We know we’re late to this one but for obvious reasons we’re always late but as a kid that grew up in the 90s the Dark Crystal was a stable of my film life.
Who hadn’t been terrified of the Skeksis?
Well I wasn’t but we weren’t allowed to watch it for the longest time because one of my sisters were. So when I heard that there was a new series I was very much looking forward to seeing the prequel of a film the I was raised on.
First up obviously you can not watch this without pointing out just how beautiful it all is.
Especially the opening scenes telling the story of Thra, how the Skeksis came to be in charge of the Crystal of Truth and everything else. Whilst the film was beautiful for its time the show brings it into the present and makes it even more beautiful.
Though it also brings back Skeksis noises to haunt my nightmares.
The beauty lies in its ugliness I guess, how bright the colours shine even though mostly the areas we visit are bleak and dark. It is a contradiction in the best way possible. It puts so much effort into every single detail no matter how small which makes it a absolute spectacle on the eyes.
It was a interesting beginning to the series, it showed how the world started to change thanks to the Skeksis misuse of the Crystal, showed us a little bit of the world as well as of course introduced the main characters and fleshed out their own unique characters from Rian the Gelfling who wants to prove his father wrong, Brea the Gelfling Princess who is kind, asks questions and seems to get herself into trouble to The Scroll-Keeper, a Skeksis who seemingly befriend Brea, The Scientist who is trying to figure out how to make the Crystal work again and The Chamberlain voiced by Simon Pegg doing his best to become the new Emperor.
I mention Simon Pegg mainly because The Chamberlain is a character we all know and hate and he brought him back to life so well, I barely recognised his voice but he is only one of many MANY famous actors and actresses that lent their voices to the characters in the show.
Honestly if they put all their heart and soul into the visuals they went above and beyond to make sure the voice cast was of the highest quality.
It felt like a slightly slow beginning, not in a bad way, it built the world so that those who know nothing of the story were able to get a footing into the world whilst those who grew up with it got to see what the world looked like before the story that they knew came about. It made you interested in what is to come without giving away what actually is going to happen to anyone or anything.
What I think was fascinating was that it didn’t hold back on the negative stories. It showed the Skeksis for what they are, gave you the hook that maybe the Scroll-Keeper wasn’t so bad before showing him to be as cold blooded as you would imagine as he takes a personal item from the poorest of Gelflings for no reason other than they can.
This isn’t a happy story, we already knew that but it didn’t give us hope that they might have some happy things happening.
Personally my favourite thing, going back to just the puppets themselves, was how detailed the Skeksis were. Hate me all you want but I’ve never really thought the Gelflings as beautiful and they were true to what Gelflings should be but they were just Gelflings but the details on the Skeksis, the clothing, the markings and just the differences in each one was so wonderful.
That being said my favourite stories so far are Deet and Brea. I can’t wait to see Deet’s journey and I am just going to forever be sad at Brea’s reaction to the Tithe.