Frank Herbert:
SciFi Frank Herberts Children of Dune
Miniseries Review

The SciFi "Frank Herbert's Children of Dune" miniseries came out almost 20 years after the David Lynch movie version and just over two years after the first Sci Fi Dune Miniseries. A lot of maturing went on during that time period in the audience that was watching the classic Dune story being presented in movie format. While many beat on Lynch's version for its exclusions, with the 6 hour miniseries also leaving much out, some slack was cut Lynch and his just-over-2-hour version. People argued over which was better done, which was more accurate, which was more interesting.

I went into Children of Dune therefore with reasonably low expectations. While the first SciFi Dune miniseries was billed as "Frank Herbert's Dune", it was a wildly loose version that drastically changed many characters and created scenes. I figured I'd try to watch Children of Dune just as a 'fun space movie' and not necessarily as one based on a book series I enjoyed.

I was actually quite pleased with Children of Dune and the characters. For one, the characters were in general much more true to the story. Gone were the whiny-bratty Paul. In fact the two teenagers in THIS story are smart, mature, and wise - just like they were supposed to be (and just like PAUL was supposed to be at that age). It works so amazingly well that you have to wonder why they didn't do that the first time around.

The visuals were great. This was filmed in Prague and you really get a sense of an old city. There are still gripes about the lack of water-care, but as the storyline is taking place where water care is less and less of an issue *in the story*, it's hard to complain. Yes, the OLD buildings wouldn't have had all of the giant windows and such. But it's less glaring in a world where there's a puddle on the road. I love a scene where Jessica enters her bedroom and stands before the bed - the artistry is just stunning.

The scriptwriting was also superb. The exchanges between the twins, the entire scene with Duncan Idaho standing and watching his wife cheat on him, they were just amazing. I have to complain that as much as I am a HUGE HUGE fan of Celtic music, it felt incredibly out of place, though. This is a desert planet, the last thing in the world you'd hear is music based on an island culture. Yes, it was beautiful. But it wasn't right.

Where I cringed many, many times during the first miniseries because of the sheer annoyance of the bad acting or bad sets, I was very eager to re-watch this one when I could. And I thrilled just as much to the scenes on subsequent watchings. Yes, there are still accuracy issues. But in general, this version is well done. I am most pleased that these SciFi releases have renewed an interest in the books of Dune and its ecology and messages. I would recommend that anyone who finds the concept of Dune even slightly interesting to definitely READ THE BOOK and then watch the miniseries with that background in mind.

Buy the Children of Dune miniseries
Buy Dune - the book - from Amazon.com

The World of Dune