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Featured TV on DVD Review: Lexx: Season Three and Four

March 19th, 2012

Lexx - Buy from Amazon: Season Three and Season Four OR Season Three and Four

This is one of the more confusing TV on DVD releases I've had to review. Lexx started as a series of four TV movies that were released as Season One way back in 2008. Seasons three and four are coming out this week, either separately of combined, but Season Two doesn't come out till May. How am I going to review seasons three and four without spoiling season two?

The Show

I guess I could stick with the basic to avoid most spoilers. Lexx is a Canadian / German co-production originally made in 1997. The science fiction TV show is named for the spaceship the crew travels in. Lexx, the ship (voiced by Tom Gallant), is the most powerful ship in the two universes. The Light Universe is where our crew is from, while for Seasons Three and Four they are stuck in the Dark Universe. At the beginning of the series, Stanley H. Tweedle accidentally steals the Lexx. (How that happened is spoilerific, so I won't even attempt to go into the details.) Before becoming the captain, Stanley was a low, low, low level member of a rebellion that sold out his side for personal security. Despite being a traitor to both sides, he's allowed to live because, well, he's just that pathetic. Now he, and he alone, can control the most powerful ship around. A ship so powerful that it can literally destroy planets and eat the remains. (It's an organic ship that looks like a wingless dragonfly. It's one of the coolest spaceship designs in the history of Sci-fi TV shows.)

At the beginning of the first TV movie, we also meet Zev (played by Eva Habermann). Zev was to become a sex slave, but after she got her sexiness amped up, she managed to break free from the machine before her slave programming was installed. (Instead, that slave programming went to 790, a robot head voiced by Jeffrey Hirschfield. But we are getting ahead of ourselves) Very early in season two, Zev became Xev (now played by Xenia Seeberg). I'll save that explanation for when I review season two. Because 790 had the sex slave programming, he was madly in love with Zev / Xev, although that changes quickly in season three. The final member of the crew is Kai (Michael McManus). Kai is the last of the last of the Brunnen-G, who are assassins, dead assassins. Because they are dead, they can't be killed and they have no emotions. This is what makes them such great killers.

At the beginning of season three, Lexx arrives at the twin planets of Fire and Water with most of the crew in cryostasis. 790 is unable to wake them before they are boarded by The Prince (Nigel Bennett), the ruler of Fire. After learning a bit about the crew, Prince disposes of 790 and awakens Stanley to learn about Lexx and why there are there. Why are they there? If you watch season one and two, there's not a lot of explanation as to why there are there. We do get some flashbacks at this point and the main point is, Lexx is starving. Without food, it doesn't have the fuel to move or even keep the crew alive. So they went into suspended animation while the Lexx went to sleep and drifted in deep space hoping to come across a planet they could eat. This works, even though it takes several thousand years to get there. Unfortunately, they find the twin worlds of Fire and Water, which have been waring for eons and The Prince thinks Lexx is the tool that will finally win the war. As the season continues, we learn more about what Fire and Water are, who The Prince is, and why he so desperately wants to kill the people of Water, but those are all spoilers.

I do think this is the best season in the show's run. Season one was great, but it's short. There are just four two-hour movies, which can be divided into two two-part stories. So you don't get as much depth or character development there. Season two is more, 'Freak of the Week' type stories. Season three is one big story with plenty of character development and great continuity. The Beach, Part 2, in which Stan is judged for all of his past sins is an excellent episode. One of the best in the show's run. The fact that, and this is a major spoiler, he is condemned to Hell not for all of the selfish acts he did and all of the deaths that happened as a result, but for the one time he acted out of love for May and was willing to kill to bring her back has an emotional impact.

Season Four begins in Newfoundland, 1901, with the first transatlantic radio transmission by Guglielmo Marconi. This radio signal bounces off into space and it is eventually picked up by a spaceship disguised as a giant asteroid, which immediately sets a course to Earth. ... Apparently the Earth is in the Dark Zone, or as Stan describes it at the beginning of season three, "a universe of evil, chaos, and depravity." Back in the present day, an Alien ship is detected and the American government leaps into action, by killing and / or kidnapping anyone involved in the discovery, and setting up a private communication between the president and the leader of the alien vessel. The president isn't equipped to handle such an important task, but the head of the ATF, Isambard Prince (Nigel Bennett) ... yep, that Prince, hands him a stack of cue cards with all possible responses he will need, as compiled by the smartest science, philosophers, etc. the Earth has to offer. Unfortunately, they had no way to predict the actions of the leader of the alien craft... who turns out to be Stanley H. Tweedle. He's just looking for a nice beach and horny women, which is a goal a lot of men can get behind, but not one the scientists anticipated. The conversation ends with threats of violence on both sides.

Stanley wants to blow up Earth immediately, except he can't because... Okay, major spoilers for season three follow... Stanley died and Xev became the captain. Also, after Prince destroyed 790, Kai revived him and now 790 is madly in love with Kai... and he's gone psychotic. Dangerously psychotic. Unfortunately, there's quite a lot of continuity between seasons three and four, which is a good thing, but it does raise the number of spoilers past the acceptable level. It does an excellent job of wrapping up the series, and the characters go through arcs, some of which had lasted since the first episode.

The show does have some flaws. For instance, it is a rather low budget show and it does look low budget at times. It is also very strange to the point where it will alienate many people. There is good news, you can stream Season One on to see if the you like the show. In fact, the first two-hour movie is free.

The Extras

There are no extras on the DVD, which is disappointing, as there was a previous release that did have some extras. However, that release was also censored and had issues with video quality, so overall this is the better deal. I do have problems with the DVD packaging. Normally I don't talk about the packaging, but there are some issues here. Firstly, the five-disc set is housed in a spindle box, which I hate. I don't mind so much when they are Blu-rays, as Blu-rays have a scratch resistant coating, but with DVDs, you are asking for scratches. Secondly, the DVDs are not labeled. There are different colors so you can tell them apart, and there are different item numbers (72559, 72569, 72579, etc.) but no Season Three, Disc Two labels. I know, it's minor complaint, but it's such a simple oversight on the distributor's part.

The Verdict

Check out the first episode of Lexx for free and if you liked it grab Season Three and Four. Both are worth owning the combined box set costs just $2 more than season four by itself and $4 more than the shorter Season Three.

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