FRANK HERBERT'S CHILDREN OF DUNE
Teleplay by John Harrison
based on the novels Dune Messiah and Children of Dune
"When religion and politics ride in the same cart...the whirlwind follows."
Twelve years have passed since Paul "Muad'dib" Atreides became Emperor by vanquishing Shaddam IV and assuming rule of the planet Arrakis ("Dune"), home of Spice, the most valuable commodity in the universe. Since his ascension to the throne, his fervent followers have fought a brutal jihad in his name that has spanned the known universe. Paul recognizes that the revolution he inspired has become perverted, brutal and totalitarian. As ruler, he longs to enact change, but he must contend with his own deification, as well as the threats to his rule both internal and external.
Inside, the Priests, the bureaucrats and the fanatics of his theocracy will do anything to protect their own power and privilege. Outside, a cunning alliance of former enemies, including Princess Wensicia of the deposed House Corrino, the Bene Gesserit sisterhood and the Spacing Guild conspire against him in the hopes of regaining power.
Paul realizes the only way to rid the Empire of its corruption is for Maud'dib the god to cease to exist. He has visions of a son who will return peace to the universe by guiding man down the "Golden Path." During a failed assassination attempt on his life, Paul is blinded. After his beloved concubine Chani dies giving birth to twin heirs, Leto II and Ghanima, Paul wanders off into the desert, perhaps never to be seen again.
In Paul's absence, his sister, Alia, rules as Regent in the name of the children. Alia awoke to consciousness while still in the womb and suffers the curse of all of those who are "pre-born"; the memories of her ancestors float within her, waiting to be awakened. In an attempt to see the future, she begins taking large quantities of spice. However, the spice awakens memories and personalities within, including that of the evil Baron Harkonnen, her maternal grandfather, who vies for control of her mind. As she slips further into a possessed state, her only comfort comes from her husband, a clone of the trusted Atreides warrior, Duncan Idaho.
Paul's twin children, Leto and Ghanima, are also "pre-born." They are now 'of age' and Leto will soon take over the throne. Haunted by visions of a far off place, Leto slowly sees that he is destined to play a role far greater than Emperor.
Alia's increasingly erratic behavior and the resulting civil unrest on Arrakis is the talk of the empire. Old enemies of the Atreides see their rule as vulnerable. On planet Selusa Secundus, Princess Wensicia devises a plan to assassinate the royal heirs.
As Leto's investiture approaches, Lady Jessica returns to Arrakis from the Atreides home world, Caladan. Irrevocably strained relations between mother and daughter are further worsened when Jessica realizes what is happening to Alia: Abomination, defined by the Bene Gesserit as complete possession of a pre-born by an ancestral spirit. Jessica fears her grandchildren will suffer the same fate if left to Alia's care.
Meanwhile, a mysterious preacher blows into Arrakeen from the desert, proclaiming that the blessings of Muad'dib have been corrupted. His words provoke contempt among the masses. Civil war brews. Alia attempts to exploit this atmosphere of civil unrest by ordering her mother's assassination. The attempt fails. Meanwhile, the twins escape into the deep recesses of the desert, only to meet with blood-thirsty tigers bred by Princess Wensicia.
Surviving the tiger attack, Leto is put to the test in the desert. There he must silence the voices in his head if he is to guide humanity down the "Golden Path" or suffer the same fate as his aunt.
To protect herself from Alia, Jessica flees Arrakis and is forced to form an alliance with the Corrinos on Salusa Secundus. In exchange for sanctuary, Jessica teaches Princess Wensicia's son, Farad'n, the Bene Gesserit ways. Soon his commitment to his mother's conspiracy against the Atreides begins to wane. A proposal is then made that would unite House Corrino and House Atreides through the marriage of Ghanima and Farad'n. The hope is that this union will stabilize the Empire.
Once on Arrakis, Farad'n quickly offers up his mother as his wedding gift to Ghani. However, before they can say "I do", Leto emerges from the desert to dethrone Alia and put an end to the growing civil war. Ultimately, the fate of Arrakis - and humanity - is left with Leto. He has taken a path to demystify his father. He must sacrifice his own physicality and freedom, in order that mankind control its own destiny
"Every revolution carries within it the seeds of its own destruction...."
SCI FI Channel's December 2000 presentation of New Amsterdam Entertainment's Emmy Award-winning six-hour epic Frank Herbert's Dune was a star-studded action adventure that wove a complex tale of messianic compulsion, ruthless power manipulation, back-stabbing betrayal and heart-rending love. Wrapped in a stunningly visual package, the miniseries garnered two Emmy Awards (Outstanding Cinematography/Special Visual Effects) and became the most-watched program in the history of the SCI FI Channel. It also earned a place among the Top 10 highest-rated original basic cable miniseries in the past five years.
Frank Herbert's Dune told of the adventures of young Paul Atreides, heir to a political dynasty and destined to become the next messiah. Taking place amidst an ongoing power struggle among the Great Royal Houses in the year 10191, the saga began with the Emperor sending House Atreides to the desert planet Arrakis to oversee production of "spice" the most precious commodity in the universe. But when Paul's father, Duke Leto Atreides, is assassinated by rivals within House Harkonnen, Paul and his mother, a mystical 'Bene Gesserit' witch with powers of mind control, are forced to escape into the desert. Under his mother's tutelage, Paul hones his own considerable Bene Gesserit gifts, and begins to see into the future. Rescued by the Fremen, a fierce desert people who believe the young Atreides to be 'Mah'di' the messiah of their legends Paul begins to recognize his power to shape the future.
Eventually, Paul accepts the mantle of his fate. Using the Fremen "desert power," Paul, now known as Muad'Dib, leads his people in a successful revolt against his enemies in the corrupt House Harkonnen. As this first miniseries in the Dune saga draws to a close, Muad'Dib unites the ruling houses and preserves peace by marrying the Emperor's daughter, Princess Irulan. But it is a marriage in name only, as his heart belongs to his concubine, Chani, the future mother of his heir.
In Frank Herbert's Children of Dune, we rejoin Muad'Dib twelve years later. He has come to witness his glorious revolution become a bloody jihad, with all manner of corruption performed in his name. While bound to Irulan in a loveless marriage made for political expediency, Paul has become Emperor of a society terrorized by its own soldiers. The freedom he fought for has become a dictatorship of his own making, and he has become the figurehead of a theocracy of which he wants no part.
Further complicating matters, conspiracies to gain political power abound, especially from Irulan's sister, Princess Wensicia. Paul's power base is also eroding from within. His highly ambitious sister, Alia, is gaining a political foothold. He is surrounded by corrupt priests and bureaucrats and eventually comes to realize that the only hope for the future may lay in the hands of his twin heirs, son Leto II and daughter Ghanima. Ultimately, the only salvation from the revolution begun by Muad'Dib may be the absolute destruction of his myth. And the tempest begun by the father must somehow be ended by the son.
JOHN HARRISON, director of Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, writer of Dinosaur and writer/director of Frank Herbert's Dune was entrusted with the job of adapting Dune Messiah and Children of Dune, the second and third novels respectively of Frank Herberts's six-book Dune Chronicles, into another blockbuster television event. Frank Herbert's Children of Dune marks the first time that either book has been adapted for the large or small screen.
According to Harrison, "Children of Dune is a musing on several themes that come out of Frank Herbert's work. One is that every revolution contains the seeds of its own destruction. The second is a phrase that comes right from Herbert, but is applicable to human history, 'when religion and politics ride in the same cart, the whirlwind follows.'"
Children of Dune's stellar ensemble cast includes Academy Award-winner SUSAN SARANDON as the deliciously evil Princess Wensicia, ALICE KRIGE, EDWARD ATTERTON, STEVEN BERKOFF, and newcomers DANIELA AMAVIA, JAMES MCAVOY and JESSICA BROOKS. Reprising their roles from the first miniseries are ALEC NEWMAN as Paul, BARBARA KODETOVA as Chani, JULIE COX as Princess Irulan and P.H. MORIARTY as Gurney Halleck.
Many members of the extraordinary production team who worked on Frank Herbert's Dune have also returned for the production of Frank Herbert's Children of Dune. Leading the team again is Executive Producer RICHARD P. RUBINSTEIN, whose credits include the 8-hour Stephen King's The Stand and Stephen King's Pet Sematary. Emmy-winning Producer DAVID KAPPES (Anne Frank) also returns, as do Emmy-winning Visual Effects Supervisor ERNEST D. FARINO, Editor HARRY B. MILLER, III, Associate Producer MICHAEL MESSINA, and Academy Award-winning Costume Designer THEODOR PISTEK (Amadeus).
New to the Dune miniseries family are Director GREG YATAINES (CSI: Miami, The Invisible Man), Director of Photography, ARTHUR REINHART and Emmy-winning production designer, ONDREJ NEKVASIL (Anne Frank).
The Back Story
The Story of Paul Atreides and Dune
The adventures of Paul Atreides, heir to a political dynasty, began in the year 10191. In the midst of an ongoing power struggle among the Great Royal Houses, the Emperor Shaddam IV sent House Atreides to the desert planet Arrakis (also known as Dune) to oversee the production of Spice. Spice is the most precious substance in the universe because it makes possible interstellar space travel; extends life; and enables people to see into the future.
Soon after the Atreides' arrival on Arrakis, Paul's father, Duke Leto Atreides, was assassinated by rivals from House Harkonnen. Paul and his mother, Lady Jessica, a mystical "Bene Gesserit" witch with powers of mind control, were forced to escape into the desert.
Rescued by the Fremen, a fierce desert people who believed the young Atreides to be the Mah'di the messiah of their legends Paul began to recognize his power to shape the future. Under his mother's tutelage, he honed his own considerable Bene Gesserit talents and began to see into the future.
Eventually, Paul accepted the mantle of his fate. Marshalling the Fremen "desert power," Paul now known as Muad'Dib led the Fremen in a successful revolt against his enemies, the corrupt House Harkonnen. He seized control of all Spice production on Arrakis and forced the emperor and other Great Royal Houses to accept him as their new ruler.
Muad'Dib preserved peace and united the ruling houses by marrying the Emperor's daughter, Princess Irulan. But it was a marriage in name only, because Muad'dib's heart belongs to his concubine, Chani, the future mother of his heir.
1 encoding (US and Canada only)
Video compression mode : MPEG-2
TV system : 625/50(PAL)
Aspect Ratio : 16:9
Display Mode : Both Pan-scan and Letterbox
Source picture resolution : 720x576 (625/50)
Frame Rate : 25.00
Source picture letterboxed : Not letterboxed
Bit Rate : 9.00Mbps
Audio Coding mode : Dolby AC-3
Sampling Rate : 48kHz
Audio application mode : Not specified
Number of Audio channels : 6
Bit Rate : 448.00 Kbps
Number of Audio streams : 1
SubPic Attribute :
Number of Sub-titles : 1
2 The reverend mother
3 next stop arrakis
4 The evil harkonnen
5 House atreides now
6 They fear us
7 Signals in the dark
8 This is Dr Kynes
9 Desert Tour
10 Feyd fights a slave
11 What is muad'dib
12 Hunter Seeker
13 Harkonnen setback
14 Atreides Dinner Party
15 Paul & the princess
16 Fremen / Atreides
18 Atreides is Dead
19 They Flee
20 Closing Credits
2 It was Yueh
3 Angry Princes
4 A close encounter
5 Finding the fremen
6 Girl in your Dreams
7 To the death Boy
8 A new name
9 Express worm
11 Reverend mothers visitor
12 I in the mood for a party
13 Fremen leaders meet
14 Mother & son
15 Chani and muad'dib
16 The weirding way
17 The water of life
18 Changing the water
19 You make me see things
20 closing credits
2 Duke leto's remains
3 Baron & Feyd's pledge
4 My children are not freaks
5 Muad'dib rides the worm
6 Gurney & Paul reunited
7 Your highness is perceptive
8 Guild agent is captured
9 Emperor Summons the Baron
10 Gurneys mistaken revenge
11 Muad'dib drinks the water of life
12 Jessica sees the light
13 Take your place muad'dib
14 The sleeper has awoken
15 Zadaka Attack
16 A message for the emperor
17 My brother comes
18 Robbon is beheaded (yes robbon is spelt wrong)
19 Muad'dib Threatens the empire
20 Closing credits
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by James Van Hise