“What’s your favourite TV show?”
“Farscape. Hands down.”
Farscape is an Australian-American science fiction series full of mad aliens and deep character drama that was created Rockne S. O'Bannon and produced by Jim Henson Productions and Hallmark Entertainment. It began running on the SciFi channel in March of 1999 and I began watching it during the first reruns of the show.
Yes, I was 11 years old when I started watching this show. I probably should not have been watching this show at 11, but I watched it with my dad every Friday night. It was our thing.
I recently had the opportunity to watch the entire series through again and I loved it more the second time around. It was absolutely amazing.
The story starts with an astronaut named John Crichton who accidentally manages to pass through a wormhole into a completely alien part of space. He’s pulled aboard a living ship crewed by escaping alien prisoners and is forced to adapt to this new life as he searches for a way back to his native Earth.
This show has the whole shebang of a cast of characters. There’s Moya, the ship, and Pilot, her biologically symbiotic pilot, D’Argo the hot tempered warrior, Rygel the thrifty thief, Zhann the redeemed priestess, and Aeryn bad-gal-turned-good and the primary love interest of John Crichton. Throughout the series we lose and gain crew members, including Chiana the sassy slut, Jool the spoiled student, Noranti the crazy old lady, and Sikozu the intellectual who is ignorant of how the real world works.
And this series has a colorful array of villains as well. When the show isn’t featuring a bad alien of the week, the renegade Captain Crais, the shifty Lieutenant Braka, the creepy Scorpius, and the manipulative Commandant Graiza make Crichton and crew’s lives hell.
And while I absolutely love the gun fights and monsters and action of this series, it’s really the depth of the main characters and the broad spectrum of emotional responses that they have to their misadventures that makes this show worth watching. It’s a sarcastic, cynical, and oddly hopeful look at being lost in the universe and having no control over your life, and it was a series that touched the hearts of many science fiction fans.1
I definitely recommend this series to anyone who loves science fiction. It’s a brilliant series.
1 The show was abruptly cancelled after its fourth season and fan campaigns enabled the creators to go back and make a miniseries to properly end the show.