Production 8
Direction 8
Characterisation 8
Storyline 9
Acting 8
Fun/Sexy/Cool 9

Will Stanley loose his head to the guillotine and the hoopy orange people?

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LEXX: S03E01: Fire and Water

I’m still in shock.  What do you do if you’ve been waiting for your favourite Sci Fi show to air for months – then you finally see it is like nothing you imagined?  The same characters we all know and love/hate are back, and LEXX still bugs us with it’s bimboishness, but just about everything else is different!

The deceptive opening scene to Season 3 greeted the world like an old friend with the warmth and familiarity of the Brunnen G Battle Chant! Us lucky viewers, all sat back in our comfy chair, sipped our beer, and listened as the opening episode Yo A Oh’d at us….all was right with the world. 

A very HARD episodeThat would soon change.  This was not a nice episode, in fact Lex Gigeroff said in a recent chat that the season would be darker and the first episode would certainly prove it. This was a tense show and less frivolous than some in Season 2.  Chris Bould who has directed a number of excellent episodes, steered this show through a completely new look.  The graphics were different too, David Hackl, Electropolis Studio, Cage Digital and Effecory Filmeffekte GMBH created retro gizmo’s, gadgets and whole planet scenery – the science may have been a little suspect, but boy was it cool!

790 fails to wake up XevThe episode opened with the robot head, 790 waking after what seemed like a long, long sleep.  He was perched on top of his little green chariot (first seen in I Worship His Shadow).  Unfortunately the little transport malfunctioned (it seems a bit stiff) and knocked the unfortunate 790 onto a ledge then drove itself off the flight deck platform into oblivion! 790 was left helplessly shouting trying to wake Xev.

LEXX is harpoonedMeanwhile the LEXX is orbiting a desert planet and a nearby Water planet.  These two are VERY close to each other (in fact if this were real, gravity would rip them both apart) and we see three geezers in a high altitude balloon trying to intercept the big bug.  The geezers look like any other geezers I guess, except the head dude has a ring through his bottom lip. The balloon gondola approaches the LEXX and they fire a harpoon into it. They are then able to get themselves aboard.  That’s what I like about LEXX, the writers never mess around with the boring details of three dudes desperately trying to navigate the outside of a huge spaceship looking for a way in.

Once in, the three visitors explore.  They find a moth … a dead moth, in fact the LEXX looks very dusty and murky indeed, the crew are nowhere to be seen.  The only sign of life is on the flight deck where 790 commands the visitors to take it to his beloved Xev.

The head visitor dude looks quizzically at 790 and asks who else is on-board.  790 answers that there is a Stanley Tweedle (who is of no importance) and the dead bloke.   He sniffs at the robot head and tries to determine who of the LEXX crew is the important one.  He decides, after 790’s ranting, that it must be Xev.  Then he discards 790 by throwing it off the edge of the flight deck where, after a long drop, the little robot head, smashes on the floor!

A groggy StanleyEventually, the three find their way to the cryo-chamber room where they see Xev, Stanley and Kai all in suspended animation.  The head geezer presses a couple of buttons on the cryo console and Stanley’s cryo-chamber comes to life (we all immediately said to ourselves ‘wrong one’)Stanley comes to life slowly – he seems to be covered in shards of ice and feels very groggy and disorientated.  We learn that the head geezer is called Prince, and when asked, Stanley identifies himself as ‘a Tweedle’ {10k wav file}.

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As Stan recovers from the effects of cryo-sleep, he tries to indicate to Prince that he is the Captain of the LEXX, but Prince seems preoccupied.  This is all a big surprise to Prince. As far as he was aware, the LEXX was a comet that had been circling the planet of Fire for  a ‘very long time’.  Stanley was becoming more and more disconcerted with Prince’s quiet but overpowering personality and he makes a run for it, hoping to get to the cryo-chamber to revive Kai before recapture. Unfortunately he was caught and interrogated.  Stanley told the story of how the LEXX had become hungry and was far away from any suitable planets to feed.

In fact LEXX is almost completely out of fuel!  Stan tells the Prince dude that they were ‘stuck’ all that was left was for the LEXX to drift while Xev, Stan an Kai went into cryo-sleep.  790 was to shut itself down and wake up each month to check if LEXX had reached the orbit of a suitable celestial object (apparently it would take between 900 and 16,000 years!).

They all went into the cryo-chamber and said goodnight to each other, ‘Good night LEXX, Good night Stanley, Good night Kai, Good night Xev, (goodnight John-boy).  And there they slept for hundreds of (in fact 4000) years until the ominous dude Prince, woke Stanley.

The peacock PrinceStan tells the Prince that the others crewmembers are insignificant.  He explains that Kai is a walking dead bloke and that Xev is ‘just a nurse or something’ {34k wav file}.  Stanley’s attempt to fool Prince into believing that the rest of the LEXX crew are unimportant is heroic, but ultimately doomed. Prince remembered the words of 790 (that Xev is the most important person on the LEXX) and suddenly he… erm, gets his back up!  A big white fan appears from he Princes back and he glares at the surprised Stanley like a manic Peacock stoned on crack.  “You are insignificant,” he says.

Stanley is transported back to the planets surface where he is imprisoned.  Xev is also taken.  Prince manages to thaw her out over a fire, but Stanley meanwhile, is taken to a large building where he is forced to sit in a small open ended room and peddle a strange contraption.

Stan the peddlerStanley is escorted by the two ‘handlers and briefly shown how to use the contraption. Stanley tries to complain but the two handlers (a man and a woman) just squawk at him.  “Wadda couple of cretins,” {28k wav file} he says. The handlers seem to object to Stan’s sentiments and indicate that they have no tongue (it’s been cut out and is tied round their necks!). After the handlers prod him with a sharp implement, Stanley finally agrees to peddle.  He notices that if his peddling slows below a certain speed, a weight at the end of an armature will drop onto a bell.

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The cavern where Stanley is incarcerated is a very scary place.  The orange skinned handlers are transported around with a sort of pulley and hook arrangement.  A hook plate is riveted to their head and they move around (arms and legs dangling) between the cells, attending to the captives (like Stanley) responsible for peddling the weird contraption. Stanley looks on dejectedly as he peddles.

Meanwhile, back on the LEXX, Kai wakes from his cryo-sleep and finds his companions missing. He has found 790’s bits and tries to reassemble it.

On the Fire planet Xev is thawing out with the Prince in close attendance.  Stanley is visited by the handlers.  He complains that he is not guilty of anything and that the hospitality of his captors leaves a lot to be desired.  The handlers respond by fixing a portable guillotine to the peddling machine and attaching the ‘firing’ mechanism to the weight!  They leave Stanley desperately trying to peddle to make sure that the weight does not fall (causing him to loose his head!).  Waddan awful situation!  The scene is made worse when you imagine Stanley’s view of the surroundings.  He is on a strange planet, in a cavern overlooking lots of open rooms full of people peddling weird contraptions – these are supervised by orange ‘handlers’ who travel by a pulley system using hooks attached to the top of their heads!  I mean, how would you feel?!

Kai, experiencing Robot love!Kai has managed to get 790 working again. The little robot head was severely damaged and when the power is switched back on it opens it’s eyes, looks at Kai and says, “I will love you forever.”  {15k wav file} Haha!  Wadda twist!  I almost choked on my beer!  Well girls, it looks like Xev has some competition.  Kai’s face as he listened to these words was a picture. 

Xev, oblivious to the robot head trying to steal her man, is on the Fire planet surface getting hotter by the minute.  She attempts to get cooler (and us warmer) by ripping off the middle part of her costume. She is being watched by the Prince dude.

He tells Xev how the planet called Fire is at war with the planet called Water.  Nobody knows how long the war has been going on (or when it will end).  He explains to her that the only way people on the Fire planet can survive is to have a large bellow pumping to make the air cooler.  I guess that Stanley is a small cog in the vast contraption that is the bellow for the Fire Planet.  The Prince sniffs at Xev again (he seems to do a lot of that – does she smell funny or something?) and tells her, as they look over the horizon at the Water planet, that it will soon be their new home.

A warm Xev looking HOTHe then looks at her longingly, their eyes meet and with a soft silky voice, he tells her, “I sense a deep emptiness in you Xev.”  (that’s a bit personal isn’t it!?) He goes on to tell her that he has waited for her forever.  Then he asks Xev to close her eyes and without hesitation he kisses her.  (Cool chat up!)

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The Prince smiles and informs Xev that she is the tiny grain of sand that will tip the balance in the war with the Water planet, Xev and her ship – the LEXX.

Back on the LEXX Kai (with a small amount of frustration in his voice) is trying to tell 790 that it doesn’t love him and that it actually loves the love slave, Xev.

Who cares about a stupid love slave?!  YOU are the man of my dreams.” Says the smitten robot head.

Kai tries to ask what happened to the others.  790 doesn’t know and doesn’t care but then Kai, in a demonstration of his cunningness and wit asks, “790, do you love me?”
“Desperately.”  Replies the love-sick gay robot head. {40k wav file}
Then you will help me locate them.”  He commands.
Whatever you say, heartthrob of desire.

On the Fire planet, Stanley watches a weight gradually slide (if it slides off then the guillotine will be released and Stanley will be decapitated).  He is getting very tired indeed but manages to save himself by peddling harder. “Where’s the dead man when you need him,”  he mutters.

Kai takes the plungeKai decides to travel down to one of the planets (he doesn’t know which one). Xev meanwhile is still talking with the Prince.  She tells him that only Stanley can drive the LEXX, only he has the key. To make the Prince (of stupidity) feel even worse, Xev tells him that the LEXX isn’t a grain of sand that can tip the scale, it’s the whole desert! The Prince looks only slightly upset by this.  He had told Xev that Stanley was dead, but he let it slip that Stanley had never explained that he was so important.

Stan peddles for his lifeKai leaves 790 on the LEXX flight deck with a communicator.  He then jumps off the LEXX towards the Water planet – the WRONG planet.

Stanley is getting more and more tired, in fact he is so tired that he is almost ready to pass out.  He watches in despair as the weight gradually slips and falls, then he clenches his teeth as he hears the guillotine fall.Stan waits for the chop

And the show stops there!!  OH NO!!  They can’t do this to us!!  Will Stanley loose his head to the guillotine and the hoopy orange people?  Will Xev get it together with the foolish evil Prince geezer? Will Kai swim aimlessly round and round while 790 drools into his communicator?  Will the LEXX starve – will there be another shower scene… will we see Lyekka again….. will I be able to stop ranting before the next gripping episode? 

We’ll just have to wait until next weeks thrilling instalment!

Welp, despite the cliff-hanger I just godda rate this a wonderful 36,760 out of 10.

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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.

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