ORBzine - Vagrant Queen (2020) TV Review

Vagrant Queen (2020)

Season 1

Vagrant Queen (2020) Vagrant Queen (2020) [Season 1, Episode 1] A Royal Ass-Kicking (53 min)
Shown 27 Mar 20

This was created for TV by the guy who wrote and directed this episode. Yes, writer/director/creator/whatever - does he fancy himself as the new Joss Whedon ? Well, the good news is that it is based on a comic by the infamous Maggs Visaggio ... so it could be a lot worse.

The protagonist is a hot black girl, Alita ( Adriyan Rae ), who is so strong she can beat up an alien that has twice her body-weight. It turns out that she spent her entire child-hood being trained in combat skills, which would be useful if she was intended to be a Warrior Princess but instead she is meant to be a wise and decent ruler.

This story is set in a galaxy far, far away ... but not necessarily the one you might think of. The female Han Solo type hangs out in a cantina. We discover that she is actually a Princess, on the run from the mask-wearing stormtroopers of an evil empire. When they corner her, she ends up in the trash ejector. The only thing that was not stolen from Star Wars is her sidekick, Isaac (Tim Rozon in the same kind of role he plays in Wyonna Earp ).

The protagonist and her crew are unlikeable idiots. In comparison, the villain's stormtroopers are quite compelling characters - even though they are faceless minions in visored helmets. Which begs the obvious question - what are the chances the protagonist will use the wookie prisoner trick?

Vagrant Queen (2020) Vagrant Queen (2020) [Season 1, Episode 2] Yippee Ki Yay (43 min)
Shown 03 Apr 20

Alita the Vadge Queen ( Adriyan Rae ) and Isaac (Tim Rozon - Wyonna Earp ) are captured by a gang of cannibalistic aliens. They reminisce on how they met, so we get some well-needed backstory and character development.

It turns out that Isaac is not just a human, not merely an Earthling, but specifically a Canadian. Yes, somehow he got from Canada to an entirely different galaxy - and he wants to return home. By incredible coincidence, the cannibalistic aliens subject their victims to a kareoke contest. For some strange reason, the songs they use are from Earth!

Vagrant Queen (2020) Vagrant Queen (2020) [Season 1, Episode 3] Nobody's Queen
Shown 10 Apr 20

Amae the engineer ( Alex McGregor ) boots up the R2D2 pastiche she got in the previous episode. She calls it Winnibot, because it has a girl's voice instead of beeps and whistles.

The heroes are being hunted by Dengar. He is not the bounty hunter from Empire Strikes Back , he is just a low-level semi-competent officer in the Loyalist army. Ironically, Alita ( Adriyan Rae ) wants to invade the Republic and rescue her mother - but she resists the idea of getting herself a Loyalist army to help.

The heroes are reluctantly conscripted into the Loyalist force. We get flashbacks of Alita's brief rule as Queen. Her mother and other advisors refused to help the menial workers, who wanted to shift manpower from industrial output to agriculture so they could grow more food. Yes, the politicians cared more about the economy than about the citizens lives. For something written before the CoVid-19 outbreak, this is quite a shockingly prescient scenario.

Amae ( Alex McGregor ) and Isaac (Tim Rozon - Wyonna Earp ) go exploring in a local disused mining camp so they can find some spare parts to fix their shop. He starts to make pop cultural references, which marks him out as a comedy version of Starlord from Guardians of the Galaxy (himself a take on John Chrichton from Farscape (1999) ). The problem is that Starlord is not someone who takes himself seriously anyway, so it seems a bit excessive to deliberately parody the character.

Vagrant Queen (2020) Vagrant Queen (2020) [Season 1, Episode 4] In a Sticky Spot
Shown 17 Apr 20

Alita ( Adriyan Rae ) leads a small team to invade the Republic and rescue her mother. First they must pass through the space-border security checks, at a space station that is like an airport.

The villain has received a tip-off. Isaac (Tim Rozon - Wyonna Earp ) gets captured by the bad guys. Alita has to decide - sacrife her friend for the good of the mission, or endanger everyone to save one man?

Vagrant Queen (2020) Vagrant Queen (2020) [Season 1, Episode 5] Temple of Doom
Shown 30 Apr 20

Isaac (Tim Rozon - Wyonna Earp ) wakes up in a desert. The ship reached its destination, but crashed. Now he is beset with Krivits from V: The Series , which act like sandworms in Dune (1986) and bring back memories of the graboids in Tremors (1992) .

We get flashbacks to Isaac's origin story. We know he was originally from Earth, but it turns out that despite his Twentieth Century popular culture references he is from many decades in the future. He started as an astronaut on a routine mission to Jupiter, when his ship was sucked through a wormhole. Unfortunately the place he landed has not had intergalactic travel in twenty years. His only choice was to earn a million credits so he could buy a starship with an Intergalactic engine. The only real option was to become a scavenger.

Isaac meets up again with Alita ( Adriyan Rae ) again. She confuses Han Solo with Indiana Jones, and it is strange to see such references in a show that is basically a parody of Star Wars .

Finally the characters get to their destination. This leads on to a series of double-crosses.

Vagrant Queen (2020) Vagrant Queen (2020) [Season 1, Episode 6] Requiem for the Republic
Shown 7th May 2020

Commander Lazaro takes his new super-weapon to the HQ of his former superiors, and carries out the plan that the Loyalists wanted Alita to use. It is actually pretty satisfying to see, even though he is a pretty two-dimensional villain. In fact, if Alita had gone through with it then she would have seemed very unsympathetic for a heroine.

Alita and her friends are stuck in the desert, trying to repair their badly damaged spaceship. She starts to halucinate, after being stung by a local sandfly. Isaac has to save her, even though she will not forgive him for the previous episode. The planet is infested with - well, not Rodents Of Unusual Size, but insect!

The female R2D2 robot is very useful this week, since the episode centres on the spaceship and the robot is given lots to do. And since robots are immune to Lazaro's super-weapon, she may have a much bigger role in the overall story arc.

Vagrant Queen (2020) Vagrant Queen (2020) [Season 1, Episode 7] Sunshine Express Yourself
Shown 14th May 2020

Alita and her two colleagues have to board a long-distance train to get to the impound yard where their ship is being held. However, once on the train they split up. Alita heads off to find a different ship, so she can go to the Republic's HQ alone. She is haunted by memories of her mother's death, and the long days she spent stuck in an escape pod talking to strangers on the radio.

Isaac (Tim Rozon - Wyonna Earp ) runs into a couple of bounty hunters. By incredible coincidence, they are not after him - but the old woman sitting next to him. The Republic has put a price on her head, because she has extensive knowledge about the technology that created Lazaro's new super-weapon.

Commander Lazaro holds a press conference to announce his new leadership of the Republic. His first new law is Open Borders - which seems nice, but just means he secretly wants to expand his own reign into territories currently outside the Republic. Meanwhile, he is secretly experimenting in ways to expand the effectiveness of his new super-weapon.

Vagrant Queen (2020) Vagrant Queen (2020) [Season 1, Episode 8] No Clue
Shown 21st May 2020

Isaac (Tim Rozon - Wyonna Earp ) and his gal-pals have a planning session before their big mission to assassinate Lazaro. They indulge in a premature celebration, which involves getting very drunk and ordering take-out food. Unfortunately they open the door for a repo crew sent to collect on all the outstanding parking fines.

One of the repo crew is suffering from the flu - a very topical situation at time of initial broadcast, since the audience is still in CoVid-19 lockdown. Then someone starts killing the repo crew off one at a time. Yes, this is a comical murder-mystery - hence the episode title, a reference to Cluedo. This only gets intensified when Elida breaks out the special weapons ... including a hi-tech candlestick and a lead pipe with a built-in tazer.

This episode features an incredible CGI alien. Truly, the show's CGI SPFX budget must have been blown on this one episode.

Vagrant Queen (2020) Vagrant Queen (2020) [Season 1, Episode 9] All Old Things Must Pass - Part 1
Shown 28th May 2020

We are introduced to a new character, a macho male who seems capable of saving the day single-handed. Is he going to be useful, or is he being set up as a joke?

Lazaro is now ruler of the Empire, and intends to conquer the rest of the galaxy. We get flashbacks of Lazaro's younger days. Twenty years ago, when the monarchy was corrupt and murderous, he was a passionate campaigner for Social Justice. Unusually for this kind of show, both sides of the argument are shown. Just like modern-day Cancel Culture, anyone who refuses to plead Guilty is destroyed.

Alita and her friends break into the palace to kill Lazaro. They use their normal take-no-prisoners appriach, which implies they will be just as unforgiving as Lazaro was when he led the revolution and stormed the palace himself. Ironically, while the so-called good guys do not take prisoners there is a prison cell filled with potential recruits.

Vagrant Queen (2020) Vagrant Queen (2020) [Season 1, Episode 10] All Old Things Must Pass - Part 2
Shown 4th June 2020

Alita ( Adriyan Rae ) and her buddies try to assassinate Lazaro. First they discover that the Queen Mother is still alive. Well, they needed a storyline set up for Season Two.

Isaac (Tim Rozon - Wyonna Earp ) uses his usual pop culture references to compare Lazaro's magic rock to the Infinity Stones in Marvel Avengers Endgame . He even takes care to point out they are legally distinct.

We get more flashbacks, this time of Alita's upbringing. Her mother actually did her best for the people. However, Lazaro actually still seems to be the real hero. After all, he does inadvertently save his entire population - and as he points out, he never brainwashed the citizens themselves.





Vagrant Queen (2020)

Vagrant Queen (2020) Vagrant Queen (2020) [Season 1 , Episode 1 ]
Shown th June 2020

Reviewed in our special supplement Vagrant Queen (2020)

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