5 episodes in and the potential for this series finally jumps up a notch. ‘Flora or Fauna has the reintroduction of the humour style enjoyed by those who loved the original film, and surprisingly it doesn’t all come for Burt this time.
The fan boy, Graboid seeking Larry Norvel is the star of this show. He steals every scene he is in and is so upbeat and excited the whole time that he works as a perfect foil for Burt’s’ trademarked brand of cynicism and paranoia.
Once again scientists are visiting Perfection and a creation of the ‘mixmaster’ genetic material first mentioned in ‘Ghost Dance’ appears to torment the town and it’s inhabitants. Christopher Lloyd returns in his now typecast role of deranged scientist. Cletus’ return is welcome, he does have a way of explaining things, but he is overshadowed by the aforementioned Larry.
The ‘mixmaster’ plotline is where this series has a chance to really open up and explore. By this I not only mean the creatures/adversaries that the writers can invent but also with the main characters. The three known creatures (Graboids, Shriekers and Ass-Blasters) are all dealt with by the get a big gun and blast away technique! This means the townspeople don’t have to do much thinking or planning and the main dealers of death are Burt, Tyler and Rosalita. By introducing less physically dangerous creatures, as in the Fauna here in, it lets the other two characters, Jodi & Nancy, get involved.
The plants discovered in this episode are the kind that will make a refreshing change of pace. Maybe they look like miniature versions of Seymour (Little shop of Horrors) but they are the most dangerous creations to have appeared in the series so far.
Perhaps the only downside to this episode is that it does show how a really good guest star can overshadow the main cast. As I said earlier Larry takes over this episode. He gels well with the rest of the cast and fits in with the general weirdness of all the town’s inhabitants.
The fact though that he does take over the show does highlight how weak most of the ‘stars’ are. They are all very cliched in their own way and the writers really need to broaden them out a bit.