FARSCAPE Revisited Mini-caps / Season 1, Episodes 21-22 & Season One Highlights

9 Aug

Theme music time! End of season one!

Stewart here…and fair warning, some spoilers lie within…

Welcome back, fellow travelers of the Uncharted Territories, for another mini-cap on Farscape.  Before we wrap up season one on these minicaps, let’s look back at how we got here.  Earthman John Crichton and the misfit crew of escaped prisoners on the living ship Moya have had some rough times.  Besides being chased by insane Peacekeeper commander Crais, they had to deal with supplies, aliens, and Moya expecting a baby.  And now, their trouble has gotten worse with Scorpius, a Peacekeeper scientist who is really interested in the wormhole technology that has been found in Crichton’s head.  They have managed to escape a Peacekeeper base relatively okay, but with a new determined nemesis on their path and a new leviathan child in tow, escape is harder than ever.  So with that, let’s get to it…

“Bone To Be Wild”

While hiding out in an asteroid field from Crais’ command ship, Moya receives a distress call from a nearby habitable rock.  There the group gets involved in saving an alien girl from a monster, and then discover things are not what they seem.  Also, we get to see Moya’s Peacekeeper enhanced baby, and Crais getting shown by Scorpius who’s really in charge of this pursuit.  It’s a nice breather episode from the one-two punch of “Nerve”/”The Hidden Memory”, with some pretty icky moments (one person’s dismemberment for one) for good measure.

“Family Ties”

Rygel tries to negotiate with the Peacekeepers for his freedom and ends up with an unlikely ally in his corner: Crais.  And in order for Moya and her baby to escape Scorpius, some of them will have to go on a suicide mission in which they may not come back from.  Some great moments of reflection of where our heroes have ended up make this a pretty emotional end to the first season.  And oh yeah, there’s a dramatic cliffhanger that will leave you wanting to see what happens next season (at least for me it did).

The new decor for the W Hotel might be a bit too pandering to fans of severed heads.

I find first seasons in any show interesting because you get to see the constant experimentation it takes to make a show work, and Farscape is no exception.  The show got darker and more serialized as the seasons went on, but the roots are evident in the last third of season one, and it made for some wonderful sci-fi television.  It was risky genre television at the time, and definitely a change from the normal sci-fi TV show at the time.  Of course, the real test of a TV show is what they follow up a first season with if they get the opportunity to come back for another round.  But, that’s another story soon to be talked about…

Note Time!

–No explanation where Stark went.  It’s not the last we see of him in the series, but it’s a open end that was addressed in a line of dialogue ultimately cut from “Bone To Be Wild”.

–M’Lee is played by Ben Browder’s actual wife, who appears as several other characters in the duration of the series.

–So, um, M’Lee got stuck on a Peacekeeper Marauder as we learn in the season finale.  Love Scorpius’ question as to what happened to her guard.

–Yep, Zhaan is a plant-based humanoid.  Its kind of obvious in retrospect, but still kind of surprising.

–That creepy change in Scorpius’ voice when he manhandles Crais.

–Crichton’s still a little giggly from the Aurora Chair.  Oh, if he only knew…

–“Are you sure you don’t want to leave without your daily allowance of calcium?”

–“There is much cruelty in the universe.”  “Yeah, it seems like we have a treasure map to it.”

–The whole surface of the planet with the Peacekeeper base getting set on fire?  Effin’ badass.

Oh, what a view to see.

–Oh Crais, thanks for making me remember why I hate you.  And thanks for reminding me why Crichton should have capped your ass.

–Uh oh, someone lost John’s good luck charm.  Funny bit of trivia about that shot: it was the last one filmed for Farscape’s first season, and just after learning the show was probably going to be renewed.

–The loose translation of what D’Argo threatened Rygel with, according to Chiana: “Something about his corpse and a body function.”

–Speaking of D’Argo and Chiana, first indications of something else in the future in the season finale.

–And Aeryn got to name Moya’s baby after her father Talyn, who then got kidnapped by Crais minutes later.  Ouch.

–“Oh, to be in the warm glow of all of this testosterone.”

–“There is much in life that is unfair.  We’re all proof of that.”

–“This is John Crichton, somewhere in the universe.”

And to finish off my minicaps, I thought I’d present my own kind of arbitrary awards for season one, in no particular order:

–BEST EPISODES:  “PK Tech Girl”, “A Human Reaction”, “Nerve/The Hidden Memory”, “Family Ties”

–WORST EPISODES:  “Jeremiah Crichton”, “Thank God Its Friday…Again”

–PERSON I’D LEAST TRUST ON MOYA:  Rygel.  That would be obvious.

A still from the intentionally long-lost episode of MTV Cribs with Dominar Rygel the 16th.

–PERSON I’D MOST TRUST ON MOYA:  Aeryn.  Hey, at least I’d know where I’d stand.

–MOST IMPORTANT THING TO DO WHILE ON MOYA: Do not open “dangerous cargo”.

–PREFFERED WEAPON OF CHOICE: D’Argo’s Qualta blade/rifle.

–BEST HOOKUP: John/Aeryn.  Awwwww.

–LEAST LIKELY HOOKUP:  D’Argo/Staanz.  Yeah, very unlikely that’ll ever happen.

–IF I COULD DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT, IT WOULD BE: Kill Crais when opportunity presents itself.  Runner-up: better beards.

–HOPES FOR SEASON TWO:  Crichton gets all that Aurora Chair trauma out of his system.  Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha…

ON A MORE SERIOUS NOTE: I just discovered that Jonathan Hardy, the voice of Rygel himself, passed away this week at the age of 71.  Besides his many years working on Australian movies and TV, he is also co-credited with the script to Breaker Morant, a truly great movie you should check out if you haven’t already.  A toast to you, Dominar.  You will be missed.

NEXT TIME:  Season 2 of Farscape begins with our crew coming back together under tense circumstances and a horrible bargain in “Mind The Baby”, D’Argo helps a Luxan holy woman die and inadvertently puts Moya at risk in “Vitas Mortis”, Chiana deals with the death of a loved one by joining a group of thrill-seeking aliens in “Taking The Stone”, and an alien experiment makes the crew goes slightly mad in “Crackers Don’t Matter”.

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11 Responses to “FARSCAPE Revisited Mini-caps / Season 1, Episodes 21-22 & Season One Highlights”

  1. Brad Smith August 9, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    I remember watching the pilot episode and getting hooked from the start. It wasn’t Star Trek NexGen — which I was so happy about — and I loved the crew’s dysfunctional relationships. And I loved watching the dynamics of those relations evolve throughout the other 87 episodes.

    Some scenes I’ll never forget:

    A vivisected Rygel from “A Human Reaction.”

    “DNA Mad Scientist.” When some of the crew obtains a “sample” from Pilot — and a remorseful D’Argo playig a song for Pilot at the end.

    The Gammak Base’s destruction. I learned then to never get on Crichton’s bad side.

    Jeremiah Crichton. Everyone on the show knew it was a good idea but things went sideways during production. The commentary track is insightful and funny . . . .

    • elizabeth ann August 9, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

      Agreed on all parts. I can’t remember what it was the originally made me tune in- probably a combination of Henson and there not being a lot of Sci-Fi on TV at the time. In any case, it ended up being a fun series- there were some bumps getting started, but honestly after the midway point in the first season, the show found its feet and ran with it!

    • stewartmoncure August 9, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

      There’s great moments like you just mentioned from season one that I remember surprising me in a wonderful way. I’m already rewatching season two and reminding myself of some more great moments.

      Scorpius in a Hawaiian shirt? Need I say more.

      • elizabeth ann August 9, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

        I love Harvey so much!

      • Brad Smith August 9, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

        I just finished my run of FarScape — from the pilot to the mini-series. Yes, it was a bit jumpy in the beginning but it was nothing like the first few seasons of ST:TNG. It was a series that was . . . fun. It wasn’t heavy-handed, it took risks . . . you hated Crais then you grew to like him.

        Hell, I even liked Scorpius . . . .

        Plus you can’t go wrong with a helium-farting alien . . . .

  2. elizabeth ann August 9, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    Another great recap!

    I kept being distracted by the bubbles on M’Lee’s head… but overall, “Bone to be Wild” is a very good episode. With Dargo’s allergies (thus showing again that even though space travel and visiting other planets is common in the Uncharted Territories, there actually are things that make it difficult) and Zhann turning out to be a plant… there are some wonderful bits of character growth. And poor John… always believing the wrong person.

    I almost feel like Rygel’s behavior in “Family Ties” is out of the blue. I mean, sure, I can see him betraying everyone else to save himself but he went to Crais/Scorpious- which makes little sense when they both want to recapture him- and… in recent episodes his behavior had been more teambased… Not thinking solely about himself.

    I don’t think these were the strongest two episodes however, the way FT ends… man, I remember being so pissed we had to WAIT to see what happened!

    (I just finished season 4 and have the mini-series to watch tomorrow… man, this series is AWESOME!)

  3. stewartmoncure August 9, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

    I remember having some ambivalence about the miniseries. i generally enjoyed it, but felt it was a bit rushed in some places. I haven’t sit down to see it in some time, so maybe my opinion will change for the better.

    I admit Rygel jumping ship in the season finale was a bit out of the blue, but not too far out of the realm of plausibility for the character. I was more surprised no one thought of locking Crais back up or bothered to notice him leaving for Talyn.

    • elizabeth ann August 9, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

      I don’t recall if I’ve seen the mini-series at all. Oops… but I know I missed some of s3 & 4. Was a lot of fun to finally see them all.

      True- not implausible. Just… the crew seemed to be heading a different direction and suddenly Rygel is switching teams. Made for interesting arcs within the ep though…

  4. a fan (@farscape_one) August 15, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    Thanks for the revisit mini cap. FYI for fans, Farscape continued with the official season 5 (co-written by creator Rockne O’Bannon with Henson Co.’s blessing) in comic book form. The story continues from the last shot of the PeaceKeeper Wars Mini-Series and it improved as it went along. Keith DeCandido (other co-writer) really got the dialogue down quite well to the point that I could hear the characters (actors?) voices in my head while reading. Trade Paperback collections of the comics (graphic novel-esque) are available on Amazon.

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