At a time when television shows seem to be competing to be the next Game of Thrones, big budget shows filled with sprawling storylines and massive casts, it’s nice to get a series that feels a little smaller. Vagrant Queen feels like a show that would have been at home in the 90s or early 2000s. It’s more concerned with having fun and telling a good story than wowing the audience with empty visual spectacle.
The show follows Elida (Adriyan Rae), a scavenger and outlaw. It’s revealed, however, that Elida is actually princess Eldaya, the ruling monarch of the planet Ariopa, who’s been forced into hiding following a political coup. When her longtime friend Isaac (Tim Rozon) arrives with information about Elida’s mother she sets out to find her with the help of Isaac and mechanic Amae (Alex McGregor), whilst being hunted by the deadly Commander Lazaro (Paul du Toit).
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Despite the serious nature of the show, and the dark themes that it deals with, Vagrant Queen has a great sense of humour, and isn’t afraid to throw some downright silly moments in to break up the main quest to find Elida’s missing family. There’s an episode towards the end of the series that turns into a drunken murder mystery inspired by Cluedo, complete with the playing pieces, it’s so good.
The fact that the show doesn’t take itself one hundred percent seriously is a major bonus towards making it a lot of fun. The humour is well used, and doesn’t ever really feel forced, and it helps to balance out what could otherwise be a quite dark story. The humour also makes some of the more serious moments stand out too; there are some episodes that explore the backstory of characters like Elida and Lazaro that show that they’re more than just hero and villain, and that there is a lot more abuse and moral grey in their backgrounds that helped to shape them into who they are now.
The series clearly doesn’t have the same level of budget as some of the other sci-fi shows on offer at the moment, and there are times where some of the effects don’t quite fit, but this was never a problem for me, and actually went a long way towards adding to the charm of the series. The smaller budget, its sense of fun, and the amusing little detours it has amidst a series-long arc reminded me of shows I grew up watching in the 90s like Farscape.
The series has currently not been renewed for a second season, and fans are campaigning to bring Vagrant Queen back for another year. If this happens it’ll be great, as I’d love to have more of the show, but if not then this box set represents the complete show. Whilst it’s great to have the series all together in one set I was slightly disappointed that there was nothing on the discs other than the episodes.
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Where other shows include trailers, behind the scenes details, and even commentaries, this is a pretty bare set; you can get more behind the scenes details by looking at the social media of the series’ stars than on these discs. This is the only thing that really brings down the box set from a full 5 star rating. The show is amazing, but I’d have loved to learn a little more about it with some extras.
Vagrant Queen was a ton of fun, and it’s got some great moments that still stand out as some of the most entertaining I’ve seen on TV this year. I really hope that season two does go ahead, but if not I’m really glad that the show has come to home release.