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Thanx to Andrey Lake Gladilin for permission to use this Lexx graphic!


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Giggerota the Wicked, Part One

Pix click to sources, which contain lots more material on Giggerota.

At first glance, Giggerota looks like an ordinary human gone way out of control, a captured fugitive from the law, not just a serial murderer, but a cannibal as well. Why, then, did His Shadow's biggest enemy, the arch heretic known as Thodin, rescue her from certain death during sentencing on the Cluster? Because he nearly didn't. It's possible that even in his rush, Thodin believed so strongly that His Shadow was enemy to all that every person under that Shadow had to be freed, that he couldn't walk away with that nagging guilt right here in the heart of the Cluster after all the years he'd spent working diligently to get there. As it turned out later, his brief act of compassion was a very good thing, even though Giggerota was a very bad person. We'll come back to that.

Screen snips are difficult since the action is a little blurry, but here you can appreciate that she is literally wearing her husband, a symbol of her defiance against the tyranny that created her.

Created her? Why do I say that? If you've not yet seen I Worship His Shadow, don't worry, this really won't spoil anything for you and might even make the scenes less confusing, once the action starts up. Lexx is a hit and run kind of show that expects you to keep up.

Let's think about "Giggy" for a moment. We don't see other people like her, especially when we are shocked in the second movie Super Nova to see that she has been genetically altered. Those of us who've ventured all the way through the Lexx series know that bioviziers from the Cluster can animate the dead, but what else can they do? They are brilliant geniuses given free license for experimentation without limitation- nothing is too taboo. I believe Giggerota is the result of one of their experiments. This is conjecture, but other reviewers hint to the possibility of genetic modification, as well.

Divine Assassins were animated rebuilt corpses of former enemies programmed to carry out instant 'justice', Cluster style. The modifications that designed Giggerota may have originally been intended to create a living breed of assassins that could replicate themselves. Giggy is smart, yet severely restricted in focus due to a driving instinctual blood lust. She can reason in a very limited way. It's as if the bioviziers were attempting to install an Insect hard drive into a genetically human body. (Mantrid later succeeded in combining his human mind with Insect Essence into a machine.)

I mention in I Worship His Shadow- part 5- The Time Prophet that His Shadow, despite apparently having a hive mind, is alone among humans. I think His Shadow was keen on creating a new Order of Insects after his kind were wiped out in the Insect Wars. We never find out whether Giggerota possesses Insect Essence or could pass that along if she did, but we do know His Shadow definitely wants her dead now. She is an experiment gone horribly awry, killing priests and smashing up temples, something not allowed in a society where religion is government control. Giggerota's rebellions presented the possible danger of leading others into an uprising.

A note on Insect Essence from Insect Tech... or, Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Bugs... Speculations on the Insect Civilisation-

"In Mantrid we're told it's the insects equivalent of a human "soul" or a computer "program." Without it, the Insect cannot become fully alive. It is the motivating force/mind life energy of the Insect."

Giggerota's first instinct, once freed, is to follow the meat instead of help free the other prisoners.

We saw in an earlier scene that fresh protein gathered from prisoners sentenced to death goes straight to the Lexx.

Since I'll be doing more in-depth on what actually happens as I continue the Lexx film review, let's skip to why Giggerota turns out to be so important.

First of all, I can't assume Thodin didn't know who and what Giggerota was. If you've read Heresy in the First Degree- Thodin of the Ostral-B Pair, you know I think that Giggy and Thodin were both on B3K before they were put on the prisoner transport for the Cluster. She's originally from Boron-7, which we get no further mention of or info about after her sentencing on the Cluster, so anything I think about it is my own leap into pure conjecture. I'll simply state that I think Boron-7 is one of the 'lab' planets where experiments are worked on away from regular society. Giggerota was 'born' there because she was created there. I don't believe she had parents and a normal childhood. Imagination can run wild about the secret horrors happening on Boron-7, and Thodin probably knew about it through his info-gathering underground network.

Thodin has been fighting against His Divine Shadow probably all his life, is famous throughout the League of 20,000 Planets and beyond, and I believe was hiding out on B3K after his own planet was destroyed, presumably by the planet destroyer known as the Megashadow, since Kai had damaged the Foreshadow. I think Giggerota wound up on B3K because she was sent there to be integrated into society. Rare scenes of temple weddings on B3K allude to a thriving well-ordered society that 'educates' women for the wife bank and regurgitates them into strictly monitored couples who continue to procreate and serve His Shadow. (We find out in the fourth movie Giga Shadow that people are the cattle that literally feed Order.)

Zev instinctively belting her new husband across the chops during the Giggerota rebellion was really bad timing, although I doubt Zev's sentence would have been reduced at any other time, given the harshness of their laws and judicial system. I also doubt Zev knew who Giggy was since she'd been in a box probably right up to the wedding, never seeing the outside world, but they wound up on a prisoner transport together, and later wound up on the Lexx together, Zev being genetically modified herself as well by then. These two both represent women starting out as less than third class citizens with their status being reduced to virtual property of the government, as I point out about Zev in I Worship His Shadow- Part 9- Thodin. Knowing all this, I believe Thodin likes that Giggerota backfired and rebelled against Order, and he probably freed her so she could go on to create more chaos. Distraction from his own plan to steal the Lexx could only be a good thing, right?

Back to why Giggerota is so important to the story. Hang on, let me briefly interrupt myself.

Lexx trivia about Giggerota from Ellen Dubin's facebook page.
"Ellen is also a cult figure in the sci-fi world for playing the wild alien cannibal Giggerota the Wicked in the international cult hit LEXX. She has the distinction of doing all four seasons and playing four different characters in this very popular show. Ellen played the first female Pope in sci-fi history in LEXX."

So right off the bat, there's that, but let's go a bit deeper. Giggerota's heavy influence haunted the crew far beyond death, as we shall see.

In season one, Giggerota is the one who gets Stanley to the bridge of the Lexx after Thodin is killed. Stanley accidentally got the key from one of the heretics after Thodin passed it along and then a cluster lizard ate the heretic. Once Stanley activated the Lexx with the key, it was Giggerota's idea to go to the Frontier, beyond the reach of the League of 20,000. Despite being thrown off the bridge and presumably dying, she shows up in the next movie, scavenging for food, tearing off and eating pieces of the Lexx...

...until she is caught again and tied up.

This is where we find out Giggerota is likely a product of bioengineering and possibly hosting Insect Essence, as evidenced by the Divine Predecessors in the tail section of the Lexx being able to contact her after the others leave her behind to explore Brunnis. The brains are apparently already aware of what's going on, presumably because they've had contact with Giggerota all along. Not much is known about Insect Essence, but I'm concluding from this that it allows for communication across distance, like a psychic link. This further confirms in my mind that Giggy is a product created by bioviziers with the intention of working for purposes that served His Shadow.

Despite her being a super egocentric psychopath with limited reasoning skills, the Predecessors are able to negotiate a deal with Giggerota to venture onto Brunnis and bring Stanley back so she can make the Lexx fly to a wonderful feast on Dexter 9, the secret planet of the milk fed boys. At first we think this backfires because she only brings back Stan's hand after she gets frustrated and bites it off.

Here we learn something vital about the key. One would presume that Stanley's hand must be brought back alive and still attached for the key to work, as the key can only exist in a living body. We must remember the key is a bio-amalgam of Insect Essence and Stan's hand. His hand apparently won't die just because it's bitten off, which the brains know but Giggy doesn't. A few Predecessors suffer a bit of shredding amid Giggy's frustrated rants when they chide her epic fail, but they're able to trick her, convincing her to go back for Stanley. After she leaves the Lexx again, the Predecessors practice communicating directly with the Insect essence within the key in Stan's hand until it recognizes the user and follows commands.

Since what I just said about the key brings up more questions, knowing that protoblood animates dead flesh, but the key will flee a dying body, just accept that essence and protoblood are two different Insect things, and that the key has been biochemically manipulated and coded, like a living software program. The key itself can't die, but it also won't keep the user animated beyond death. The Predecessors were still able to use the key in a severed hand because it hadn't fled the hand, since Stanley obviously wasn't anywhere near death when his hand was bitten off.

We were vitally distracted from why Giggerota's presence is still so important on Brunnis, despite all the damage and suffering she inflicted. If she hadn't been there, Stanley would never have been rescued from Poet Man, simply put.

And not to put too blunt a spoiler here, but since that's the extent of Giggerota's importance in season one, she croaked off, and I'm not going to tell you how, in case you haven't seen the show. But don't worry, we haven't seen the last of her by a long shot. By the way, if Giggerota really did have Insect Essence incorporated into her, this is the perfect way to actually kill her, aside from dismemberment and becoming Lexx food on the Cluster. I'm not sure she was killable otherwise.

Since this post is already pretty lengthy, I'll continue my Giggerota character review in a later post or two.

Giggerota was played by Ellen Dubin, who mentioned last spring that she still has the original Pope costume. Like her facebook page and follow her on twitter because she's really good about linking current projects and fan interaction.

My favorite latest annoucement is that Ellen will once again be working with Jeffrey Hirschfield (the voice of 790), executive producer of The Time Is Right.

Go on to part two.

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