“Back and Back and Back to the Future” (season 1, episode 5)
• Written by Babs Greyhosky, directed by Rowan Woods •
And — appropriately enough, on Ben Browder’s birthday — the Farscape Rewatch continues at last, with a twisty little ep full of weird-talking aliens! Every sci-fi show attempts a Groundhog Day-type story sooner or later, so here’s Farscape’s stab at it… and Ricky’s Random Reactions:
Ben’s first appearance in the Black Tee! Later accessorized with an IASA vest.
Rowan’s first Farscape directing gig! He would go on to direct 16 more eps, happily for us.
Love Aeryn’s expression as all the technobabble is being spouted.
Puppet Touch! D’Argo gives Rygel a bit of a tweak.
This Verell eating scene feels like a “Euro scene” (see this entry for what that means)… a bunch of talk that we could likely do without.
Love how Claudia delivers the line “We have air in here.”
Oh, crap, it’s a shilquen.
We started off the ep nice and hot with an Exploding Ship, but we’ve kinda slowed down now. Not a lot is actually happening yet.
Wow, Ben is so selling this difficult scene…
Nice D’Argo side-eye.
Rygel and Zhaan. I smell another Euro scene.
I guess that when the Peacekeepers were using Moya as a prisoner transport ship, they converted a cargo bay into a gymnasium, complete with PK-logo exercise mat and a PK-themed wall decoration.
Speaking of the PK logo, we do know that Peacekeepers were Bolsheviks, nyet?
Aeryn laid out on the giant pizza slice is one of my favorite visuals of the whole series.
And Zhaan gets to be a Tough Chick in this ep as well. Go, Delvian!
Ilanics just talk too darn slow for my tastes.
Choking Rygel! We must be setting some sort of record for puppet abuse.
Crichton confiding in Zhaan is a lovely scene. More great work from Ben & Virg.
D’Argo kills Crichton! It’s John’s first Faux Death!
Oh, if you’re playing the drinking game, add “take a drink when a character is Killed But Not.” Maybe make that just a sip, given how often it happens…
Temporal dislocation! Entropic oscillations! Two of my favorite seventies progressive-rock bands.
And now we have an Ultimate Weapon which an aghast Crichton says should Never Be Used. Sure, that’s easy for him to say now…
The entire third act turns out to be a flash-forward, because it’s Farscape and one of our mottos is “if you’re gonna use a trope, use the living heck out of it!”
Crichton really steps up in this ep. No longer the bumbling outsider he started out as.
And in keeping with that, Crichton looks very Captain-Kirk-like in some of these shots.
D’Argo contributes, too! And Aeryn steps up (again)! We’re beginning to forge ourselves a Team here.
Once exposed, Matala turns into Donald Duck.
And once again, Crichton gets beat up by a girl. So does D’Argo.
Nice CGI at the climax! The Pandora’s Box of Fiery Green Death is kinda reminiscent of the equally happy ending of Kiss Me Deadly.
Hmm, I think this may be Kate Madgwick’s first appearance in the end credits, so this is as good a place as any to give a giant shoutout to our brilliant Script Editor Lily Taylor and Script Assistant Kate Madgwick, the shining stars and unsung heroes of the writers’ office. Miss you both!