TV Show Review: Farscape (1999-2004)
TV Show (4 seasons, plus a 3 hour miniseries to wrap it all up)
Starring Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Virginia Hey, Anthony Simcoe, Gigi Edgley, Wayne Pygram, and the Jim Henson Creature Shop)
For anyone who looks back to the days of the original Star Wars with longing–swashbuckling adventure, quotable dialogue, and a crackling romance among the stars–please do yourself a favor and check out Farscape. There’s a wonderful inventiveness about this series that takes all our jaded ideas about space stories and throws them out the air lock. Science fiction need not be relentlessly depressing to be compelling (hear that Battlestar Galactica?). Bring on Harvey!
American astronaut John Crichton (Ben Browder) gets sucked through a wormhole and shot into really, really deep space. A shipful of escaped convicts captures him, but before long, they decide he won’t be much help in their mission to clear their names. As intelligent, funny, and attractive as Crichton might be to the rest of us, his shipmates decide humans must be a hopelessly substandard species. No one shares that opinion more than Aeryn Sun (Claudia Black), the hard-as-nails warrior chick from a genetically engineered species. She’s their enemy until her own people brand her as irreversibly contaminated by contact with the convicts. With Crichton grappling with the unimagined wonders around him, and Aeryn despising him and everyone else on board Moya (think giant, space-going whale-like creature with convenient accommodations for passengers), the adventure begins.
Although the entire series benefits from its overarching storyline, there are a few random episodes that do nothing to forward the story, and are even a little boring. Also, bear with the antagonist in the first few episodes–a far, far better villain shows up at the end of season one. Scorpius (Wayne Pygram) is on par with Darth Vader–and actually, he’s better.
Chemistry: John and Aeryn has it. Their roller-coaster romance takes a nice long time developing (thanks to Aeryn’s genetic programming to avoid love at all costs), suffers some soap-operaish melodrama halfway through Season 3 and early in Season 4, but gets back on track in plenty of time to finish strong. Cheer, laugh, skip a heartbeat...it’s all fair game for this fearless series.