John Crichton is conducting a test flight of his space module that he has worked years on with IASA. When he is suddenly sucked in through a wormhole to another space and time. He then ends up on a prison ship with a rag tag of alien misfits, and an epic adventure awaits him.
Eh! It’s cheesy, but it works.
I always feel I have to justify myself when it comes to writing about certain things that I get the enjoyment of watching that has a fandom behind it. Which I cannot help, because I don’t want people to tell me I am wrong for expressing my opinion about what I like or do not like about something. I have also said on numerous occasions that what I write on this blog is not a review but an expression as to why I like something. Even if I write about the things that I did not like about it. To me a review is completely unbiased, where Words From The Heretic is complete bias as I am expressing my pleasure for liking a whole bunch of things. Which I think you will conclude before even reading the rest of this.
So did I enjoy Farscape?
By all means yes!
I actually took a blind stab with this series while searching for Sci-Fi series on Netflix to watch as I had already caught up on the current Doctor Who (Smith era), Battlestar Galactica (current one), Red Dwarf (all of the classic episodes), Sliders (never had a chance to finish the series when it carried over to Sci-Fi), basically anything that is not Star Trek. I love Space Operas, but I just cannot get into Star Trek.
I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this series, I just know when I was trying to choose something to watch next it was between Farscape and Babylon 5. As I have never seen either show prior. Since Netflix didn’t have the latter on streaming (that is the subscription we have) I went with Farscape.
I really dug that the series has a diversity that can pretty much allow anyone to get in to the series. Not so much the type of alien creatures, but the fact that you have a balance of male and female characters. As well as a lot of other things it was bold enough to touch on. I’m not saying that this is the only show to ever have done this, but I did like it’s approach.
I liked that each character to shine in their own respective way and that everyone has a hand in the bigger picture of the whole, and not just have the show focus on or two characters. Although that becomes the case later in the show, but I do like how all of the characters leading up to that point have a hand in it and aren’t subject to just only a minor influence or just the “support”.
I also started getting a nagging feeling like I had seen this before or that it was familiar in a way. Not so much the story, the look of the show, or that it was a complete copy of something else. More like it had a similarity to a certain degree. My “Aha!” moment for that came when the Chiana character first appeared on the series, but I will divulge on that further down.
This show is very aware of itself, even down to name-checking every one of the tropes it is utilizing in spots.
D’Argo: Very headstrong, stubborn, and strong willed. He does come off a bit brash and tough, but has a heart of gold when you manage to gain his respect and trust. Definitely the guy who has your back when the chips are down. He definitely is one of my favorite characters because I can relate to D’Argo being quite stubborn and headstrong as well. Although given his background you can’t help but feel for the guy. I also liked when he pointed out how humans manage to treat each other.
Zhaan: I think what makes Zhaan my favorite out of the female characters is the spiritual, pacifist disposition with a dark past. A blue, zen spiritualist who kicks ass and is a plant. For me it was a bit of a bummer when the character died, but after reading about the circumstances the actress went through with the makeup I can understand. Either way I still think she is awesome.
Pilot: It is hard not to like Pilot. You can’t help but feel for the guy given his background for how he came to be on Moya, along with the fact that he is the only one of the crew who pretty much has to remain in the same place unless disconnected, and therefore would lose his life. He also gets screwed over a couple of times in the worst ways imaginable. He is also the most childlike of the entire crew, but that doesn’t mean he is utterly naive.
1812: I really don’t need to explain this do I? We did remember I am a musician.
Characters I Want To Place In The Airlock
Please keep in mind; this does not take away from these actors/actresses talents or abilities, nor does it reflect on their characters appearance. I am only stating that I do not like their given characters for the show and why.
Jool: I am sorry I just couldn’t dig Jool. I think I just had trouble with the moments where it would seem like the writers weren’t exactly sure what direction her attitude was to take. Yeah, I looked up the description of her character and background, but it didn’t fit with what was being portrayed on the screen. Yeah, she had good and bad moments like all of the other characters in the show, but the more confusing ones would come through.
Sikozu: Here is my imitation of this particular character; “They took my arms and they threw them over there! They tore my legs off and threw them over there!”. I just really couldn’t gel with this character.
Does my opinion diminish these characters roles in the overall story of Farscape? Not really. In all honest you have to have characters you do not like otherwise it wouldn’t be a good show. It would basically be the same dribble show where every character has to conform to something so as to have EVERYONE like them, and the only characters you didn’t like were the faceless extras that no one would really pay attention to or care about. Plus it falls into that subject of “something for everyone” comment that I said before.
I was going to include Noranti, but seeing as putting her in the airlock would be utterly pointless. I stuck with these two.
The Nagging Feeling
As I said before when I started watching this show I had this nagging feeling tugging at my psyche. Like I had seen this show. Or at least it seemed a bit familiar, but I just couldn’t place my finger on it.
Until Chiana showed up in the first season. Especially how she walked, talked, and did that slinky move. She reminded me of a combination of two characters I know quite well. This when I had my “Aha!” moment.
Want to know what it is?
Of course you do! You wouldn’t be reading this far down.
Farscape reminded me of this show;
It reminded me of Outlaw Star. No, not so much in the plot, story arcs, but maybe a bit of a mirror between characters.
Although Chiana seems like a combination of a character from Outlaw Star and one other from another show I will get to her first.
What would happen if you take Aisha Clan-Clan (above) a Ctarl-Ctarl (cat-like being) from Outlaw Star and remove her cat ears, cat bell, super human strength, and make her shorter and skinnier?
Then you threw her in a blender with this next character,
For those of you who aren’t in to Japanese animation (Anime for short) this is Ed from the show Cowboy Bebop. Ed is the super slinky, flexible, super hacker girl of the show. Trust me! She is all kinds of awesome!
Now remove Ed’s super hacker abilities, keep her super slinky flexibility and a small amount of her childlike demeanor (Just a pinch!). Toss her in our metaphorical blender, mix in sexual uninhibited freedom and hit frappe.
And you get!
Don’t believe me?
Ok! Depending on your age; either ask your teen to college age kids or their friends to watch their copies of both of these shows that I just mentioned (if they have them), or head over to Amazon or used media store/outlet and grab a copy of each of these shows. Or if you still own a copy of both shows, just rummage through your old storage, basement, attic, boxes.
I’ll wait here! Don’t worry, this post will still be here when you get back.
From Chiana’s swagger to how she walks she is pretty much Ed from Cowboy Bebop in this respect. She even does the Anime leaping tackle of love when she sees John in one episode. She even talks like Aisha and has a similar hairdo. Hell! Her and the English voice-actress for Aisha sound pretty damn similar (Couldn’t be that both are from the same country). Even her “Shaa!/Chaaa!” verbal tic is pretty much like Aisha. There are some moments she talks like Ed too, but it is more like Aisha as I have said.
Want another one?
We’ll stick with strictly Outlaw Star for this particular one.
This delightfully decorated sentient A.I. is Gilliam II. He is pretty much the XGP (that is the name of the ship) crew’s companion and maintenance crew. He might also be the inspiration for the DRD’s, although not as sleek as him.We’ll pretty much take everything about him and toss him in our now cleaned up blender.
This is Melfina. She is a biological android, and the XGP’s navigator/battery. She’s the GPS. Pretty much without her the ship goes nowhere. Now let’s place her with Gilliam the II in our metaphoric blender, but we’ll leave out her sex.
Did you make sure to add ice and hit frappe?
And who do we get?
Pilot! Pilot is pretty much a combination of Melfina and Gilliam II, although he is permanently fused to Moya (like Gilliam II) and is pretty much alive (unlike either). Although he can be temperamental he does display kindness like Melfina to a degree.
I could go on for hours with this stuff. Like how John is pretty much like Gene Starwind, or how Aeryn is like Hilda, how Zhaan is kind of like Suzuka.
While I am on the subject of Outlaw Star; would it be too much to ask Joss Whedon to admit to also ripping off the show a bit? Especially this,
Now some of you more Anime savvy readers and folks might be asking me;
“The Heretic! What about Fred Luo the weapons merchant from Outlaw Star? Who on Farscape could possibly be like him?”
I think I am going to have to answer with Furlow. Although a bit the opposite of Fred in some respects, and probably possesses far less scruples.
As I have stated I really enjoyed the show. The only thing I really didn’t like was the over-the-top goofiness when the show splits up the crew with the two Crichtons. To me the show already had a good enough amount of humor without having to amp it up.
I would’ve expanded on more of what I liked and didn’t like, but seeing as this post is already as long as it is I really do not want to bore anyone. Plus the stuff I didn’t like as you can see is pretty minimal.
Am I a fan? Not really…
Although now that I say that…
I guess I better hide those plans for a Moya custom guitar with DRD’s as inlays (1812 marking the twelfth fret, or the pickups done up as them) that I hope to have built someday before I incriminate myself further.