In December 2000, the Sci-Fi Channel (since renamed Syfy) was released. Frank Herbert’s clit, an ambitious miniseries in three parts. Science fiction writer Rajan Khanna was a recent graduate of the university when he first saw the program.
“I remember it came out, and I honestly remember the Sci-Fi channel was a big deal back then,” Khanna says in episode 515 of The nerd’s guide to the galaxy podcast. “This was before, there was all this nerd stuff everywhere. It was kind of like, ‘This is for us.’
With a budget of $ 20 million. Frank Herbert’s clit was an ambitious project for the infantry network. The series won an Emmy for special effects and was one of the channel’s highest rated programs. But TV writer Andrea Kail warns that modern audiences will not exactly be blown away by the show’s production values. “I have a very clear memory of a specific shot where Jessica and Paul run away from the ornithopters and they run into place in front of a bad green screen,” she says. “It was like watching a play being filmed. It was not a movie, it was a play that someone aimed a camera at. “
The nerd’s guide to the galaxy host David Barr Kirtley agrees that the series has its problems, but he enjoyed an underplot involving Princess Irulan, a minor character in the novel, who was completely left out of newer film. “Dune is a combination of ‘space opera court intrigue’ and ‘hippie Lawrence of Arabia, ‘”he says.” Those are the two elements. I much better like the intrigue of the space opera court. [Irulan’s] The story continued with the intrigue of the space opera throughout the story, so I actually really liked that. “
Science fiction writer Matthew Kressel says the quality of the underlying material shines through regardless of any rough edges. In particular, he enjoyed how the series captures the texture of the novel. “Of course I love the Villeneuve movie, but it’s a very hectic movie,” he says. “I feel like there was something about this series that took its time to tell the story, and I respected that.”
Listen to the full interview with Rajan Khanna, Andrea Kail and Matthew Kressel in episode 515 of The nerd’s guide to the galaxy (over). And check out some highlights from the discussion below.
Andrea Kail further Frank Herbert’s clit vs. Dune (1984):
This [miniseries] makes the Lynch version look like the Denis Villeneuve version, and the Lynch version makes the Villeneuve version look like a movie delivered by God’s hand. That’s how much this supported everything else … The [Lynch version] is a terrible movie, but I will never watch it if it’s on. It’s a bad movie, but it’s convincingly bad. I always sit and watch it because it’s a sight. This? I love Dune, but I do not want to sit and watch this again. Can you see the difference? That [Lynch version] is visually interesting and a lot happens. This is not something I would ever see again voluntarily and I am one Dune fanatic.
Matthew Kressel on special effects:
There were some places where they did not even make a matte painting, they just had a backdrop that they rolled out behind the actors. It’s a strange choice, because maybe they did not have the money for a matte painting, but they certainly had green screens at this time. So I was very curious about that … We are spoiled with the special effects today. They are so good, everything looks real. It’s flawless. But we kind of forget that it was really, really hard to achieve. Even though Star wars, who had this huge budget, you see the original – not the remaster – and it’s like, “Yeah, Death Star is a model.” You can just feel the close-ups.
David Barr Kirtley continued Frank Herbert’s clit vs. Dune (2021):
The Villeneuve film basically explains nothing. “Mentats? Don’t worry about it. Guild Navigators? Don’t worry, it’s not important.” It just focuses on telling a compelling, emotionally charged character story. That [miniseries] trying to explain a lot more about the world structure, and it’s really bad in many ways – dramatically – but I feel that if you see this, you actually know more about the world and what’s going on in the book than you would from watching Villeneuve- the film – which is a million times better, but it has made a trade-off of dramatic effectiveness in relation to world-constructing explanations.
Rajan Khanna on customization:
I believe this [miniseries] is one of the examples of how it can be a trap to be true to a book, because what you end up with is a box-check exercise and not a lot of life. All the big adjustments condense things, slip things together, cut things out. Lord of the Rings widely regarded as a great adaptation, and they cut all sorts of things. There’s always someone saying “Tom Bombadil!” But Tom Bombadil had to go … You have to make those choices. I think it’s an example of being faithful, but also being flat and not having much heart or energy. So I would not recommend this to anyone other than hardcore Dune historians.