OCT 12, 2O01

Sci-fi series 'Lexx' sells space junk





IT WAS DUSTY, it was dark and it was, as promised, full of "mighty weird stuff." And what a better time to hold a huge garage sale of discarded Lexx items than just before Halloween?

What else would you do with a big bee suit? Or how about a stunning pair of overalls made from what looked like old potato sacks? And there were the de rigueur rubber outfits, whose use I wouldn't even want to hazard a guess at.

Over two days, Salter Street, producers of the sci-fi series Lexx: The Dark Zone, have been selling off props, costumes and other assorted junk needed to produce any television show, but certainly all the more strange when we're talking about Lexx.

The series, currently in its fourth season on Space, is well known for its kitschy and racy intergalactic style, something that Thursday's early-bird shoppers found out as they entered the cavernous Electropolis studios on the waterfront.

Poised at the front door was a $50 plastic moth thingy, obviously strategically placed to entice fans of the series.

After that came tables and tables strewn with everything from household items (spatulas and can openers, $3!), rolls and rolls of old wire, lamps, every imaginable type of electronic gadgetry, leopard print fabric, tacky paintings, mailboxes, vacuum hoses, rubber tubing, a disturbing amount of bubble bath and on and on and on.

Of course, the most interesting finds were at the back of the sound stage, which for the two days has been transformed into some surreal Sunday flea market.

In a caged-off section were racks of costumes, including the aforementioned bee suit, chicken heads, flight suits, high-heeled shoes and skimpy lingerie, perhaps worn by Lexx sex slave Xev on the series.

Also stored in the corner was another big plastic bug, painted an attractive reddish brown, about the same shade as sewage run-off.

A note at the front of the room said that any of the items unsold by today would be auctioned off on the Internet site e-bay. I'd pay about 50 cents for the big bug.

Other than one man who was seen taking out armloads of costumes and other items of clothing, enough to fill his aging station wagon, most shoppers appeared to be either students looking for cheap lamps or those looking for an unusual Halloween costume.

I'm not sure I wanted to see who would be interested in the life-size blow-up doll ("your ever-loving tiger") that promised to provide all the pleasure a man - or, I guess, a woman - could want in a rubber mate. I want even less to know what the doll was used for on the show.

In its four years on the air in Canada and around the world, Lexx has garnered a devoted following for its cheeky humour and somewhat juvenile sexual imagery.

The basic story is that the outcast crew flies about in the Lexx, which happens to be a giant bug, although this year they have arrived on Earth.

As we speak, the production team for Lexx and its stars Michael McManus (Kai), Brian Downey (Stanley Tweedle), Xenia Seeberg (Xev) are off to Thailand and Japan to shoot new episodes.

Imagine the exotic junk they might have to sell after that trip.

Speaking of Salter Street, the production company's long-running comedy This Hour Has 22 Minutes returns tonight, with Colin Mocherie behind the faux newsdesk following the exit of Rick Mercer.

The ninth-season opener finds Marg Delahunty (Mary Walsh) going nose to nose with Joe Clark, while Mocherie visits the Antiques Road Show.

One Salter Street show I'd like to see have a garage sale is Made in Canada.

Instead of discarded rubber prostheses, Made in Canada's cast-offs would be far more chic, considering the cast is playing high-salaried television executives. Alas, I will instead have to watch the season debut tonight at 9:30 p.m.

In the fourth season of the comedy, Richard (star Rick Mercer) hires a top-notch story consultant to write two hit TV series as the firm tries to break into the lucrative American market, while Victor wants to join an all-female gym.