While doing a little research into the guests at this year’s Pensacon I happened upon the listing for Virginia Hey’s Guided Meditation event happening this year. And within moments I had fallen down a rabbit hole.
Twice in my life I had been totally enamored with Ms Hey, the first time in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior where she played “the warrior woman” or as I remember her, warrior woman in white, then later in what is surely her best known work, Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan from the critically acclaimed sci-fi series Farscape.
Farscape’s Zhaan was a character few could ignore, she was a beautiful and powerful blue skinned high-priestess, the type of woman you are immediately attracted to and yet totally intimidated by. I was in love. The series lasted four seasons and ended with a television movie to tie up the loose ends (we reviewed the box set in December of 2013.)
I had heard that after acting Ms Hey, a certified Reiki practitioner, formed White flower lei where she sells handmade soaps & perfumes, and blissful De-stress Meditations. It seemed to fit so well with the personality I had seen in her interviews and behind the scenes footage throughout the years, but I kept hoping she’d return to the screen. It seemed Zhaan would be Virginia’s last recurring character, she appeared only twice after that series having a role in 2011’s Alien Armageddon and then voicing a character in 2014 on Rick and Morty. It really felt like a loss such beauty and talent and no roles for her?
Well seeing her listed in the Pensacon guest list prompted me to check her imdb page yet again. This time? A new series, Kosmos!
In Kosmos we meet Philip Huyt, played by Jeff Dahlgren, his wife Amy is in a coma and everyone seems content to let her go. He is holding on to hope, though there seems no valid reason to do so. As the first episode slowly unfolds we realize this isn’t a simple drama, there are some very strange things going on here. The first indication that all isn’t what it seems is the weird thread running through all the characters recollections. They all say something like “We all knew it was coming. We all knew Amy would someday wind up in a coma.” But none of them can answer why. Or even how for that matter. It’s as if they all woke up that morning, with Amy in a coma, and they just proceeded as if this was normal. But why?
The writer, producer, director of the mini-series, Simon Horrocks doesn’t seem to want to tell us how real this reality is, he’d rather just keep building the tension. Characters appear and disappear, and every time the story gets more surreal, every time I start to think maybe this is all going on in Philip’s mind we see another characters point of view or a plot twist happens without directly involving Philip.
The whole series has an eerie creepy quality to it, the lighting is off, the characters all seem rather odd. Even the acting seems a little off. It feels like a cross between David Lynch and Terry Gilliam. And that’s a good thing.
Even viewing the show is a bit surreal. You go to enterkosmos.com and after you’re registered you can watch the episodes. When the web-series began a specific number of unique viewers was needed for each episode to be unlocked. At this point all five are available, the numbers having been met by a large margin, but the site remains as if the series was just launched. It just seems strange.
Update 08/2/16: The website has since been removed but you can watch the entire series on the BodyDoubleFilms’ youtube channel!
But what about Virginia, the actress that brought me to this heavy strange drama about life, death, and whatever is in between? She plays Amy’s mother, Diana Lord, a character who is a total one hundred and eighty degree turn from the role I fell in love with her in. She’s harsh, mean, duplicitous, possibly even evil. The opposite of the beautiful creature of healing she is known for playing. And she nails it. If it weren’t for her trademark voice I wouldn’t believe it was her.
Another notable performance is given by Doctor Who’s Davros himself, Terry Malloy, who plays Amy’s father. Terry played Davros, if I remember correctly, as an evil, intelligent, meglo-maniacal genius. This time he too is playing the opposite of what he’s known for. I have to believe this was on purpose, I have to believe that Horrocks was trying to keep us off-balance. In casting these actors who totally against their established types he gives us performances that though completely believable, feel foreign and uncomfortable at times to watch. This reinforces my belief that it’s his intention that this series feels as odd, as off-putting as it does.
This is an odd, darkly trippy show, from the directing to the acting to the choice of The Ink Spots “Do I Worry” as both the opening and closing theme, but it’s that kind of odd that you should experienced.
Go to enterkosmos.com (BodyDoubleFilms on Youtube)and watch Kosmos. Then come back and let us know what you thought.