Friday, December 11, 2009

"Alice" — Syfy's retake of Wonderland

"It'll be just like the old days — justice, reason, and the rule of law!" If you've ever wanted to hear that phrase belted out by the smooth yet stentorian Tim Curry, one of the greatest voices of our time, then that's just one more reason to check out Alice, the new miniseries by Syfy, cable's rebranded Sci-fi channel. Alice is a two-part four-hour miniseries set in a modern-day Wonderland. Written for adults (the show is sponsored by Kay Jewelers) the retelling is hip and visually stunning with some dark but mostly comedic edges that make for a quite satisfying retelling of the Carroll Lewis classic.

In this version, Alice (Caterina Scorsone) is all grown up, and a karate instructor to boot, even if she has some issues, a father who abandoned her at age ten and a problem committing to mister right. When she brings home her latest, Jack, to meet mom, he offers her a ring out of the blue. She turns down his proposal, but he slips the ring in her pocket. Trying to return it she shes him dragged off through a dark alley by thugs, and chasing after she falls through the looking glass to an alternate dimension.

It turns out that Jack is the Jack — the Jack of Hearts, son of the casino-boss Queen of Hearts, Kathy Bates and her put-upon King, Colm Meaney — and the leader of a resistance trying to overthrow his mother's tyrannical rule held in place by a drug economy that refines the emotions of kidnapped earthlings into chemical elixirs.

With its battles, beasts and betrayals (Beware the Jabberwock, my son!) the story is your standard fantasy adventure fare, sometimes light in the plot, but quite pleasant. We meet the roguish Hatter, played by British heart-throb Andrew-Lee Potts. He and the White Knight, played by the delightful Matt Frewer, whom you may recognize as the former Max Headroom, set off with Alice to find her father and return to her own world, even if she has to overthrow the Red Queen to do it. The show is full of familiar faces and the visual art blends iconic images from the classic book illustrations with quirky and sexy modern effects that recall Twin Peaks and Farscape. The show will be replayed on Syfy, Sunday December 13 from 5pm til 9pm Eastern. Set your DVR.

Here is the intro at YouTube:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did you noticed that the mountain in the kingdom of the knights was Machu Picchu's inca mountain? and Charlie the knight was Don Quixote?