Monday, February 21, 2011

Farscape Season 1: Episode 1: Pilot

I have heard a lot of good things about Farscape but never watched it on a regular basis.  I was only able to see an occasional episode when it was being broadcast.  I finally picked up the DVD sets of the entire series.  Now it is time to watch the series from the beginning.

Written by Rockne S. O'Bannon
From the Henson website...

Astronaut John Crichton's experimental Farscape module is swallowed by a wormhole and spat out on the other side of the universe - in the middle of a pitched space battle. Taken on board Moya - a huge bio-mechanoid "living ship" desperately trying to escape captivity - Crichton is confronted by alien life forms: Ka D'Argo, the fierce Luxan warrior; Rygel XVI, the sluglike Dominar of the Hynerian Empire; Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan, the serene blue Delvian priestess; Pilot, a four-armed creature physically and neurally bonded to Moya, and Oficer Aeryn Sun, an enemy Peacekeeper. In order to repair Moya, Zhaan, D'Argo and Rygel are forced to a Commerce Planet. Pursued by the ruthless Captain Crais, Crichton must use his primitive earth science to devise a means for Moya to slingshot out of range of Crais' ship and into the Uncharted Territories.

I can see why this series was a hit with the fans.  The action is fast paced, the story keeps moving, the aliens (such as Moya, Rygel, and Pilot) are extremely alien, the ships are fascinating, and hints are dropped that the crew has secrets.  

One of my favorite things was the way everyone on the ship knew how things operated except for the newcomer.  Crichton finds things that he does not understand while the others assume he should already know.  It gives him the "man out of his element" aura that he should have.  At times his Earth background gives him insights and tactics that the others are not familiar with.  The roguish, loveable, Crichton sells this series.  A less energetic actor would have been a disaster for Farscape.

Another interesting part of the series is the living ship Moya and the very alien Pilot.  Both remain a mystery that will be explored in the future.

The main story arc for this part of the series is Crichton on the run from Crais.  The Peacekeepers do not believe that the death of Crais' brother was an accident.  Like many groups in the past, the name does not reflect the true nature of the group.  "Peacekeepers" appear to have more in common with the Nazis than any force for peace.  It seems that their version of peace means they have absolute control. 

The writer reveals enough about the characters to let you sympathize with them without telling all of their secrets.  From what I understand, secrets will be uncovered as the series progresses.

Based on just watching the pilot episode, I would consider this on a par with Star Trek and Babylon 5.  I hope it will continue to grow like those series did. 


Chimeradave said...

That's neat. I watched Farscape when it was first on and was a huge fan. Right now I'm rewatching Season 3 with my wife that's never seen it.

adamosf said...

My friend George is an sf fan who watches a lot more tv and movie sf than I do. He loved both Farscape and Stargate, and tried to convince me to watch them. I watched about 10 minutes of each and found Farscape the more interesting, yet somehow I never found the time to watch it regularly. The same with Battlestar Gallectica, whose first season I watched and enjoyed a lot, yet somehow stopped watching it. Too many books to read, too little time to spend it watching tv.

Now that I have a lot more free time, I would like to buy the complete set of at least one sf series. Probably I'll start with Babylon 5, but I'll put Farscape on my list too.

Carl V. said...

My wife and I have watched Seasons 1 and 2 and need to get back and finish the last two seasons...and the mini-series that ties it all up.

It is a really fun show and so far has gotten more and more enjoyable with each episode.

Babylon 5 is another show I want to watch sometime as I only saw an episode or two when it was actually airing regularly.

Jim Black said...

My all time favorite science fiction series are Babylon 5 and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. You will love Babylon 5.

The irony of this is that Babylon 5 was originally a proposal for what became Deep Space Nine.