Disclaimer: I own nothing. “Ice Planet Barbarians” is a book series written by Ruby Dixon, and I am just a weird person who got obsessed. I do think it would be a great TV show and that’s why I’m writing about it, as well as spending too much time working on a fancast for the full cast. Pretty much everything below is fanfiction and at best this is my audition to one day be a writer for the hypothetical TV show.
Queen Ruby strikes me as a very cool person who would be down with adding more LGBTQ+ characters to her series, but as she mainly writes M/F romances, those just didn’t come up naturally. The first openly bisexual character was Steph (and arguably Juth) in “Steph’s Outcast,” and as much as I liked the character, I would have liked to see more representation. I think that if “Ice Planet Barbarians” were a TV show, it would be greatly improved by the addition of a few LGBTQ+ characters who get their own happily ever afters.
The fun thing about alien abduction is that it is a fantastic vehicle for diverse casting! If aliens were cruising all along the United States picking up random young ladies, then those aliens could pick up a person from any kind of background. I think “Ice Planet Barbarians: The TV Show” should embrace this opportunity, especially with LGBTQ+ casting!
While I’m sure some of the women happily mated to Sa-khui gentlemen may be bi- or pansexual, I think adding a few LGBTQ characters and showing their reactions to Not-Hoth, (and the wildness that is resonance) would add so much to the story. So, what kinds of characters did I add, and how would they fit into the series?
Alternative Universe Characters:
In “Ice Planet Barbarians,” Krissy dies when the cargo bay crashes into Not-Hoth. We know nothing about her and her passing is mourned in Georgie and Vektal’s Honeymoon book. It is also heavily implied that her corpse was just chilling there while all the other girls were starving to death in the freezing cold. It is a total bummer and I want to propose an alternative:
During the crash, Krissy and Peg are in a different part of the cargo bay, which splits off from the rest of the group. The two miraculously survive and are discovered during different seasons of the show. Krissy has a khui somehow and no memory of how she got it. While on Earth, Krissy was a talented zoo veterinarian from San Diego just beginning her career, and she’s thrilled to be on a new planet with the opportunity to study new creatures (think a little bit of Devi from “Devi’s Distraction” and a whole lot of “Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet“). She also has the most advanced medical knowledge, which occasionally puts her at odds with Maylak (the nice lady who referred to the placenta as the “life meat” and didn’t know how to deliver a breech baby). The two eventually become close friends and learn from each other.
Krissy is a lesbian and is not thrilled about resonating to Vadren, but approaches the situation analytically and is willing to “complete resonance” if it’s what their khuis demand. The two get off to a bit of an awkward start, but soon realize that they’re meant to be in each other’s lives as friends. They become co-parenting experts and Vadren happily supports Krissy in her Not-Hoth veterinary work. Vadren also supports her when she eventually falls in love with Peg.
I think this character should be portrayed by Kristina Pupo. Kristina is relatively unknown – per her IMDB, her biggest role to date is as Ana Elías in “Rational Creatures,” a modern, diverse retelling of my all-time favorite book “Persuasion.” I hope she’s cast in more roles after the second season premiere of “Rational Creatures,” because she has a lovely, grounded presence and was well-cast as a 21st-century version of Anne Elliot. Kristina is also currently directing and starring in an LGBTQ series “Out in Love,” though I’m not sure when that will be premiering.
Reason for the character: Most of the women on Not-Hoth are nice ladies with a basic understanding of science. I would love to see how a doctor would live on the planet! I think it could open up all kinds of dramatic possibilities. For example, with all of those pregnant women, what if one of them needed a c-section? Maylak couldn’t do it, but a vet with surgical experience may help even out the odds.
In the series, Vadren is one of the oldest Sa-khui at over 160. Once upon a time, he was happily banging Kemli until she resonated to Borran, a younger guy in the tribe. Years later, once all of their kiddos are happily married off, Vadren joins Kemli and Borran in their bed. Honestly, good for them. I want to change nothing about that. Except with the addition of Krissy, I want to add some complexity to Vadren’s storyline.
I think it’s interesting that all the Sa-khui men are more than happy to get down and dirty with these scrawny humans. So what if Vadren, a crusty old man with seemingly no interest in the human woman, resonated to one of them? I think it would be fascinating if he resonated to Krissy but refused to go through with it because 1. he’s old as hell, and 2. the thought of mating with a human is nauseating. Thus we’ll have another first on this planet: the first artificial insemination. Using paleolithic tools. (It would easily be the most uncomfortable and hilarious scene in the show)
I imagine that although Vadren and Krissy are not together romantically, the two will still care deeply for each other’s well-being. Vadren will consider himself the “luckiest of males” because he has a smart mate who he loves, but also allows him to live authentically in his sunset years. So when I thought of the kind of guy I’d like to see in a role that involves respecting and supporting the woman in his life (even if they’re not “together” like that), I thought of the original himbo: Brendan Fraiser. Although Brendan is in his early 50’s, I think he would be a strappingly handsome and dignified Vadren.
I think this casting choice is obvious considering he’s in two of my recommendations from the article “10 Movies to Watch After Reading Ice Planet Barbarians.”
Reason for the character: I love stories about two people who care for each other, but are not destined to be romantic. I think Vadren deserves that kind of love and through his resonance and strong friendship with Krissy he’ll find a new purpose in his life. I also think stories about successful co-parenting deserve to be told. Vadren will love and support Krissy and their child(ren) but their relationship will be a little different, and that’s okay.
Babies are cute as hell, but not all women want to be mothers (and not all women can be mothers). All of the women in Ice Planet Barbarians eventually have children, but I think this hypothetical TV needs a character who does not follow that path. Thus we have Peg, who will also miraculously survive the crash and *spoiler alert* be found by Lila and Rokan during their adventure. At first, the tribe will be thrilled to have another female human join their ranks. After all, that means another lonely hunter has a chance at love!
Peg, on the other hand, will be disgusted.
I propose that in this story, our Peg is a fiercely independent, asexual, Trekkie. She is also a little anti-natalist with a case of tokophobia. She does not want resonance, babies, or any of that. The thought of giving birth to a cute little horned human-alien hybrid makes her vagina hurt. Back on Earth, Peg was unemployed, but she had dreams of opening her own gym and teaching self-defense classes. She grew up in Humboldt County as a CODA, and although she was close to her father, she had a bad relationship with her siblings. An injury from her older brother gave her Tinnitus, which would eventually be healed by her khui.
Eventually, Peg moved to Idaho, where she met the newly emancipated Josie, who became her roommate. The two were incredibly close, almost like sisters. Even though they had different life goals, they still supported each other, and Josie was devastated when Peg was lost in the initial crash. Josie is overjoyed at Peg’s return, though their situations will be different, as Josie will be in an established relationship with Haeden, and Peg now needs to figure out what to do with her life (and also try to avoid the scores of horny Sa-Khui men).
Peg gets out of resonance in a weird way. As much as she doesn’t want it, resonance cannot be denied, so upon her introduction to the tribe, she immediately feels that tell-tale rumble in her chest when she sees Old Deuteronomy, the oldest member of the tribe. Old Deuteronomy, in response to this, dies immediately, leaving Peg a widow. Peg is very much okay with this arrangement, if a little weirded out by the experience.
Although she will never be a mother, Peg will be essential for the tribe in other ways – she’ll be an active part of the community, taking part in hunting and planning no-poison day activities. Her character is asexual, but not aromantic, and she still wants to be able to connect with someone and feel loved. She and Krissy are going to bond over their shared experience (and mutual love of Star Trek) and this friendship will eventually blossom into a romantic relationship.
Reason for the character: There needs to be at least one character who doesn’t care about spurs. There also needs to be a character who is happy not having children, because that’s not the path for everyone. I also wanted to make her a CODA because I think there should be another character who understands sign language and deaf culture. I think this change will allow for Lila’s character to develop a little more beyond her inability to hear (which makes up most, if not all, of her plot).
I’m calling him this because his character serves no purpose other than to be too old. He will make eye contact with Peg, feel the beginning thrums of resonance, and then have a heart attack and die. The tribe will react to his passing with an “Eh, he was like, 200 years old and kind of a d*ck so it’s amazing it didn’t happen sooner.”
This actor needs to appear in only one scene, so I’m going to cast George Takei, because he’s got a cool sense of humor and would probably be down.
Reason for the character: I quite literally invented this character because my friend suggested to me that, “one of the human women should kill one of the creepy Sa-khui men” for drama’s sake. This seemed like the best possible outcome for that suggestion.
Do you know what sounds better than two sisters? Three sisters. I think that it has a beautiful ring to it.
I’ve been critical of Maddie and Lila’s relationship in the past, mostly because I felt it was unequal. I think Maddie was unfairly villainized for not adjusting to the Not-Hoth lifestyle and Lila was pretty self-centered and unsupportive. I want to change up their dynamic by adding a third sibling: a middle sister, Natalie.
Natalie is a young transgender woman and talented musician who dreams of one day finding true love and starting her own family. She had a good life back on Earth. She liked living in Arizona, working her day job at a fancy spa in Scottsdale, and rocking out with her band in the evening. She often clashed with Maddie, whom she felt like could be controlling and nagging, and she’s one of the few people willing to challenge her.
When she arrives on Not-Hoth, she’s terrified of the ice planet crawling with prehistoric monsters and desperately clings to the hope of going home. When she first meets the tribe, she’s friendly and integrates herself (unlike Maddie, who alienates everyone), but she’s afraid to leave the cave. Natalie does not like to stir the pot and has no interest in upsetting the people of the tribe. If anything, she goes out of her way to make herself useful, bringing what skills she has from Earth to improve life on the planet (aka she sort of becomes the unofficial massage therapist of the tribe). This unfortunately leads to situations where she makes sacrifices to ensure the comfort of the people around her, something she also did on Earth. To Maddie and Lila, it will initially seem as though she’s successfully integrated when in reality all she wants is to go home. The conflict between her oldest and youngest sister will only intensify her longing for things to go back to the way they were.
A few things help her journey on Not-Hoth. For one, she develops a genuine friendship with Ariana, who is more than thrilled to be in the very unlikely position of Not-Hoth mentor (Zolaya will be equally thrilled to see Ariana form a friendship with someone). Second, she eventually realizes how much she appreciates having Maddie in her life, and Maddie in turn promises to find a way to make Natalie happy on Not-Hoth. Third, she meets Steve the alien, the quiet man who thinks she’s the sun and the moon (but who has a few issues of his own that he needs to work through).
Now for the obvious question: as a trans woman, will Natalie ever resonate to anyone? Well…. honestly, I don’t know. I know this character wants to be a mother and would happily welcome children into her life, but she’s not sure to whom it would be or how. I will say for this series, by the end of season 4 (which will be the natural conclusion for the series after “Barbarian’s Hope”), she will not have resonated to anyone, but that does not mean that a future resonance is impossible. What does matter is that I want this character to get her happily ever after just like everyone else, but that does not mean that it will be the same happily ever after as before.
Reason for the character: To add another dimension to Maddie/Lila’s relationship, as well as to create the opportunity for a new romance to blossom. While I think some of the men will be more than happy to pleasure-mate with her, I’m curious how this character would feel about that. I want to see Natalie get her happily ever after while navigating a different set of circumstances. I also want to see scenes where the tribe works together to support her. For those wondering, I chose the name “Natalie” based on a philosopher whose work I love, as well as the adorable character from “Big Mouth” and “Human Resources.”
Steve the Alien
I think it’s hilarious when aliens have names that sound like boring human names. I want an alien from the Sa-khui tribe to have a dumb boring dad name and so I went with “Steve.” And yes, this character is a daddy. Specifically, he’s Taushen’s daddy.
I was always a little saddened by Taushen’s story. The poor guy was orphaned pretty young and had no one but the tribe, and the possibility of resonance, to keep him company. In “Barbarian’s Tease,” Taushen reveals that his parents had a three-way union – his mother was already in a relationship when she resonated to someone else, and that new resonance partner joined their union. In the series, all three of Taushen’s parents had passed, but I found myself thinking how nice it would have been if one of Taushen’s parents had lived.
Enter Steve the Alien. Steve was a very young hunter when he resonated to Taushen’s mother, but managed to form a happy union with her and her pleasure mate. All was well until the khui sickness took them, leaving Steve a young single father left to raise his son alone. He deeply mourned the loss of his partners and would channel his energy into helping the tribe and raising his son. When the human women first arrive on Not-Hoth, he’s pleased for his fellow tribesmen but, unlike Vaza the horny old man, has no interest in pursuing a relationship with any of them.
Steve is ready to consign himself to a life of loneliness when he meets Natalie, the sensitive young woman who brings light and joy back into his life. There are only a few problems: 1. Taushen also has a little crush on her and 2. Steve is terrified of possibly losing another loved one. It’ll be up to the tribe, and especially Natalie’s sisters, to help these two find each other.
I went with Zachary Quinto for a few reasons. He’s the right age, he’s a total sweetie, and he has no problem playing a variety of goofy and serious characters. Also, he played a space alien in a couple of popular movies, so I don’t think this would be too much of a stretch for him.
Reason for the character: The tribe has experienced quite a bit of loss in the years before the humans arrived. I think it would be nice to show a character who was deeply in love with his mates find love again. I think it would also be interesting to feature a Sa-khui who isn’t trying to find love, but does when he least expects it.
So dear readers, what do you think? Are my additions in line with Queen Ruby’s vision? What kinds of changes would you want to see?
If you’d to see the full fancast with characters ranging from Nora to Hassen, then check this out!