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Frank Herbert's Children of Dune: Sci-Fi TV Miniseries (Two-Disc DVD Set)

4.5 out of 5 stars 350 customer reviews

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(May 20, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The spectacular epic that began in the Emmy Award-winning Frank Herbert’s Dune mini-series continues in this dazzling new journey into sweeping interstellar intrigue and visionary sci-fi adventure! On the desert planet of Dune, the ancient prophecy has been fulfilled: the rule of the legendary Muad’dib has triggered a miraculous transformation of the arid wastelands. But as always, the Great Houses of the Empire are alive with rumors of conspiracy, plotting and betrayal. And when Muad’dib no longer wields absolute power as the Emperor, his young son Leto Atreides and daughter Ghanima face the prospect of a disastrous civil war on Arrakis - and chaos on a galactic scale. Now, with the future of the vital Spice trade in the balance, the destiny of humanity itself will depend on the courage, strength and otherworldly wisdom of The Children of Dune!

Conspiracies abound in Children of Dune, Sci-Fi Channel's praiseworthy miniseries sequel to Frank Herbert's Dune, loyally adapted from the Herbert novels Dune Messiah and Children of Dune by John Harrison, who passed directorial duties (due to a scheduling conflict) to Greg Yaitanes, a 31-year-old TV director and Dune neophyte tackling his biggest assignment to date. Uninitiated viewers face a disadvantage; it's best to read Herbert's books and/or see the first miniseries before plunging into this remarkably coherent tangle of political intrigue, unfolding 12 years after the events of Dune.

To his horror, Maud'Dib--Arrakis emperor Paul Atreides (Alec Newman, reprising his Dune role)--has become the unintended figurehead of a violent dictatorship, and his enemies are multiplying. Vanishing into the desert, he waits as destiny shapes his twin heirs Leto II (James McAvoy) and Ghanima (Jessica Brooks), who must contend with their scheming aunt Alia (Daniela Amavia) while Princess Wensicia (Susan Sarandon), of the enemy House Corrino, plots her own attack on Maud'Dib's familial empire. Exiled Atreides matriarch Lady Jessica (Alice Krige, giving the film's finest performance) returns to Arrakis, where the enormous, desert-dwelling sandworms face an uncertain future. As always, the spice must flow, and the universe's most coveted commodity remains at the center of this richly detailed and physically impressive production. Special effects range from awesome (fly-over shots of the capital city, Arakeen) to awful (the saber-tooth tigers look like Jumanji rejects), and Dune devotees will endlessly debate the miniseries' strengths and weaknesses. Some may desire more action to punctuate the film's inherent verbosity, but consensus will surely conclude that this is Dune done right, with monumental effort and obvious devotion from everyone involved. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • Storyboard comparisons
  • "Making Dune's Children: The VFX Revealed" featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Alec Newman, Julie Cox, Ian McNeice, Steven Berkoff, Daniela Amavia
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Alliance
  • DVD Release Date: May 20, 2003
  • Run Time: 266 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (350 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008RUYH
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,634 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Frank Herbert's Children of Dune: Sci-Fi TV Miniseries (Two-Disc DVD Set)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Merritt VINE VOICE on May 5, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The toughest thing about 'Frank Herbert's Dune', presented on the SciFi Channel in 2000, was that all Dune fans knew, just KNEW, there'd be comparisons made between it and David Lynch's theatrical release. Although the strong casting, new-found special effects and costumes made Lynch's version a film to be reckoned with, it still felt unbalanced and lost amidst the deeply textured background world that Frank Herbert created.
The 2000 miniseries gave us more of the actually pages of Dune translated to the screen, but it's acting, costumes and special effects were lacking.
So, to my surprise, what should appear but a new miniseries with reprising roles and some new cast members for Frank Herbert's Children of Dune on the SciFi Channel. Goodbye comparisons. We entered new screenplay territory since no theatrical version of any other Herbert novels has ever made it out to the public.
A wonderful presentation, Frank Herbert's Children of Dune combines the Dune Messiah and Children of Dune novels into this new miniseries and does so with one graceful motion. Well, almost graceful.
I don't know WHY the SciFi Channel feels the need to keep a "big name" in these films. William Hurt didn't aid the first miniseries with his 'Hurtful' acting. Likewise, I felt Mrs. Sarandon did nothing to aid in the release of this film/mini. Her character was cardboardish and dull. No action involving her at all. Nothing that seemed to help move the storyline along.
Uncharacteristically (and thankfully) Alec Newman reprises his role as Paul (and the new Preacher) and does so with powerfully strong acting (the exact opposite of what I saw from him in the original miniseries).
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Format: DVD
I have been a longtime fan of Frank Herbert's opus, and have read the "Dune" novels many times. I consider myself somewhat of a purist, and did not warm up to the theatrical release of "Dune" (David Lynch) back in the 80's. I thought at one point that the saga of Dune simply was too big for both the big and the small screens.
I was pleasantly surprised after I watched and very much enjoyed the Sci Fi channel's 2000 miniseries, "Frank Herbert's Dune." At the time, I reconciled myself with the idea that this was the closest that Hollywood would come to portraying Herbert's epic. Thus, I looked forward to the airing "Children of Dune" with some enthusiasm but with low expectations.
I must admit that when I read details about the upcoming TV event, I had many misgivings: the changes in casting from the first miniseries, the fact that the script was a synthesis of the "Dune Messiah" and "Children of Dune" books, that the Atreides twins were to be teenagers instead of 9-year-olds, etc. Imagine my surprise when I found that the Sci Fi channel had done it again, and that I liked "Children of Dune" even better than their "Dune" miniseries.
If you are a die-hard Frank Herbert fan, I am not going to try to convince you that this is a worthy interpretation of "Dune." I will ask that you watch it with an open mind.
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Format: DVD
If I were to choose the best film adaptation of Dune, this miniseries would win, hands down. Not because it's true to the book, not because of special effects, but it would win because entire series is endearing and the performances of the cast are memorable. This production took characters that were hard to relate to because of their super-human abilities and turned them into people we could care about. What sets this treatment of Dune apart from all others is the dynamic performances of the cast.

Alec Newman, Julie Cox, Barbara Kodetova, P.H. Moriarty, Zuzana Geislerova, and Ian MacNeice reprise their roles as Paul, Irulan, Chani, Gurney, Rev. Mother Mohiam, and the Baron. Even the Newcomers to the cast are: James McAvoy as Leto II, Jessica Brooks as Ghanima, Daniela Amavia as Alia,

Alec Newman *owns* the role of Paul in CoD. While his performance seemed shakey at times in Dune, he embodies the majesty of Muad'Dib and convincingly portrays the part of a tormented monarch in this sequel.

Julie Cox steals the show away everytime she appears. Some complained that the script took (major) liberties concerning Irulan--mainly by giving her more appearances and lines than the book ever afforded her, and making her more likable--but I say anything that gives Julie Cox a chance to appear on screen to flex her acting muscles is a good decision. She plays a very convincing imperial princess with her body language (she has probably the best posture I've ever seen, but she absolutely shines portraying a fiery personality trapped by her station in life.

As with Alec Newman, Barbara Kodetova reprises her role with much more maturity than in the first series. In CoD, Alec and Barbara both come back with stronger performances and better chemistry.
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