Spoilers Vagrant Queen - Season 1

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by JD, Apr 1, 2020.

  1. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Vagrant Queen is a new space sci-fi series airing on Syfy, based on a comic book series of the same name written by Magdalene Visaggio, illustrated by Jason Smith, and published by Vault Comics. It follows the adventures of Elida, a deposed alien queen in the far future in a distant galaxy, who is joined in her travels by her human frenemy Isaac, who is trying to find his way back to Earth and his wife, and the mechanic Amae. The trio is being pursued by the Repubic, a group of bad guys from her homeworld, with Commander Lozaro as the main person coming after them.

    I finally watched this this morning, and while it wasn't quite as good as some of Syfy's other recent space series, I enjoyed it. It was just a lot of fun, and so far the characters seem pretty likeable.
    It had some pretty cool alien designs, with some pretty impressive makeup work to bring those designs to life.
    One of the things I liked best about it, is that it is just a whole lot of fun, with lots of silly banter, and snark, which I always love. With so many SFF shows these days being very dark and serious, it's always nice to get one that is just plain fun. It's also pretty colorful, which is kind of rare these days, with most shows seeming to go for a more muted color pallet.
    So does the fact that Tim Rozon is on this now mean the Wynonna Earp is over? Or is he just not on it anymore?
    I do agree it was a little odd how everything was taken from modern day Earth, with beer, and karaoke, and aliens named Carl, but we do know Earth is around, and according to the Vagrant Queen 101 article on the show's page on Syfy's website, it takes place "a long, long, LONG time from now", so I guess it could just be that that stuff all spread out from Earth.
    Nim was pretty cool, so I'm hoping the fact that he was still moving means this isn't the last we've seen of him.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Reposting my thoughts from the other thread, now that there's a dedicated thread for the show:

    Mixed feelings. It's kind of fun, and I like that it goes all-out with the cheesy alien makeups, with only one human character in the whole show; it's a refreshing change after so many space shows set in human-only universes. But at the same time, the culture of this "other galaxy" is identical to Earth's with the same idioms, beverages, etc., which is weird. Visually, it's very "alien" and exotic, but culturally, it's not even trying to be. And it's too violent for my tastes, with the "heroine" cold-bloodedly murdering a defeated foe in the first scene. Not only that, but the CGI gore is not well-blended into the live-action.

    It seems to me like it's trying to be a replacement for Killjoys, another far-future action-comedy space opera with a hot kickass heroine and lots of wisecracks. But it feels like it's trying a bit too hard. And Adriyan Rae is okay, but she's no Hannah John-Kamen.

    Also, Killjoys had rich and fascinating worldbuilding, a whole far-future culture with a lot of depth and texture, even though it was a (nearly) human-only universe. The world was as engaging as the characters, and the ideas kept it rich even when the budget fell short. Vagrant Queen goes all-out on the makeup budget and the space-opera atmosphere, but the worldbuilding is bare-bones, the culture indistinguishable from ours aside from having a deposed monarchy. Killjoys had substance, but this is all surface.

    I think the saving grace is Elida's situation of being caught in the middle, being pursued by factions on both sides of the conflict and not wanting to be what either of them sees her as. Still, I'm not fond of the fact that the pro-royalty faction is portrayed as less evil than the anti-royalty side. As an American, I think that's got it the wrong way around. Although it's true that revolutionaries are often just as bad as the systems they overthrow, so that much is at least plausible. (If anything, the most amazing thing about America is that our armed revolution didn't lead to another tyranny like most armed revolutions do. Thank goodness for the Constitution.)


    If it's that far in the future, it's still absurd that the culture is exactly like present-day Earth. Again, it falls short of Killjoys -- that was a very far-future human society (so far that humanity's birthplace was described in a religious litany as "the world we've forgotten), and it was quite distinct from ours in its culture, its jargon, its food and drink, its customs, and the like (though I tried to ignore the fact that it also featured present-day licensed pop songs in its score).
     
  3. Velocity

    Velocity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I lost interest about halfway through and devoted my time and energy to a 'rousing' game of Solitaire instead. I might give it another chance next week...
     
  4. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I was just watching the season preview and the individual preview for Friday's episode, and it looks like they changed Amea's makeup. The blue around her face looks a lot darker than it was in the first episode, although I guess it could just be the lighting.
    Season preview

    Preview for Friday's episode
     
  5. NOVE9

    NOVE9 Commander Red Shirt

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    I found it to be cheesy, predictable and cheap. Well deserving of the 3.7/10 on IMDB.
     
  6. Beckerjr

    Beckerjr Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I stopped literally in the first scene. Cheesy attempt at "snappy" dialog and then bad fighting with slo-mo. Just another cheapo Sy-Fy series to me.
     
  7. StCoop

    StCoop Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I made it to the end of the first episode but won't be back. It has to be cheapest looking SF series I've ever seen (relative to the time at which it was being made). I could ignore that if the script or acting were any good but honestly I've seen more professional fan films.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It certainly seems to be spending a lot more money on prosthetic makeup effects than most previous Syfy space shows. Otherwise its production values seem about par for the course.

    Besides, what's so bad about a low budget? Money isn't everything. What matters is the storytelling. There have been many terrific low-budget genre shows, all the way back to The Twilight Zone. A limited budget can be a blessing, because it forces the creators to focus on characters, relationships, worldbuilding, and ideas rather than just superficial spectacle and action. So far I'm not that impressed by the storytelling, but that's not the fault of the budget.
     
  9. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Which Syfy series have been cheap? Judging by the effect quality, I'd say most of their recent stuff, like Killjoy, The Expanse, Black Matter, Wynonna Earp, and The Magcians, they were definitely not cheap.
     
  10. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Can we all at least agree it's better than Pandora? That one even lost me after one episode.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, decent FX aren't that hard to do with modern CGI. Certainly Killjoys had a low-budget feel that was part of its charm. Dark Matter was certainly shot on a budget, given how many of its "space station" interiors were obviously shopping malls, warehouses, and factories around Toronto, and given how much of its storytelling was based around the standing sets of the ship.
     
  12. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, it doesn't seem too different from Killjoys and Dark Matter to me budget wise, maybe with different priorities on different elements. I didn't care for the overuse of colored lighting in the last episode to maybe try to cover it up, Doctor Who of late being guilty of that as well.
     
  13. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's a lot of fun. I'm enjoying it immensely.
     
  14. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    Space gorillas, alien karaoke and apparently the ship runs on gas. It's a dumb fun show that knows what it is which is what I'm feeling right now, a good way to cap off the week. I wouldn't try to win an argument that it's "good" but I enjoy it.

    I know it won't likely survive another season in today's environment where any perceived bit of "cheesy" is a death knell. Mind you, I think there's a lot of cheesy shows out there but if it has the right veneer people are OK with it. I'm just glad it's not another future show with people wearing suits and ties.

    The most interesting character to me is Isaac because he's not at all what I thought he'd be from my first impressions visually. I figured he was going to be like the street-smart Han Solo type but he's more over his head than suave and smooth.
     
  15. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    BTW, Syfy has put up the full episode on Youtube which is cool, no subscription needed


    Episode 1
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't think there's any such perception. Heck, the Arrowverse is gloriously cheesy and we love it. And the show is in much the same wheelhouse as numerous other Syfy series of the past; I keep saying that it's an obvious attempt to recapture the style and flavor of Killjoys, and Syfy gave that show the full 5-year run it was intended to have.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Hmm... Still on the fence about it. I kinda liked the more dramatic moments, and the karaoke thing was kind of inspired in a silly way, but I still find the acting and humor too self-consciously goofy and broad. They're trying too hard to be funny, which is not a good way to be funny. And I'm still not particularly impressed by the cast, other than Alex McGregor as Amae, who's rather charming (although her use of "Oh my crackers" as an interjection is annoying, another of those trying-too-hard bits).

    Of course, since I don't have cable anymore, it's a moot question unless they keep putting the episodes on YouTube. If they do, I guess there's enough of interest that I'll keep watching for now.
     
  18. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    I couldn't make it past the first 30 minutes. Sometimes I really enjoyed cheesy stuff, but for me, it just didn't do it. if you enjoy it I hope it survives at least the full season, but yeah I wish they would stop with these really outrageous attempts at 'hip' sci-fi.
     
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  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Looks like they're still putting up the episodes free on YouTube. Here's #3:



    Man, they're really going all out with the blend of low-budget sets/locations and elaborate alien makeups. The place where they refuel the ship is literally just a gas station/convenience store, and we see plenty of other run-down, dingy locations, alongside the more ornate palace sets in the flashbacks. It's a weird juxtaposition -- the comedically Earthlike "alien" settings and snarky character banter alongside the drama of Elida dealing with her terrible past and the intrigues of the Republic and Royalist forces. Plus now we get a MacGuffin thrown in with the ancient mind-control orb. That's a bit cliched, but the show's still just fun enough to hold my interest. The run-down Winnibot is kind of funny.
     
  20. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    I thought the previous two were better but the practical FX is kind of interesting in a show being made these days with the aliens and the robot. I think it's funny that the ship seems to use gas and has pistons, camshafts and so on. Here we get a pretty much stock gas station just to hammer it home.

    I don't know that I could rank it so far as anything more than an innocuous timekiller though but I've felt that way about most of Syfy/Canadian productions. Does this air with commercials in Canada because they seemed to be rather harshly inserted on Syfy. (Prob air with less commercials so Syfy had to squeeze more in)