Vagrant Queen: A Royal Ass-Kicking
March 28, 2020 7:17 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

I thought this was an ok space-opera. It's got an interesting look -- very colorful and full of alien prosthetic effects, while at the same time so cheap and schlocky. Kind of reminded me of Australian and/or kid-show SF. I assumed it was Canadian sci-fi, but from the articles it's filmed in South Africa. And per one of the interviews Jem Garrard pulled an Ava DuVerney and used all women writers & directors for the season, so, that's nice.

I do love me some Doc Holliday, so I'm happy to get some more Tim Rozon while Wynonna Earp season 4 is in shut-down limbo. And I do like the other leads, so maybe I'll get more into the show as it goes on. It's no Killjoys, but, it's something.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:44 AM on March 28, 2020

SyFy put the complete episode 1 on YouTube.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 9:33 AM on March 29, 2020

It’ll be interesting if this goes more Farscape or more Lexx. (Or maybe they were aiming Fifth Element?) Lots of A E S T H E T I C vapor wave colors. Interesting that they went with prosthetics for the protagonist.
posted by curious nu at 6:05 PM on March 29, 2020

This show is fun. Dumb as a bag of hammers, but lots of fun. I love the rubber mask aliens. This show looks like it fell out of some sort of ‘80s fever dream.

As I was watching it, I was also convinced it had to be a Canadian show, and sure enough, it is a Canadian/south African co-production.
posted by fimbulvetr at 9:19 AM on March 30, 2020

I enjoyed it, once I'd recalibrated my expectations. I had much the same reaction to the first ep of Killjoys, and I know I grew to love that one. I'll keep going with it.
posted by Mogur at 3:24 PM on March 30, 2020

Haha, I did not realize that Issac was Doc with his buzz cut, but the mustache in the promo pic is a giveaway. VQ feels a little like Killjoys mashed up with Thor: Ragnarok, with maybe some Farscape sprinkled in. Clearly the lighting designer has learned from Insecure in how to light black skin, and the designers went with that color palate, which I like. It gives some lightness to the otherwise violent grimdark scifi out there. If the team has good chemistry, I can look past the somewhat standard plot retread, and this feels like eating a taco. Even ones made with standard ingredients are delicious. I am also a sucker for competent/snarky female engineering crew members.

Also, I feel like anyone who likes this should also watch back seasons of Face Off, because now I'm watching for how cowls fits with the facial prosthetics, and looking for seams. I think they use silicone for the ears.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 2:48 PM on March 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

From the aesthetics/ budget and the very neutral English, I also assumed it was Canadian - but yeah, filmed in S. Africa with lots of S. African cast.

A feel a little bit of Lost Girl level (and aesthetics) of costume and makeup, so full marks for making use of what budget they had.

I wonder if they have the budget to keep the cg little guy a regular?
posted by porpoise at 6:03 PM on April 4, 2020

I wonder if they have the budget to keep the cg little guy a regular?

I think he's a makeup effect most of the time and only CG for his wacky fight sequences? He's definitely going to come back at some point since he was alive for Lazaro to capture him at the end. Elida's going to insist on saving him as soon as she finds out he survived.

Anyway, yeah, this is extremely Syfy, but I'm completely here for it. This episode in particular was awkward and pace-y in the way a lot of pilots are awkward and pace-y, but I think I like where this show is going. Give them a full season, and they'll tighten all that up and have something really special.

(I've only seen a handful of Face Off episodes, but I'm pretty sure that every single alien design in this episode came from there, right?)
posted by tobascodagama at 6:55 AM on April 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

This was something we were able to enjoy as a family. Strong Star Trek original style aliens props and effects, strong Matrix/Wachowski aesthetics and ethics, and some plot points lifted wholesale from Star Wars over a gay, candy colored world. Intentionally dumb and light. Fun. Will watch again
posted by latkes at 10:48 AM on April 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

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