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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Gone but Not Forgotten: Farscape


or reason 102 to be thankful for Netflix Instant.

Back in 2002 due in the midst of the its 3rd season a good friend of mine suggested I check out Farscape. I like sci-fi, so I  gave it go. I watched one episode. Farscape is definitely not a show to jump in the middle of. I was instantly lost and overwhelmed. There were many characters, few were human and the tone seemed all over the place. But I respected this friend’s opinion a lot, so I started over with season 1. I’m very glad I did.

At first glance Farscape is a riff on Buck Rogers. Both feature Astronaut lost in space. Both are fish outta water stories. And on a surface level, Ben Browder’s John Creighton is a little Gil Gerardian. But Farscape is a much more creative and morally complex. It’s a show where characters allegiances and true motives are constantly in question. It’s a show where the characters actions have real repercussions and consequences. Above all, it’s a wildly entertaining sci-fi, comedy, action, romance romp with performances spanning from solid to sublime.

The entire series is available on Netflix Instant and I’ve recently rewateched it from the get.

Season 1
The weakest of the series.  A few too many stand alones. But the solid action, assured humor and great chemistry between Creighton and Ayren Son is immediately apparent.
Season 2
Like Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Farscape really starts to find its footing in the 2nd season. It’s especially neat to watch Browder’s performance as Creighton descends into madness.
Season 3
By season three Farascape was firing on all cylinders. It effortless switches between serious melodrama, broad comedy, breathless action and heady sci-fi sometimes in the same episodes.
Season 4
Beginning of the end. The 1st 2/3’s of the season rocks, but the last arc seems really rushed. They were trying hard to wrap the series up after sci-fi cancelled it. The cliffhanger ending was pretty cool, but had sci-fi not given them the mini-series wrap up, it would have been upsetting to say the least.

The Peacekeeper Wars
A fitting wrap up, but still suffers from the mad rush to wrap up all the loose ends. The show really could have used one more season to wrap things up proper, but at least we got this.

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