LEXX: S04E11: A Midsummer’s Nightmare
This show was slow moving and very repetitive. There were some interesting moments but they weren’t memorable and the standard of acting and production was poor. I’ve been better entertained at armature (oops. I mean amateur) dramatics events.
It opened in a Moth. With the dead Xev in his arms, Stanley mentions to Kai as they fly over England, that Xev would be happy there (all those trees and things). Kai retorts that Xev is not going to like anything since Vlad killed her.
But Stanley is a desperate man. He is intent on following the advice of Uther, that Xev can be brought back to life at the feast of Magrath – Kai looks uncharacteristically sceptical. Nevertheless, and that’s where they are headed.
Actually, it’s quite a touching moment. With Xev prostrate across Stan’s legs you’d half expect him to cop a quick feel. Instead, he covers her ears so that she can’t hear Kai talking about her death and later he delicately strokes her hair as he tells Kai that they have to try anything to bring her back.
790 then goes on to explain that the Feast of Magrath has been moved from Glastonbury Forrest to London because of a disease called ‘foot and mouth‘. The show is devastatingly topical and has probably put tourism in Britain back at least three weeks! Why couldn’t they have mentioned the warm beer, or the rainy climate or those funny things called ‘roundabouts’ or that Londoners are called ‘cockneys’ (where the hell did that name come from – I hope it wasn’t anything to do with cocks and knees).
Sure enough, they arrive in London and park right outside the old derelict Battersea Power Station. As they walk towards the Power Station, they come across two people sat at a wooden table taking registration for the event. They are dressed as druids and one of them is a very officious looking druid indeed (called Colin). He tells them that they can’t come in, but his attitude changes when they tell him that Uther sent them – to one of ridicule.
They are saved by Oberon, a mysterious looking thin and gaunt looking dude who is mistakenly taken for one of England’s most famous druids, Tarquin Falstaff. There is certainly something strange about the geezer as, with a light flick of his wrist and a flash of green light from his eyes, the irritatingly bureaucratic Colin suddenly allows them to enter (as if enchanted).
Stanley thanks the gaunt Oberon for his assistance, but in reply all he will answer is, “Don’t drink the mead Red Fool. Thee neither dead man.”
Oberon and his entourage (all two of them) continue towards the ceremonial tent. Stanley, Kai and the dead Xev follow on behind.
In the tent, there is a celebration beginning. Oberon is dropping glittery gold dust in each of the mead goblets and four odd-looking druids are dancing near the main table. The atmosphere is lively and happy there is even a Punch and Judy show portraying a dead Xev, Kai and Stanley as the Dark man and the Red Fool. There is laughing and giggling and general happy noises – all that would change very soon.
First of all, Stanley was propositioned by an attractive girl (with a Canadian accent) wanting to be his ‘lusting partner’. Unfortunately this meant that she would allow him to lust after her until she then lusted after the dead dude, ultimately ignoring the hapless Red Fool forever. Stanley politely declined and explained that he already had a lusting partner. He gestured to the dead Xev (who promptly flopped on the table).
The jolly proceedings are then interrupted by Colin. He turns on his overheard projector and welcomes everyone to the Feast of Magrath. He then launches into a history lesson and tells the assembled druids (who should already know) that the Feast of Magrath is a celebration of the wedding of the king of the forest to his new bride. Every 1500 years is a special feast since this is the time when the king takes a new bride that is presented to him by the druids in a ceremony that uses magic.
He then goes on to tell the assembled druids that after a huge number of entries, the winners of the competition to find the best dead girl, dark man and red fool has been won by the Mincefield family. A nervous trio is then presented to the druids dressed as Kai, Xev and Stanley. Colin proposes a toast and they all drink their mead. So does Stanley after being specifically told not to do so.
Everyone (except Kai, Oberon and his assistant) falls to the ground. “Hmm. Impressive,” says Oberon, “Truly a thoroughbred Fool.”
Oberon’s assistant adds, “Told you not to drink the mead.” As Oberon administers some remedy to help revive Stanley.
“What’s mead?” Asks Stanley. Understandably.
Stanley pulls himself together and asks Oberon to identify himself. In reply, the tall, gaunt druid tells them that he is the reason that the feast is held (he had previously denied that he was called Oberon).
“So you are Magrath.” Concludes Stanley.
“No.” Says Oberon firmly. “It was a name given to me in the twelfth century. We aren’t sure why.”
“So, so who are you.” Asks an impatient Stanley.
“This,” Says the assistant, deftly taking off his employers druid gown, “Is Oberon, king of the fairies, your master.”
And there we see him, in all his glory – Wadda loser! Oberon is from Shakespeare’s play “A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream”. He is the king of a race of elves. But this dude looks like a badly dressed reject from a gay C++ programmers convention.
The assistant continues, “I am Puck, the King’s manservant.”
There is a disturbance under the table and we see a sack containing someone “Let me out.” says the voice. The sack is opened and a little man dressed as a woman in a floral dress gets out. Oberon introduces his soon to be ex-wife, Titania.
At this point I guess half the viewing audience groaned. It has to be said that the acting abilities of the three protagonists was abysmal and strained. I looked at the clock and hoped that the show would end soon with Kai shooting the crap out of them with his handy wrist gadget. – but alas that wouldn’t happen.
There then followed a predictable exchange between the short man/woman called Titania and Kai and an explanation of why Kai, Xev and Stanley had come to the Feast (so that Xev could be revived).
Sure enough, Oberon agrees to revive Xev and he kisses her lightly – there is some pleasant green flashes before Xev wakes up (looking a little queasy but definitely not dead).
Stanley thanks the Fairy King and tells him and his entourage that they must now leave. But Oberon is most certainly not going to let them leave. He tells Stanley that Xev will soon be his new wife, that Kai will sing and rejoice him in the forest and that Stanley will possibly be the Kings lap-dog for the next 1500 years.
Kai politely points out that Earth is a type 13 planet that probably doesn’t have 15 years left (never mid 1500) and that they WILL leave. When he threatens the King with his ever-ready-handy-wrist-gadget. The King turns it into a little green budgerigar (I wish I could do that!).
Kai listens and the King chats with the bird about what should be done with them. He decides that they have until the sands of time run out (a very large hourglass) to make their escape otherwise they will be trapped in his Kingdom for eternity. “You are free to go”
But as you immediately realised, that was too easy. As soon as Kai, Xev and Stanley left the tent they found themselves in a forest, a singing forest!
“Kai, Kai sing with us.” Sang the trees (badly). “Join us in out song.”
The tree’s surround him and Xev and Stanley are not able to go to his aid. They return to the tent and Oberon tells them that Kai is simply fulfilling his destiny, that his empty heart is being filled with happiness and joy. Sure enough, Kai is not exactly rushing to get away. He seems to be enjoying the experience.
However it soon turns out that the problems with between Titania and Oberon will take up the rest of the story. The two minor deities dislike each other, they have become bored with each other and despite the kings attraction to Xev, he’s most certainly gay and worse still, still in his closet.
For what seems like an hours, the two of them bickered and complained and we were terribly, terribly bored. Meanwhile, Kai is gradually turning into a singing tree. Escape from the silly kingdom of the fairies looking increasingly bleak.
After 20 minutes of pointless dialogue in which Xev and even Stanley were propositioned to become the Queen of the Fairies, Xev is turned into a tree with Kai and Stanley is fooled into marrying Oberon thinking he is marrying Xev. The hairy little Titania however, decides that she/he/it wants Oberon back and fools the Fairy King into re-marrying her/him/it.
Since Titania knew how devious Oberon could be, She/he/it changed everyone (Kai, Xev and Puck) into exact Stanley duplicates – all that is, except him/her-self. Oberon therefore assumed that Stanley would look like Titania since he knew that Stanley would choose the shape that Oberon would least like to marry. This backdoor logic worked and Oberon re-married Titania and the hour-glass (sands of time) ran out.
They all disappeared and the show ended with the druids all waking up and Xev, Kai and Stanley flying off back to the LEXX.
Unfortunately, this show heralds the start of a downward spiral of mediocrity that LEXX would suffer for the next couple of episodes. It’s as if the cast and crew realised that there would be no 5th season (they probably didn’t, but it feels like they did) and decided to play out the rest of the episodes without the usual zeal.
It’s taken me a few weeks to write this episode review. I was waiting for a LEXX episode that would motivate me again. But after seeing the next two episodes, I’d have to say that this is the better one. The only thing I like about this sorry excuse for sci fi is the name of the actor that played Titania – Big Mick (it gave me the only smile during the whole episode).
I’m tempted to blame the new writing team of Jon Spira and Andrew Selzer but I’m sure it’s not as simple as that. At about the time this episode was written (and later as it was filmed) decisions on the future of Salter Street Films were being made, people had to consider what they would be doing after the series concluded and most distressing of all, Salter Street was bought by a large Canadian production company.
However, after due consideration and since I was bored for most of the show – I’d have to rate this a limp 18,748 out of 10. What did you think?
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This episode review is © 1999-2019 Tony Fawl.
Not for reproduction without the authors express permission
The LEXX names, characters, pictures and everything else associated with the series are the property of SALTER ST FILMS & TiMe Film-und TV-Produktions GmbH in association with Screen Partners. All rights reserved.