Rated PG, Netflix
Announced by Lisa Henson as the “biggest puppet production ever mounted”, the scale of this sumptuous prequel series is staggering. Set before the beloved 1982 movie lovingly crafted by her father, Jim (Labyrinth, The Muppet Show), it builds out the world of Thra to Game of Thrones detail.
Once more pitting the sweet-natured and somewhat naïve Gelfling against the terrifying, vulture-like Skeksis, French director Louis Leterrier captures the glowing spirit of the original far better than his dire update on Clash of the Titans. There’s a fair whack of exposition crammed into the first two episodes, but when the ‘world-building’ is this magnificent, it’s forgivable.
The vocal cast is equally astounding, tapping Crazy Rich Asians star Awkwafina, Alien queen Sigourney Weaver and Star Wars’ Mark Hamill alongside Brits Helena Bonham Carter, Simon Pegg, Eddie Izzard and Toby Jones. There’s even a sprinkling of Thrones alumni in Lena Head, Natalie Dormer and Nathalie Emmanuel. And while the violence is far less brutal, the Skeksis retain their malevolence, set to spark nightmares for a new generation. Thrilling.