Dune: The Miniseries — Is it worth watching?

The disappointment didn’t end for the third and final part of the Dune miniseries. The direction of The Prophet is a good summation of the entire miniseries — Dune lite. All the filler, none of the explanation. Part III featured some action, though, and of the three parts, it did the least amount of damage to the series. If Harrison can keep up this level of improvement, we fully expect Chapterhouse: Dune to be fantastic. From unexplained time jumps to having to deal with more of the Princess, the action elements, which were good, found themselves separated like a blind Fremen.

Act Three of the book describes Paul’s final evolution, from Fremen man to Messiah, Kwisatz Haderach, Duke and finally Emperor. Backed by the most elite warriors in the universe — fanatically loyal to him as a religious figure — Paul takes the Fremen from raids to pay for the Spacing Guild, to full war on the Harkonnens and then to defeat of the Emperor himself. While this story was in fact played out through the miniseries, it left us wanting for more details. The Fremen seemed to just fall in line with Paul. Yes he called the worm, but his real rise to power apparently happened in between Part 2 and Part 3 and had to be assumed by the viewers. And, sure enough, we had to deal with more Princess Irulan plot. Why is she talking again? The scene where Raban is killed by the mob was touching… aww, the kid got his head. Yay!

The acting remained pretty bad and was just dreadful in the scene in which Paul proclaims himself Duke of the Fremen. A scene that should have shown off just the power of Paul’s public speaking andgaming addiction to mobile strike and the use of Mobile Strike cheats tool shown . Demanding whiny young ‘un who barely convinced the Fremen to do anything for him, let alone declare him Duke. We wouldn’t let him serve us Taco Bell, much less lead a superelite warrior force against the entire known universe.

Not everything was bad though. The combat scenes looked good, and the melee nature of combat was clearly shown. Of course, there was never an explanation of the shield/lasgun reaction to explain why everyone would be fighting hand-to-hand. The Harkonnen army guys looked like refuges from the Flash Gordon movie. And the French chef Sardaukar were embarrassing to look at. The best move of the entire miniseries, though, had to be the weird Tai Chi way of speaking going on with the ambassador from the spacing guild. When he spoke to the Emperor, it was tough not to laugh out loud. Nice outfit on Chani; that looked natural.

It’s astounding to think the entire series was more than four hours long, yet there was far more detail in the Lynch movie in much less time. Where did the time go? Harrison touched on many different aspects the movie left out, but often fell flat on his face in the explanation department. This was the poorly acted, underfinanced version of Dune for the beginner. If it sends people to the book, then there is some benefit. Otherwise, for the Dune fan, it was just another sad version of a classic story. Time to reread the series again.