It’s 19 March, aka “Farscape Day”, and that strikes me as the perfect time to (finally) crack open the Blu-Rays and rewatch the series… something I haven’t done in, well, ever. I probably haven’t watched most of these eps since they first aired, so this should be… interesting. (Well, interesting to me, anyway.)
Gonna post some random reactions and thoughts for each. Nothing thorough, nothing of Deep Import, just some musings upon re-viewing something I worked on a Long Time Ago. My current wife Cheryl will be at my side for extra added snark, at least for ep 1. Off we go!
“Premiere” (season 1, episode 1)
Written by Rockne S. O’Bannon, directed by Andrew Prowse
And in our Very First Shot of the series, here’s Ben wearing a Mambo Loud Shirt, an Australian brand that became the unofficial Official Shirt of the series. Most of us Yanks who had the privilege of working in Sydney got hooked on these shirts, but I think I claimed the record by buying somewhere around forty. (And I’m still wearing them, much to the puzzlement of my UCLA Extension students.)
IASA, the International version of NASA. If I correctly recall, the show was trying to get permission from NASA to use the name/logo, but time ran out before it did (or didn’t) happen, so IASA it was. (Which kinda bumps with a much later episode “Terra Firma” where the “IASA” folks are trying to keep all the alien tech that Crichton brings back to Earth for the U.S.A. only…)
Oh, Lord, that darned “space” helmet. Made me wince then, makes me wince now.
“Uh… Canaveral?” I’m going to be praising Ben’s brilliant work A LOT, but never quite enough. I just love the way he throws that line away…
Wow, I forgot that the first ep doesn’t have Crichton’s voiceover on the main title. Makes sense that it’s not there, but it’s weird not hearing it. (The first ep of the original Star Trek series didn’t have Kirk’s “boldly go” voiceover either.)
No episode title either. We didn’t start putting the episode title onscreen until season 2, if I recall right. Props to Rockne for titling ep 1 “Premiere” instead of the usual “Pilot.” Maybe it’s because we had a character named Pilot? Folks might’ve thought it was all about him.
Nice that Rockne’s writing credit falls on a shot of Crichton saying “Oh my God.”
One-Eyed DRD! First little yellow Roomba to make an appearance. Typical Rockne to give even a little skittering robot a distinguishing feature and a personality.
Good heavens, Moya looks gorgeous, as does the Peacekeeper Command Carrier. Kudos to Ricky Eyres and his amazing designs.
Seeing it after all this time, I marvel anew at just how astounding and alien both D’Argo and Zhaan look… and how wonderfully Anth and Virg brought the characters to life.
And Farscape’s fondness for bodily fluids manifests itself right from ep 1 as Rygel spits on Crichton.
D’Argo says “This damned Leviathan has no idea where we are.” Whoops. One of the few instances of alien swearing that the Translator Microbes actually translated into English. (Hey. There’s at least one time that Data used contractions in Star Trek: The Next Generation. These things happen.)
Andrew does a lovely job of teasing each alien’s first appearance; we and Crichton at first see Zhaan and D’Argo from the back, so we save the Full Alien Reveal for when they turn around.
And here’s Aeryn! Another nice reveal.
Andrew loves to dolly the camera while shooting through foreground stuff.
It’s only Act Two and we’re into helium farts. Yup, the series took a little while to settle down and find its best groove, but SO MUCH was right there in the first ep.
Aeryn Has Attitude. I’m going to be praising Claudia’s brilliant work A LOT . . .
Ah, Rygel and the Proprietor. Every time I watch this scene, I give extra thanks to the late Jonathan Hardy, the amazing Voice of Rygel, because… well, I already told that story here.
And D’Argo loses his first fight. That’s gonna become a recurring theme, alas.
Here’s D’Argo’s first vow. Sure had a lot of those.
“Little yellow bolts of light” still gets a laugh out of me and Cheryl.
Hmm, Crais is pronouncing Aeryn’s surname as “son” rather than “soon” in this ep.
Crichton fixing the DRD… ah, That’s So Rockne. Lovely little character moment that quietly says a lot about our hero and his situation.
The end! Wow. Gotta say, that’s a pretty amazing pilot, and I think it holds up remarkably well after almost two frelling DECADES…
One down, 87 to go…