Somewhere recently was some discussion about the SciFi channel's Dune miniseries. That got me interested in watching it again so during the board hiatus I pulled out my DVD copy and watched the whole thing straight through.
Anyway, there isn't a whole lot of actual astronomy in it, but there is one glaring problem--the moons. They're crazy. Now I know that for most part they are just painted on a backdrop, but they could've been done better. Here are the problems I saw.
In the opening scene (repeated several times) showing the planet with it's moons about it, Arrakis itself is shown about 80% full, but the moons next to it are only 50% full.
The moons as seen from Arrakis were always just on the horizon, and 99% of the time they were full. There are only a handful of scenes where they appear otherwise. They are also both the same size in the sky (though one is much smaller than the other in the opening scene), appearing about the same size as Earth's moon.
In fact, in one scene, it is Earth's moon. When the lady Jessica looks out her window late at night, she sees a huge full moon, and it's plainly our own. The maria are easily visible and recognizable. I laughed out loud when I saw this one. :-)
During one scene where Paul and his mother were alone in the desert, they panned across the scene from one to the other. It started with one full moon in the background, panned over almost 180& and ended with a second full moon in the background (IOW, it panned from one painted-on moon to the other). And it was still daylight at the time, although this could be explained as right at sunset.
The very last scene in the series is a confusing one. In the background (again on the horizon), there is a thin crescent moon, sitting there upright like a "C" in broad daylight. But as the scene fades into night (?), the moon stays where it is, and another moon fades in next to it. At least I think it's a moon. It might be the sun because it's round and bright yellow and it's a "walking into the sunset" type of scene. But it's still dark, and the crescent moon next to it is "pointing" the wrong way to be illuminated by it. Most puzzling.
Well, that was fun. :-D Anyway, other than that I found the miniseries to be really good. It bogged down a bit in the last episode, and I thought the production values and battle scenes were a bit weak, but it did a very good job of getting the story across, much better than the David Lynch version. I'm curious to see the new miniseries now.
I've also started reading the novel again (it's been about 10 years now), and I'm going to see just how faithfully it depicts the book. The beginning at least follows the book closer than I had thought.
PS: No, there were no nude scenes (it's the US release), but there are a couple of "almost" topless shots that were a bit risque.