Directed by: Guillaume Lubrano (all episodes)
A sci-fi Anthology series based on stories from the French publication Metal Hurlant, this presents a diverse range of stories starring some of the best known genre actors from film and tv.
Whiskey in the Jar
Starring: Michael Beihn, James Marsters
Set in the wild west, Michael Beihn stars as the local sheriff who is interviewing a newcomer for the position of town doctor, and begins to tell the tale of what happened to the previous doctor. He was a decrepit drunk whose hands would constantly shake during surgery, causing many of his patients to die on the operating table. That is, until he's given special healing powers by a passing asteroid, and suddenly he can bring anybody back from the brink of death...This is actually one of the most well-rounded stories in this collection, with a decent twist to the end of the tale. Both Beihn and Marsters do a good job in their roles.
Starring: Michelle Lee, Michael Jai White, Darren Shahlavi, Silvio Simak
Set in the midst of the war between humans and an alien race called Mecamorphes, a group of soldiers must infiltratethe heart of the enemy's territory and let loose the Endomorph, a young boy who is prophesised to be their saviour. This episode stars martial arts heavyweights Michael Jai White, the late Darren Shahlavi and the awesome Silvio Simak. The story itself is almost non-existent but it does have a pretty off-kilter twist to the ending.
Starring: Karl E. Landler, John Rhys-Davies, Marem Hassler
As a defeated empire retreats from their home planet in an armada of spaceships, their princess is struck down with a chilling disease. Her loyal soldier, Khondor, vows to find a cure, seeking an alchemist who may have the antidote. His quest takes him to a certain outpost where he has a rather excellent fight scene in an elevator and literally bumps into Scott Adkins' character from the next episode.
Starring: Frederique Bel, Karl E. Landler, Guillaume Dolmans
Two brothers battle for control of a kingdom with unique values over life and death. This is a strange episode which really doesn't go anywhere. There are some nice sword-fighting scenes but its a real head-scratcher which seems to just randomly end.
Starring: Scott Adkins, Lygie Duvivier
Scott Adkins stars as Joe, a notorious gambler and space trucker trying his luck on a seedy outpost in space. This is quite a departure from the sort of character you'd usually associate with Scott - it's much more in the vein of a character from Firefly, and Scott gets to smile a lot! The only issue I have with this episode is the ending seems like it was randomly selected by someone dipping their hand in a bag of twist endings.
Back to Reality
Starring: Dominique Pinon, Jimmy Jean-louis, Lygie Duvivier
A dream fixer allows people to dream themselves into a new reality - but does he have his own agenda? This starts well but becomes more and more convolutedas it goes on. It does however have a great scene where office worker Dominique Pinon takes bloody revenge on his bullying boss.
The main draw to this series is the cast, showing the French know their genre stars. The ideas are there, but the short running times (each episode run approx 20 minutes) doesn't allow for the stories to be fleshed out in any meaningful way, and some of the endings are just so random.
6 Out of 10 (MikeOutWest)