Frank Herbert's Children of Dune

Frank Herbert's Children of Dune
Frank Herbert's Children of Dune
Children of Dune 1.jpg
DVD cover
Written by Frank Herbert (novels)
John Harrison
Directed by Greg Yaitanes
Starring James McAvoy
Alec Newman
Julie Cox
Daniela Amavia
Alice Krige
Susan Sarandon
Language(s) English
Running time 266 min.
Preceded by Frank Herbert's Dune

Frank Herbert's Children of Dune is a three-part miniseries written by John Harrison and directed by Greg Yaitanes, based on Frank Herbert's novels Dune Messiah (1969) and Children of Dune (1976).

A sequel to the 2000 miniseries Frank Herbert's Dune (based on Herbert's 1965 novel Dune) and produced by the Sci Fi Channel, Children of Dune was first broadcast in the United States on March 16, 2003. As of 2004, this miniseries and its predecessor were two of the three highest-rated programs ever to be broadcast on the Sci-Fi Channel.[1]



Part One

Twelve years have passed since Paul Atreides had become Emperor at the end of Frank Herbert's Dune by seizing control of the planet Arrakis and forcing a union with the former Emperor's daughter, the Princess Irulan. Paul's Fremen armies have since launched several bloody jihads on a galactic scale to solidify his position. Deposed Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV and the rest of his family have been exiled to Salusa Secundus, where his other daughter Princess Wensicia plots to restore House Corrino to power. The Bene Gesserit, the Spacing Guild, and the Tleilaxu also plot to overthrow Paul's reign, aided even by rebel Fremen, who hate how Paul's terraforming project is changing Arrakis and the traditional Fremen way of life. The Tleilaxu present Paul with a gift: a ghola in the likeness of his friend Duncan Idaho, who had been killed during the events of Dune. However, they have secretly conditioned the ghola to assassinate Paul when triggered by certain words.

Though his prescient abilities reveal the dangers ahead, Paul allows the conspiracies to play out to avoid even worse consequences. He is attacked with a nuclear weapon called a stone burner and blinded, but still manages to "see" by following his prescient visions. Paul's concubine Chani gives birth to his twin children and dies soon afterwards. The Tleilaxu Face Dancer Scytale triggers Duncan's conditioning, but the trauma of potentially killing Paul not only breaks Duncan's programming, but unlocks the memories of his original incarnation. His plan foiled, Scytale threatens the lives of Paul's children; the unique nature of the infants(both being "pre-born" like Alia, but not abominations) allows Paul to see through the eyes of his son and kill Scytale. Following the Fremen tradition of abandoning the blind to the sandworms, Paul walks off alone into the desert. His empire secured, Paul's heirs are left in the care of his sister Alia.

Part Two

Paul's and Chani's children Leto II and Ghanima are now young adults. Married to Duncan, Alia is regent of Paul's empire and official guardian of the children. Princess Irulan has formed a close bond to them, and raised them as her own. Paul and Alia's mother Lady Jessica arrives on Arrakis to visit her grandchildren, but Alia fears that Jessica has resumed her allegiance to the Bene Gesserit and may be plotting against her. An individual known only as "The Preacher" has surfaced in the capital, speaking out against the decline of Paul's religion into ritualism, but Alia resists having him killed because she shares the popular belief that he is in fact a returned Paul. Like Leto and Ghanima, Alia is pre-born, gifted in the womb with abilities that also put her in danger at the hands of her ancestral memories. The persona of the evil Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, Alia's maternal grandfather whom she had herself killed as a child at the end of Dune, begins to assert control over her, and threatens to overtake Alia's consciousness altogether. Jessica and Irulan plot to spirit Leto and Ghanima away to safety, and Jessica herself flees Alia's wrath by seeking unlikely sanctuary with House Corrino. Meanwhile, Wensicia's own plot to assassinate the Atreides heirs fails, but gives Leto the opportunity to fake his own death and buy time to figure out how to overcome Alia.

Part Three

Alia's madness reaches its peak as Baron Harkonnen's grip on her consciousness strengthens and a civil war brews among rebel Fremen. Duncan murders Alia's lover Javid in Fremen leader Stilgar's sietch as a means of forcing Stilgar to lead the rebels; Duncan also knows in advance that by Fremen custom Stilgar must kill him as well. With a political marriage arranged by Jessica between Ghanima and Wensicia's son Farad'n Corrino, Farad'n reveals his mother to be the mastermind behind Leto's apparent death. A furious Alia has Wensicia imprisoned, but an appreciative Ghanima spares Farad'n the same fate.

Leto returns from the deep desert, having used sandtrout — the larval form of the Arrakis sandworms — to begin a destined transformation into something that can prevent humanity's potential destruction in the far future. In addition to his already-superhuman prescience and Bene Gesserit-like abilities, Leto acquires the superhuman speed, strength, and invulnerability of the sandworms themselves. He encounters The Preacher, whose identity as Paul is confirmed. Leto's prescient visions have convinced him that he must lead mankind along what he calls "the Golden Path," a plan that will ensure humanity's ultimate survival. Paul had been faced with the same choice of leading his empire along the Golden Path, but even he had been too frightened by the number of people who would die in the process and the sacrifices that needed to be made. Father and son return to the capital city of Arrakeen; Paul as The Preacher makes a final speech denouncing Alia and his own religion, and is stabbed to death by a rebel Fremen on the palace steps. Having planned to murder Farad'n on their wedding night, Ghanima is freed of the task by the return of Leto. He confronts Alia, who is possessed by the Baron but manages to commit suicide rather than be completely overtaken by him. Leto ascends the Imperial throne. In the final scene, Ghanima tells Farad'n how she pities her brother for the pain and suffering he will have to endure in the long life he has ahead.

Main cast

Actor Role
Alec Newman Paul Atreides/MuaD'ib
Julie Cox Princess Irulan
Edward Atterton Duncan Idaho
Ian McNeice Baron Vladimir Harkonnen
Barbora Kodetová Chani
Steven Berkoff Stilgar
Daniela Amavia Alia Atreides
P. H. Moriarty Gurney Halleck
James McAvoy Leto Atreides II
Jessica Brooks Ghanima Atreides
Jonathan Brüün Farad'n Corrino
Rik Young Javid
Martin McDougall Scytale
Alice Krige[2] Lady Jessica
Susan Sarandon Princess Wensicia
Jakob Schwarz Otheym
Klára Issová Lichna
Zuzana Geislerová Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam
Karel Dobry Korba
Gee Williams Bijaz


After production completed on the first miniseries (and before its broadcast), the Sci Fi Channel contracted writer/director Harrison to write a sequel. Harrison's idea for the next installment was to combine Frank Herbert's subsequent novels, Dune Messiah and Children of Dune. He has said in interviews that he believed both novels to be two parts of the same story, which essentially concludes the story of House Atreides.[3] The novel Dune Messiah is a shorter novel than either Dune or Children of Dune, coming in at only 222 pages versus 412 and 592 respectively.


The series' score was written by Brian Tyler in a span of one month, and is considered one of Tyler's best scores.[4][5] It contains 36 tracks.[6][7] The lyrics of the track "Inama Nushif," sung by Azam Ali,[8] are entirely in the fictional Fremen language, which Tyler pieced together from Fremen words and phrases appearing throughout Herbert's series of Dune novels.[9] The music has been reused in several theatrical trailers, including Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Cinderella Man, Kung Fu Panda, The Golden Compass, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Star Trek.[10]


  1. ^ Ascher, Ian (2004). "Kevin J. Anderson Interview". (Internet Archive). Archived from the original on July 3, 2007. Retrieved July 3, 2007. 
  2. ^ Harrison has stated in interviews that Krige was his first choice to play Jessica in the original miniseries, but she was unavailable and Saskia Reeves won the role. Krige was cast for the sequel miniseries when Reeves was unavailable.
  3. ^ Fritz, Steve (December 04, 2000). "DUNE: Remaking the Classic Novel". Retrieved March 14, 2010. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Azam Ali: The Landsraad Interview". The Landsraad. Retrieved 2006-11-11. 
  9. ^ Brian Tyler and Greg Yaitanes. "Children of Dune". Discography. Official website for film composer Brian Tyler. Retrieved 2006-11-11. 
  10. ^

External links

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