Julien Neaves, Caribbean Head Writer
Fire and ice. We have seen them in the third X-Men film as clashing mutant powers. In Game of Thrones there was dragon’s fire battling ice zombies. But as elements in a Trinidadian supernatural period drama webseries? Now that I had never seen until 2018’s The Fire Queen. And it was pretty dang awesome.
Written and directed by Damian Marcano (God Loves the Fighter, Chee$e, Heart of a Monster) The Fire Queen follows a ghetto boy named Ska (Omar Jarra) who scrapes out a living as chipping ice and gambling. While on the run from some gun-toting undesirables named Pillar and Post he runs into Tilly (Nat Buchanan), a free-spirited uptown girl who discovers she has an extraordinary ability.
Everything here works. And I mean everything. The acting is solid all around, with Jarra delivering on the understated emotion and Buchanan bringing a boundless energy to her role. We also have some fantastic performances by my late friend Chris Smith as Ska’s maniacal boss and veteran actor Albert Laveau as Ska’s father. Another veteran actor, Eunice Alleyne, also puts in strong work as Tilly’s family worker Miss Pearline.
The visuals here are also outstanding. There is a burnt tone to the colour palette which both works for the time setting (it seems to be early 80s) and the whole “fire” theme. The editing and shot choices have this wonderfully stylized, almost music video freneticism that works well. The music is also very well done. And while I am not the biggest fan of narration it is implemented effectively here, adding to the almost fairy tale tone. In terms of story Ska has the usual, tough ghetto life tale while Tilly’s dig deeper into a dark colonial past. And there is some special effects work that is simply mind-blowing. I won’t go any deeper as I am keeping this review spoiler free.
The Fire Queen was the planned pilot episode of a series but if there was a part two I haven’t found it. And that is a darn shame because there is so much brilliance on display here and after the intense cliffhanger at the end of Chapter One I am sure (like me) you will be begging for more. Let’s hope The Fire Queen burns bright again in some form or fashion.
And just a quick note, this show is for mature audiences and is NSFW with plenty of green verbs and some nudity. So yeah, this one is too hot for the kiddies. Puns. I got ’em.
Editor Jules’s Score: 8.5 out of 10
You can watch The Fire Queen for yourself by clicking here. And you can check out more great TT content below:
Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.