Monday, August 19, 2013

Farscape

 I don't know about you, but I'm a total Sci-fi addict. In fact, it is nearly as bad as my Disney addiction. I love several science fiction shows, but most of my favorites are no longer on the air. Lately, I've been watching reruns of Farscape. This Brian Henson production is one of my favorites. Unfortunately, this series only lasted 4 years and ended on one doozy of a cliff hanger ten years ago. Fortunately, they were able to finish the story with a miniseries/movie called the Peacekeeper Wars.

Farscape follows the adventures of a human astronaut, Commander John Crichton, who, while testing the space module he has created, gets shot through a wormhole to another galaxy. He ends up being captured by an alien ship, a living ship, that controlled by a small group of escaped prisoners from several different planets. The ship, named Moya, is a Leviathan, a sentient ship who has a biological bond with her Pilot, a multi-armed alien who aids Moya in her journeys. Officer Aeryn Sun is the most human of the aliens. She is a Sebacean Peacekeeper, a military group bred for the sole purpose of maintaining peace throughout the galaxy. Aeryn at first rebels against the crew of Moya at every opportunity, but eventually learns to see them all as family.Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan is a vegetative humanoid who is a priestess on her home planet of Delvia. She is generally a calming influence on the others and also acts as their healer. Ka D'Argo is a Luxan warrior, a giant with tentacle like dreads and a deep sense of honor. Although he is slow to warm up to the others, he eventually comes to value their friendship and will fight to the death to defend them. Dominar Rygel the XVI was an ornery little Hynerian who has been deposed by his cousin. He is conniving and tricky, but can be coerced into doing what is right, most of the time. Chiana joined the crew midway through the first season. She is a Nebari with some very interesting ethics. Chiana often gets into trouble but uses her wits and feminine wiles to escape the situation. They are chased across the galaxy by two villains, Captain Bialar Crais and the Sebacian-Scarran hybrid Scorpius. Both are Peacekeepers with private agendas that lead them to seek out John Crichton, either to destroy him, or to acquire the wormhole information buried in his brain.

Over the course of the series, these characters, and a few others, became a family. They explore the galaxy, helping others and trying to find a way home. They often encounter life and death situations that require them to work together to find a solution. By the end of the series, although they never manage to reach their homeworlds, they have found the perfect home, together.

The look of Farscape is amazing, with many different alien species and planets. Many of the aliens they encounter are Muppets created by Brian Henson and Jim Henson Productions. The Muppet creatures are fantastical and often, in characters such as Pilot, really large and detailed. The Muppets made it possible to have creatures that would not have been possible had they been actors in a costume.
One of my favorite things about the show is the snarky comments from Crichton. They make a ton of pop culture references that are just hilarious. The nicknames he gives each of the characters and the way he reads each situation is rather ridiculous, but a lot of fun to watch. I must admit, I'm a sucker for a love story, and the Aeryn and Crichton one was a doozy. They spent four seasons trying to work things out. And then, just when it looked like they would have a happy ending, they were blown to bits in a season finale cliffhanger. That's when the Sci-Fi Channel cancelled the series. I was very disappointed! I swear, you can become so invested in the characters that it is very upsetting when they cancel a series mid-storyline. Fortunately, two years later, a four-hour miniseries was filmed to tie up all of the loose ends, and there were a lot to tie up!

If you haven't watched it before, Farscape is currently being re-aired on Pivot and is also available on DVD. The fifteenth anniversary edition of the entire series will be available on Blu-ray on November 5. I would definitely recommend watching it in its entirety, especially if you love Jim Henson productions.

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