Another world. Another time. In the age of wonder. A thousand years ago this land was green and good. Until the crystal cracked.
These were the words that captured the imaginations of a generation back in 1982 when Jim Henson and Brian Froud unleashed The Dark Crystal on an unsuspecting world.
Whilst Jim Henson was better known for the light-hearted Muppet Show, the Dark Crystal would see the creation of a dark and mysterious fantasy epic with a lore so deep that it became a cult classic overnight.
Fast forward 37 years and The Dark Crystal returns to once again take us to the land of Thra and its magical inhabitants.
What is The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance About?
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is a ten episode prequel series on Netflix
It is set before the events of the original movie and it follows a group of Gelflings who discover the secret that their overlords the Skeksis have been hiding.
Firsts things first, let’s not be fooled by the fact that this show is made using puppets because this isn’t some happy childlike romp.
This is a serious and dark piece of high fantasy that is every bit as epic as anything that has come before.
Challenging And Dark Themes
How dark is the Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance ?
Well, the Skeksis are obsessed with immortality and have discovered they can drain power from the Crystal of Truth, a sacred object they were tasked to protect. In doing this they unleashed the darkening and corrupted the crystal.
When the crystal stops gifting them power they discover they can drain the essence from Gelflings and drink it, killing the Gelfling in the process.
When this is discovered by a young Gelfling named Rian after his girlfriend is captured and killed The Skeksis hunt him down as he tries to convince the other Gelflings that their God like overlords aren’t what they seem.
To say much more would mean major spoilers so we’ll just leave it at that plot wise but believe us when we say that the story lives up to expectation.
In actual fact every aspect of this lives up to expectation.
Nothing looks out of place in comparison to the original, the landscapes are breathtaking, the puppets are incredible and the voice cast is exceptional, more on that later.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Main Players
There are so many wonderful characters that you will simply fall in love with instantly.
Rian is the main hero how must overcome all the odds to survive. Deet is a gentle and innocent soul who can converse with nature. Brea is a Princess who is highly intelligent and reckless. Hup is a brave and adorable Podling who becomes Deet’s protector.
Whilst these are the main characters there are of course a whole host of other equally important characters that give this series a level of depth rarely seen in any show.
We can’t discuss the characters however without looking at the Skeksis.
Many of these characters are familiar to fans of the original film and they are played perfectly.
The headstrong Emperor, the devious Chamberlain, the insane Scientist and the disgusting Collector are all there and we get to see a whole new depth to their characters.
Last but by no means least, is Mother Aughra. One of the most memorable characters from the original we get to see exactly how she ended up the way she was when we were first introduced to her.
Aughra is pivotal in the story and it was imperative that they got her right in the series which they achieved one hundred percent.
The voice cast is simply exceptional and every actor gave it their best. They helped bring this world to life and when you see who is in the show you will know why. Just look at this insane list!
Mark Hamill (Star Wars, Child’s Play), Taron Egerton (Kingsman, Rocketman), Simon Pegg (Mission Impossible, Hot Fuzz), Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter, Black Hawk Down), Toby Jones (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Hunger Games), Helena Bonham-Carter (Harry Potter, Sweeney Todd), Eddie Izzard, Sigourney Weaver (Alien, Ghostbusters), Benedict Wong (Marco Polo, Doctor Strange), Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones, Furious 7), Donna Kimball (Happytime Murders, Catch Me if you Can), Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine Nine, The Lonely Island), Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games), Lena Headey (Game of Thrones, Dredd), Alicia Vikander (Tomb Raider), Mark Strong (Kingsman, Shazam!).
We could go on but we’d be here all day. It’s an incredible voice cast.
Look at The Stars
The true stars of The Dark Crystal; Age of Resistance have to be the Puppeteers though. It takes some serious nerve to take one of the most beloved films of Jim Henson’s career and then attempt to expand on it using the same techniques.
They have absolutely nailed it which is an amazing thing to achieve. From the opening scene you are transported to the land of Thra and to your own emotional memories.
Thra is Alive!
Something you will notice about the land of Thra is that it is literally alive.
So much detail has been put into the settings and the creatures that live in them that it transports the viewer there instantly.
Every plant and every tiny creature moves independently. It’s a totally immersive experience that is a constant joy to watch.
In fact the world is that impressive that it becomes as much a part of the story as the main characters themselves.
You are often left wondering where the next danger or saviour may come from as it could just as easily be the tiny plant in the foreground as the massive creature in the shadows.
New Stuff With a Ton of Nostalgia
Age of Resistance manages to simultaneously give you intense feelings of nostalgia whilst bringing you something entirely new and fresh.
Whilst the techniques may be the same they have evolved and the entire show just looks mind blowing.
To say that the world they’ve created in breathtaking would be to do it a disservice, it’s stunning.
Will There Be A Second Season of Dark Crystal?
It’s understandable that a project of this size is unlikely to be replicated any time soon but it certainly feels as though there is scope for another series to completely link the events of Age of Resistance to the film. The ending, which will remain unspoiled, certainly leave it open for more episodes to be made.
Should there be? Well, we would be over the moon as we can honestly say that this is one of the best series ever to be released.
No, really. This is high fantasy at its very best and that’s no exaggeration.
Everything about this is done to perfection and you are taken to the Land of Thra in a way that leaves you desperate for more.
It’s hard to say why without giving major spoilers but what we will say is that we need to see what happens next with this particular group of characters, especially Hup who is equally hilarious and heart-meltingly lovable and Deet who stole our hearts and filled us with wonder and at times with heartache.
Is The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance Worth A Watch?
The Age of Resistance has begun and we couldn’t be happier about it. It’s an absolute triumph and one that the Jim Henson Company, Netflix, Brian Froud and all involved should be immensely proud of.
It’s an absolute triumph and one that the Jim Henson Company, Netflix, Brian Froud and all involved should be immensely proud of.
They have taken us back to the fantasies of our childhoods and that is a gift that we cannot be thankful enough for.
We sincerely hope there is more to come but if not then we guess “The hunt must end.”
The Dark Crystal and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance are available to stream on Netflix now and if you’ve seen it then let everyone know what you think of it in the comments below.
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