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Old December 30 2010, 07:31 AM   #31
Bonzo the Fifth
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

Happy to see one of these threads. I happen to agree with some of the other posters here in that this show is curiously underrated, especially in light of some of the shows on the same network that did end up become quite well known (SG-1 and BSG)... go figure...

Yeah, I can respect Season 1 for its having laid the foundation and characterization for the characters and setting, but, for me, the series really doesn't come into its own until the 'Nerve'/"The Hidden Memory" 2-parter toward the end. That being said, good job at hitting the highlights of these early episodes.
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Old December 30 2010, 09:50 AM   #32
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

I don't like Rhapsody in Blue at all. It never made me care, even about Zhaan's backstory and it didn't exactly fill me with desire to learn more about the Delvians.

The Flax is pretty cool, though. I think something about this part of space must have a special effect on Rygel...
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Old December 30 2010, 08:00 PM   #33
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

Pemmer Harge wrote: View Post
I don't like Rhapsody in Blue at all. It never made me care, even about Zhaan's backstory and it didn't exactly fill me with desire to learn more about the Delvians..
You know, it's funny. I love Zhann's character, but it does seem that they never really got a handle on how to portray her actual species. Didn't help that she was a bit of an odd duck for her people. Likely that's why 'Rhapsody...' was the only Delvian-centric episode I can think of...

I may be jumping the gun a bit as we're not quite at this part of the series yet, but I had much of the same attitude re: the Nebari. Chiana was a cool character, but, like Zhaan and the Delvians, she was just way too different from the rest of her species to make me care about them or relate to them in any meaningful way.
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Old December 30 2010, 08:12 PM   #34
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

Bonzo the Fifth wrote: View Post
I may be jumping the gun a bit as we're not quite at this part of the series yet, but I had much of the same attitude re: the Nebari. Chiana was a cool character, but, like Zhaan and the Delvians, she was just way too different from the rest of her species to make me care about them or relate to them in any meaningful way.
Ah, I actually do find the Nebari interesting - something about how ruthless and powerful they were I guess.
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Old December 30 2010, 08:15 PM   #35
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

The Nebari had the potential to be interesting, and it's a shame they weren't used more. They would have made a fantastic recurring villain.
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Old December 30 2010, 09:56 PM   #36
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

Jolly Ole Saint RoJo wrote: View Post
The Nebari had the potential to be interesting, and it's a shame they weren't used more. They would have made a fantastic recurring villain.
I think that largely gets at the heart of my dislike. For a civilization as supposedly advanced and superior to the Sebaceans and (possibly) the Scarrans, you'd think they would have made a larger presence in the series. Instead, we get a few episodes vaguely alluding to a 'larger plan', and a token resistance to said plan, all of which was pretty much unheard of post Season 2.

Of course, the Nebari as a narrative device did have the promise to be an interesting series Big Bad, but had the unfortunate fate of being introduced at an awkward time in the series canon, immediately prior to the introduction of Scorpius, which I think we can all agree is where the show really began to find its footing. Unfortunately, Scorpius' rapid rise to the series' antagonist spot somewhat excluded the Nebari from having any kind of role to play in that dynamic, as, by the end of Season 2, we've pretty much established the setting as a power play between the Peacekeepers and the Scarrans, with no narrative niche for the Nebari's grand schemes to play out.
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Old December 31 2010, 06:08 PM   #37
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

I always felt that if we had gotten series five as had been originally planned we would have seen a lot more of the Nebari. They were indeed a most interesting and underused species in the show and in some ways would have been more menacing than either the Scarrans or Peacekeepers. Alas, I guess we just have to hope that maybe the comics will cover this angle at some point.
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Old December 31 2010, 09:47 PM   #38
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

Pemmer Harge wrote: View Post
Bonzo the Fifth wrote: View Post
I may be jumping the gun a bit as we're not quite at this part of the series yet, but I had much of the same attitude re: the Nebari. Chiana was a cool character, but, like Zhaan and the Delvians, she was just way too different from the rest of her species to make me care about them or relate to them in any meaningful way.
Ah, I actually do find the Nebari interesting - something about how ruthless and powerful they were I guess.
I may as well bemoan this one more time - I wanted to see a lot more on the Nebari and in particular,


Unfortunately, Scorpius' rapid rise to the series' antagonist spot somewhat excluded the Nebari from having any kind of role to play in that dynamic, as, by the end of Season 2, we've pretty much established the setting as a power play between the Peacekeepers and the Scarrans, with no narrative niche for the Nebari's grand schemes to play out.
I think Farscape could have juggled multiple elements like DS9 juggled the Dominion, Cardassians and Romulans over several seasons.
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Old December 31 2010, 10:14 PM   #39
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

Jeremiah Crichton
- D'Argo's loyalty to and insistence on continuing the search for Crichton feels very natural and appropriate, considering the events of the past episodes that I've commented on. In several situations, Crichton has been the one to refuse to give up, so it's quite right that D'Argo now feels honorbound to repay that tenacity. D'Argo is also becoming my favorite character.

- I'm a little surprised that Rygel went down to the planet with D'Argo. It's logical that D'Argo, Zhaan, and Aeryn would start having a debate about when it's no longer possible to keep searching, but I would've expected Rygel - despite some of his seemingly uncharacteristic actions in the past, such as "The Flax" - to be the first to vote to stop searching. (Of course, then the episode story would've had to bee completely rewritten, but that's beside the point .)

- As D'Argo said, Crichton "looks like dren" with that beard - but it's also an amusing look for him.

- Just once I'd like to see a fictional religion that didn't condemn people to death for not living up to its own expectations.

- Rygel expresses some interesting thoughts for a (former) hereditary ruler in this episode. He loves to be pampered and wants to be kept in affluence again, yet the opinions he expresses here are pretty damn reasonable for a king, at least based on historical Earth examples. He surprises me once again, which is certainly a good thing.


Durka Returns
- I never tire of seeing Moya exit starburst. It's such a beautiful effect.

- Nice to see Pilot take an assertive stand after the collision in the teaser. It was his/Moya's fault, so it was only right to bring the ship onboard.

- And here I am, getting the first hints of the power of the Nebari that the rest of you have been discussing over the last several posts. No warships, yet they were able to defeat the Zelbinion with just a "host ship"? That's... impressive, to say the least. A little unsettling too, even knowing the Nebari are never quite the threat the Peacekeepers are.

- Salis was creepy as hell. Is his demeanor typical of the Nebari, are they generally more like Chiana, or are they as varied as true individuals should be? (read: not the "all ______ are [whatever]" stereotypes Trek used for shorthand understanding ) I'm assuming the former, based on Chiana's comments to Crichton that her people would "cleanse the lot of you" if they catch up to Moya.

- Speaking of creepy, Durka takes that to a whole new level once his real personality reasserts itself. I love the way the actor enunciates his lines and pauses between certain words for emphasis.


A Human Reaction
- Even knowing that he's not actually going home to Earth, the "goodbye, Crichton" scene at the beginning of act one was very well written and acted. It was a very touching series of exchanges between Crichton and the others.

- Since this is a second viewing of this episode, the little hints dropped throughout the episode that this isn't really happening are much more apparent, and it's fun to be "in" on those hints now.

- On the other hand, even though this is a second viewing, the scene of Rygel's corpse is still as disturbing as it was the first time.

- I think this episode has provided the best use of the "screwing with minds" trope. This alien species's quest for a new home nicely mirrors Crichton's search for a method to return to Earth, especially since the aliens had hoped Earth might provide a haven for them.
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Old December 31 2010, 10:20 PM   #40
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

PsychoPere wrote: View Post

- Rygel expresses some interesting thoughts for a (former) hereditary ruler in this episode. He loves to be pampered and wants to be kept in affluence again, yet the opinions he expresses here are pretty damn reasonable for a king, at least based on historical Earth examples. He surprises me once again, which is certainly a good thing.
The more you see of Rygel, the more you realize that he is truly a much kinder, wiser character than might be immediately apparent.


- Salis was creepy as hell. Is his demeanor typical of the Nebari, are they generally more like Chiana, or are they as varied as true individuals should be? (read: not the "all ______ are [whatever]" stereotypes Trek used for shorthand understanding ) I'm assuming the former, based on Chiana's comments to Crichton that her people would "cleanse the lot of you" if they catch up to Moya.
Chiana is certainly in the minority. Unfortunately, we never really see enough of the Nebari to be able to comment on the species as a whole.

[/QUOTE]
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Old December 31 2010, 10:40 PM   #41
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

I don't mind Jeremiah Crichton, but it is very generic sci-fi (for which, read Star Trek). Who knew that Rygel being worshiped would lead to the villagers trying to kill him? That said, I did like how Rygel seemed to be genuinely disturbed by his ancestors' actions.

Durka Returns though, I like a lot. The plot isn't amazing, but it's well executed and the episode is exciting. The really cool part, of course, is the introduction of Chiana. I love how Gigi Edgley plays the character and I just think she added a certain something to the ensemble that made Farscape a better show.

A Human Reaction is one of those episodes (pretty common on this show), that I really shouldn't like. I mean, come on, this is so Voyager isn't it? As soon as they start killing off main characters, you just know what's happening isn't real or is going to be reset buttoned. But somehow, it works anyway. I guess that's the beauty of Farscape - it takes sci-fi clichés and uses them in such a weird and wonderful way that they seem fresh. Anyway, I really enjoyed this story. Seeing a glimpse of how Earth might react to John's friends was especially interesting and then you've got the John and Aeryn stuff and some stuff that'll be important down the line. In some ways, these last couple of episodes feel to me like the stage where Farscape really started to find its feet.
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Old January 1 2011, 03:39 AM   #42
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

Jolly Ole Saint RoJo wrote: View Post
PsychoPere wrote: View Post

- Rygel expresses some interesting thoughts for a (former) hereditary ruler in this episode. He loves to be pampered and wants to be kept in affluence again, yet the opinions he expresses here are pretty damn reasonable for a king, at least based on historical Earth examples. He surprises me once again, which is certainly a good thing.
The more you see of Rygel, the more you realize that he is truly a much kinder, wiser character than might be immediately apparent.


- Salis was creepy as hell. Is his demeanor typical of the Nebari, are they generally more like Chiana, or are they as varied as true individuals should be? (read: not the "all ______ are [whatever]" stereotypes Trek used for shorthand understanding ) I'm assuming the former, based on Chiana's comments to Crichton that her people would "cleanse the lot of you" if they catch up to Moya.
Chiana is certainly in the minority. Unfortunately, we never really see enough of the Nebari to be able to comment on the species as a whole.
[/QUOTE]

Yeah, Rygel is an interesting character, for sure. While he certainly has the arrogance and divine sense of entitlement that comes from being a monarch for so long, he's had a pragmatic, hard nosed view of the universe at large drilled into him due to over a century of imprisonment. He's arrogant, self-absorbed, and oftentimes a coward, but neither is he naive, ignorant, or stupid. He's learned things, hard lessons, and is not afraid to get his hands dirty, in any sense of the word. He just doesn't want to...


As for the Nebari, I'd say that we do see enough of them and their society to get a grasp on their behavior as a culture. They are a very monochromatic culture (Hell, look at their color scheme, black/white/gray... like a more sophisticated imagining of the Cherons from TOS), but, unlike the sometimes generic race descriptions of most SF, where it seems like the entire planet just one day decided to embrace a particular ideology or another, the Nebari's was by design. The Nebari have engineered their culture to get to this point, and from what glimpses we do get to see of it, this was not a process that many people agreed to go with. In many ways, the Nebari make the Space Nazi depiction of the Peacekeepers seem almost warm and fuzzy by comparison. The only real difference is that the Peacekeepers only force conformity and regimentization on their organization, not the entire Sebacean race. The Nebari seem to have forced this lifestyle on their entire civilization, which is, in many ways, far spookier, and shows just how dangerous even a simple wild child like Chiana can be for such a system, leading to her state when first introduced.

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Old January 1 2011, 03:47 AM   #43
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

Pemmer Harge wrote: View Post
I don't mind Jeremiah Crichton, but it is very generic sci-fi (for which, read Star Trek). Who knew that Rygel being worshiped would lead to the villagers trying to kill him? That said, I did like how Rygel seemed to be genuinely disturbed by his ancestors' actions.

Durka Returns though, I like a lot. The plot isn't amazing, but it's well executed and the episode is exciting. The really cool part, of course, is the introduction of Chiana. I love how Gigi Edgley plays the character and I just think she added a certain something to the ensemble that made Farscape a better show.

A Human Reaction is one of those episodes (pretty common on this show), that I really shouldn't like. I mean, come on, this is so Voyager isn't it? As soon as they start killing off main characters, you just know what's happening isn't real or is going to be reset buttoned. But somehow, it works anyway. I guess that's the beauty of Farscape - it takes sci-fi clichés and uses them in such a weird and wonderful way that they seem fresh. Anyway, I really enjoyed this story. Seeing a glimpse of how Earth might react to John's friends was especially interesting and then you've got the John and Aeryn stuff and some stuff that'll be important down the line. In some ways, these last couple of episodes feel to me like the stage where Farscape really started to find its feet.

I think the reason why it works is there in the title of the episode 'A Human Reaction'. Crichton doesn't just blindly accept the reality of things waiting to get mind-frelled. As soon as he realized something was seriously off the rails (which was, unfortunately, seeing Rygel trussed up like a biology experiment), he got the crap out of there and tried to do the best he could with what information he had. He acts the way you would expect a real person to react in these kind of situations. Kicking down the women's room door to hunt down the puppet masters of this scenario? Could you really see that solution come up in a Star Trek episode (no offense)? But it totally made sense, once he made the deduction. I think that's why Farscape was able to use some done-to-death plot setups but still manage a good story nonetheless... the plots were generic, but the reactions, the characters... they were genuine and real.

I agree that this is where the show really started to find its element... it also began a questioning of its own premise that I find rare in television: Is it necessarily the best thing for John to get home? Has he become 'irreversibly contaminated' by his time in the Uncharted Territories? Is Earth ready to deal with the fallout his return home and knowledge gained would entail? Mind-frell or no, how genuine were the reactions that were being extrapolated from John's mind? Would that really happen? Even more rare, we'll actually find the answers to a lot of these questions as the series goes on, but it's interesting that it's already presenting them this early in the run...
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Old January 1 2011, 03:48 AM   #44
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

One so-so episode (Jeremiah) and two great episodes. A Human Reaction is one of the top 3-4 from Season 1 and one of the first times you really get a sense of how good the show might become and how right for each other John and Aeryn are.

Chiana finally makes it on board. And, let me second Temis's familiar battle-cry for more Nebari storylines. I would have much rather taken a 6 episode Nebari arc than the dren we got in the first 5-6 episodes of Season 4 and then dovetailed that arc right into the war arc they went with.
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Old January 1 2011, 07:57 AM   #45
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

I, too, lament the lack of follow up to "A Clockwork Nebari" but I also believe that if we had gotten the season 5 we were promised (yes, I'm still bitter), we would have seen more of the Nebari. Hopefully the comics will eventually get to them (although I know they're rather focused on something else right now).
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