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Old October 4 2009, 06:16 PM   #6
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Re: Farscape rewatch

AntonyF wrote: View Post
I recently gave in to the urge to rewatch Farscape, and have blown through the entire four seasons and Peacekeeper Wars in just a few weeks.

I'm now in withdrawal... it's bad when any TV show goes, but one you watch in such a short space of time and up to 5 episodes a day (I'm unemployed, so sue me) leaves a gap.

Heh. So did I, I finished just a couple of weeks ago. Loved it to pieces - I wasn't sure if the show would hold up as well as I remembered it to be, but the combination of cliche mashing, humour, strong character development and the wonderful nuances of the Crichton/Scorpius relationship (also the great production design & muppets) make this easily still one of my favourite space operas, and TV shows, ever. I just know a few years from now I'm going to rewatch Farscape all over again, I love it so much.

Anyhow, my worthless two cents and some more:

Season 1: Still possibly my favourite season. While I love all the high-octane stuff later, I do love the stories of the most of season one with just four cast members. There's something about it that I can't quite put my finger on... but it's just fresh, magical, great fun. To the point when Scorpy came along I was kinda sad. Don't get me wrong I love what was to come... but Farscape lost its innocence with the Aurora chair, and felt 'off' for a while after that.
I agree that I like the episodic wackiness of season one a great deal. More than any other season it emphasizes the idea that each week, some sci-fi cliche is going to be rammed into something else or twisted into some weird contortion and then picked at by our irritable, rag-tag group of extraterrestial convicts.

Even still, have nothing but love for the arrival of Scorpius at the end of the season and the whole arc there. In some ways, the first season ending arc actually held up the best for me.

Season 2: Started off a bit slow, and a bit 'off', and lacked some of the character of season one. But it gradually picked up over the course of the season. I don't think the 'Princess' Trilogy is all that, but it does continue to grow to the amazing episodes towards the end of season two. The whole final trilogy and season finale are just top class TV, and when Farscape firmly cemented itself as a confident sci-fi action series.
Yeah, season 2 begins very unevenly, with a number of poor and/or forgettable episodes after an initial strong start. I actually liked the Princess arc a great deal, although the titular Princess and the other royals aren't terribly interesting by themselves the writing's quite strong and it further the Crichton/Scorpius relationship nicely. I loved the end of the season arc originally because of its slapdash use of continuity and the piling upon piling of plot twists, but knowing all of this in advance seemed to lessen its effect somewhat. Still, Rygel's solution to the Durka plotline is very satisfying.

Season 3: I said I love season 1 most... maybe it's season 3. The split of Crichton felt contrived, almost like they wanted to split the two crews but couldn't have their leading man in one one place. Seeing an interview with David Kemper, I see that it was actually a reset switch for the romance. I think the split worked well, and gave great dynamics, but I always couldn't help but feel it was created because the writers needed to do it rather than it happening and leading to great stories. I love Talyn and his storyline, and love Crais... just love the whole growing arc over the season. And the final episodes of the season may be Farscape's best.
I found the Crichton split blatantly contrived in retrospect, but inspiredly so.

Blasphemously, I've never considered "Into the Lion's Den" the high point many do - it's a high point, but not the high point of the series. As arcs go I guess I've been ticked it's shorter than all the others. Even still, I was surprised how powerful I found Crichton and Scorpius' final scene here upon rewatching, I don't remember being so affected originally. (There is a consistent theme here, isn't there?)

That said, easily my favourite season.
Season 4: I am surprised how poor I found this on this rewatch. It's okay, better than much TV, but it lost its soul and sparkle a lot. A lot of the great character interaction seemed to go. The John/Aeryn thing was pushing Clark/Lana levels. Pilot and Moya felt sidelined (and I've always felt them integral to the show). I don't think there was one fantastic episode. Kansas was fun, and the best of the season though. The final episodes felt a bit unimaginative, even if they were kicking off some great story elements. All in all, just not Farscape at its best this year.
I liked season four, and still do. I have major problems with it - Grayza for starters is a lackluster villain and I can't make heads or tails of the dire Arnessk arc - but I honestly think it's got a number of above-par episodes like "Unrealized Reality" or "A Constellation of Doubt", and the final season four arc is a real tour de force comparable to the past three years. In fact I'll go so far as to say that Crichton parading into the room to meet the Emperor and Grayza is one of my favourite moments of his from the entire series.

I'm not defending it overmuch - some definitely weak episodes mean it's nowhere near as consistent as, say, season three - but it's got enough going for me not to condemn the whole season.

Peacekeeper Wars: last time I watched it with a 18 month gap... this time I could watch it straight away. It showed so many bits that would have made a probably excellent fifth season, so is rather sad. But they packed a lot in, and it worked well. Just hated that Lani forgot how to do Pilot's voice!
I thought they had a synthesiser problem, but... yeah. Every single time Pilot speaks in the Peacekeeper Wars I'm jolted. Aside from that it's a pretty good way to end the series, though I too would have liked a fifth season (and more of that Hynerian plot, damn it!)

Favourite episodes:
1) Liars, Guns and Money (trilogy)
2) Into the Lions Den (two parter)
3) The Way We Weren't (Shankar brought a very DS9 quality to this).
Hm. 'The Way We Weren't' was my favourite episode prior to rewatch but now doesn't seem as strong - good, but not my top drawer. I've got to go with 'Incubus' this time around. Favourite trilogies would be the first and then I'm not sure - maybe the fourth.

Worst episodes:
1) Taking the Stone (awful)
2) Scratch 'n' Sniff (I know what they tried to do, but it failed)
3) Meltdown (not awful, but I choose it only for Stark as a pilot... cringeworthy)
I don't hate 'Out of Their Minds' as much as I used to anymore, actually liked it (and oddly, didn't love 'Revenging Angel' as much either - comedy is funny like that), so I'd go with 'Taking the Stone', 'A Perfect Murder', 'Coup by Clam'. That's sort of at random glance episodes I recall being particularly boring, incoherent and/or pointless - nothing stands out as wretchingly awful, to be honest.

Favourite character:
Scorpius. Followed by Crichton. Prior to rewatch it would have been Harvey, and while I still love the bastard Scorpius is the real deal. Crais really is one of the best characters on the show, though.

Worst character:
Neranti (I wanted to airlock her so much with her damn dust slowing down so many stories, and ruining the What Was Lost two parter).
Hmm. I dunno. I'll just go with Grayza because I felt her actress performance was consistently off (she's perpetually monotone and oddly distant for some reason) and she wasn't half the person either Crais or Scorpius was.

Anyway that's my incoherent rambling superimposed onto your thoughtful and insightful views. Enjoy!
'Spock is always right, even when he's wrong. It's the tone of voice, the supernatural reasonability; this is not a man like us; this is a god.'
- Philip K. Dick

Last edited by Kegg; October 4 2009 at 07:18 PM.
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