Dune (TV Mini-Series 2000)

TV Mini-Series   |  Not Rated   |    |  Adventure, Drama, Fantasy


Episode Guide
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A three-part miniseries on politics, betrayal, lust, greed and the coming of a Messiah. Based on Frank Herbert's classic science fiction novel.


7.1/10
17,229

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  • Dune (2000)
  • Alec Newman in Dune (2000)
  • Matt Keeslar and Alec Newman in Dune (2000)
  • Alec Newman in Dune (2000)
  • Julie Cox in Dune (2000)
  • Barbora Kodetová and Alec Newman in Dune (2000)

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User Reviews


4 December 2000 | L. Lion
6
| spare, slow moving, engrossing adaptation
I consider Frank Herbert's "Dune" to be the greatest science fiction novel of all time. Others would disagree, but they would have to admit that it is up there, even if it isn't their #1. I'm not talking about the whole book series, I'm just talking about the original novel. So I'm a serious fan of the material.

The 1984 film adaptation was an abortion. The depth of this novel cannot be conveyed in a two hour film, and David Lynch was badly undercut by the producers, who changed things to match their own desires. In its defense, however, it contained very high production values, lavish production design, a stellar cast, and much incredible visual imagery that sticks in the mind. If you can just try to forget that rain falls on Arrakis at the end (without reason), the rock group Toto's score, the ridiculous and distracting attempt to allow the characters' inner monologues be heard on screen, and the truncation of many plot elements, you can stand it. If you don't know the novel at all, you could be lost.

John Harrison's new adaptation takes the breadth and depth of the book and really makes a go of it. He slowly unfurls the intrigues and action of the novel, allowing character to be built and introducing the nuances of the novel, sometimes in clever ways, at other times not so subtly. One gets the feeling when watching that Harrison really cares about the source material, and wants the viewer to be included in its richness. This causes it to be slow moving at times, but it becomes more and more engrossing as time goes on. For many elements of the film his production designers, who did a first rate job, borrowed heavily from the 1984 Lynch adaptation, especially in their portrayal of the Harkonnens, who are comic-book villains again without a dash of dangerous cunning. In other cases I was thrilled by Harrison's renderings - of the Fremen sietches, much more livable than in the book, and the scenes where Jessica becomes a Reverend Mother. I don't feel gypped by this adaptation - it feels proper.

The movie is hamstrung a bit by a lack of budget - considering the subject matter, $20 million for six hours isn't much, and every penny and then some is there on the screen. He makes do by using a lot of international actors, and filming in Prague and Tunisia had to help. The special effects are for the most part CGI and bluescreen and are very effective for the money spent. Production design is EXCELLENT, especially when reminded of the total outlay for the film.

The calibre of the cast in the first film was so high that they pose a hard mount for any followers to climb. The only one who is clearly better is William Hurt in the expanded role of Duke Leto, as opposed to Jurgen Prochnow in the original. Alec Newman is fairly new to the screen and was a bit old, and not self-absorbed enough, to play Paul as well as Kyle Maclachlan did in 1984, but he has developing charisma and his performance at times radiates Muad'Dib's complexity. Saskia Reeves is good as Lady Jessica, but once you've fallen in love with Francesca Annis as Jessica it would be hard for anyone to replace her. Of course the original's Patrick Stewart as Gurney Halleck, Dean Stockwell as Yueh and Freddie Jones as Thufir Hawat are insurmountable, regardless of the brevity of their roles. I rather liked the Scottish Duncan Idaho, although I don't know if his brogue will hold up well in the potential sequels.

The nicest thing, for a fan of the book, is to see so many of the great scenes of the novel finally brought to the screen that could not be included in the two-hour film. These add a depth to the proceedings that was only hinted at in the 1984 adaptation. I am thoroughly enjoying this adaptation, and hope that the expanded Lord of the Rings that will be released theatrically will have as much care as this one did.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most of the Fremen were played by Czech actors.


Quotes

Chani: I believe that sometimes it is necessary to share the one you love with things greater than the both of you.


Goofs

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.


Alternate Versions

The Region 1 Standard DVD contains the American TV version. All scenes involving nudity are edited out. Most of the scenes involving the sultry seductress and spy Farrah have been completely removed, which makes her role in this version of the story almost inexplicable. Other scenes have been severely truncated or re-shot: There is a scene with Feyd Harkonnen in a bath being pampered by three women. In this version the women are fully clothed. When Princess Corrino seduces Feyd Harkonnen for information, the scene fades out abruptly, implying that the Princess gave herself to Feyd for the information. In uncut version, after extracting the information, the Princess presents a topless Farrah as a gift to Feyd, and during the 'love scene' that ensues, the Princess slips away. Considering that the Princess' virginity is the prize offered to both the male heirs of the Atreides and Harkonnen clans, this clumsy cut significantly changes the story. There is a scene where the Fremen remove their desert camouflage and uniforms, revealing their nakedness to Paul Atreides. It is a symbolic scene, for Paul sees that under their uniforms, the Fremen are people, just like he and his mother. The American TV version is so heavily cut that Paul seems to be just looking blankly into space.

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Adventure | Drama | Fantasy | Sci-Fi

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