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.