It’s hard to believe that it’s been a decade since ‘Farscape’ was on the air and yet the number of books about the TV series can’t even be counted on one hand yet. ‘The Worlds Of Farscape’ should at least help to balance out that score with fourteen articles by nine writers. Editor Sherry Ginn does a recap of the key elements of the series for anyone needing a quick recap before settling down to a read.
In many respects, although none of them here say as much, John Crichton does share some parallels with William ‘Buck’ Rogers by being a literal fish out of water and having to befriend strangers in a world or part of a galaxy not his own. As J.P. Telotte points out, although he’s human, Crichton isn’t really the typical everyman to the audience but he’s human enough for us to relate to his situation. In many respects, if ever a human is going to engage with alien species off-planet then the first one is likely to be an astronaut.
I’m not sure if I agree with writer Ensley F. Guffey in that the Peacekeepers are completely racist. As there are some comparisons made to the Nazis, even they partnered up with the Italians who would clearly not have been their partner of choice had they not also gone to war against the allies.
It’s inevitable that sex will be discussed and editor/writer Sherry Ginn covers most of the relationships. I thought for a moment that she had forgotten about Rigel’s single dalliance or any possible relationship between Aeryn Sun and Crais then or earlier but this is covered by Jessie Carty in the next article. Considering that Luxans can cross-breed with different aliens, I’m surprised none of them have affected their overall gene pools. Likewise, if Scorpius’ form-fitting costume isn’t a call for leather or plastic fetishes I don’t know what is. Until now I thought ‘vanilla sex’ had something to do with ice cream. Something else that wasn’t accounted for was which version of John Crichton made Aeryn Sun pregnant, especially when you consider that Sebaceans can delay pregnancy for some years.
When it comes to strong women characters, although some TV references are given, Ginn doesn’t point out that Ellen Ripley in the ‘Alien’ films made it a smoother passage for further female characters. ‘Farscape’ still holds the distinction for having the most female characters starring in a Science Fiction show.
I’m not sure if I totally agree with Michael A. Cornelius about how much of a family the crew became, especially in the third season Rigel would gladly have sacrificed them all for his own safety. Saying that, Elizabeth Leigh Scherman’s assertions of names of endearment between them will certainly make you think. I suspect it was human contamination that got the rest of them doing it. Unlike other SF series, ‘Farscape’ does make striding emphasis on how inadequate humans are compared to the other alien species, although the writers did endeavour to make his as asset for Crichton on occasions.
The examination by Tanya R. Cochran as to ‘Farscape’s cancellation misses out on one important point in that the Sci-Fi channel had a change of management which gave a call to dump so many shows.
As to the question that Jessie Carty asks as to who wrote Crichton’s dialogue in the opening credits, I would have thought that was relatively easy to point at creator Rockne S. O’Bannon.
Although I’m pointing out a lot of inaccuracies, helped because I re-watched the entire series earlier in the year, these are outnumbered by things which are correct and there’s certainly enough subject matter here for you to ponder on and debate. If anything, ‘Farscape’ seems to have drawn to a close the spaceship SF TV series and any that new show is far more likely to have to match it as the benchmark on how far to stretch things. If you want to be reminded just how good ‘Farscape’ was and anything you missed, then you’ll find that here.
(pub: McFarland. 207 page indexed small enlarged paperback. Price: £35.95 (UK), $40.00 (US). ISBN: 978-0-78646-790-7)