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PsychoPere December 22 2010 02:42 AM

Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience
A long time ago (some years now), I promised Emh that I would some day get around to a genuine effort at working my way through the Farscape saga. Since that time, I've purchased the complete series set and The Peacekeeper Wars. Some time prior to that promise, I had seen most of season four and PKW on television in first-run, with nary a clue as to what the hell it was I was watching. Not all that long ago (a few months), I had sat down with the intention of finally fulfilling that long-ago but never forgotten promise. I saw most of season one at that time, but somehow my intentions went off-track and I abandoned (through no genuine conscious decision) the project.

Since that interruption, I've rewatched all of Star Trek and ST: The Next Generation, as well as watched for the first time all of ST: Deep Space Nine. Now that the fall 2010 semester is finished, I have decided to resume my Farscape plans. Harvey suggested that I start a discussion thread when I mentioned this intention earlier this month on the board. At that time, I didn't plan on doing so, but I've since decided otherwise, in part because an ongoing thread might keep me focused and prevent any interruptions this time around. This, naturally, is that thread. As I type this, I am re-watching the premiere episode.

Would anyone care to jump down the rabbit hole with me?

Emh December 22 2010 02:49 AM

Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience
Took you bloody long enough. Sheesh. :p

I look forward to reading your thoughts on the series.

label December 22 2010 02:54 AM

Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience
Count me in. I love these threads. (And I just started rewatching Star Trek : TNG 2 nights ago so I'm just getting underway with that one. Honestly, some of the special effects, acting, costumes and dialog is pretty painful, but, I'm surprised at how much stronger the writing actually is in the first season than I remember it).

I'd start a TNG rewatch thread but I really don't post in any forum than here in Sci-Fi and I'd really want my usual suspects to be involved.

Skywalker December 22 2010 03:06 AM

Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience
Awesome. Are you going to do fancy reviews and counters and end-of-season graphs like TheGodBen and Admiral Shran? It doesn't count if you don't. :p

Enjoy the show! :techman:

PsychoPere December 22 2010 05:20 AM

Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

Hanukkah Solo wrote: (Post 4609899)
Are you going to do fancy reviews and counters and end-of-season graphs like TheGodBen and Admiral Shran? It doesn't count if you don't. :p

I can't possibly live up to such lofty examples. If you expect that, you're going to be disappointed! :p For the most part, my comments are probably going to end up being observations, little things I liked or didn't like, rather than full-out reviews of the episodes. To keep my thoughts organized as much as possible for myself, I'm also going to be typing up each section as I watch an episode.

As I remarked to Harvey in the thread I linked to earlier, I'm not sure how many thoughts I'll have during this watching experience to offer that will actually be worth reading, particularly for people who've seen the series (multiple times) before. But perhaps a small comment of mine will spin off into an interesting discussion, which would be all worth it on its own.

- I love the exterior and interior designs of Moya. So much more interesting than the sterile-by-comparison design of Trek ships. I also think it's an interesting touch that Moya has no weapons and only has starburst for defense - lends itself well to "brain over brawn," which I find far more satisfying than watching the protagonists of a series shoot their way out of a bad situation.

- To be honest, Crais's obsession with Crichton didn't make much sense to me the first time I watched season one. Crichton's collision with the brother's Prowler was so obviously an accident that I find Crais's murderous reaction to be perplexing. I could understand it in this episode since he didn't know who/what Crichton was, but it seemed odd to me as an ongoing issue. Maybe I'll feel differently this time around.

- Even though this was probably the third time I've seen this particular exchange, I still find myself amused by D'Argo's admission that he isn't an adult by his people's reckoning, especially his spirited objection to Zhaan's teasing.

- As a big Firefly fan, I of course love the rough-and-tumble, who can you trust? nature of this rag-tag crew thrown together by circumstance against their own will. Their introduction to Crichton, as well as his first visit to an alien world, was suitably "what the hell..." for me-as-viewer to empathize with his confusion.

- Duct tape still fixes everything, even if you're on the other side of the galaxy from home. Love it.

- Fart jokes rarely do anything for me, but the bit Rygel farting helium and the resulting high-pitched voices was a pretty good chuckle.

I, E.T.
- "Who's Yoda?" - already loving Crichton's references to Earth popular culture and idioms leaving the others confused.

- Go figure Crichton would encounter people on this planet involved in a search for extraterrestrial life. I think it's interesting that this is the first episode after the pilot, since it sort of mirrors Crichton's own situation. He gets thrust into a distant part of the galaxy, forced onto a living ship with alien "comrades," and now here he is, separated from those comrades and in the process changing the entire worldview of two people just like his had been changed in the premiere. Of course, since he's on their territory, unlike his situation with Moya, they have the luxury to be much more overtly excited by the revelation than he's had time for.

- I like having these little DRDs running around the ship. Helps to flesh out Moya a bit more as a separate entity, and it makes a lot of sense to me for a ship to have roaming repair bots. I also find their little eyestalks amusing.

- I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the rustic Earth look of this planet. Maybe it's a little unfair, but I'm rather tired of such settings, given their preponderance in the Trek and Stargate franchises. It seems a little too "cute," right down to the old-fashioned television set. I think I would have preferred that things look similar but still a bit "off," rather than identical.

- Anyone think Crichton may have started a new cultural mainstay with the kiss?

Exodus from Genesis
- I'm with Crichton on the use of a dentic for teeth cleaning. Screw that.

- I'm enjoying Rygel's characterization so far as an overbearing, deposed ruler. As entitled and insufferable he still acts despite that setback, he seems to have adapted quite well into his status as an escaped prisoner: he's not above petty thievery and he's primarily concerned with his personal well-being above that of the others on the ship. If I had to live with him onboard Moya, though, I think I would've punted the little guy by now.

- Go DRD! I liked one of those little guys zapping D'Argo when he started cutting into Moya to get to the chamber the bugs had sealed off.

- D'Argo's idea for differentiating the crew from the replicants reminds me of something a Klingon might suggest. Who thinks that cutting off part of a finger is a good idea? Crazy warrior species...

- Between this episode and the B-plot of the previous episode, I like the use of Moya itself as a setting, rather than as merely a home base for the crew. When you have such a cool setting, it deserves to be explored thoroughly, something that both Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe failed on. I don't have a good memory of the other season one episodes that I've seen, but I hope this trend continues. It's a nice contrast to arriving at a new planet and having a wacky adventure every week.

- Crichton's plan to drive the Peacekeepers off of Moya was pretty clever, especially his bluff that he was responsible for the multiplication and could use it to fight back against Crais.

- I'm really impressed by the spacescapes seen so far. Beautiful, particularly the

- For a superficial comment... Claudia Black has nice legs.

Looking at Wikipedia, I see that a few of the early episodes were aired out of production order. Does anyone know why? I assume it's as simple as some episodes taking longer than others to put together.

Admiral_Young December 22 2010 05:55 AM

Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience
I believe that the production order thing is addressed in one of the commentary tracks...I just recently re-watched the entire season so it's too soon for me to do so again or else I'd join you. I'll chime in once in a while though with amusing anecdotes (hopefully)

Emh December 22 2010 06:21 AM

Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience
Fortunately, it doesn't matter for the most part (only some character developments might be affected) until "A Bug's Life."

As for Crais' reaction, I see it as a combination of not knowing who Crichton is or where he's from and Crais' upbringing as Peacekeeper (which is expanded upon in this season and beyond).

label December 22 2010 06:35 AM

Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience
I loved the premiere and I, ET. The premiere was a great way to really make you feel like you were in Critchon's shoe's and what it would be like to find yourself aboard an alien ship like that. He adapts quickly, thinks on his feet and obviously has a connection with Aeryn from day one. One of the better pilot episodes I've seen..........

I, ET made "us" (humans) the "alien" being discovered and while it was early in the series, it was this type of new take on a story like that that had been done before on many shows that gave me hope that this was going to be a great series.

As for your comments..........Moya is beautiful and very well designed. I, like you, enjoy the fact that she has no weapons and starburst is her only recourse. We've had enough "space battles" from other shows that this forces the show to make different decisions than it might otherwise make.

In short, everything about the show from the outset screams "I'm setting out to do Sci-Fi differently than any show before me.". I like it! :)

Looking forward to more episode reviews.........

RoJoHen December 22 2010 07:24 AM

Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience
Ugh, I hate "I, E.T." It's easily my least favorite episode of the entire series, so I'm glad that you at least get it out of the way early.

I am totally wanting to rewatch Farscape from the beginning, but I don't know if I'm committed to it right now. I have other things on my plate. That said, I've already watched Farscape about a dozen times all the way through, so I don't really need to rewatch it again.

Can December 23 2010 04:23 PM

Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience
Hell Yeah ! Another Farscape convert ! And better yet there are reviews of each episode

I am probably the biggest Farscape fan on this part of world. I watched each episode at least several times. And it remains my top sci-fi production ever since I have seen it four years ago in DVD. It still amazes me that a sci-fi/fantasy universe so rich so detailed like Farscape is still also so underrated....I think its reason is Farscape being not a studio franchise....Henson Productions are much more creative than anyone on the market in visuals , production sets and quality not to mention character story arcs BUT there are not big budget Hollywod giant like 20th Century , Universal or Paramount.....That reflects on their marketing costs I suppose...

As for Farscape I am forcing everyone around me to watch it. Watching and observing reactions of first time Farscape viewers is great I tell you. LOL


With Premiere episode Farscape starts with a sudden "Alice in Wonderland" or "Dorothy not being in Kansas anymore " situation. John Crichton a contemporary US astronout in his specially designed module Farscape-1 conducting a slingshot acceleration experiment orbiting Earth....During whole episode meanwhile we learn bits and pieces about Crichton ( our main protoganist and OUR POV to whole universe of Uncharted Territories ) and his character. He is son of another astronout Jack Crichton....He has a nice warm admiring relationship with his father but he is also trying to live up his dad's reputation. He has relaxed , easy going attitude , in fact almost a little bit naive attitude in him. He is fun to have a beer with but also quite clever , intelligent , creative also somewhat idealist. Almost a stereotype maybe...But that is about to change

The moment Farscape-1 falls into a wormhole Crichton's struggle for survival begins. So is his change and outlook to universe. As soon as he gets out of wormhole his module accidently crashes a strange fighter craft killing its pilot. Then Farscape-1 is pulled into a large aesthetic looking ship. There Crichton meets his companions for future adventures....A Klingon looking , muscled , tentecled , angry , violent alien guy called Ka Dargo ( a Luxen ) , a blue skinned hot looking mystic priestess called Pau Zotoh Zhaan ( a Delvian ) , a green half meter long Yoda/Kermit looking , slug like deposed Soverign called Dominar Rygel XVIth....( A Hynerian ) While Crichton who is still in aftershock of everything happened and amazed that he is against living talking sentient aliens confronted with them they do not pay much attention to him at first....For them he seems like another standart or probably inferior alien in the middle of a very chaotic situation...You get the message. Protoganist might be human but this series will not be human centric..Dargo is warrior , pragmatic , maybe pessimist but full of survival instinct. Zhaan is clergy , representing patience tolerance and understanding. Rygel well might look like Yoda at first but he is everything Yoda is NOT....Greedy , selfish and weak willed at glance first. None of them are ideal travelling companions in fact. All of them are escaped prisoners. Their previous non pleasent experiences shaped them. They captured their transfer ship , a huge living , sentient half mechanic half organic craft called MOYA...It is controlled by a "Pilot" another weird looking alien who has organic ties to ship....( although these ideals are not novel Henson Productions were very successful in transforming them into concepts for this series ) All of them are on the run from Peacekeepers....

Which brings us to Peacekeepers and their representative at first Captain Bialar Crais....Peacekeepers are Sabecceans , a human looking ( resemblance is more than appearent ) race , keeping order in this part of galaxy....I suppose Peacekeeperdom can be compared with Galactic Empire in Star Wars at first or called space nazis....Crais is captain of a Peacekeeper command carrier. MOYA and its prisoners escaped from his custody but worse when Crichton's module crashed and accidently destroyed the fighter craft he also killed Crais's brother. The good captain vows revenge. Here we do not get exact reasons of what motivates Crais on avanging his brother. The whole crash was an accident , it was clear. But over reacting on part of Crais makes him look like a little two dimensional at first.

On MOYA Crichton is imprisoned by his hosts and in cell he meets another Peacekeeper blunt , pretty looking but tough fighting female Sabeccean Aeryn Sun. She was captured by these fugitives and put in same brig with Cricton. The moment Crichton and Aeryn meet up first time ( aside that she gives him a good beating at first ) you realize there is some kind of attraction or phantom of attraction between them. It is Crichton who tries to be friendly at first. Then at commerce planet when they were captured by Crais this time Aeryn tries to defend him against Crais and se was declared "contaminated" by Crais and casted out. While she was trying to absorb this fact Crichton who comes out of this period at first takes matters in his own hands. First he grabs a gun and saves them all twice ( first on planet then on the orbit when he uses his slingshot maneuver to escape from command carrier ) Crais is still determined no less to hunt them down but for Crichton he is one of his many problems. Then he convinces Aeryn Sun , casted out Peacekeeper to tag along with them on MOYA...This convincing stage is another little well written and acted scene on this episode. Aeryn although defends him at first against Crais verbally does not just ignore Crichton. She considers him inferior more inferior than other exotic aliens maybe..She is what she is from her birth , a soldier , a supposedly mindless machine that takes instructions and obeys them. When she says this to Crichton he replies with one sentence : "You can be more"

At that moment if you look at Aeryn's face you realize a surprised almost puzzled impression..Clearly this is not just surprising but also shocking consideration for her. She is going into Uncharted Territories with others but for her leaving only life she has known is real sailing into Uncharted Territories. And only this weird Sebeccean looking ( although kind of handsome for her maybe ) alien came out-of-sky makes up her mind for that....

Producer Rockne O'Bannon had a lot to fill in this Premiere episode. Not only he had to introduce main characters he also had a whole new fictional universe , its rules to create...Not an easy task for one episode. Maybe being 50 min long helped but of course not everthing covered not at all. This episode is introduction a basic starting point for our characters and their evolution and development. Because although it is filled with exotic alien enviroments , strange alien creatures , technologies ( nobody speaks English from their birth ! They have babelfish translator microbes injected at their birth instead. Thank god that someone remembered this fact that outer space is an alien enviroment , it can be more alien than USA , Canada or Australia , sorry scratch last :) ) , fantastic incidents , Farscape is foremost a series about its main characters , how they evolve and how they learn "to be more"

So "Australian Star Wars" begins.....

Can December 24 2010 03:39 PM

Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

I , ET : In this second episode of first season and first stand alone of series rag-tag crew/passangers of MOYA are still trying to get their bearing on their new found status of escaped fugitives chased in whole galaxy. Aeryn seems still coping this hard. She is trying to convince herself this is real , her old life is gone and she is helping escaped prisoners in one scene when Crichton taunts her to get "her big Peacekeeper muscles working" , "Peacekeeper ?" replies Aeryn with sarcasm while staring at nothing. "Yeah right"

When a Paddeck beacon which was installed on Moya by Peacekeepers , is activated and began transmitting their location to their pursuers Moya passangers desperately try to shut it down. It is no use. The beacon was installed on Moya's central nerve. It does not come off. It opens fire on DRDs. To take it out by force would cause immense possibly deathly pain on Moya. The saving idea comes from Crichton himself again. Find a planet with a large body of water and insulate Moya's entire hull with water. They find the planet but instead of landing on water they crash a large swamp. Rygel although aquatic like all Hynerians declares his distaste. "You know about mud ? I know about the mud !" OK We are convinced that you know the mud Rygel....

While Rygel and Zhaan remain on Moya to take out the beacon others get out of Moya to find chlorium , an anestheatic element to numb Moya's central nerve. As soon as they get out they are confronted and pursued by locals. It seems that people ( or aliens ) living on this planet are so similar to humanity in technology , culture and social life they even copied our paranoia and xenaphobia about extra terrestrial contact. While Dargo and Aeryn distract their pursuers Crichton searches chlorium and to his surprise find himself face-to-face initially suspicius but regular and friendly mother and son seaching extra terrestrial life in their farm/observatory.

From here three seperate stories go on. Crichton trying to win the trust of mother Lyneea and her son Fostro. Here Crichton finds himself as an alien life form hence the title. He is E.T. Frankly I found Crichton's story a little bit banal. Lyneea and Fostro were likable. But that planet's technology , society/culture was too Earthlike and that aside both Lyneea and Fostro are too similar to the characters of Mary and Elliott in actual ET movie. They are just too nice and trusting to be real other than fictional sci-fi characters. Still from Crichton's POV this reversal of roles is interesting. "You found out that everything about your technology , culture , religion might be false or under suspect at least" He understands them better than anyone else on Moya. They provide chlorium , also help Crichton to hide from their military and to save Dargo who was captured briefly. A neat but quite predictable story wrapped up itself.

Meanwhile Dargo and Aeryn who were at opposite sides a short time ago , begin to form the roots of what-might-be a real friendship. While working together they snap , tease , make fun of each other. Neither Aeryn nor nor Dargo like each other's company. Aeryn is a space nazi....She considers Dargo's race , Luxans as barbarians. Dargo is not complimentary either. But they find a common ground while working together.

The third story is Rygel and Zhaan's struggle to take out beacon from Moya's central nerve. Rygel is only person small enough to reach the beacon but he is unenthustiastic at least. He hates dirty work. Moreover he does not know how to do dirty work. He confesses he does not even know how to handle a tool. He always made others to work for him. Zhaan who at this point becomes spiritual leader in Moya convinces him to cut beacon. And Rygel despite all his reluctance accomplishes taking the beacon. His joy is something we can relate with : "I did it" Zhaan who does her own work and share Moya's pain with her spiritual abilities during whole process was a necessary precedant and example for Rygel....

When Moya leaves planet at the end we see Crichton's longing looks. When Aeryn taunts him "Don't tell me you will miss that rock" Crichton's reply ws simple " Not that rock" He saw something he could identify with in there. That might only make him more determined to return home.

Summary : A decent stand alone. Some little more introduction to Farscape universe and its characters. But that's it. No big developments....

PsychoPere December 24 2010 07:35 PM

Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

label wrote: (Post 4610222)
I loved the premiere and I, ET. [...]


Jolly Ole Saint RoJo wrote: (Post 4610278)
Ugh, I hate "I, E.T." [...]

I'm somewhere between these two opinions on "I, E.T." I thought it was a solid episode, though nothing outstanding. The premiere was quite good, from set designs, to making this part of the galaxy feel genuinely "alien" (and Crichton's disorientation played a large role in that, of course), to the actors themselves. I also quite like the music in the show - it can be very different from what I'm used to hearing on television.

Throne for a Loss
- Crichton really is adapting quickly, since he's already worried about hauling cargo like the others. Glad to see he realizes the value of getting some currency in hand. I was particularly amused by his banter with Aeryn at the beginning because it was quite "timely" with him mentioning True Grit at the top of his John Wayne list. He continues thinking and acting quickly, as he did in the firefight by saving Zhaan, fighting back with a pipe, and then at the beginning of act one when he wants Pilot to use a "tractor beam" on the other ship.

- A good old-fashioned hostage/ransom situation - intergalactic style with a gauntlet weapon that makes its wearers lose control! That sounds like "win" to me. Aeryn & Crichton's exchanges are continuing to be a damned amusing highlight. Also liked Zhaan's sighing reaction when Pilot told her that Crichton had a plan, and especially Aeryn's "that is the last time I go along with one of your plans!" comment after D'Argo gets knocked out by being knocked into a desk.

- Gotta love it when a woman takes charge... as Aeryn did by knocking Crichton out. So far this episode has the most laughs per minute, and I'm loving it.

- I can't help but think Rygel's posturing could only serve to make his situation worse. By continuing to boast that the Hynerian Empire will retrieve him, it seems to me that he's more likely to reinforce the mistaken perception that he's valuable, rather than scare his captors into releasing him. Of course, it's entirely fitting with the self-absorbed, arrogant, privileged attitude he displays while on Moya as well.

- I have to admit that I'm surprised by how well the Farscape writers so far are handling multiple stories within one episode. Many shows that attempt A, B, and C plots in one episode end up shortchanging at least one of those stories, yet this episode has four interconnecting plots and none of them feel like they're provided with less attention than they deserve.

- Zhaan taking care of Kyr is rather touching. She seems to have endless compassion and patience, particularly interesting since he probably wouldn't hesitate to kill in order to escape if he had his gauntlet. I also appreciate how she's able to flip on a dime from being "soft" to being "hard" after Kyr attacks the DRD. Poor Zhaan at the end, believing she had actually made an impact on Kyr but he returns to the gauntlet after all. "No sermons," indeed.

Back and Back and Back to the Future
- "What's wrong with him?" "He is Crichton." What a succinct and amusing summation!

- For shallow comment #2, I'm enjoying the way Claudia Black is dressed in this episode, showing off her midriff.

- This is a hard episode for me to write up thoughts and feelings on. I'm not entirely sure why, though. I'm about halfway through it as I type this sentence right now, and the episode is solid enough. I just don't really know what to say about it.

- The future flashes can keep you on your toes. Early ones felt like time & motion were slowed down somewhat, but later in the episode Crichton experiences significant chunks of time in one flash before snapping back to his present. That's a touch that I appreciate, no matter how common place time travel / seeing future events is in science fiction television.

- Verell is little more than a plot point himself, and Matala could easily assume the role of the femme fatale in a film noir - except, of course, for being non-human and a good fighter. I'm a little disappointed that Verell doesn't receive any real characterization of his own, because the series has been doing a good job of providing its guest characters with a level of complexity in previous episodes.

Thank God It's Friday... Again
- The opening of this episode marks the second time D'Argo has attacked a DRD so far. I might have to consider an ongoing tally if he does so a third time.

- Rygel's happy expression at the thought of D'Argo maybe having killed something on the planet in his hyper-rage is a nice reminder that these aliens "really" are aliens, that they are very different from, say, most of Trek's aliens. Speaking of which, I also appreciate the small touches that remind the viewer that Crichton is as alien to this part of space as the aliens he's encountering are to him.

- I rather wish Crichton had explained the phrase "I've got a woody" to Aeryn rather than simply having a bemused expression and correcting her to "willies." I imagine her reaction would've been imminently amusing.

- This marks three episodes in a row where an outside influence has caused at least one of our heroes to act in unusual manners. The details at least are different enough that it doesn't feel derivative. D'Argo as a "space hippie" is certainly not something I would have expected.

- Speaking of changing expectations, I like Aeryn being forced into the scientist role since the planet's temperature is too hot for her to stay down there with Crichton since I assume Zhaan would've returned to the ship with Rygel otherwise. Playing characters to their strengths (as Aeryn did when using a physical training exercise to determine that Matala was a Skorvian spy) is important to maintain believability in a character, but equally important of course is pushing them into situations that are outside their comfort zone. I also think showing her as being very pleased with her results later in the episode was an important addition, since she may now understand that fighting may not be the best option in situations where it is an option.

- The most interesting thing about this episode for me is that I had to have seen it the last time I watched through season one because I got through "The Hidden Memory," yet I have no memory of any part of this episode so it's entirely new to me, unlike some of the other episodes where I at least remember some things.

- The dependency factor of the root in this episode is a mirror to the dependency of the gauntlet in "Throne for a Loss." The gauntlet was intrinsic to a combat-oriented culture and increased aggression, whereas the root in this episode makes people docile and content. That helps to differentiate the aforementioned "outside influences" issue held in common by the three episodes in this post, and differentiation was certainly necessary to keep the trope feeling fresh.

- Rygel using his exploding fluids problem as artillery... "Wow," to put it simply. I had to laugh, of course; it's such a ridiculous and over-the-top idea that can't be taken seriously, but that also made it prefect. This show so far is good at using silly ideas effectively, both in terms of the story and for humor.

Emh December 24 2010 08:08 PM

Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

PsychoPere wrote: (Post 4614799)
- Rygel's happy expression at the thought of D'Argo maybe having killed something on the planet in his hyper-rage is a nice reminder that these aliens "really" are aliens, that they are very different from, say, most of Trek's aliens. Speaking of which, I also appreciate the small touches that remind the viewer that Crichton is as alien to this part of space as the aliens he's encountering are to him.

This is one of my favorite aspects of the show. In most shows, especially Star Trek, humans are depicted as the norm and everything revolves around them. Even Doctor Who with all of its alienness (and lead character being an alien) does this, but Farscape regularly reminds us that Crichton is one of a kind because he's nowhere near Earth and no one is familiar with him. That's what makes his cultural references all the more amusing. When he goes on about Kirk or Dorothy Gale or whatever, the audience is part of an inside joke and those around Crichton just look at him like he's an idiot (or more of an idiot than usual). This is taken to a whole new level when Crichton's friends make human cultural references (either spot on or completely off).

PsychoPere December 27 2010 08:42 PM

Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

Admiral_Young wrote: (Post 4610167)
I believe that the production order thing is addressed in one of the commentary tracks... [...] I'll chime in once in a while though with amusing anecdotes (hopefully)

Forgot to respond to this post previously...

Since I want to actually succeed in finishing the series for a change, instead of allowing myself to get distracted by other shows, I'll probably save listening to commentaries until some point after I've watched the entire series, rather than watching an episode and following it up with a commentary. If I were to try to do that, I'd probably never finish! Also, amusing anecdotes would, of course, be most welcome.

PK Tech Girl

- Crichton is characteristically compassionate and slow to accept conflict so far, preferring dialogue instead, as he was by stepping in front of Gilina to keep D'Argo and/or Aeryn from shooting her. Naturally, I expect his reticence to lead to disaster for him, and quite possibly the others, at some point in the future. Without providing any spoilers, would anyone care to confirm or deny that expectation?

- I like seeing Crichton and Gilina performing work that, in most Trek situations, would instead by waved away with some boring technobabble explanation. Watching people using tools and moving cables around might not be all that much better since I still don't have a grasp on any engineering principles involved, but it's at least preferable to watching people punch buttons and shouting out declining numbers.

- For the first time, I actually like Rygel through feeling sorry for and sympathizing with the psychological issues he's confronting onboard the Zelbinion. I'm glad this episode presents a further glimpse into the brutality of the Peacekeepers by showing some of the torture Rygel endured at the hands of Captain Durka.

- I think this may be my favorite episode so far. It really seems to have just about a bit of everything: an odd alien enemy (that spits fire!); a touching romance that can't go anywhere, with a side dish of jealousy; psychological problems; action when fighting becomes necessary; Crichton and Gilina both employing their brains to save the day; and D'Argo's fun bluffing scenes with the Sheyangs. I know Gilina returns in a couple episodes near the end of the season, but I don't recall what her fate is at that time, so I'm curious to know if she returns in any subsequent seasons.

That Old Black Magic
- Crais does not look to be in particularly good shape. He's obviously letting himself go with his obsessive hunt for Crichton. His second-in-command has to be nearly as crazy as he is to not oppose him constantly keeping his Marauders on search patrols. The other bridge officer didn't seem to think much of the idea, after all. And after the events of this episode, Crais has also obviously lost any shred of sanity he still had before, considering his cold-blooded murder of his second-in-command.

- One of the "little touches" with the alien cultures that I like seeing is how so much of their medicine is based on ointments and creams, and especially on such items that Zhaan can prepare herself onboard Moya, rather than the manufactured tablets and capsules that make up most of our modern Western medicine. Obviously it's more visually interesting (and amusing) to see a glob of something thrown onto Rygel's face than to watch him swallow a pill, but it also seems to me to represent the chaotic nature of the area of space Crichton is now in as opposed to his culture. On Earth, his life had to have constituted of regimentation of a sort by his nature as a scientist, but here he has to constantly adapt to changing situations.

- Aeryn's persistence in attempting to gain access into Maldis's complex is admirable and serves well to highlight the growing camaraderie between Moya's crew. It nicely mirrors Crichton's insistence in past episodes to not give up searching for others when they were missing, even when it was "just" a kidnapped Rygel.

- I'm glad this episode presents a further exploration of Zhaan's "mysticism." I feel that she's the character I "understand" the least right now, and I find it particularly interesting that she seems to have immense abilities that she's very reluctant to employ. I really hope future episodes go even deeper with the insights.

- Given the abrupt end to his confrontation with Crais and his following personal record, it feels like Crichton may finally understand that talking situations through isn't always going to be possible, that he may have to embrace conflict and combat in order to stay alive.

DNA Mad Scientist
- Holy shit, I can't believe Zhaan actually went through with removing Pilot's arm. I'm not surprised by D'Argo or Rygel, but I wouldn't have expected that from Zhaan. It provides yet more evidence that these aliens operate from a very different logic and morality-based system than we and Crichton do. I'm also surprised that Pilot doesn't appear to harbor any ill-will towards them. I appreciate that Aeryn chastises the others for their action, arguing that Pilot is defenseless and, as a comrade, didn't deserve that treatment. Her opinion puts her and Crichton solidly on the same side of the issue (or, as Crichton says, "the odd men out"), a case that hasn't often occurred in previous episodes.

- Since I've already seen the latter half of season four and PKW, I of course know that Aeryn and Crichton end up a couple, but it's still nice to see scenes such as the one in this episode where they discuss Aeryn's situation vis a vis the others. They can go home, but she can never go home, so what options does she have? As she says, she's always been defined by being one of many; on Moya, she is again part of a unit, even though it's a very different unit than she's used to. The softer side of Aeryn, her vulnerability and concerns for the future, is touching and helps to gradually show the growing relationship between her and Crichton, especially his offer to take her to Earth should he ever find a way home. Her response was pretty funny, too ("Me, on a planet filled of billions of you?").

- Speaking of the "alienness" of the aliens in the Territories, this episode does a very good job at showing just how tenuous the seeming camaraderie between the shipmates really is. While Crichton is focused on aiding Aeryn, D'Argo, Zhaan, and Rygel are instead feuding among one another for what each believes is a map home. They've been through many trials together already, but all of that pales in comparison to their goals to return home. Only Crichton, the one for whom a map can't be created, remains fixated on the issue that is truly most important: the plight facing one of the crew.

- This is a hallmark episode for allowing Aeryn to show, as I termed it before, her "softer side," her vulnerabilities and insecurities. Claudia Black was particularly good in those moments.

I also plan on trying to find the time tonight for "They've Got a Secret," "Till the Blood Runs Clear," and "Rhapsody in Blue," so I may be editing this post later to avoid posting twice in a row.

RoJoHen December 27 2010 08:50 PM

Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience
You are making me want to re-watch the series, like whoa. I am really enjoying the style of these reviews, and they seem a lot more level-headed than a lot of reviews I read around these parts.

As for Crichton...everything about him will get him trouble at some point or another. :lol:

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