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Old January 3 2011, 09:40 PM   #61
PsychoPere
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

Jolly Ole Saint RoJo wrote: View Post
You have to remember that we are seeing some very unique perspectives. Our main characters, as far as the PKs are concerned, are a bunch of criminals. Much like the Alliance on "Firefly," how can we say for such whether or not they're evil? Because a handful of thieves aboard Serenity tell us so?
Very well said (and a great comparison to use ). In hindsight, perhaps I should have used quotations around "bad guys" in my previous post. What I was sort of getting at is that some of the PKs may indeed be pretty terrible people (i.e., Crais, Durka, etc.), but the majority of them are probably more like Aeryn and/or Gilina - otherwise decent people doing a job. The Peacekeepers obviously serve a purpose, since it's been said that they are often contracted by planets to "keep the peace," and individuals like Crais and Durka are, I would hope, the exception rather than the norm.


On another note, I received some Farscape reading in the mail today. For two items, I plan on pausing the series viewing briefly to read when I reach the appropriate timeframes: KRAD's novel House of Cards, and Uncharted Tales: D'Argo's Lament. According to the Farscape Encyclopedia Project, the former takes place near the end of season two and it's about 200 pages in length, so it looks to be a quick read; and the latter takes place in between some episodes in season three. I'll see if I can work my thoughts on both into this thread as I go along as well. In addition to those two, I now have the post-PKW TPB The Beginning of the End of the Beginning, which of course means that, as I near the end of the series, I'll have to start snapping up the other post-PKW trades.


Family Ties
- I'm amused that Crichton is still wearing the PK captain's uniform. He must be getting rather comfortable in that outfit.

- Obviously I already disliked Crais, but now seeing that he keeps "trophies" in the form of heads of some of his previous enemies? If he hadn't already earned it, guy just went straight into despised territory. It's... disgusting and disturbing, providing a clue that he must have been mentally unbalanced even before he became obsessed with Crichton.

- I'm very disappointed in Rygel, believing that he could parlay Crichton for his own freedom. I'm not sure how surprised I should be, however. In the past, he's often shown himself to be conniving and concerned mostly with personal preservation, but on other occasions he's risen beyond that to be a real member of this "Jerry Springer family," to borrow Crichton's description.

- Regardless of the temporary nature of the situation and the plans behind his presence onboard Moya, it is still quite refreshing to see Crais in a containment cell. It was also rather odd to see him sitting at the table, eating with the others. By stealing Talyn, he's kept himself, however temporary it turns out to be, as the preeminent jackass enemy, though I'm eagerly anticipating the future storylines wherein Scorpy takes that role.

- "How are you doing?" "I have to pee." "Kirk and Spock. Abbott and Costello."

- This was one of those great, on-the-edge-of-your-seat-type episodes that requires absolutely no action to keep a viewer enthralled (only one explosion!). Every single scene was imbued with genuine, heartfelt emotion, making this a fitting and fantastic season finale.


SEASON TWO

Mind the Baby
- I love it whenever someone tries to use one of Crichton's human idioms. "I'd rather go down on a swing!" D'Argo also has a good point about rock, paper, scissors; it doesn't make sense for paper to beat rock.

- Lots of interweaving scheming going on here: Crais with Scorpy; Crais with Aeryn; Crais trying to fool Crichton. Like D'Argo and Crichton, I have a hard time believing that Aeryn could possibly trust Crais, but I also can understand how Aeryn felt she had no other choice. That's one hell of a conflicting perspective and it's certainly fitting with the "no easy ways out" approaches this series takes.

- "Zhaan's trial"? Exactly how much time has passed since "Family Ties"? Do we get more answers on Chiana's off-hand remark later?

- I'm dismayed that Talyn chose to accept Crais as his master, rather than Aeryn. I hope he comes to understand Crais as the crew of Moya does before it's too late for him. I also hope that his decision doesn't result in Talyn being away for a lengthy period of time; I'd really like to see him again soon.

- I think it's safe to say that I now love Farscape. This was a good opening episode for the season, tying off the Gammak Base area of space with Moya and Talyn starbursting away at the end, yet more emotional responses (Rygel's reaction to seeing D'Argo, Crichton, and Aeryn again; Moya and crew's concern for Talyn; Talyn making his own decisions) but at a faster pace than "Family Ties."


Vitas Mortis
- Crichton seems to be taking on a sort of "big brother" role to D'Argo, especially in this episode as he talks to Nilaam about his concerns regarding D'Argo taking part in the Ritual of Passage. Naturally it's more explicit when Crichton refers to D'Argo directly as "brother," even if he's only at this point using it as a term of affection, rather than how he really does view D'Argo. In any event, it serves to underscore the family dynamics that have come to exist between the crew over the course of the first season.

- As I remarked for "Family Matters," Crichton must quite like that PK uniform, since he's wearing the full regalia (including gloves!) in this episode. Makes me want one of my own...

- "I wonder if I have any grenades left." "She was joking, right?" "Well, with Aeryn, it's hard to tell..."

- When Nilaam first asked D'Argo how far Moya's transport pod could fly, I expected this episode to end in a manner that would shatter, or at least erode, D'Argo's faith in the Oricans. I had anticipated that she would refuse to give up her life in exchange for Moya's returned health out of selfishness and the fear she exhibited about death to Crichton. After the end of the episode, though, I'm glad that she wasn't that simple and overt an antagonist; that would've been an easy, and clichéd, road to go down.

- In short, this was a pretty good episode, a well-done return to form of the standalone variety.
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Old January 3 2011, 09:51 PM   #62
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

It's been a while since I've seen most of season 2, so I don't quite remember how much time has past between "Family Ties" and "Mind the Baby," but it will eventually be explained.
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Old January 3 2011, 10:25 PM   #63
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

Family Ties is excellent. Probably the first time Farscape really did the "big emotional scenes" thing which became a bit of a trademark.

Mind the Baby was good follow-up, if not quite as strong as what came before.

As for Vitas Mortis, I guess it's middling in quality, but I quite liked it nonetheless.

PsychoPere wrote: View Post
- "Zhaan's trial"? Exactly how much time has passed since "Family Ties"? Do we get more answers on Chiana's off-hand remark later?
Ah, well, you see, Mind the Baby wasn't originally supposed to be the Season 2 premiere. You'll see a modified version of the original opener later in the season.
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Old January 4 2011, 02:25 AM   #64
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

Pemmer Harge wrote: View Post
Ah, well, you see, Mind the Baby wasn't originally supposed to be the Season 2 premiere. You'll see a modified version of the original opener later in the season.
That explains the mention on the DVD case of "the original season two premiere" as an extra, then.


Taking the Stone
- What timing. As I was starting this episode, I was hoping one of the early episodes this season would have a focus on Chiana, since she came onboard Moya right as events were heating up so much that there was no time for such an episode.

- As in the teaser here where Crichton blew her off, and previously in "Through the Looking Glass," I feel like Chiana has so far been given short shrift by the others on Moya. She's been pretty damn helpful but isn't given the same sort of consideration that any of the others would be given in her place. While I'm typing this thought at a time where I haven't finished the episode, I hope the events of this episode serve to start changing that.

- Since this was an episode that ostensibly seemed to be about Chiana, I wanted to like it. At the end of it, though, I was hard pressed to really care about anything that had happened. The Clansmen, especially Molnon, were just too damned annoying, and it felt like there was very little Chiana in this episode, even though its events only happened because her brother died. I also found Rygel's B-plot to be rather boring. A pretty big "yawn" all around for this episode.


Crackers Don't Matter
- "I hate when villains quote Shakespeare." Right there with ya, Crichton!

- This is probably the wackiest episode I've seen so far. I found it pretty entertaining overall, but I don't think I have anything to say about it beyond that.
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Old January 4 2011, 04:00 AM   #65
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

Taking the stone => One of the worst, forgettable episodes of Farscape ever. Thankfully, it's followed by a true Farscape classic, Crackers don't matter. Sadly I quit smoking pot long before I watched I ever got around to watching this episode, but I imagine this episode would have been an absolute trip to watch baked!

Still, stone cold sober it's still an awesome example of Farscape doing what Farscape does best, subverting Sci-Fi themes that have been done before into a truly original take on things.
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Old January 4 2011, 05:08 AM   #66
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

You know, I actually enjoy "Taking the Stone" for little moments that it has. I love the exchange between Chiana and Crichton at the end:

"Hey, old man."
"Hey, little girl."

But generally speaking, it is concerned one of the worst episodes of the entire series.

"Crackers Don't Matter," however, is absolutely fantastic and sneakily introduces you to a new character that will play a major role for years to come.
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Old January 4 2011, 05:36 AM   #67
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

Damn, go out for one night and the thread blows up... :-D

Anyway, Yeah, Nerve/Hidden Memory are awesome eps, and managed to establish Scorpius very, very quickly. Originally Scorpius was supposed to only be a single-episode villian and was supposed to bite it by the end of the two parter. Wayne Pygram nailed the performance so well, though, that they changed their mind about it, and decided to retool him into the series Big Bad... an excellent decision, IMO. He's one of the only villains I've ever seen that was both physically imposing, frighteningly intelligent, and not afraid to use either when necessary (though it is interesting that he doesn't make a point of demonstrating his physical abilities unless pressed or pissed off). And despite all the advantages, it can be legitimately argued that he's quite handicapped by his 'heating problem', which gives him bonus points for being a disabled badass, as well as a wicked cultured bad guy... Scorpius is, quite simply, a brilliant creation, and I never get tired of seeing him on screen.

It's interesting the way that Farscape approaches season finales' They almost all have an epic multiparter at the very end that you think is going to be the closing arc, but the multi-parter ends just short of the finale, closing with an episode closely related to, but not actually a part of, the main action. This works in Seasons 2, 3 and 4 (quite brilliantly, I might add), but it does end up being somewhat detrimental in Season 1's finale, as Bad to the Bone isn't a bad episode, per se, but it's not the strongest season finale.

Jumping to Season 2, 'Cracker's Don't Matter' is one of those episodes that Farscape loves to throw at you: An episode that, at first, seems deceptively like a 'light' episode, with a lot of what initially seem like throwaway gags, but end up becoming immensely important and loaded with foreshadowing in hindsight. I'm not even going to mention the major reveal of that episode, but needless to say, if you haven't watched the series before, you probably won't guess it before it's revealed. These writers really knew what they were doing...

And yes, Chiana will become more integrated with the crew, with a lot less dismissal and derision due to her 'childishness'. In fact, I don't believe it really goes on much after 'Taking the Stone', so no worries there, she'll get her own story arcs soon enough.
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Old January 4 2011, 05:58 PM   #68
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

Afraid I think Taking the Stone is pretty terrible. It all felt so utterly pointless, when it really shouldn't have.

Crackers Don't Matter, however, is a lot of fun. I loved hallucination Scorpius.
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Old January 4 2011, 09:06 PM   #69
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

I LOVE Crackers Don't Matter. Especially the part after Aeryn and Crichton have emptied their pulse pistols and jump towards each other...and Crichton beats her up and drags her away, exactly the opposite of what I expected. Great episode.

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Old January 4 2011, 09:28 PM   #70
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

Pemmer Harge wrote: View Post
I loved hallucination Scorpius.
I liked his obsession with margarita shooters.

TiberiusMaximus wrote: View Post
I LOVE Crackers Don't Matter. Especially the part after Aeryn and Crichton have emptied their pulse pistols and jump towards each other...and Crichton beats her up and drags her away, exactly the opposite of what I expected.
There are certainly very many funny parts in the episode, but I also find it a hard one to talk about in an overall sense.


The Way We Weren't

- I suppose that I, like the others, didn't want to dwell much on what Aeryn's past as a Peacekeeper entailed, the distasteful and perhaps even despicable actions (such as the one detailed in this episode) she might have carried out as part of her service. In hindsight, that was, as Chiana pointed out, foolish and dishonest to not consider. I certainly don't need the characters in a series to be the squeaky clean types of, say, TNG, so, while I find Aeryn's part in the PK plans for Moya to be abhorrent, I appreciate this new insight into the characters involved and that the show didn't shy away from showing Aeryn having been involved in something horrific.

- I am reminded of a comment that I made in relation to a previous episode about the emotionality that the Henson puppeteers were able to display on the puppets. Pilot's anger and sadness in this episode completely blew me away with how realistic it looked on the puppet. What they were able to achieve is quite stunning. Naturally, the voice actor did a magnificent job as well.

- As RoJo previously said, "but some of them are nice!" I'm glad to see that at least someone (Velorek) had recognized Crais's insanity even before his Crichton obsession came about. I also appreciate the symmetry with him having told Aeryn that she "could be more," the same thing Crichton would later tell her.


Picture If You Will
- A question about DRDs: Does Moya have a way to create new ones to replace ones that have been destroyed, or would she be completely out if all of them were destroyed?

- After his season one appearance, I expected Maldis was just a one-shot antagonist. I didn't expect he would return later to present a new threat to the crew. To borrow Pemmer Harge's description of "That Old Black Magic," Maldis did come off as "a bit hokey" in that episode, but I thought the painting in this one was a unique way of messing with the crew. A large version of his hand reaching into Moya, on the other hand, went back to "a bit hokey."

- I also liked that Maldis couldn't have cared less about Crichton this time, that all of his efforts were focused on getting revenge on Zhaan. Based on his previous appearance, one might have expected that Crichton would be "the one who got away," but of course it makes much more sense that he'd be interested in Zhaan.

- Am I seeing a burgeoning possible romance between Chiana and D'Argo?


Home on the Remains
- Honestly, I don't feel like I have anything to say about this episode. It wasn't terrible, but I'm not sure that I'd call it good either. All in all, I was actually kind of bored during this episode. I'm disappointed since I had specifically been hoping for more Chiana episodes. On the other hand, this episode does answer my question above from the previous episode.


Dream a Little Dream
- I've got my answer from the season premiere now: Over 20 days passed between the end of season one and the beginning of season two.

- The first advanced world in the Territories we get to see, and it's in flashback? I find that amusing, since so far Crichton has only seen mudballs and PK bases.

- 90% of Litigara's population are lawyers? And new law school grads in the U.S. think they have it tough... A world ruled by law firms sounds scary.

- I respect Chiana's perseverance on Zhaan's behalf. She hadn't been on board Moya with the others for that long a period of time at the point this flashback took place, and this shows how quickly she acclimated to her new environment. It's also good to see how quickly Rygel was willing to step up to defend Zhaan at her trial. I find that noteworthy not as one of those "rare" times where he does the honorable thing but rather due to its proximity to his attempt to sell out everyone to Crais and Scorpius.

- The above in combination with Zhaan's hallucinated conversations with D'Argo, Aeryn, and Crichton again speak to how close-knit this group of misfits has become, that they have been forming a new family of sorts, as crazy and unconventional as it may be.

- Rygel's plot to free Zhaan was ingenious. Good episode.

Last edited by PsychoPere; January 5 2011 at 02:13 AM.
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Old January 5 2011, 12:05 AM   #71
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

I absolutely love The Way We Weren't. It dredges up fascinating things from Aeryn and Pilot's backstories and comes up with one of the best stories the show's done. I agree with what you say about the puppetry on this show - Pilot comes over as more real than quite a few TV characters played by human beings. And of course, Lani Tupu and Claudia Black do fantastic work.

Alas, I found Picture If You Will and Home on the Remains two of the most forgettable episodes of Farscape I've seen. Can't say I was desperate to see Maldis again.

Dream a Little Dream's OK though. I definitely think it works better as just another episode rather than a season opener. Planet of Lawyers is ludicrous, of course, but it was fun.
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Old January 5 2011, 12:08 AM   #72
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

Aside from "The Way We Weren't," which I think it just a fantastic episode, you're in a stretch of very mediocre episodes. None of them are bad, but they're not the type of episodes you'd ever hurry to re-watch. Lots of standalones, very few lasting consequences.

That said, the next episode "Out of their Minds" is pretty fun.
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Old January 5 2011, 05:17 AM   #73
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

PsychoPere wrote: View Post
- I am reminded of a comment that I made in relation to a previous episode about the emotionality that the Henson puppeteers were able to display on the puppets. Pilot's anger and sadness in this episode completely blew me away with how realistic it looked on the puppet. What they were able to achieve is quite stunning. Naturally, the voice actor did a magnificent job as well.
I completely agree. I will never accept any person's excuse to not watch Farscape (or any other sophisticated use of muppets in film or television) simply because "they have muppets!" Because of the incredible puppetry, Pilot is one of my favorite characters because we see how alien he is. There are two separate moments in The Peacekeeper Wars that show how emotional Pilot and Rygel can be in mere presence alone.

Lastly, I have to point out that Crais actor Lani Tupu also voices Pilot.
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Old January 6 2011, 06:59 AM   #74
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

Elfin Mischievous Humbug wrote: View Post
PsychoPere wrote: View Post
- I am reminded of a comment that I made in relation to a previous episode about the emotionality that the Henson puppeteers were able to display on the puppets. Pilot's anger and sadness in this episode completely blew me away with how realistic it looked on the puppet. What they were able to achieve is quite stunning. Naturally, the voice actor did a magnificent job as well.
I completely agree. I will never accept any person's excuse to not watch Farscape (or any other sophisticated use of muppets in film or television) simply because "they have muppets!" Because of the incredible puppetry, Pilot is one of my favorite characters because we see how alien he is. There are two separate moments in The Peacekeeper Wars that show how emotional Pilot and Rygel can be in mere presence alone.

Lastly, I have to point out that Crais actor Lani Tupu also voices Pilot.
This bit, I felt, was worth mentioning again... The puppetry work here is wonderful, not only in the artistry and physical presence of the actual puppets and animatronics, but the way that the production, writers, and cast very much treat them as they would a real character, not as a prop or a series gimmick. These are real characters with real feelings and reactions, even though they're not remotely human, they garner a lot of sympathy from us.

At the same time, though, Farscape does a good job of showing characters such as Rygel and Pilot as not just a quirky, different approach to humanity, like Star Trek was a little too guilty of sometimes (no worries, it's far from alone in doing that in SF), but as aliens that don't necessarily have human mores and motivations.
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Old January 7 2011, 12:29 AM   #75
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Re: Exploring the Uncharted Territories: A Farscape Viewing Experience

Out of Their Minds
- Normally when I see a show do a "switched bodies" episode, my first thought is "oh, god, not again." This time, however, Farscape had already earned my faith, so my first thought was instead "oh, god, this is going to be hilarious." That said, I am glad the show didn't try a body switching episode in season one, because I probably wouldn't have been receptive to it at that time.

- I love the little "flash cards" Crichton-in-Aeryn came up with to differentiate everyone at a quick glance. "Shoot the damn gun, you blue-assed bitch!" and the exchange in general where Zhaan would only believe Crichton's body.

- Aeryn's reaction to Crichton's "exploration" of her body was surprisingly low-key. I guess that's due to not being able to do anything about it while in Rygel's body. On the other hand, she made up for it with her comments at the end of the episode about "being in your pants."

- The cast did a really good job embodying (no pun intended ) the other characters as their respective consciousnesses moved around. The highpoint of these performances was Browder portraying Rygel-in-Crichton. This was a really fun episode.


My Three Crichtons
- Mediocre. Nothing else to say.


Look at the Princess Part 1: A Kiss is But a Kiss
- It's about damned time Crichton and Aeryn kiss again. "The Flax" barely even counts since they believed they were facing imminent death.

- Also glad to see D'Argo and Chiana are indeed hooking up, as D'Argo especially deserves some happiness. I don't anticipate it being an easy or lasting relationship, however.

- The romantic strife in this episode is certainly in keeping with princess stories: Aeryn and Crichton want to be together, but only one can express his feelings yet; the Princess and Tyno want to be together, but Tyno recognizes the pragmatic necessity of Katralla marrying to keep Clavor from assuming power, while the Princess herself wants to care first about love.

- Another shallow note: I quite appreciate the outfits the women on Royal Planet wear.

- The first part of one of Farscape's famed trilogies was well done, capturing different emotional beats than the "end of the line" feeling that the episodes at the end of season one carried. The plans in this episode present an "end of the line" of sorts, of course, but at least everyone would live if things went according to plan (though why anyone would ever expect that to be the case, I don't know - obviously few things ever do for these characters!). Since this episode presents a potential marriage involving Crichton, the emotional core of the episode involves Aeryn and Crichton, even though the two only have a few occasions in which to very briefly discuss, leaving most commentary to come from the others. Knowing the eventual dynamic between those two characters, however, does not diminish this episode in the slightest, a testament to the writing and acting. I'm especially intrigued about the Moya subplot right now and looking forward to seeing more of that in the following episodes, possibly even more than I am in seeing how Crichton's situation is resolved.


Before anyone pulls out another "You stopped here?!" (I'm looking at you, RoJo! ), yes, I am, because it's time to head to a restaurant for dinner. Rest assured, however, I intend to watch at least the remaining two parts of this trilogy tonight.
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