Farscape Rewatch! — “Premiere,” “I, E.T.”

WEEK ONE

After some moderate difficulties in obtaining my DVD’s from Amazon, and some other not so moderate difficulties involving me having no time to actually do this because of classes and teaching and grading papers and such, it’s finally time. I don’t think that I could ever adequately convey the quality of my excitement. I think Lindsay came close when she said the prospect of these DVDs made her feel “like a kid on Christmas,” but I’m not even gonna try. I just wanna get this thing going before I start puking from joy.

Before you click on through, make sure you visit The Archives for ground rules and such, and make sure you bookmark that page. And now . . . Farscape! In which we meet John Crichton and some aliens from far, far away . . .

1X01 — “PREMIERE”

John Crichton looks out at the ocean. He is preparing for the biggest adventure of his life, but he doesn’t know it yet. He just thinks he’s going up into space, following his father’s footsteps. He tells his partner, D.K., that he has a funny feeling, like the feeling you get before graduation. Something big’s gonna happen. Commander Jack Crichton, John’s father, comes to wish him farewell, gives him a good luck charm: a puzzle ring, that was given to him by Yuri Gagarin. Then John Crichton, IASA astronaut, is launched into space. He is preparing to test his own theory: that by using Earth’s gravitational pull, he can slingshot around the planet “in a craft of his own making.” The idea behind this is to increase speeds to such a degree that this experiment will ultimately be known as the first steps of interstellar travel. But something goes wrong. Crichton loses control of his ship and is sling-shotted through a newly formed wormhole to a very strange place.

Almost as soon as he gets there, he’s causing trouble. He accidentally hits a strange ship with his Farscape-1 module, killing its occupant. He’s then pulled aboard another strange ship, this time a very large one shaped kind of like a giant tadpole. He exits his module; he is very freaked out. A strange and small yellow robot with pinchers knocks him out. I’m going to stop saying “strange” now because everything is going to be strange for our hero from here on out. He comes to in another room, where two aliens appear to be commanding the ship and firing on other ships. They speak in garbles, until he’s injected with translator microbes and is able to understand what they’re saying. The bald blue alien woman and the scary man with tentacles on his face are both very angry and violent. John soon learns they’re escaped prisoners — along with a small green alien named Rygel, who is apparently some sort of exiled Emperor — and that they’ve taken over the ship that was imprisoning them. A giant puppet alien named “Pilot” controls the ship, and we’ll learn soon, that he’s symbiotically attached to her. Yes, her: the ship is alive and her name is Moya. Moya, a Leviathan, uses her only defensive capability to help them escape. It’s called Starburst, and it’s not a candy. They WHOOSH away in a burst of light.

Over on the Peacekeeper ship — the Peacekeepers being the humanoid-type army that was holding Moya and the three prisoners — Commander Bialar Crais learns that his brother has been killed by Crichton’s ship. He’s pretty pissed, especially when he sees Crichton’s face. Back on Moya, tentacled alien knocks Crichton out with his tongue and then they lock him up. We soon learn that tentacles is named Ka D’Argo, and that he’s a Luxan warrior. Bluey is called Pa’u Zotah Zhaan, and she’s a Delvian priest. This seems to interest D’Argo very much; he’s heard some pretty pervy things, it seems. The third prisoner is Dominar Rygel XVI, deposed and formerly of Hyneria (an aquatic planet). Meanwhile, Crichton wakes up naked in a cell and is informed that he isn’t to be trusted, “any more than we can trust that.” Meaning, the Peacekeeper sharing Crichton’s cell, and who was pulled in along with Crichton before they Starburst. Her name is Aeryn Sun, and she kicks the shit out of Crichton. He thought she was human, but she’s not. She’s a Peacekeeper, which is a group, and is Sebacean by race.

While Zhaan, Rygel, and D’Argo are acquiring supplies, John and Aeryn “escape.” Aeryn wants to turn the prisoners in, but John begs her to have compassion, a sentiment she isn’t familiar with. Once the Peacekeepers arrive, however, they classify Crichton as a threat. Crais is so blinded by anger at his brother’s death that he won’t listen to reason, and when Aeryn attempts to defend Crichton, she is classified as “irreversibly contaminated.” She then has a choice: return with the Peacekeepers, mostly likely to be condemned to death, or leave with Crichton and D’Argo, and become an outlaw from her own kind. She chooses exile. Crais swears revenge on them both. They escape using Crichton’s slingshot theory, and this time it works, and the episode ends with Crichton addressing his father, hoping that someday they’ll meet again. So that’s it, there’s our crew. Destination: the Uncharted Territories. Will they ever get home? Where is home?

Trivia

  • In the original script, Zhaan was called “Pa’u Zotah Zenn.”
  • John Crichton was originally written as a NASA astronaut, but by the time the pilot aired,  he was part of the “IASA.” NASA decided to distance itself from the production.
  • The scene showing DK and Jack trying to contact the module after it enters the wormhole was a late addition to the edit of the episode. The purpose was for viewers to realize that the earth was not destroyed when Crichton left.
  • In the scene where Zhaan is meditating naked in her quarters, she is chanting the same mantra she uses throughout the series.
  • This is the only episode where the voice over was not used during the intro credits.

Metaphorically Speaking

“Premiere,” I think, remains one of the best television pilots I’ve ever seen. Certainly it’s not perfect, but it does such a good job setting up the world, the characters, and the themes that will run throughout the rest of the series, that any minor flaws it does have can be easily overlooked. Unlike a lot of science fiction, Farscape is an emotionally driven character set-piece, in which the science often takes a backseat to the fiction. In fact, most of this show is just ridiculously unbelievable, so you should just shake any thoughts of realism out of your head. That’s not what this show is about.

Right from the beginning, when we first see Crichton, we can tell what kind of show Farscape wants to be. John Crichton is an astronaut, like his father before him, and he has some issues with that. Watching these scenes, it becomes apparent to me that even before he goes up in space billions of miles away from earth, he’s kinda lost. Browder never once lets his smile get to his eyes. “I can’t be your kind of hero,” he says to his father, whose shoes he’s having trouble filling. “No, you can’t be,” says Papa Crichton, “But each man gets a chance to be his own kind of hero.” Mission statement! One of the things I love about Farscape is its willingness to admit that in the grand scheme of things, humanity as an idea is very, very small. We are a small planet in a vast universe, in which none of the habitants have even heard of us. We are so universally unimportant that we have yet to even step past the borders of our own solar system. So John’s journey in all of this is to find who he is in the larger picture. At this point in the show, he’s still talking to Canaveral, to his father, and he’ll do that for a while because that’s home for him. He doesn’t know anything else. Dude is lost in space with a bunch of potentially dangerous, criminal, and hostile aliens.

His shipmates are a different story. I love that they are escaped prisoners, and I love that all of them are assholes. D’Argo has anger issues, Zhaan has an ego, and Rygel is the most selfish creature to have ever existed. The great thing, though, is how their crimes and villainy — murder, anarchy, despotism — overshadow their species, so yes the divisions and lack of trust have a lot to do with race, but it also has a lot to do with issues that cross any sort of racial barrier. According to the philosophy of Farscape, we are all criminals. Which brings me to Officer Aeryn Sun, formerly of the Peacekeepers. She is a soldier, duty born and duty bred, and she has had all human* feeling trained out of her. One of my favorite scenes in the episode is when Crichton has to teach her about compassion; she doesn’t even have a word for it, but she knows the feeling: “I hate it,” she says, because it gets in the way. It doesn’t make sense. So when John tells her in that pivotal scene, “You can be more,” it’s not only a challenge to her as a character and what she might become, but to the show as a whole. It’s such a good beginning.

*I say ‘human’ here, though she technically Sebacean, both because in terms of the metaphor, what the writers and we should be concerned with is how we can apply these stories to our lives, and we are, in fact (I presume), humans.

The other thing is trust. Right from the very beginning, no one trusts anyone else. They are all companions out of necessity, and they are all alone in their heads. And of course they don’t trust anyone; they’ve been prisoners, they’ve been locked up, which I’m sure does wonders for one’s interpersonal skills. They’ve all learned to rely on exactly one person: themselves. Everyone, that is, except for John. John is alone because he has yet to find common ground with these people who have all lived in this universe since birth. He has no basis for his experiences, at least not yet, until he figures out, well . . . I’ll leave that one for later. Suffice it to say that Crichton is an optimist aboard a ship full of pessimists. I also love the early “relationship” between Crichton and Aeryn. When he first sees her in the cell, he believes her to be human and a look of relief passes over his face, until she kicks him to the floor and he learns she is just as alien as the blue one, or the tentacled one, or the one on the hovercraft. Aeryn makes the same mistake about Crichton, treating him differently than the others simply because he looks like her, but this is less a bonding moment for her, and more of a we familiar/superior beings must stick together kind of thing. The Peacekeepers are basically NAZIs, except without the genocide. Moreover, Aeryn thinks in terms of allegiances, not relationships. There is a perverse sense of satisfaction on Claudia Black’s face in the last scene between Aeryn and Crichton, as she tells John he’s in for a world of shit. She’s still a Peacekeeper at heart; she’d be back there in an instant if she could.

Trash Bin

The music of Farscape was never its strong suit, but the “music” in the pilot is just laughably bad. And I’m not talking about that wonderfully weird theme song (which I love), just the interstitial stuff.  The puppetry and prosthetic make-up of the main characters Rygel and D’Argo is still a work in progress this early in the season, but it’s by no means bad. The make-up artists and puppeteers simply hadn’t settled on a concrete “look” yet. The writing (and everything else about the show) is still being tinkered with, but all the makings of greatness are there, and besides the problematics of Crichton being a “scientist,” I have nothing to complain about.

1X02 — “I, E.T.”

There is an extremely high-pitched alarm going off on Moya that makes John go a little crazy, but it just pisses the others off. Turns out that the alarm is coming from a Peacekeeper broadcast, and was triggered by the removal of the control collar. Through her skin, Moya is broadcasting a signal to every Peacekeeper within range, and Moya will soon be found. Before they can even worry about turning the signal off, first they have to muffle it. Crichton has the first of many stupidly brilliant ideas, saying that they should use the water of the nearby planet to muffle the signal. After some argument about whether or not Moya — a space creature– will be able to survive the landing, the crew agrees, and Moya lands in not water, but mud, on a planet that resembles Earth. Meanwhile, Crichton looks like a crazy mofo with his eye-twitch. They have to hurry about their business; the gravity and weight of Moya’s own mass is crushing her.

After landing, they determine that Rygel is the only one small enough to get into the space and turn off the pulse beacon, but he’s too freaked out by the mud to be of any use. “Get someone else to do your dirty work.” Pilot interrupts, telling them that the beacon is situated on top of Moya’s primary neural nexus, an extremely sensitive area. Removal of the beacon will cause her severe pain. Crichton convinces Aeryn to help he and D’Argo find a numbing agent called clorium for Moya down on the planet. When native inhabitants show up, Aeryn and D’Argo provide a distraction while Crichton goes off alone in search of the element. He comes across a farm that reminds him a lot of Earth, and a kid finds him, one who resembles a human, but looks a little freaky in the face. The kid has never met an alien before, an alien being our friend “John.” Neither expected each other to be so familiar looking. Crichton quickly befriends the boy, whose name is Fostro. Fostro freaks out when he sees the clorium indicator, though, and Crichton ends up paralyzed on the floor (giving us our first really good Crichton-freak-out scene — he does those so well). Fostro’s mother, Linnaea, is an amateur UFO tracker or something, so she had been aware of Moya’s presence, but wasn’t sure of her nature. Crichton pleads with her, saying they mean no harm, and it freaks her out that the alien is so much like her.

Back on Moya, Zhaan convinces Rygel to help remove the beacon, and they have to start without the others due to Moya’s condition. Zhaan says she will help alleviate Moya’s pain using her priestly superpowers. Meanwhile, D’Argo and Aeryn are stuck up a tree waiting for Crichton, and arguing enjoyably (for us, not them). On Moya, Zhaan and Rygel start the removal, Rygel using D’Argo’s penis knife. Moya, Zhaan, and Pilot are soon overcome with pain and Rygel has to soldier on alone.  Aeryn returns to the ship mid-crisis and Rygel has a freak-out, biting Aeryn like a vicious piranha. He eventually agrees to continue, and Zhaan and Aeryn have a little bonding time. Aeryn couldn’t give a shit, but Zhaan is coming to understand her better. On the planet, the local military has captured D’Argo, who has come looking for Crichton. Fostro and Crichton manage to rescue him and head back to the ship, but not before Crichton charms his way into their hearts forever. Once the pulse beacon is removed by a triumphant Rygel, Moya pulls out of the muddy morass and heads back to the stars, leaving Fostro and Linnaea down on their cruddy little rock. Aeryn asks Crichton sarcastically whether he’ll miss “that rock,” and he replies, no, “Not that rock.”

Trivia

  • This episode was broadcast out of order during Farscape‘s first run – it is actually the second episode of the season, hence the odd conflictions in character continuity during this episode if watched at a later stage – references to the control collar from “Premiere,” Aeryn yearning for Peacekeepers, and little functionality between the crew.
  • Series creator Rockne O’Bannon admits that while the episode suffered in execution because it was filmed so early in the series, he stands by the script since it keeps John down-to-earth and serves as a touchstone for the writers for all the episodes that follow.
  • Aeryn says “crap” instead of “dren,” one of the few times “Earth words” are unintentionally spoken by non-human characters within the series. However, “crap” is said again–this time intentionally–by both Crichton and Aeryn in Peacekeeper Wars when Moya crash lands onto Qujaga.
  • The first of six Forbidden Cargoes for Leviathans is identified here: Clorium, which numbs Leviathans. Zhaan says it’s a fairly common element, being an atmospheric-induced isotope of ‘trillium.’ But we can just call it ‘salt.’

Metaphorically Speaking

This is the perfect second episode, why they aired it as number seven is beyond me. “I, E.T.” is, fittingly, a reverse E.T. story. If this were Star Trek, it would be a First Contact episode, and there would be lots of blabber about the Prime Directive. It’s perfect as the second episode because a) the crew are still getting to know one another, and the crisis on Moya acts as a kind of catalyst for change, and b) Crichton realizes, really and truly, his place in regards to the rest of the universe. They drop into a culture very like Earth’s, and one which has also not left its planet. They are “earth”-bound. But this time, Crichton is the alien, so of course the obvious thing to observe here is that Crichton is learning to see himself in relation to others, and that other species feel the same way tht humans feel about themselves. They thought they were alone in the universe, and now they know they’re not. But it’s also that by having this encounter, by being able to see a reflection of himself in the form of Linnaea and Fostro, that he can really understand how far he’s come in such a short time, and how lucky he is to be able to explore it. He’s ready to stop thinking about the universe by his old standards and reevaluate his core beliefs. He tells Linnaea that he knows she must be feeling that “a zillion of your facts about religion and science are wrong, or at least suspect,” and that he knows he wasn’t what she was expecting. And it’s clear when we see Linnaea being left behind on the ground and she’s looking up at the stars, that in gaining the knowledge of alien life, she’s also lost something. She, too wants to be up in the sky. She’s wanted to be up there her whole life, so even though Crichton is far from home and he may never get back, he is lucky for the opportunities that are open to him and that he didn’t have before.

In this episode, we also get the first sense of a couple of things, the first of which being the other Moyans’ contempt or underestimation of Crichton as an evolved being. They view him as primitive and kind of backward in both technology and intelligence. The conversation between Aeryn and D’Argo up in the tree is pretty revealing. D’Argo holds John in contempt. He certainly acknowledges that John isn’t not useful, but in comparison to himself and Aeryn, definitely inferior. It’s kind of a weird bonding moment between Aeryn and D’Argo, an acknowledgment that they’re both warriors — albeit ones from very different cultures — and John is FAR from a warrior. This is also Rygel and Zhaan’s episode as much as it is Crichton’s. In the face of crisis, Rygel feels useless. He doesn’t know how to cope with pain or do things for himself, let alone others. He’s had servants to do everything for him; even in jail he didn’t have to worry about doing things. But Zhaan bucks up his courage, showing him a compassion that only a saint or a blue alien could muster up — and he lives up to her expectations. It’s one of my favorite moments from early season one, when Rygel shouts out “I did it! I did it!” after fixing Moya, and then proceeds to eat part of her cure. Just goes to show you that even with progress, people can’t shake off their basic natures, and Rygel’s basic nature is self-serving and greedy.

This episode is also indicative of something else. Each crew member has certain aptitudes. Aeryn and D’Argo are warriors; Zhaan is spiritual and a healer; and Rygel is a leader, but more importantly, he represents the body, the baser instincts of the group. Crichton’s ultimate use is not yet clear, but he does show an aptitude for finding solutions, and he has a certain technological know-how that comes with not caring about social status (Aeryn and D’Argo both scorn the Peacekeeper tech as menial). I also think it’s pretty apparent that Crichton understands things. Lastly, get used to those outfits. The crew change clothes about once a season, but they never really change their color scheme, and for good reason. Now that I think about it, it’s kind of symbolic. Zhaan is always blue, a healing color. D’Argo, red: a warrior. Aeryn, black. Rygel, green. And John is white (for now). Go nuts with that one.

Trash Bin

Fostro and Linnaea shouldn’t be able to understand Crichton. They don’t have translator microbes. The little kid who plays Fostro is kind of a bad actor; they could have done better. I also think the last act of the episode suffers a little from lack of sophistication. Endings and such are something the show will become exceedingly good at, but as previously stated in regards to “Premiere,” they’re still working out the kinks.

As a point of interest, I went to see Planet 51 over the weekend solely because it reminded me of this episode. Basically, they have the same plot, and the astronaut in that movie looks exactly like John Crichton. Unfortunately, while not horrible, the movie in no way lived up to my expectations. I hate when animated films think making references to pop culture or other films is a suitable replacement for originality and genuine emotion. Anyway, I bet you a hundred bucks somebody working on that that film was a Farscape fan.

– – –

Crichtonisms

  • “You fart helium?!”
  • “Boy, was Spielberg ever wrong. Close Encounters, my ass.”
  • “It feels like it’s melting my brain. It couldn’t actually be doing something to my brain, could it?”
  • “Well if she can’t, she can’t. And we can stick our heads between our legs and kiss our asses goodbye.”
  • “Hey! Does this bother you? Because it bugs the crap out of me. So can we go? Before we become a permanent tourist attraction in this bog, and my eye falls out?!”
  • “It’s kind of like Louisiana. Or Dagobah.”

PuppetWatch!

  • Rygel XVI: His hairy ears and his moustache, and how he’s so small! I love the greedy little bastard.
  • Pilot: Personally, Pilot is my very favorite puppet on the show, including all the various guest puppets. I love his big dish shaped head.
  • DRDs: Can we consider these puppets?
  • The scary merchant puppet from “Premiere” had way too many teeth and like five mouths. Pretty awesome puppet, though.

– – –

“Crackers Don’t Matter!” (Miscellaneous Thoughts):

  • A Farscape Glossary: arn=hour, cycle=year. A metra is a measure of distance; a hetch is a measure of speed. DRD stands for Diagnostic Repair Droid. IASA is most likely an acronym for “International Aeronautics & Space Administration.”
  • Interstellar swearing: hezmana=hell.
  • Zhaan says, “I am nothing if not a product of my upbringing.” Show philosophy!
  • “I must have come here through a wormhole. The only way I’m gonna get home is through a wormhole. That means I have to either find one or make one. Yeah right.”
  • “I know that feeling. I hate it.”
  • “He claims to be a human, from a planet called ‘Urp.'”
  • “And there’s life out here, Dad. Weird, amazing, psychotic life. And uh, in Technicolor.”
  • Crichton messes with Aeryn, telling her that Yoda is real. “Who’s Yoda?” “Little green guy. Trains warriors.” “Oh.”
  • D’Argo kind of looks like a duck when he’s roaring.
  • Crichton’s throwaway line about militaries rarely being compassionate and understanding is pretty key to the central thematics of the show.
  • Aeryn’s eyebrows are crazy out of control. I read an interview with Claudia Black a few months back in which she talked about her evolving appearance on the show. She cringes when she watches early episodes of herself, but I think her unkempt appearance and lack of vanity is very fitting for the character.

– – –

Classic Moments in Farscape, #1

[Crichton, Aeryn, and D’Argo are in the midst of escaping Peacekeeper custody.]
Crichton:
[holding a weapon on the Peacekeeper guards, speaks to D’Argo] Can you get me away from here?
D’Argo: What?
Crichton: Can you get me off this rock? Away from these over-amped rent-a-cops? Away from Crais. [nodding at Aeryn] And we take her, too.
D’Argo: What? Never! I will take you. You are a man and she . . .
Crichton: [interrupting] If she stays . . . we all stay.
[Crichton hands D’Argo the blaster and releases him from his cuffs, and then moves to do the same for Aeryn. She flinches away.]
Aeryn: No! I will not come with you.
Crichton: You’ve been irreversibly contaminated, remember?
D’Argo: It means death.
Aeryn: [earnestly] It is my duty, my breeding. Since birth, it’s what I am.
Crichton: You can be more.

– – –

Coming up on the Farscape Rewatch: “Exodus From Genesis,” “Throne For a Loss”

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Comments
31 Responses to “Farscape Rewatch! — “Premiere,” “I, E.T.””
  1. Emily says:

    Lovely review. Will you be doing the same for TNG?

    • Ashley says:

      Nope! Although I will probably write up a couple of short reviews, one in the middle, and one after I’ve finished the entire series. I just finished “Too Short a Season” from season one. It’s going slowly.

  2. Dan says:

    I agree with you about Pilot, not only is he a great character, but from a purely technical level, he is one hell of a puppet.

    I remember watching the first episode when it premiered and not really digging it. I’m not sure why…I think it had to do with trying to familiarize myself with a sci-fi world that was unlike anything I had ever seen before. I had pretty much written the show off as “not my thing”…until SciFi did a mini-marathon of the first six episodes. The episode that finally made me a fan? “Throne for a Loss”

  3. myoctober says:

    1. I LOVE that you saw Planet 51 bc it reminded you of Farscape. Because that’s exactly what I thought when I saw the previews.

    2. This was WAY more than what I was expecting- you have time for this? Because it’s way awesome.

    3. I love rewatching pilots after I’ve seen the whole series. Like the Zhaan chant (same!), Claudia Black’s appearance, the continuity and absolutely brilliant characterization that goes on. I have to say this show is probbly the best when it comes to keeping up with the basis of the characters even as they evolve.

    4. The beginning of Crichton’s pop culture references. <3

    5. I've always thought the music was bad. Crichton's better with leather. And I started talking along with the theme song in the pilot and almost thought they took out the voice overs. Which would have angered me.

    6. God, I love this show.

    • myoctober says:

      Also, I love the classic moment. I had totally forgotten how Aeryn ended up staying on Moya instead of getting killed. It’s SO John of him to do that. And SAY that.

    • Ashley says:

      2. I do not, in fact, have time for this, but I MAKE time because it makes me happy.
      3. That’s why rewatches are fun! You understand so much more the second time through.
      4. This kills me, because they never have ANY CLUE what he is talking about, but that never stops him. He just keeps talking. I think it’s his way of staying sane.
      5. No voiceovers on the pilot because it would have been a spoiler.
      6. Me fucking too.

    • amorporchoco says:

      mmmm, Crichton in leather. Om nom nom.

  4. Jen says:

    Hmmm…I seem to have watched the wrong second episode since Netflix lists the episodes in broadcast order. I’ll have to watch I, ET this week and come back. To be continued…

  5. amorporchoco says:

    Premiere
    1. The “be your own kind of hero” stayed with me from the pilot, and became one of my favorite tv quotes, ever. And me, being a quote whore and all, that is saying something.

    2. I think it’s funny that if the show had come out 3 years later, Crichton probably would have had an iPod on board with him. Oh that antics that a little Southern Rock could have initiated.

    3. Definitely agree with you about her warning him about him about to fall into the rabbit hole into “a world of shit.” But it’s nice that at the same time, he’s introducing her to a way out of that world.

    4. My dog has similar eyes to Zhaan. Guess what my dog’s name is?

    I, E.T.
    Oh twitchy Crichton. How does Ben Browder manage to make twitchiness a cuteness amplifier? Also – love when his Southern drawl sneaks in.

    “Dagobah, where Yoda lives.” Said John Crichton, matter of factly. For all the condescending comments and looks directed John’s ways, I love when he uses little pieces of pop fiction to play right back at them.

    Loves post-coitus Zhaan and Rigel. Well, not actually post-coitus, but I totally expected them to share a cig. after saving Moya, all splayed out there.

    As always, you touch upon my favorite parts, and I learn and think about more about the show because of your comments. Little left to be said, your Awesomeness.

    Also, I am DYING to get to “Crackers Don’t Matter.”

    • Ashley says:

      2. I’m glad it was so early. That makes it more fun when [SPOILER!] they go back to Earth and everything’s so different.

      4. Zhaan? If it is, you are a huge nerd.

      Twitchiness, spasticness, cowardice . . . Browder makes them all look good. It’s a talent. (Me too on the “Crackers Don’t Matter”.)

  6. amorporchoco says:

    2. Soo true
    4. Yes, tags have it spelled Zahn – and my mom wanted it too, LOL.

    I had forgotten the talent of Browder, Black & Hey. Like you mentioned, the show comes off a little rough because of the effects, and getting on its feet. But the bricks are being laid for brilliance. Trust.

  7. Jen says:

    Preface – I’m not re-watching, I’m watching for the first time, so I probably have a different perspective from most of you guys.

    I’m catching up… slowly… very slowly. Christmas is cutting into my Farscape watching time. But I’m still going to comment, albeit later than everyone else.

    I just have to say, while watching “I, ET” I was cringing throughout his first contact with the beings whom had never encountered alien lifeforms. The part of me that is a huge Star Trek fan was screaming “PRIME DIRECTIVE” so loudly. I’m guessing the Farscape ‘Verse doesn’t really have many overarching rules about things (especially considering they are all escaped prisoners, renegades, and one guy really out of his element). I think it gives opportunities for interesting storylines and a completely different type of vibe but it is going to take me a while to get used to it. It will probably stress me out a bit.

    Also, I love that the main guy is not the captain of the ship and that there isn’t a strict military hierarchy. How amazingly refreshing. I’m liking it so far!

    PS – I love the confused looks on their faces when he makes cultural references that make absolutely no sense.

    • Ashley says:

      Hi! It’s fun to have your “different perspective” on here. It reminds me of when I first watched the show, and it’s always super interesting to me to see people’s first reactions, especially ones who are used to Star Trek. Fun trivia: this show was pitched as the “anti-Star Trek,” so there’s that. It’s funny that you mention that it’s stressing you out. That’s how I felt about Buffy the first time I watched it because I was used to the slow pace of The X-Files where nothing ever happens and mythology wraps itself around your face because it’s so confused. I was like, OH MY GOD THINGS ARE CHANGING I’M NOT SAFE I HAVE TO GO HIDE UNDER MY BED. And that was just season two.

      I watched all the “anti-Treks” (Firefly, BSG, this one, etc.) before I watched Trek so I’m kind of in the exact opposite situation. It’s really hard for me to get into TNG because it’s so pristine and orderly and I’m used to the crazy. Isn’t DS9 your favorite? I can’t remember.

      • Jen says:

        I’m not sure how far you are into TNG, but keep in mind that the first season of any trek show is not necessarily the best – or indicative of how the show is going to be in the future. I still can’t believe that the second episode is the one where they all get space-drunk – it’s so un-star trekky (but funny and quotable) “Data, you are fully functional, aren’t you?”. I really like TNG (and I LOVE Data) but, for the most successful continuous story arc, I would have to go with DS9. I love the characters and how the relationships develop (and space battles, yay!). You also have to watch it from start to finish, which is why I think a lot of people (even TNG fans) can’t get into it – it’s not episodic like most of the other series. Did I ever tell you the story about how Jameson called me crying while watching the last season of DS9? – yeah, you can use that against him. “Jen, I just don’t understand why this show had to end!” Poor Jameson, but it’s sweet.

        I really like Voyager too, but a lot of people don’t. They are all sexist against Janeway, but I think she’s kind of a badass. The first season kinda blows, though (following the rule above).

        I know what you mean about Buffy. It was like: Whoa! The supernatural is there. It exists. And they are all surprisingly OK with it.

        I’ve seen all the anti-treks that you mention (except this one, obviously). I like the term anti-trek. I’m totally going to start using it. I love those too. This is the only one that I have come across that doesn’t have a military or military-like hierarchy, even an informal one (ie, even in Firefly there’s a captain and 1st officer). I guess the enemy has one, if that counts.

        Ok, I have had this comment box open ALL DAY. Time to submit.

  8. First-rate work. You have won a new fan. Please keep up the superb writings and I look forward to more of your newsworthy writings.

  9. Craig says:

    I’m just watching the episodes for the first time (on your recommendation), so I certainly won’t pick up nearly as much as you do on a rewatch. (I also watched them in the order they are on Netflix, so I, ET was fourth.)

    I quickly learned to love and hate Rygel. He’s so selfish and loathsome, but at the same time clever and a great character. Even as far as I am now, I still feel pretty much the same way. I get frustrated with him when he reverts, but I can never really dislike him.

    I was a little unsure to begin with about a show full of puppets, but it quickly stopped being something I thought about and became simply part of the characters.

    I think you hit the nail on the head with what makes the show so good when you described it as emotional and character driven.

  10. Larry says:

    Not certain if you’re still getting these comments, but I’m posting 1.52 years later regardless.

    I don’t remember the exact episode I started watching Farscape, except it was late enough in the first season for Chiana to have been on Moya. When I realized my little Nebarian sprite hadn”t been on since the beginning, I was blown away. But her introduction worked for me.

    I loved the entire first season. Takeaways from Premiere: “Don’t move or I’ll fill you full of … little bolts of light” (pop culture reference mashing horribly with John’s new reality). The fact that “You can be more” comes up later floored me. And the idea that the universe is full of angry aliens who would just as soon kill a human on sight for being annoying before trying to figure out if it’s intelligent enough to converse with, turns the human-centric stories of other shows on its head. YEA. They only deal with us if we have something they want, and will let us live as long as we have something to offer. DOUBLE YEA.

    I, ET: I completely missed the continuity error that the Fostra and Linnaea shouldn’t have been able to understand him. Good catch! The Yoda reference and the way that Browder tries not to smirk as he says it, while Black gives nothing away in reaction, FANTASTIC! Thank you John for that pop culture reference! One of the things I love him for. Making the universe even more zany. Nmatter how weird the rest of the universe is, humans are capable of making it even more so.

  11. rebecca pitt says:

    wow…thanx, i honestly miss this show so bad it makes me emotional when ever i read about it or come across reminders lol!!!!!!!! best show ever created and im still hopeful of a future return :'(
    thanx for a gr8 insight

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