Synopsis: John Crichton is a scientist and an astronaut and he wants to prove that one can use Earth’s gravitational pull to accelerate a spaceship. But something goes wrong and his tiny ship “Farscape-1” is sucked into a wormhole and John gets stranded … somewhere. He’s thrown directly into a fight between a Peacekeeper command carrier and a prisoner transport ship: Moya, a Leviathan, a living ship. Aboard Moya he meets the hynerian Dominar Rygel XVI, former ruler over 600 billion people, the delvian priest Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan and the luxan warrior Ka D’Argo. Unfortunately for him he looks like a Sebacean – a Peacekeeper. And he gets imprisoned with another Peacekeeper: Peacekeeper Special Command officer Aeryn Sun.
My Opinion: Just like John we are simply thrown into the story and have to figure out what’s going on. I liked the idea of “translator microbes at the brain stem” for the translation issues. The problem wasn’t forgotten and yet easily solved. I also liked all the “Muppets” (most animatronics were created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop): Rygel, Pilot (Pilot is the pilot of Moya, living in a symbiotic relationship with her) the aliens on the first planet John visited. I also liked that Aeryn didn’t simply switch sides “just because” but was forced to run.
I, E. T.
Synopsis: John has still a hard time getting accustomed to this whole new universe when they find a homing device deep in Moya’s guts that has been activated recently. To remove it would be too painful for Moya and so they have to land on a planet and sink the ship into a swamp to dampen the signal. They have to find a way to anesthetize the entire ship in order to remove that device. And suddenly Crichton finds himself in front of people who have never seen an alien before.
My Opinion: With this episode Crichton’s tradition of making cultural references has begun. In this case it was Dagobah and Yoda. And it was funny to see John (who has just learned that Humans aren’t alone in the universe) explain to a woman that her race isn’t alone in the universe and that he can fully understand how she feels right now.
Exodus from Genesis
Synopsis: Some sort of space bug has entered Moya and is crawling through the walls. They begin to disturb Moya’s operations and they are somehow turning the heat up. John is able to capture and kill one and Zhaan dissects it. But soon after copies of the crew members begin appear and start to attack the real crew. And Aeryn’s condition worsens because Sebaceans can’t stand heat and their body functions begin to break down. As if this wasn’t enough a Peacekeeper Marauder closes in and tries to re-take the ship.
My Opinion: This episode introduces another common theme of the show: That not everything is as it appears to be and that such misunderstandings can have fatal consequences. I thought it was a great idea of John’s that he tried to convince that Peacekeeper that Humans can multiply by thousands in no time (nobody knows Humans after all) and that Crais (the command carrier commander) should stay out of his way. 😀
Throne for a Loss
Synopsis: Rygel is pretending to be still the monarch of his people to get a contract for a transport job. But then he is kidnapped because of his “importance” and Moya couldn’t leave orbit even if she wanted to because Rygel used a control crystal as “jewel” in his scepter. D’Argo, Aeryn and John try to get him back and for this they use a strength-enhancing gauntlet which they got from one of the attackers. But unfortunately it makes one not only stronger but also hightens one’s aggresive traits.
Back and Back and Back to the Future
Synopsis: Moya and her crew save two people from a ship that is just about to implode. They are scientists and their race is allied to the Luxans (they are basically genetic cousins) and D’Argo insists on helping them. But shortly after they have come aboard John begins to experience (sexual) hallucinations or that’s at least what he thinks they are. But then he is killed by the female Ilonic (Matala) and awakes in the past. He’s erratically jumping through time and he tries to prevent his (and everyone else’s) death but that’s not going to be easy since D’Arge has fallen in love with Matala.
My Opinion: This episode represents what I like about Farscape. First they lure you onto a false track and then throw you in a completely different direction. By seeing the first “flashes” there was no way to predict how this episode would turn out. It’s also fun to watch when the others talk about Crichton and come to the conclusion that the Humans must be a weird species. 😀 When the USS Voyager went into the Delta Quadrant or the Stargate Atlantis team went into the Pegasus galaxy, their destination was still recognizable, at least remotely like home. Here, everything is very different – OK, not everything. 😉
Thank God It’s Friday … Again
Synopsis: D’Argo has gone down to a planet for a few days and when the gang goes looking for him he’s very different. He’s calm and joyful and totally not D’Argo. But everyone there seems to be calm and joyful. They work hard today and party at night because tomorrow is a rest day. But when the sun rises they work hard today and party at night because tomorrow is a rest day … John and Zhaan try to get D’Argo back while Aeryn has to deal with Rygel whose sweat and other excretions have become explosives.
My Opinion: Great! 😀 First he’s farting helium and now he’s peeing nitroglycerin. They certainly have a lot of fun with that puppet. I also liked that they started to make more out of Aeryn, more than just the brainless warrior she was bred to be.
PK Tech Girl
Synopsis: Moya finds a Peacekeeper command carrier deep in the uncharted territories. This ship is famous and has been lost for ages. It was the first ship Rygel was imprisoned and tortured on. But now it’s only a plundered wreck. D’Argo and the others go aboard to find star charts and navigation information and Aeryn wants to find out what happened to the ship. But then they find a tech girl aboard – a tech girl from Crais’s ship! He was here and could return any minute with his very own command carrier. But they can’t leave either. Scavengers are closing in on their position and if they try to run, they’ll die.
My Opinion: John is Kirk, he gets ’em all. 😉 And yet another weird alien race, one who can spit fire like a dragon! I also liked that they didn’t kill off the tech girl as it is custom for guest characters that fall in love with a main. And they pointed out a fact which lay out in the open but I hadn’t seen it: John and Aeryn may come from (metaphorically) different worlds but they have one thing in common: Neither one can go home, back to their own life.
That Old Black Magic
Synopsis: The gang visits a commerce planet to re-stock their supplies. But then Crichton meets a very strange man who seems to know a whole lot about him – more than anyone from this part of the universe should know. But then this man – a sorcerer – puts him into some kind of coma and his mind into a fantasy world. And to make matters worse he reaches out into space and brings Crais to that same place. And Crais is more than willing to play that game – and to kill Crichton. Meanwhile Zhaan tries to help John but in order to do that she has to re-awake powers she buried very deep for good reason.
My Opinion: As far as Farscapes episodes go that play (partly) in someone’s mind this one was really down-to-earth. But I really liked that they showed Zhaan’s other side. We’ve seen glimpses of it before but this was the first time we get a notion of what she’s really capable of. But I also liked that she disliked that side of her. They can’t be all warriors and I like her more in her role as healer and “zen master”.
DNA Mad Scientist
Synopsis: A scientist has found a way to show basically anyone their way home by taking a DNA sample. Even John tries his luck but has none. The only one not participating is Aeryn – she knows exactly where home is and that she can’t go there. In exchange for one of Pilot’s arms the scientist is even willing to give them a way home under avoidance of any Peacekeeper territory. Rygel, Zhaan and D’Argo take their chance but later they start a fight because the crystal can show only one way before coming useless. But that wasn’t the only time the scientist rigged the game.
My Opinion: Luckily that arm grows back. But when I first saw that episode and the scene were D’Argo chops Pilot’s arm off I thought “WTF?”. This was the first episode where they showed real hostility within the group because everyone wanted to go home – their home. And I really liked Claudia Black’s (Aeryn) mask when she was injected whit Pilot’s DNA. She really looked like a humanoid Pilot.
They’ve Got a Secret
Synopsis: The crew is still sweeping Moya for any hidden Peackeeper technology that could endanger them. But then D’Argo accidentally destroys such a piece and gets flushed out into space. They can retrieve and revive him but he’s disoriented and thinks he’s back home with his family. But that’s not their only problem: Some form of virus seems to have infected Moya. The Diagnostic Repair Drones (DRDs) begin to behave seemingly erratic and then Pilot loses control over the ship and falls into a coma. Now they’ve lost any connection to the ship and life support begins to fail.
My Opinion: Moya’s pregnant! I really liked that discovery and how Moya tried to protect her child and how Aeryn tried to cover for the unconscious Pilot. But I also liked that we learn the secrets of the former prisoners. I never noticed before that D’Argo’s son was mentioned by name so early in the show. And I found it fascinating that Pilot didn’t know anything about Moya’s pregnancy even though they live in a symbiotic relationship.
Till the Blood Runs Clear
Synopsis: Crichton’s doing some experiments in a solar system where the sun has some unusual flares and by re-creating his original flight he manages to open another wormhole. But Aeryn prevents him from flying blindly into it. The spatial distortions damage Farscape-1 and he cannot return to Moya but has to land on a nearby planet. There he tries to get his ship repaired. But he and Aeryn also run into a pair of bounty hunters who are looking for the three escaped prisoners. And when D’Argo comes looking for John and Aeryn John has to become a bounty hunter himself.
My Opinion: You can say anything about John but he’s certainly not slow but rather quick on the uptake even though the others may not see it (yet). And I love it when he throws people off-guard by using references to Earth culture. I also like that Zhaan has absolutely no problem with nudity. 😀 Her reaction to the warm sun forebodes the revelation of her true nature in a later episode. I also like about this show that we see most of the supporting characters of an episode at least a second time. We will see the bounty hunters again and the mechanic, too.
Rhapsody in Blue
Synopsis: A group of Delvians lures Moya to their planet. They want to learn what Zhaan can do – to kill someone with your mind. That’s the crime Zhaan was imprisoned for and they want to use it to free their home planet Delvia from the Peacekeepers. Zhaan reluctantly agrees and unites her mind with the leader of the local Delvians. But the latter one doesn’t play with open cards and tries to distract John and the other so they cannot interfere with the unity – a unity that could kill Zhaan.
My Opinion: I really liked how John tried to reason with Zhaan and how he showed her (also in a mind melt/unity) how he sees her – as a gentle and peaceful being and not as a murderer – and how that brought her back. I also liked how the Delvians projected false images and memories into the different people to distract them and how everyone thought he/she was the only one who wasn’t affected.
Synopsis: Aeryn is giving John flying in lessons in Moya’s shuttle pod and he’s a slow learner by Sebacean standards. But than their pod gets caught in some form on energy barrier and they can’t free themselves. Moya’s looking for them but it’s not until they take a strange man aboard that they learn that the pod is caught in the flax, a “spider web” laid out by pirates in this region of space. D’Argo and the scavenger leave Moya to help the pod while John and Aeryn have to repair the pod or they won’t survive until help arrives.
My Opinion: So great. What a plot twist. That man, that scavenger is actually the female of his species and she has developed a crush on D’Argo. 😉 This episode was so full of love, especially since Aeryn and John have developed feelings for one another. And even Rygel didn’t behave like a self-centered egomaniac – OK, he did, but it was just a facade. The actions of D’Argo and Rygel prove that this crew is finally becoming a team – luckily for the viewer there will always be topic of controversy between them.
But I would have liked subtitles very much on this episode. The scavenger was hard to understand. Unfortunately british TV show DVDs often don’t have english subs, not even for the hearing impaired.
Synopsis: John is frustrated and takes his ship “for a tour around the block” when Moya suddenly and unexpectedly starbursts and is gone. Three months later: John lives a quiet life alone yet close to a village. On this planet no technology seems to work but John doesn’t care. It’s peaceful and the people are friendly and he can live here. But when the crew of Moya finally finds him the trouble starts. While John looks close enough to the indigenous that isn’t true for neither D’Argo nor Rygel. And it was the Hynerians that brought these people here a long time ago. But Rygel cannot prove that he’s a god as he’s supposed to according to their holy writings.
My Opinion: They can make weird and strange yet realistic looking aliens – but they cannot make a false beard that looks real. 😉 It was an OK episode with the usual love triangle between a beautiful woman, the foreigner and the clansman who also desires her.
Synopsis: Moya has problems doing starbursts during her pregnancy and when they come out of a very bumpy ride they accidentally ram another ship. On that ship is a Nebari guard, a female Nebari prisoner – and Durka. Durka was the captain of the lost command carrier and should be dead. But he’s alive and now Rygel wants him dead for the things Durka did to him. But Durka has changed, the Nebari have altered his mind with a mental cleansing. He’s not the Durka that tortured Rygel – or so they say.
My Opinion: Ah, Chiana. Our newest crew (and cast) member. Gigi Edgley does an awesome job portraying her. She’s a great character and great addition to this colourful gang. I didn’t care much for the rest of the episode because it was obvious that Durka’s true nature would reappear one way or another and that he would get punished. But I really liked it how Rygel declared victory over Durka by stating that the latter couldn’t do anything to the former that he hadn’t already done and that he never managed to break him.
A Human Reaction
Synopsis: Moya suddenly detects a wormhole that is closing soon. And it leads directly to Earth! John says goodbye to everyone and departs with Farscape-1 and returns home. He crash-lands somewhere on the coast of Australia. But he isn’t welcomed as a hero or even with open arms. The scientists find the translator microbes and they aren’t sure if he even is John Crichton – the man that disappeared seven months ago. And then D’Argo, Aeryn and Rygel appear in the shuttle pod – on a planet that has never seen an alien before. When Rygel dies in an “accident” John has to escape or his friends will die in similar “accidents”. And why is every magazine on a news stand seven months old?
My Opinion: The first of a number of “Earth” episodes (real or imaginary). Of course this time it was only fake and happened all in his mind (or a simulation, I haven’t figured that out). I thought that John’s imagination of how his alien friends would be treated was fairly realistic. They don’t represent some star empire and won’t be missed – so they are good subjects to be scrutinized. OK, everyone who has seen E.T. could come to this conclusion. 😉
Through the Looking Glass
Synopsis: The crew (or a few of them) consider to abandon the ship since Moya can’t conduct a proper Starburst at the end of her pregnancy and they are basically sitting ducks. Moya wants to prove to them that she can starburst if necessary and attempts to do so. But something goes wrong and the ship gets stuck between dimensions. And not only that the ship also seems to exist in several dimensions at the same time and the crew is scattered on these different versions. They have to find a way out of there or the ship will ultimately be destroyed.
My Opinion: It was an OK episode, but nothing special about it. For John it was a real-life jump’n’run. 😀 For the actor’s sake I hope they didn’t have to shoot too many scenes to often.
A Bug’s Life
Synopsis: A Peacekeeper Marauder is closing in and John decides to try a different tactic. He’s posing as Peacekeeper Captain while Aeryn takes her old role as Lieutenant. The others (with the exception of Chiana) have to return to their cells. But the Marauder isn’t looking for them. They have a task of their own and they need to bring something to a secret Peacekeeper Gammak base in the uncharted territories. But that “something” escapes and it turns out to be a virus that can possess people and it plans on reproducing.
My Opinion: I love it when they blame John when his plan didn’t work (again). As if one of their plans had ever worked the way it was supposed to. 😉 And while this was yet another just OK episode I once again found it interesting how far you can get if you wear the right rank insignia and have the right attitude/aura.
Synopsis: During their engagement with the Peacekeeper Marauder Aeryn was hurt and needs a compatible donor or she will die. But where does one find a Peacekeeper in the uncharted territories? There’s only one way: John re-assumes his role as Peacekeeper and flies to the Gammak base. Even though he has help in the form of Gilina – the PK tech girl – he gets caught by Scorpius. And Scorpius wants to know how he got onto that base and why he’s here.
My Opinion: Now that’s another type of episode. It has seen the introduction of both Scorpius and Stark (a prisoner on the base), both characters who will become recurring guest stars on the show. And we learn that John is not the only one looking for wormhole technology. And we learn that the race that produced the fake Earth put the wormhole knowledge into John’s brain. And Crais is on the Gammak base, too!
What I also liked was this small piece of continuity. That Aeryn was stabbed in the previous episode could have easily been forgotten (or the wound could be healed by now), but they didn’t. They took that tiny piece of story and continued there with a follow-up story that in itself is much bigger.
The Hidden Memory
Synopsis: John is still fighting against the Aurora Chair (a machine that can extract memories) because he doesn’t want to betray Gilina. But Scorpius simply assumes that he’s hiding more knowledge about wormhole technology and he digs deeper and deeper into John’s memories. Meanwhile Chiana has returned with the cure for Aeryn. Now D’Argo, Zhaan and the not fully healed Aeryn (the only one who can pose as Peacekeeper) try to free John while Rygel and Chiana have to help Moya – she’s gone into labour.
My Opinion: Moya’s offspring is very beautiful – and very dangerous. It’s a Leviathan/Peacekeeper hybrid gunship and as such heavily armed. This ship will have a very interesting life.
I also liked how Gilina manipulated the chair so that it shows her kiss with John in a different context. But that “context” guarantees that Crais has to sit on the chair himself. 😀 Too bad that – in the end – she had to pay the price of being in love with the main – she died in his arms.
If I had to classify this (and the previous) episode I’d say it’s a second pilot episode. The previous episodes have introduced us to the universe and its rules and now the main arc begins: The hunt for wormhole technology also known as John versus Peacekeepers versus Scarrans versus John.
Bone to Be Wild
Synopsis: Moya and her child is hiding from the Command Carrier in an asteroid field when they receive a distress call from an asteroid. John, D’Argo and Zhaan go down there to help while Aeryn has to take care of the child. He doesn’t communicate with his mother and Moya hopes Aeryn can help since it is a Peacekeeper hybrid. Down on the asteroid they find a scared young woman and some kind of monster who’s chasing her. But things aren’t as they appear to be.
My Opinion: “You are a plant??” Zhaan is flora, not fauna. 😉 And I love these twisted episodes where you are constantly switching sides based on the “evidence” that is presented to you. And I really like the costume designers on that show. Even when they create aliens of the two-legs-two-arms-one-head-variety they still come up with some really cool ideas and not just some additional wrinkles in the face.
Synopsis: Due to his knowledge of Crais’s secret Scorpius has practically taken over command of the ship. He doesn’t care for the gunship or the prisoners, all he wants is Crichton. And he is lucky: Rygel has stolen a pod and defected to the carrier. He wants his freedom in exchange for the exact location of Moya in the asteroid field. But the others won’t allow it. John devises a plan that includes a suicide run against the Command Carrier with the second pod in order to give Moya and her offspring the chance to clear the asteroid field and to starburst. But there’s another variable in the equation: Crais.
My Opinion: That’s why Ben Browder (John) was a worthy successor of Richard Dean Anderson (Jack) in Stargate SG-1. You fight against a superior enemy and against overwhelming odds but your crazy idea is so crazy that your enemy doesn’t expect you to go through with it. They destroyed the Gammak base and Scorpius couldn’t do anything about it short of killing John – which he cannot do without losing the wormhole knowledge. 😀 I also liked that Crais had to flee from his own ship and that his pursuit of John is effectively over. They did this for one season and to continue that story would become boring at some point.
Since this was a cliffhanger, I will continue watching immediately.
The Season – My Opinion: As I said, Farscape is different than other series and it will stay that way till the end. There’s not a single character I don’t like or don’t care for, even the puppets seem very real to me as they have their own and very unique characters. It’s lovely to see Aeryn comforting Pilot (who by the way is voiced by Lani Tupu who also plays Crais) and ensuring him that nothing will happen to Moya and her child Talyn.
And from a collector’s viewpoint: I have very few items in my collection that have such a nice package and cover art. While slim covers have become the standard for TV show season, these seasons come in a custom box containing 5 separate cases, each of them individually designed (no amaray or slim cases):