Doing Lunch in the Dark Zone - The Next Course...


Latest May 7th 2000

       Hmm... OK, you've got me about Kai's lungs. Possibly there was enough of the vocal system remaining (in Lafftrack) for Kai to use if he was supplied with an artificial current of air taking the place of the lungs - but for eating pattern I've no idea. It must be the protoblood. I still stand by my belief that he has the equipment though....
       One thing that's clear is that Kai has a single minded approach to the truth and he's not the sort to mince words to spare Xev's feelings. If he didn't have it he'd say so. (Speaking of body parts I don't get why the Divine Order removed Kai's organs. They couldn't interfere with the reanimation process as Yottskry came back all right so what was the point? I can only come up with two ideas. Either it was to make room for that implant thing he has that dispenses protoblood to his body. Or, if the rest of his organs were present, the protoblood would try and reanimate them and so be used up faster, maybe too fast to be of any use. You wake up your corpse - then he switches off again before you've had time to tell him who to kill.)

       Either of these two would work - and I like the second idea! In the main, however, I think it was because the protoblood provided him with everything he needed, given his state of 'non-life', and (being practical and pragmatic creatures) the bio-scholars simply took away everything that wasn't required. Less to go wrong!

       Starbuck's comment about Kai being a parody of the Brunnen G - immortal but not alive, not dead - is interesting. I hadn't noticed that, but when you think about it there's a real thing in Lexx about immortality. Undead assassins, the Time Prophet, The Divine Shadow's brains are preserved, while the bodies are sent to Ruma where they become zombies, Poetman and those holograms, the Brunnen-G - while the insect essence has gone through everything from a planet surveyor to a living space craft. People really don't like to die, do they?


       I suppose in the insects' case, with their obsession with control and order, the uncertainty of death must be even more frightening for them than it is for us, and that could be passed on to their hosts and the Divine Order as a whole.

[Brief pause while Belladonna gets to watch the episodes she'd missed...]

       So that was the fantasy dance I've heard about. So sweet! I don't see why anyone would complain about it. And lots of other great bits ('she's passing me over for a corpse!' - classic!!)

       Yes, I think that's one of my favourite lines of all time!

       Definitely gives you a better idea of how individual the Brunnen-G were: such lovely little touches like the bird transporter system, and counting down heartbeats instead of seconds. So much less mechanical than in other sci-fi programmes. The Brunnen-G almost seem to be trying to give life, or a form of it, to everything around them. And Kai actually wanting things, first to die, then to live with Zev. That obsession with the prophecy, trying to find a reason to continue existing - and if so what's keeping him going now? (Although that net creature [The Net] did say that it wanted to live, unlike Kai. Maybe he's getting suicidal again.) I'm uncertain though how any of the Divine Predecessors could have killed anyone from Brunnis as the Brunnen-G holed themselves up in Brunnis 2 before the Divine Order was created.

       It was the Insect Civilisation that caused all the trouble - and the last survivor of that founded the Divine Order.

       About those slices of life... I looked and yes, some looked to have the bits but a lot of others didn't (and I didn't notice any female slices at all) so I'm going on the theory that they had changes in fashion, periods of 'realness' and discretion and at the time of leaving they were going through a discreet period hence the lack of stuff on Kai's. (Or they had different set crew drawing them and some put it in while others didn't, but that takes all the fun out of it.)

       When I brought the subject up in the first place, it was meant to be nothing more a bit of teasing of the Kai fans... It seems to have grown out of all proportion ('scuse the pun!) in the meantime. However...
       Your first idea is intriguing, and certainly doesn't conflict with what we can deduce about the complexity of the Brunnen-G psyche - but I think the reason is much simpler. The slices of life with the 'bits' were male: the ones without were female. As to why Kai was shown without any, I believe it's purely down to the exigencies of filming. Remember, Kai's body fell in two after the slice of life was taken - showing sliced-in-half male genitals lolling about all over the scene would be a bit much even for Lexx (not to mention getting the show banned in a lot of countries). So to avoid the problem, they simply didn't show anything. Which at least makes Kai's slice of life consistent with what followed...

       Still, I wonder if Kai's got a few millimetres missing down the middle now...

[I wondered that as well. Surely it would interfere with that implant?]

       I wonder why none of the Divine Predecessors knew what the GigaShadow was when they had shared it essence, particularly the brain of the Divine Shadow which still had it. I assume that there was a core insect part in the subconscious which prevented that knowledge getting to the human parts of the brain. They might be less willing to co-operate if they knew the extinction of their race was involved.

       Or maybe the insect essence was too strong. In any case, the Divine Shadow-to-be always had his brain 'wiped' before the essence took up residence, so I suppose there wasn't too much left to object to what was happening...

       And what did Kai mean when he was talking about his feelings after he crushed the brain? That he had no feeling or that he couldn't describe them? Not to mention what was the end of that sentence - "Farewell Zev my..." what? Love? Motivator? Life is over?

Flare [grinning]:-
       Oh, I like that last option!! No-one's suggested anything like that before!

       Nice to be reminded of how much Zev cares, although I suppose you can't blame her for cooling off towards the end of the second series. After all, he does try and kill her twice (Wake the Dead and Brizon).
       Brizon. Hmm. I liked most of it. Brizon didn't seem to be evil in the malicious sense, not cruel to be cruel but getting his own way no matter what. And so petty!! I think he meant those "sorries" and "thank-you's" - but only a little bit. Of course, in many ways that makes him a really vile character: at least with Mantrid or His Shadow it was personal. There was this slight irritation, on my part, though, that Kai could be so easily taken over. All right, Brizon kept all the assassins so he knew the most about them - but he admits himself that he doesn't understand how Kai could be aware. You'd expect some difficulties - Kai does have some self-will although a lot of the second series seems to be out to deny this. I hope they don't carry it on to the third.
       It's illogical, too. If Kai could be so easily 'reset' then why was His Shadow so worried about him breaking free?
       Although I enjoyed seeing Brizon taken down by Mantrid after being so confident, I can't help but feel it would have been more appropriate if Kai had sliced his head off.
       Xev seemed a little too passive as well. Okay maybe she couldn't unlink herself, but there was no reason she couldn't break Brizon's nose!

[Wonderful idea!!]

       And why did she let him feed her? Surely she could have done that for herself? Oh well... minor problems aside that was a great episode.
       Brizon got me wondering if only His Shadow used his assassins to kill or if he lent them to others as a gift to get rid of anyone they chose (within reason. I doubt His Shadow would let them kill just anyone.) and just kept a few favourites like Kai for himself. It would explain why there were thousands of them. Otherwise it's a bit over the top. How many people could even Hs Shadow want to kill that badly? Unless he was just a hoarder who never threw anything away. ..

       On this last point, given that the League of Planets was so enormous (20,000 worlds), crime would be an equally huge problem. And then there were the Heretics... I imagine His Shadow found uses for all the assassins, much of the time. And if nothing else, the threat of thousands of undead, undying, virtually indestructible killing machines would most likely dissuade any but the most desperate - or dedicated - from even thinking about trying to oppose the Divine Order...

       You're right. Kai IS a lot like Edward Scissor Hands. In my opinion, this is why:
       1) The outfit - It looks like Edward's, plus Kai is pale and dark-haired like him.
       2) Beyond the physical, personality-wise, they're in the same situation. Edward has never been human. He was created in a lab by a scientist and he's trying to learn exactly what it means to be human and alive. Similarly, although Kai was at one time truly alive, he lost all his memories and, conversely, his humanity when he died and became His Divine Shadow's assassin. Kai has a bit of an advantage because he is slowly regaining his memories, but there is still the aspect of learning how to be human again.
       3) Emotions - Both DO have feelings and emotions, but seem unsure how to react to them, Edward because he doesn't understand them and has never experienced them and Kai because he doesn't think he needs them anymore. Both are more or less social misfits who greatly want he love and appreciation of a select few people even if, especially in Kai's case, they won't admit it. Kai wants to be accepted by Zev/Xev and Stan in the same way that Edward want to be accepted by Peggy and her family and friends. Both Edward and Kai are the kind of men you just have to mother!

[Flare, grinning - Ouch!!]

       I assumed from the Divine Predecessors that the hosts the insect essence used still had their own personalities, and so that they influenced what 'it' did and how it did it (which was what I meant by the insect essence hiding things in case it got a host that objected.) I suppose a certain amount of separation would explain why the DP's were kept around as advisors instead of the essence holding onto all the memories of its hosts.
       Also I know I've had a tendency to go on about Kai's bits but I was born argumentative!

[Yep - me too!]

       Speaking of which Krato looked to be missing his... Maybe he was really a girl (or possibly they got blown off in the insect wars!)

       And I suppose I am something of a fan of Kai's (And Xev, and Stan, and Lyekka, and 79... um, no, not really...) Other random thoughts that pop up when you've been staring at animal diagrams for too long: in Wake the Dead did Kai remember what happened and if not did Xev and Stan tell him? Plus if Xev has more effects from being a hybrid than growling and being strong, can she do other Lizard things like shedding her skin and regrowing lost limbs?

       Hmmm..... Interesting thought. Although Cluster Lizards don't actually have limbs. We never really find out very much about them, so it's difficult to say. I'd like to think Xev can, however - it would add more interest to her character. It would be nice to see the idea explored in the third series...

       Did you know that Kai is, apparently, the name of the boy in the Snow Queen who was condemned to a life without feelings? I wonder if this is coincidence.

       There's a lot more action in IWHS than the others isn't there? Not that much character showing except possibly for Stanley. Certainly shows brains finding out his punishment before turning himself in, although I'm surprised it took him so long to decide between three organs or death. Also its a bit odd that he would know Thodin when he was just a back up courier and Thodin's the head of the heretics.

[Good point. That hadn't occurred to me...]

       I also believe Stanley when he says he really tried to fight the divine order although I wonder how much of that was Stan's definition of tried. Still, he kept the knowledge of the safe place from His Shadow which was pretty important and proves that he never really gave up. Should've used that as evidence at his trial. Odd how Zev seemed to be getting quite close to him on the bridge, before she tried to eat him, then afterwards in the episodes won't have anything to do with him. I assume she'd not got used to the new body and was too caught up in enjoying the sensations of being hugged and kissed to let what she thought of Stan to get in the way. Maybe it was because of what she thought that she let the cluster lizard come through.
[Darrow has some fascinating ideas about this. See Xev and the Cluster Lizard Hustle]

       Poor Stan, caught between two potential cannibals!
       I adored the bug bomb though I have no idea how it fitted up Thodin's nose, or how it was hidden when he was captured - you'd think they'd check him for weapons...
       The part where the Lexx calls Stanley "Divine Shadow" was priceless! But it made me wonder - if HS also had a key to the Lexx, where did it go after he died? Wouldn't it work any more once his brain was removed?
       One thing that disappointed me was that IWHS didn't really explain Zev and Xev's obsession with Kai. I mean he didn't really do that much to bowl her over with love, ranting about how many people he'd killed wouldn't have done the trick with me (where was that going anyway? Just getting his feelings off his chest?). I suppose it must have been due to him saving her life, being very handsome, and probably the first man who showed her any real respect, but love at first sight (or even a bit later) doesn't have to make sense.
       Shame about Giggerota, there was real venom between her and Zev and it was never really capitalised on.
[I agree. Such a terrible waste of a wonderful character...]

       I've been wondering just what governs Kai when he's waking up, and I've come up with a certain theory. When His Shadow sucked out all his memories that must have left Kai a blank so to make him an assassin he must have been altered to give him the knowledge and attitude to kill people, even though he's dead with supposedly no motivations, but when he got his memories back he also regained his own personality which could shove away the old programming. But when he's being woken by the cryo pod it must control which parts of his brain it activates and so bring out that old assassin programme. So when Stanley got the code wrong Kai was back to being an assassin and presumably carrying out HS's old orders to kill those trying to steal the Lexx. I think Stan only got the order a little wrong so Kai's own personality was able to get back control pretty quick. When the kids in Wake the Dead were doing it though they got it totally messed so Kai didn't get back and followed the orders the kid gave him (sorry, I can't remember his name)

[Neither can I. But then, I didn't find the episode terribly memorable...]

       and went off on the rampage till the protoblood ran out.(though I wonder if he would have regained control after more time?) I'm assuming that it's only the cryo pod that can call up this programming which it why the unorthodox ways of waking up - being dribbled on by parasitic worms or roasted by the sun while the pod goes through space - only produce Kai's normal self.
       Unfortunately that also means that Kai can't be programmed to love - although possibly he can be made to kill while spouting romantically...

       I love it! "Shall I compare thee" [chop, slash] "to a summer's day?" [Hack, rend]...

Abdul Turay, a newcomer to Lexx, had this to say: -
       Brigadoom is my favourite episode. I like the points you made - shades of Stoppard, Beckett and Shakespeare - and the subtle nuances that you pick up on re-watching (e.g the tragic poignancy Kai singing "I want more" and ending up with less that nothing: and the heart shaped key in the heart shaped key hole.)

       I must disagree with you on one thing though. Brigadoom is the best episode of Lexx - in fact it is one of the best things I've ever seen. It withstands repeated viewing and each time you observe new shades of meaning, new subtleties.

       The story of the Brunnen-G is a tragedy of epic Greek proportions in fact it is even more epic because it is "the end of everything". Kai has been described as a Messiah figure, and indeed he is - he eventually destroys the Divine Order. Like St George and countless other heroes he slays the dragon, but he is also much like Paris: he is death the destroyer of world. That is how the Brunnen-G perceive him (albeit unfairly) but that is, essentially, what he becomes when he passes on the essence of his shadow to Mantrid. He is also like Cassandra the prophet who is not listened to.

       As the M C says, Kai's is the most important story in the history of this Universe, and indeed it is, both in the literal sense of the Universe of the T.V. show Lexx, and in the sense that Kai's story is the story of everything.

       I also think it is interesting the way the story resonates with the actual histories of peoples on Earth. The Brunnen-G are romantic warrior who sing as they go into battle, like the Zulus or the Japanese.

       Also like the Japanese they cut them selves off from the outside world for generations - only to discover, when they were forced into outside contact, that the world had moved on and they were now antiquated.

       Can you imagine the excitement which must has been felt across the universe when the Brunnen-G contacted the outside world for the first time. The ancient saviours of the human race make contact after millennia. People must have thought that the Brunnen-G would save them again and must have been devastated when they realised the Brunnen-G could not even save themselves.

       There is something quite 'British' about the Brunnen-G as well, the insular 'do nothing until it's almost too late' mentality. Like Chamberlain at Munich or Harold at Hastings.

       I am assuming that all Humans originate from Earth sometime in the future-past. It's one of the reasons I like Lexx, no silly latex faced aliens, only very different types of human cultures and totally alien aliens like the insect civilisation and Lyekka.

       About the conflict between the old and the new-born Brunnen-G. It was inevitable especially considering what the Brunnen-G had become. One of the reasons Lexx works is it doesn't take the premise that man will live in harmony with man and fight aliens. Mankind continues to exploit and fight mankind and conflicts continue to exist between societies and within societies. What is interesting about the New born is that their rebellion is actually reverting to the traditional values and ways of Brunnen-G society.

       I've recently had an interesting email from a new Lexxian about Brunnen-G colours which I thought I'd share...

       My guess would be that the colors (purple and yellow, at least) being often used in such celebrations of spring and renewal (i.e. Easter, Ostara, etc.) may have something to do with a reverence for life, fertility, youth perhaps? The promise of the future?
       Taken individually (again, purple and yellow, at least): Purple tends to represent feminine wisdom, mysticism, intuition, insight, female mysteries---while yellow represents intelligence, quickness of thought, communication, travel, science, and in some cases the masculine principle as applied to these ideas, in addition it is associated with solar energies or the element of air.
       As for peach....what fruit do you think of when you imagine something new, innocent, fresh, pure, uncorrupted? A peach! Maybe it all has to do with the creative creations!

       On the whole, I'd agree, although that does require the Brunnen-G having the same colour associations as we do. (And I must admit, personally, peaches aren't the first thing I think of to represent purity! But that's just my opinion...)

© 1999, 2000 WaveWrights.