Science fiction TV series often develop rabid cult followings and such was the case with "Farscape" (Sci-Fi Channel, 1999- ) which catapulted its star Ben Browder into the limelight. The handsome, dar...
Jim Henson Company
Farscape is the holy grail of geekdom. It has space travel, aliens, and Muppets. What else could you want? The series is a futuristic take on The Wizard of Oz with a fish out of water in a fantastical world on the run from multiple threats. The series blends great special effects with really smart storytelling. Rather than focusing on the minutiae of space government, the series explores the relationships and the “humanity” of aliens in a new world.
On a routine space mission, astronaut John Crichton (Ben Browder) gets sucked into a wormhole. He gets pulled aboard Moya, a living ship, full of escaped prisoners. Ka D’Argo (Anthony Simcoe) is a disgraced soldier, Zhaan (Virginia Hey) is a political insurrectionist and priestesses, and Rygel is a haughty deposed ruler. The group is on the run from The Peacekeepers, a humanoid empire, that control this area of space. Soldier Aeryn Sun (Claudia Black) gets drafted into the group when she is ousted by her Peacekeeper brethren. Crichton inadvertently killed a space captain’s brother and they all end up on the run. Sound familiar?
The show evolves beyond the thematic elements of the L.Frank Baum classic. Through Crichton’s eyes we explore a whole different area of space with new creatures, customs, and complex relationships. By tying space travel and science fiction to humanity, there’s an element of realism that is addictive. Crichton is trapped, displaced from home, and yet must find his new life in a new world.
Browder and Black have a palpable chemistry that breeds an intense will they/won’t they tension. Hey portrays her priestess character with such a bizarre flighty serenity that is both likable and provides many opportunities for humor. Unlike other sci-fi series, Farscape isn’t afraid to be hopeful, humorous, irreverent, and dark. It isn’t all the procedures of space government or a “Woe is me” post-apocalyptic world. Instead, it’s people of all different species trying to make their place in the universe.
Fan of space travel, Trekkies, Trekkers, Star Wars fans and the like will be shocked by how different and unique this series is but how it has all the elements fanboys love. The first two seasons of the popular series are available on Hulu Plus.
Starred as Crichton, an American astronaut who gets caught in a wormhole in space that sends him into another galaxy in the Sci-Fi Channel series "Farscape"
Made guest appearance on "Melrose Place" (Fox) as an old boyfriend of Allison (Courtney Thorne-Smith)
Broadway debut in the company of "The Merchant of Venice", starring Dustin Hoffman
Feature film debut, "Memphis Belle"
Had co-starring role in the Fox TV-movie about NASCAR racing "Steel Chariots"
Raised in Charlotte, North Carolina
Had supporting role in "A Kiss Before Dying"
Had recurring role as Sam Brody, a carpenter involved with Julia Salinger, on "Party of Five" (Fox)
Made unsold UPN pilot "Martian Law"
Appeared in the ABC thriller "The Sky's on Fire" (filmed 1998)
Debut as series regular on "The Boys of Twilight" (CBS), playing an inept deputy
Was featured in the CBS biopic "Big Dreams & Broken Hearts: The Dottie West Story"
Made screenwriting debut, penning the "Green-Eyed Monster" episode of "Farscape"
Science fiction TV series often develop rabid cult followings and such was the case with "Farscape" (Sci-Fi Channel, 1999- ) which catapulted its star Ben Browder into the limelight. The handsome, dark-haired Southerner (he was born in Tennessee and raised in North Carolina) was a journeyman actor for about a decade with a resume that included a failed detective series, a Broadway run in Shakespeare supporting Dustin Hoffman and a handful of feature films before finally breaking through as John Crichton, a 20th Century astronaut who finds himself hurled through space and into a series of adventures.
While his family owned and operated NASCAR race cars, Browder had dreamed of a career with NASA, but got sidetracked into an acting career. After college, he moved to London to study at the Central School of Speech and Drama and while in England, landed his first major work. After filming a small role as a rookie captain in the WWII-set drama "Memphis Belle" (1990), Browder was cast as Leonardo in the 1989 Peter Hall-directed London production of "The Merchant of Venice" starring Dustin Hoffman. He was invited along with the rest of the company to recreate the role on Broadway. While his career was off to an auspicious start, a career-making role eluded him.
Browder was briefly seen in the 1991 remake of "A Kiss Before Dying" and portrayed an inept deputy in the quickly-canceled series "The Boys of Twilight" (CBS, 1992). He continued to eke out a living making guest appearances (e.g., playing an old boyfriend of Courtney Thorne-Smith's Alison in "Melrose Place" in 1994) and landing parts in TV-movies (i.e., the third, much younger husband of country singer Dottie West in the 1995 CBS biopic "Big Dreams & Broken Hearts: The Dottie West Story") until he landed the recurring role of Sam Brody on Fox's "Party of Five" during the 1996-97 season. Browder cut a sexy presence as a roofer who begins a flirtation with Julia Salenger(Neve Campbell). For the same network, he called upon his family background to play NASCAR driver in the TV-movie "Steel Chariots" in 1997. After filming an unsold pilot for a UPN sci-fi series, Browder landed the star-making part of Crichton in "Farscape". While the biggest drawback for the actor was the show's Australian shooting location, he clearly reveled in playing the pilot lost in space and given refuge on the bio-mechanoid (part machine, part organic) spaceship with a motley crew.
English; met while studying in London; married in 1989; acted together on stage in "The Merchant of Venice"
Central School of Speech and Drama
Browder's family owns and operates a NASCAR Busch Series cars.
On "Farscape", Browder told Anna L Kaplan on www.fandom.org (July 3, 2000): "I'm in love with this show. I'm in love with doing the show. The creativity and play and freedom that you feel is fantastic. We've had a good run at it this year, definitely...In some sense, it follows the pattern of season one in many respects. There're a lot of sections that're purely episodic. There's more stuff threaded through. There's more of the arc-type stuff. There was always an arc, even if people never saw it, in regards to the characters and things like that... This season has a kind of escalation to it... We have a three-parter towards the end of the season that is just huge. It's just massive. You're not supposed to make television like this, because it kills you, and it almost does. The art department built these massive, massive sets. I've never seen anything like it on a TV scale. I've seen film sets that were almost as big, but never sets this big for a television program."
"I'm a huge fan, I read a lot of science fiction and grew up watching it. I saw "2001" on the big screen when I was a kid, and thought I was going to be an astronaut. From the time I was six years old, I used to write to NASA. You'd write to JPL, you'd write to Houston, you'd write to Canaveral, and they'd send you a great packet of stuff. At seven or eight years old I was tracing all of the satellites and all of the rockets, a Mercury, a Gemini. So I'm living my childhood dream playing this role, though it's sort of twisted a little bit!" --Browder on his interest in science and science fiction, to Michelle Erica Green posted at anotheruniverse.com, March 22, 2000.