Escape Velocity

A curated Collection of Fantasy and Science Fiction Media

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Burrow’s End follows a small family of stoats who are driven out of their burrow by a mysterious storm. As they fight to find a new home, they soon realise that the real world is threatening in ways they could never have imagined. The season is DM’ed by Aabria Iyengar, and stars Brennan Lee Mulligan as single mom Tula, with her children Jaysohn, a hyperactive karate kid (played by Siobhan Thompson), and Lila, a clever know-it-all (played by Isabella Roland). Tula’s sister Viola (played by Rashawn Scott) is the enigmatic wife of cult leader Thorn (played by Jasper William Cartwright). Tula and Viola’s mother is a grizzled old stoat named Ava (played by Erika Ishii).

I feel like I say this for every Dimension 20 campaign I watch, but man, I think this is my new favourite campaign of the show. D20 just keeps getting better. From the stunning set design by Rick Perry and his team to the storytelling by the amazing Aabria Iyengar, everything about Burrow’s End just works. The premise is cute: a family of stoats having to flee their home. However, they soon discover that the world is scarier than they thought. The characters are varied in both personality and age, with Erika Ishii playing an elderly stoat, contrasted by Siobhan Thompson and Isabella Roland as excitable 8-year-olds. They’re all equally unhinged and I loved it.

The family dynamic in particular is what makes the season so good. It can be hard to start a story like this, where the characters have a long-established history. Often in D&D, the characters have just met and have the chance to get to know each other throughout the campaign. In Burrow’s End, we follow a family, with a pre-existing dynamic. Even though I know that the cast is amazing at improv, it still surprised me just how well they managed to set this dynamic up. The characters genuinely felt like a family.

Even though the season was incredibly funny, it was also surprisingly deep and scary. Aabria really has a way of setting up a story that is simultaneously hilarious and somehow deeply unsettling, and I love that. The stakes felt real, and the setting pulls from real history in a way that makes it easy for the players and the viewer to understand what was happening in a way that the characters wouldn’t fully grasp. This also made it incredibly fun to watch the players desperately try not to metagame when they put story threads together that their characters wouldn’t be able to yet.

With only ten episodes, Burrow’s End was quite short. Still, this meant that the pacing stayed fast. I do think the show may have benefited from a longer run. It would have given Aabria and the cast the time to work out some of the storylines that didn’t get tied up quite as nicely as one might have liked. Also, I would have just enjoyed watching more episodes of this show.

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