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Vagrant Queen Review 2020 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online
Creator: Jem Garrard
Stars: Adriyan Rae, Alex McGregor, Paul du Toit
The Gist: Two other scavengers with guns happen on her and threaten her. One thinks he recognizes her from a karaoke night he goes to regularly. But the scavenger, Elida (Adriyan Rae), gets the jump on both and she’s the only one who makes it out of there alive, annoyed that one of them got blood on her new jacket.
She’s asleep on her ship and has a nightmare about her mother Xevelyn (Bonnie Henna) being killed by Republic Commander Lazaro (Paul du Toit). She flies in to Xija Station to try to sell the object she scavenged, but gets lowballed on it. As she commiserates with Chaz (Steven John Ward), the owner of the station’s saloon, she asks him if he knows someone who can fix her ship. He suggests his little sister Amae (Alex McGregor), who recently returned.
Elida finds out that Amae is not only an ace mechanic but is pretty darn cute. As she waits for her ship to get repaired, she hangs out at the bar. An alert comes in that Lazaro is boarding the ship, looking for a fugitive. She knows it’s her; she was the child queen of her home world, but was forced from that throne at a young age. Flashbacks to eight years prior show her as a teenager, training to defeat Republic forces, and then escaping when Lazaro and his not-so-proficient soldiers overtake the station where she and her mother were taking refuge; she sees Lazaro shoot her mother as the escape pod leaves.
As she’s hiding out from Lazaro, she encounters Isaac (Tim Rozon), a frenemy whom she thought she left behind some time ago. They’ve had a close relationship, but he’s also shot her at some point (he apologizes, sort of — “I’m sorry you made me shoot you”). He wants his ship back, but he also has information that he thinks Elida would like to know about.
Elida decides to take her chances instead of hiding out with Isaac, but encounters a group of people from her kingdom, still loyal to her even though she says “I’m no one’s queen.” They have a hidden ship she can use to escape, go back to her home world, and reclaim her crown. But when Lazaro uses Chaz as bait to draw Elida out, Elida makes sure she rescues her friend first. What she doesn’t know is that she’s going to eventually get help from both Isaac and Amae. She’ll be keeping both around; Amae for her skills and, um, other things, and Isaac because he says that Elida’s mother is still alive.
Our Take: Vagrant Queen is based on a comic series written by Magdalene Visaggio. Vault, the comic’s publisher, describes the comic as “If Star Wars was directed by the Coen Brothers.” That seems like an apt description for the TV series, created by Jem Garrard. It’s campy and a little cheesy, but in a good way. Everyone talks like normal people who don’t take themselves seriously, the show is full of quips and bright lights, the alien makeup moves like Halloween masks at times, and even the evil Commander Lazaro has his tics.
It’s a show that sometimes goes for gags a little too hard, like the fact that the name Elida decided to pick for herself in order to hide isn’t all that different than her actual name. And the tonal shifts from goofy to serious can be a bit jarring. But the show tries to be in the spirit of swashbuckling sci fi adventures that came before it. That makes us hopeful that, now that the story and the show’s core group — Elida, Isaac, Amae — has been established, we’ll settle into a bit of an adventure-of-the-week format as Elida makes her way back to her home kingdom to find out about her mother.
It helps that Rae is a strong lead, and has immediate chemistry with Ronzon and McGregor; it’ll be fun to see the relationships among the three of them change as the series goes along. We just hope the tonal unevenness gets smoothed out as the show continues.
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