In the 11th millennium, Shaddam IV, ruler of the Galactic Empire, rids himself of his competitor Duke Leto Atreides by giving him control of the desert planet Dune also called Arrakis; fully aware that its present owner, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, will not give it up without a fight. The reason is that Arrakis is the source of the valuable spice, a substance produced by enormous and dangerous sandworms, which bestows special mental qualities on anyone who consumes it. A short while later Harkonnen does indeed succeed in ambushing and massacring Leto and his men. Leto's mistress Lady Jessica, who is a member of the clairvoyant order of Bene Gesserit, manages to escape into the desert with her son Paul, and after a long and dangerous march they finally encounter the Fremen, the long suppressed desert tribe of Arrakis. Impressed by Paul's clairvoyant abilities, tribal prince Stilgar takes in the fugitives. Very soon the Fremen are convinced that Paul is their long-prophesied redeemer, and...Written by
When Paul and his mother are stranded in the desert, Paul has several days' growth of beard. When he is rescued on board the 'thopter and is strapping in, he is clean-shaven. When he arrives at the caves, the beard is back, and when he leaves and is aboard the 'thopter, he is clean-shaven again. See more »
And so it begins. The trap is set. The prey approaches. A glorious winter is about to descend on House Atreides and all its heirs, and very soon, the years of humiliation visited upon my family will finally be avenged.
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DVD Director's Cut adds scenes to the US television release:
Aboard the Heighliner, Hawat explains to Paul why he doesn't trust the Bene Gesserit
Yueh talks to Jessica about his wife's disapperance, foreshadowing and explaining his betrayal.
Paul finds Kynes in the arboretum, who suggests to Paul that Arrakis' ecology can be changed.
Extended banquet scene: Paul storms off from the banquet table in a huff over something Irulan said, with additional creepy dialogue from the Guild representative.
Just before the Harkonnen/Sardaukar raid, Jessica and Leto have a conversation in his office
Harkonnen gloats to Jessica about his plans for her and Paul.
Extended scene of Harkonnen gloating over Leto: Leto mumbles "the tooth" before using the poison gas cap.
Harkonnen has a nightmare about Paul before Feyd wakes him up and informs him about Kynes' survival.
During Harkonnen's gloating over Kynes, Feyd spits some water.
Irulan orders Farrah to Giedi Prime to soften up Feyd so she can find out what really happened to Paul.
Additional Fremen nudity in the Cave of Riches when they're stripping their stillsuits; Chani feels self-conscious when Paul is staring at her and covers her bare breasts
Farrah is on Feyd's arm when he goes to see Harkonnen about Rabban's senseless slaughtering of Fremen
Fenring has to convince Shaddam that it's a good idea for Irulan to go to Giedi Prime
Chani and Jessica have a conversation before Ramallo arrives.
Fenring and Harkonnen talk about Kynes' whereabouts and Harkonnen architecture after watching Feyd practice for his 100th gladiator bout.
Additional nudity for Feyd's post-bout bath; after Irulan gets Feyd to talk about Paul and Jessica, she lets Farrah step in to continue the seduction, but Fenring notices Irulan after she slips out.
Some nudity from the dancing Fremen woman during the sietch tau orgy sequence
Chani's arrival at Cave of Riches, with Jessica and Leto II waving from a balcony
After Paul orders Chani to go off to safety with Leto II, he watches them depart and puts on her sayyadina necklace
Irulan and an Imperial functionary talk about who Muad'dib really is
The arrival of Harkonnen and Feyd at the Imperial Palace
The Fedaykin bring Paul to a building filled with Harkonnen prisoners and a Guild representative
Stilgar explains proper wormriding technique to Paul.
Exterior shot of two starfighters swooping through the Heighliner fleet over Arrakis to give an idea of the ships' immense size
Paul sees Leto's ghost after putting his skull in its shrine.
I've read the Dune books about a dozen times and I have also watched the 1984 movie a few times, and, while it had good ideas, it didn't thrill me. So I decided to give this mini series a try.
The first time I watched it I switched off after hearing Lady Jessica use the Voice for the first time. I disliked the 'spatializer' effects in the movie, and I didn't like them in the series. Months later I decided to give it another try.
I was quite astonished. The series has lots of very strong points.
The Fremen sietches have a very arabian feel to them, just the way they were intended in the books. Having lots of foreign actors added to the overall feel of a universe populated by a race that has split out into different planets. Of course, everyone would speak Galach with their own accent.
The passage to Arrakis is very unique in its approach to the navigators and their skills and I really liked the idea.
Unfortunately it had a few downright flops.
Paul should have been replaced. He is too old, he is too plain and he is way too 2 dimensional. The dream sequences are too unconvincing.
The Voice. It hardly appears in the series, and it's badly done. Trying to copy from the movie as a poor idea. I would have preferred a normal tone of voice, maybe some underlying sound effects and extremely voice trained actors who can snap out harsh commands unexpectedly and at will. The complete denaturalisation the spatializer gives the voice just makes me cringe.
What spoilt it even more was knowing the movie and then watching the series. You find yourself longing for the original Gurney, Leto, Feyd and Paul. Fortunately, you also adore the new Dr Kynes, Chani and Baron Harkonnen.
Finally, as was expected in any adaptation of Frank Herbert's novel that is shorter than 12 hours, I found myself explaining parts of what was going on to my friend, who hadn't read the book.
Overall, it is an excellent series, one to watch and one to buy. It is not perfect, but it is almost there.
Hints for future producers: Skip the spatializer, exploit the arabian and islamic Fremen theme, less technology, Harkonnens are evil, 6 hours are not enough.
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