Frank Herbert's Children of Dune
|Frank Herbert's Children of Dune|
|Written by||Frank Herbert (novels)
|Directed by||Greg Yaitanes|
|Running time||266 min.|
|Original run||March 16, 2003– March 26, 2003|
|Preceded by||Frank Herbert's Dune|
Frank Herbert's Children of Dune is a three-part miniseries written by John Harrison and directed by Greg Yaitanes, based on Frank Herbert's novels Dune Messiah (1969) and Children of Dune (1976). First broadcast in the United States on March 16, 2003, Children of Dune is the sequel to the 2000 miniseries Frank Herbert's Dune (based on Herbert's 1965 novel Dune) and produced by the Sci Fi Channel. As of 2004, this miniseries and its predecessor were two of the three highest-rated programs ever to be broadcast on the Sci-Fi Channel.
In 2003, the critically acclaimed miniseries won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects.
Twelve years have passed since Paul Atreides had become Emperor at the end of Frank Herbert's Dune by seizing control of the planet Arrakis and forcing a union with the former Emperor's daughter, the Princess Irulan. Paul's Fremen armies have since launched several bloody jihads on a galactic scale to solidify his position. Deposed Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV and the rest of his family have been exiled to Salusa Secundus, where his other daughter Princess Wensicia plots to restore House Corrino to power. The Bene Gesserit, the Spacing Guild, and the Tleilaxu also plot to overthrow Paul's reign, aided even by rebel Fremen, who hate how Paul's terraforming project is changing Arrakis and the traditional Fremen way of life. The Tleilaxu present Paul with a gift: a ghola in the likeness of his friend Duncan Idaho, who had been killed during the events of Dune. However, they have secretly conditioned the ghola to assassinate Paul when triggered by certain words.
Though his prescient abilities reveal the dangers ahead, Paul allows the conspiracies to play out to avoid even worse consequences. He is attacked with a nuclear weapon, called a stone burner, and blinded, but still manages to "see" by following his prescient visions. Later, Paul's concubine Chani gives birth to twins at Fremen sietch but dies soon afterwards from the stress. In Paul's absence, his sister Alia purges the imperial city of the enemies of House Atreides. Meanwhile, the Tleilaxu Face Dancer Scytale triggers Duncan's conditioning, but the trauma of potentially killing Paul not only breaks his programming, but unlocks the memories of his original incarnation. His plan foiled, Scytale threatens the lives of Paul's children; the unique nature of the infants (who, like Alia, were "pre-born") allows Paul to see through the eyes of his son and kill Scytale. Following the Fremen tradition of abandoning the blind to the sandworms, Paul walks off alone into the desert. His legacy secured, the twins and their future empire are now left in the care of Alia.
Paul's and Chani's children Leto II and Ghanima are now young adults; Princess Irulan has formed a close bond to them, and has protected their interests as her own. Now married to Duncan, Alia is still regent of Paul's empire and official guardian of the children. Irulan's sister Wensicia, however, has different feelings, and yearns for a return to power through her son, Farad'n Corrino. After a long absence, Paul and Alia's mother Lady Jessica arrives on Arrakis to visit her family, but Alia fears that Jessica has resumed her allegiance to the Bene Gesserit and may be plotting against her. Also, an individual known only as "The Preacher" has surfaced in the capital, speaking out against the decline of Muad'Dib's religion into fear and ritualism, but Alia resists having him killed because she shares the popular belief that he may in fact be a returned Paul.
Alia's increasing dependence on spice leads her into two dangerous paths to Abomination — an affair with a priest, and paranoia. Like Leto and Ghanima, Alia is pre-born, gifted in the womb with abilities that also put her in danger at the hands of her ancestral memories. The persona of the evil Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, Alia's maternal grandfather whom she had herself killed as a young child, begins to assert subversive control over her, and threatens to overtake Alia's consciousness altogether. Meanwhile Irulan and Jessica have private meetings in Fenring's old garden, and noting a shared purpose, they plot via sign-language to spirit Leto and Ghanima away to safety. Later, after an assassination attempt on her person, Jessica also flees Alia and seeks unlikely sanctuary with Fremen dissidents. Wearing clothes presented to them by Wensicia, the twins escape into the deep desert but are soon cornered in a deadly trap of her devising.
Wensicia's plot to assassinate the Atreides heirs fails, but provides Leto an opportunity to fake his own death and buy time to figure out how to overcome Alia. Meanwhile, Alia's madness reaches its peak as Baron Harkonnen's grip on her consciousness strengthens and a civil war brews with the rebel Fremen. Leto returns from the deep desert, having used sandtrout — the larval form of the Arrakis sandworms — to begin a destined transformation into something that can prevent humanity's potential destruction in the far future. In addition to his already-superhuman prescience and Bene Gesserit-like abilities, Leto acquires the superhuman speed, strength, and invulnerability of the sandworms themselves.
As a means of forcing as-yet-neutral Fremen leader Stilgar to lead the rebels, Duncan murders Alia's lover Javid in Stilgar's sietch; Duncan knows that, according to Fremen custom, Stilgar must revenge-kill him, which will force Stilgar into active opposition to Alia. Leto encounters The Preacher, whose identity as his father is soon confirmed. Leto's prescient visions have convinced him that he must lead mankind along what he calls "the Golden Path," a plan that will ensure humanity's ultimate survival. Paul had been faced with the same choice, but even he had been too frightened by the number of people who would die in the process and the sacrifices that needed to be made.
With a political marriage arranged by Jessica between Ghanima and Wensicia's son Farad'n, the Corrino heir reveals his mother to be the mastermind behind Leto's apparent death. A furious Alia has Wensicia imprisoned, but an appreciative Ghanima accepts Farad'n's gesture as honest. With Stilgar's forces moving in, father and son return to the capital city of Arrakeen; The Preacher makes a final speech denouncing Alia and his own religion, and is fatally stabbed by a rebel Fremen on the palace steps in front of Alia. Leto departs with the body. Later, at his sister's wedding, he returns and confronts Alia, who manages to commit suicide rather than be completely controlled by the Baron. In the final scene, Ghanima tells Farad'n that he will not be her true husband yet, and how she pities her brother for the pain and suffering he will have to endure in the long life he has ahead.
After production completed on the first miniseries (and before its broadcast), the Sci Fi Channel contracted writer/director Harrison to write a sequel. Harrison's idea for the next installment was to combine Frank Herbert's subsequent novels, Dune Messiah and Children of Dune. He has said in interviews that he believed both novels to be two parts of the same story, which essentially concludes the story of House Atreides. The novel Dune Messiah is a shorter novel than either Dune or Children of Dune, coming in at only 222 pages versus 412 and 592 respectively.
The series' score was written by Brian Tyler in a span of one month, and is considered one of Tyler's best scores. It contains 36 tracks. The lyrics of the track "Inama Nushif," sung by Azam Ali, are entirely in the fictional Fremen language, which Tyler pieced together from Fremen words and phrases appearing throughout Herbert's series of Dune novels. The music has been reused in several theatrical trailers, including Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Cinderella Man, Kung Fu Panda, The Golden Compass, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Star Trek.
- Ascher, Ian (2004). "Kevin J. Anderson Interview". DigitalWebbing.com (Internet Archive). Archived from the original on July 3, 2007. Retrieved July 3, 2007.
- Harrison has stated in interviews that Krige was his first choice to play Jessica in the original miniseries, but she was unavailable and Saskia Reeves won the role. Krige was cast for the sequel miniseries when Reeves was unavailable.
- Fritz, Steve (December 04, 2000). "DUNE: Remaking the Classic Novel". Cinescape.com. Retrieved March 14, 2010.
- "Azam Ali: The Landsraad Interview". The Landsraad. Retrieved 2006-11-11.
- Brian Tyler and Greg Yaitanes. "Children of Dune". Discography. Official website for film composer Brian Tyler. Retrieved 2006-11-11.
- Frank Herbert's Children of Dune at the Internet Movie Database
- Frank Herbert's Children of Dune at allmovie
- Frank Herbert's Children of Dune at Rotten Tomatoes
- Official Dune novels website
- Berger, Warren (March 16, 2003). "COVER STORY: Where Spice of Life Is the Vital Variety". The New York Times. NYTimes.com. p. 134. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
- Scheib, Richard (2003). "Moria Review: Children of Dune". Moria.co.nz. Retrieved December 9, 2013.
- "Children of Dune: Cast & Details". Movies.TVGuide.com. 2003. Retrieved December 9, 2013.