In this age of streaming services, platforms such as Netflix and Hulu have given us some amazing material to enjoy in the comfort of our own homes. With Netflix even using their services to create amazing original content, such as the recently released Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. Constructed as a prequel to the now iconic cult film, the new 10 part series allows us a glimpse at the magical planet of Thra decades before it became the desolate wasteland we know it as in the original film. In this past Thra, the Gelfling are thriving but living under the rule of the cruel Skeksis, who still hold control of the crystal of truth.
From the outset of the series, we are introduced to our three heroes. Rian (voiced by Taron Egerton) a palace guard who discovers a terrifying truth. Deet (voiced by Nathalie Emmanuel) is a member of the underground Grottan clan, who discovers that the planet is slowly being poisoned by a blight called The Darkening. And finally, Brea (voiced by Anya Taylor-Joy) a Vapran princess who begins to question her role in a world dominated by Skeksi rule. All three characters are strong in their own right, each giving the story a developed and interesting layer. The existence of the characters’ also feeds into the unique mythology that has been extended for the purposes of the show’s story. Such as each member belonging to a different Gelfling clan, something unique to the show seeing as Gelfling are all but extinct by the film’s timeline.
The world is also beautifully brought to life through the master puppeteers working at the Henson Company, with veterans such as the Froud family returning once again to design and construct the characters. With each individual character having their own look and personality. I personally adored the design of Deet, with her green skin and slight features recalling Kira from the original film. Brea also stands out as a primary favourite, with her wit and intelligence making her a formidable force on the side of the rebellion. The amount of work and creative effort is also plain to see in every shot, with the sweeping landscapes and creature-filled forests bringing to life the same wonder and awe that the first film inspired.
The vocal cast is also a testament to the nostalgia of the original film, with various members of the Hollywood elite coming to lend their voices to the characters. Helena Bonham Carter gives an emotional and powerful performance as the wise All-Maudra, the literal queen of all seven Gelfling clans. Lena Headey also stands out as an iconic character, with the GOT actress injecting the role of Maudra-Fara with her usual class and elegance. But overall the vocal cast does a staggering job, with other shout outs being Simon Pegg as the slimy Chamberlain and of course, Awkwafina as the newly added skekLach.
The direction is also breath-taking with Louis Letterier using the camera like a living creature, swooping and slithering through the land of Thra with particular zest. While the story only helps to elevate the original material, allowing us to see a world before the fall of Gelfling and before the end of the Skeksis. The show also does not shy away from political intrigue or gory action, making it feel like the puppet version of Game of Thrones.
Overall the show is a beautifully crafted and exceptional work of art, the story is fantastic and the characters have already proven their popularity with the online fandom. As of yet there has been no mention of a second season, but maybe there is hope on the horizon, especially seeing as the story ends on more of a cliff-hanger than it does a concluded ending. And I would welcome a second season willingly, especially if it proves to be as beautiful and well-crafted as what we have had already.
Down below you’ll find some featurettes detailing the creation of this gorgeous show.