Farscape: Science Fiction Mayhem

Creator: Rockne S. O’Bannon
Genre(s): Drama, Action and Adventure,
Suspense, Science Fiction

Stars: Ben Browder, Claudia Black,
Anthony Simcoe, Gigi Edgley, Lani John
Tupu, Wayne Pygram, Virginia Hay

Farscape
1999 ‧ Sci-fi

“My name is John Crichton an astronaut. A radiation wave hit and I got shot through a wormhole. Now I’m lost in some distant part of the universe on a ship, a living ship full of strange alien life forms. Listen, please!
Is there anybody out there who can hear me? I’m being hunted by an insane military commander. Who can do everything I can’t. I’m just looking for a way home.”

Farscape Trailer Season 1
Dave Johnson

And so the adventure begins in what
has proven to be my favourite Science
Fiction TV show of all time. It may
actually be my favourite TV show period,
regardless of genre. I’ll have to think about
that ….
Astronaut John Crichton attempted to
use the Earth’s atmosphere to propel his ship,
Farscape 1, at great speeds across the solar
system. He went much further though and
was sucked down a wormhole to a distant
part of the galaxy and into the middle of a
battle. He was rescued by a group of escaping
prisoners and taken aboard their ship, a living
ship.


As the years went by, Crichton made
enemies, powerful and dangerous enemies.
On his journey to find a way back home, he
freed other captives who became part of the
crew on Moya.


Why is Farscape the best TV show ever?
Let me count the ways.


First, and foremost, each episode is
unpredictable, unlike many other shows,
especially Stargate SG-1. The surprises just
keep coming throughout it’s four seasons and
3 hour closing mini-series, especially when they did an episode that was total comic mayhem, and there were several of these.

Second, unlike most science fiction shows
where a bunch of humans meet up with
aliens, John Crichton (who is American) is
the lone human amongst the many aliens.
The Sebacean (Peacekeepers) are humanlike,
but not human.

Third, the alien enemies are as scary as you can get, especially the Scarrans and
many of them really looked like aliens, not
humans in superficial makeup.

Fourth, the show also had the greatest
villain in all TV shows and movies in Scorpius.
Scorpius was a villain, but he also was a
great source for comic relief in the form of
his alter ego Harvey who gets stuck in John
Crichton’s subconscious mind.

Fifth, the show is character-driven and
develops into a great love story between John
Crichton (Ben Browder) and Aeryn Sun
(Claudia Black) the displaced Peacekeeper
who ends up joining the crew of Moya while
on the run from her own people.

Farscape features a diverse ensemble of
characters who are initially escaping from
corrupt authorities in the form of a militaristic
organization called the Peacekeepers. The
protagonists live inside a large bio-mechanical
ship called Moya, which is a living entity.

I don’t have the space to go into further
plot points but believe me it’s one helluva
ride.

However, when I first watched Farscape,
I wasn’t impressed and stopped watching
after three episodes. After awhile I thought
I’d try again, fortunately, and by the eighth
episode I was totally hooked.

Main Characters

John Crichton (Ben Browder) — Ben
Browder is absolutely marvellous in the role
of John Crichton. He is bombastic at times,
gentle at times and his many references to
earth culture keep the humour at a level that
makes the many tough situations they face
at least tolerable.

Aeryn Sun (Claudia Black) – A renegade
Peacekeeper (Sebacean) officer. At the start
of the series, she is stripped of her rank and
marked for death for telling the truth about
Crichton. Trained as a soldier since birth,
she initially seems to lack any emotions or
empathy. I fell in love with Claudia Black
after just a few episodes. Her chemistry with
Ben Browder is the best I’ve seen.

Ka D’Argo (Anthony Simcoe) – An ill-tempered
Luxan warrior of impressive stature.
He was imprisoned by the Peacekeepers for
killing his wife, a crime for which he was
falsely convicted. D’Argo is great fun as he
blusters his way through many situations with
humor and proves to be the ultimate hero
in the end.

Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan (Virginia Hey) — A
bald, blue-skinned female who is a living plant

species, named Delvians. Once a Priestess
of her religious order, Zhaan murdered her
lover after discovering he was a Peacekeeper
collaborator. Zhaan is an empath; she can
share “unity” with other beings and she is also
able to share pain with another being. Zhaan
is a sweetheart.

Dominar Rygel XVI (voiced by Jonathan
Hardy)
— A diminutive creature who was once
ruler of the Hynerian Empire. He was deposed
by his treacherous cousin and handed over to
the Peacekeepers. Rygel is one of two puppet
characters on Farscape. Rygel is a sly, greedy
entity, but always comes through in the end
when the chips are down.

Chiana (Gigi Edgley) — A thief and
con artist. She is a Nebari, a grey/blueskinned
species whose society is heavily
regimented by a governmental body called
“The Establishment”. Chiana’s rebellious
nature made her a leading candidate for
reprogramming. Gigi Edgley created a
unique, quirky character that is a lot of fun
who gets into a lot of trouble.

Pilot (voiced by Lani Tupu) A multilimbed
c
reature who acts as the ship’s pilot.
He is biologically connected to Moya’s nervous
system and also serves as her voice to the
crew. Pilot is portrayed by an animatronic
puppet.

Moya — Moya is a Leviathan, the fifth
generation of these living ships. She was born
in freedom, captured by Leviathan Hunters
and sold to the Peacekeepers for them to
use as a prison transport. She is a great
and powerful ship, with no weapons. Her
natural instincts to protect all life, however,
do override her personal fear of pain and
suffering.

Villains

Bialar Crais (Lani Tupu) — The initial
antagonist of the series, a Peacekeeper
Captain who relentlessly hunts Moya and its
crew. He is driven by the death of his brother,
a prowler pilot who accidentally collided with
Crichton’s ship when it exited the wormhole.

At the end of the first season, Crais is usurped
by Scorpius. Crais mentally bonds with Moya’s
offspring Talyn and becomes something of an
ally to the crew in later seasons.

Scorpius (Wayne Pygram) — A
commander of the Peacekeeper forces.
Scorpius is a hybrid created from the forced
mating of a human-like Sebacean woman and
a reptilian Scarran male. He is obsessed with
extracting the secret of wormhole technology
from Crichton, believing it to be crucial to an
unavoidable war between the Peacekeeper
and Scarran races. Scorpius is the best villain
ever.

Scarrans (see picture) are nasty, evil
aliens that give the crew of Moya the most
trouble. They almost destroy Moya and her crew on several occasions. Many more villains
are encountered throughout the series.

Farscape ran from 1999-2003 with the
follow-up mini-series that ended the show
following in 2005. When the show ended,
Ben Browder and Claudia Black joined
the cast of Stargate SG-1 for it’s last two
seasons — 9 and 10.

Claudia was fabulous in Stargate, but
Ben was much subdued compared to his
character on Farscape. I had previously
stopped watching Stargate SG-1 after a
few seasons because it was so boring and
repetitive. There was no variation in the plots
and it took itself too serious.

However, I tried to watch the last two
seasons with Ben and Claudia but I couldn’t
do it. I got half way through Season 9 and
skipped to the last episode of the series. It
was still boring and repetitive so I gave up.
I can’t believe this series lasted 10 seasons.

The good news: Farscape is available on
DVD, so go out and get the series right now.
YouTube also has lots of clips that will give
you some idea of what the series was like.
It was cancelled before it’s time, but we
Farscape: Science Fiction mayhem from 24
have five seasons which I’ll be watching for
the third time very soon.

Glenn Cutforth Contact Card

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