truth about the origins of His Shadow. It corroborates the Giga Shadow’s original story, but I couldn’t help thinking they left something out. It’s one thing to pass the essence on to a human host, but how did he rise to power? Rockhound is essentially an interstellar truck driver...hardly the awe-inspiring living god we will eventually come to know. So what the hell happened? Either he slowly took over the universe a piece at a time by passing his essence on to those who already had power, thereby quelling disputes and garnering more and more favor over the years; or the people of the Light Zone are stupid on a Boo Radley/Anna Nicole Smith level and can be manipulated by anyone who is smart enough to remember to blink from time to time. As always, I’m open to either possibility.

Skipping ahead some (this is, after all, a second review, not to mention the fact that I don’t have as much time on my hands as I did when I wrote the lengthy TFAPU reviews), I’m willing to give Mantrid the benefit of the doubt: I’ll accept that in this universe, people are able to prolong their lives by pickling all of their organs and attaching their heads to the top of the jar (I could make a really inappropriate Ted Williams joke right here, but I’ll take the moral high ground...this time). I’ll even allow that after said pickle jar is smashed all to hell, there may be a few seconds of ex post facto life left in the head. However, I fail to understand how Mantrid’s head can still be talking to the creepy bald guy a good couple of minutes after it has been separated from the rest of its vital sausage parts. Oh well, given the countless other scientific liberties that the show lovingly takes, I should probably let sleeping dogs lie, lest I should think too hard and start convulsing.

BTW, couldn’t Kai have simply dusted off the insect with his brace? Granted, it’s big, fast, and quite pissed off, but we’ve seen Kai dispatch numerous giant sized women in his day...why should this have been any different? Perhaps it’s safe to assume that the dead occasionally take a day off. Personally, I think it was done so that the crew would have a believable reason for blowing up the planet (although, having them do so out of pure unmitigated spite wouldn’t have bothered me).

All in all, a great episode. It does a nice enough job of reintroducing/introducing the characters and concept, the special effects are breathtaking as always (the neutron star was awe inspiring), and 790 got a few good jabs in (though nowhere near the potency of the venom he will come to spew). The ending is great, and I know I’m not the only one who, even now, was muttering “Turn around and shoot” when Mantrid’s Mega Man-esque ship came back to life.

Finally, I have a question that perhaps you can all help me with. Mantrid’s companion (you know, the guy who looks like he could have been Feppo and Smoor’s adopted love child/stylist) is told that he has lived a long time and done a bunch of terrible things. Are we to assume that he is/was a former HDS? He kind of looks like the avatar used in IWHS, what with the chrome dome, rigid cranial scarring, and overall carnival-grade ugliness. Is he supposed to be Rockhound from the beginning of the episode, or just some other deeply confused flesh puppet?. Unfortunately, Sci-Fi clipped the credits, so they didn’t do me any favors on that front. So, in parting, can anyone out there aid me, and allay my horrible, maddening, socially crippling suspicions?

Cheery bye.


Last edited on Sat Nov 4th, 2006 02:10 am by Bilbo67



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mayaXXX
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Mana: 
 Posted: Wed Nov 8th, 2006 12:58 am

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The other inhabitant of Mantrid's Ice Rock was Vig, another criminal imprisoned for his crimes on the same planet as Mantrid. His crimes were apparently related to child molestation,since Mantrid mentioned 'So many little boys'... during a confrontation of thier 'arrangement' and his disgust over having him as a companion.

Vig's response was 'I couldn't help myself'..etc...check it out...

:dude:   :wink:



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Bilbo67
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Mana: 
 Posted: Wed Nov 8th, 2006 01:15 am

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'Preciate the info.

They've uploaded the first few season 2 eps on YouTube, so mayhap I'll have to reacquaint myself with some of the early eps.



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Karin Spaink
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Mana: 
 Posted: Mon Jul 21st, 2008 07:42 pm

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Bilbo, in this episode we see Stan without his hat! It happens when they are all in the cryochamber with the dormant insect. It must be dire times, indeed, for Stan to have taken his hat off... :)

The scene in which Kai infuses the larva with the insect essence was particularly horrid. Which, in this series, is quite a feat. And I liked how the directors played with color. The infusion was neonishly blue, and when Kai explained to Stan and Zev that they would need to go to find a larva, his profile was lit up blue - a nice act of foreshadowing.



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