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Farscape

Synopsis

Farscape is a science fiction show created by Rockne S. O'Bannon and directed by Brian Henson. The basis for the four seasons is that a modern day astronaut, John Crichton (played by Ben Browder) launches into space and due to a radiation wave gets launched into a wormhole through space and time. Crichton finds himself in the middle of a battle between spaceships. He is obviously shocked at finding life and tries unsuccessfully to contact his coworkers back on Earth. He is subsequently pulled into an enormous ship living ship known as Moya. He is injected by a tiny robot with “translator microbes” which allow all the different species to understand each other. It turns out that he has been pulled aboard a ship of escaped prisoners and they think that he is part of the “Sebatian” species that captured them because humans and sebatians look remarkably alike.

The series continues from this point as Crichton is chased across the galaxy by various enemies and encounters many different alien species with his new friends (the escaped prisoners) and ends up in a number of unusual scrapes. The plots are often extremely strange with things like clones being put in people’s heads and alien beings trying to achieve a spiritual awareness reminiscent of many religions today. Despite this the story mostly takes place on the ship and is more about the relationships between these very different species confined to such close living compartments and learning to live together. It also incorporates a number a wide range of different human cultures and twisting them in different ways to create the behaviours of certain species. For example on one world all of the inhabitants all love eating a certain food and become reckless jumping off cliffs which is very reminiscent of drug addicts. There is also a reoccurring theme of racism against half-breeds or characters that are the product of two alien species that somehow mated (ex. Scorpius). The show also has a huge number of pop culture references that Crichton says throughout all of the seasons (ex. In the first episode Crichton says "Toto I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore"). There is an entire website devoted to explaining all of the references Crichton makes.

History

The show was abruptly cancelled after the fourth season after a cliffhanger. Fans protested so much that a movie called The Peacekeeper Wars was created. Recently (July 2007) a number of webisode mini installments have been announced to be aired sometime in 2008.

Animation

Although the show is correctly categorized as sci- fi because of the storyline, it is also very much an animated show. It was one of the first shows to use Computer Generated Images so extensively. A huge number of backgrounds and entire worlds are created from CGI. The places feel extremely realistic as does the living ship Moya. Two of the main characters, Pilot and Rygel, are also animatronic puppets. They require a huge number of puppeteers and there is even a second less-expensive Rygel used solely for the rougher scenes.

There are also two episodes that obviously reference animation and videogames. Revenging Angel is the first (episode 60 in season three) and the second is John Quixote (episode 73 in season four). In Revenging Angel the creators split radically from the way the show is normally filmed. Farscape is a live-action show with a lot of CGI added in and puppetry but in this episode the entire world becomes cartoonified. It is a parody of the Road Runner cartoon and the majority of the episode consists of Crichton running away from D’Argo (see character list below). In John Quixote Chiana gets Crichotn to join her in a 3D role playing game that has been tapered with by one of their enemies. They are unable to get out of the game while meantime back in reality there is an emergency on Moya and both are needed. Crichton has to go through the crazy world trying to figure out how to accomplish all the tasks in the hope that by winning they can escape.

Character List

John Crichton- (Ben Browder)A Human who has accidentally found his way into space. He is the main character of the series Aeyrn Sun- (Claudia Black) A Sebatian and former peace-keeper who was contaminated by having contact with an unknown alien species (Crichton). Ka D’Argo- (Anthony Simcoe) A Luxan warrior. He is very young in space time and is often rash. The brawn of the group with a sensitive side. Chiana- (Gigi Edgley) A Nebarai. She was going to be sold as a slave but is saved by Moya’s crew. Zhan- (Virginia Hey)- A Delvian priestess. She is the healer on board and very spiritual. Rygel the 16th- (voiced by Jonathan Hardy) A Hynerian. He was Dominator (king) of an entire world. He is a puppet and is extremely greedy. He’s constantly eating. Pilot- (voiced by Lani Tupu) He is symbiotically connected to Moya (the living ship) and has tentacles that are fused to her. He has a number of extra arms with which he helps to pilot Moya. As Moya cannot speak, Pilot interprets her feelings and alerts the crew if anything is wrong. He is also a puppet. Captain Bailar Crais- (Lani Tupu) A Sebatian peacekeeper (Aeyrn’s former captain). He is in pursuit of Crichton from episode one because when Crichton arrives accidentally in the middle of the battle he knocked out a ship, killing Crais’s brother. Scorpius (Wayne Pygram)- He is a mix between the evil Scarran race and the Sebatians. He is after Crichton for information on wormholes as Crichton is the only one ever to have traveled through one.

Some other characters are Jool, Sikozu, Noranti, Braca, Grayza, etc. (There are just too many!)

References

1. http://www.scifi.com/farscape/main.html

2. http://www.scifi.com/farscape/

3. http://www.farscape.com/home.html

4. Interview with David Kemper [1]

5. Revening Angel Synopsis[2]

6. John Quixote Synopsis[3]

7. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0187636/

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