Reflections upon Reflections on the 19th of March

Today being the day that it is, I had intended to write a pithy and poignant post reminiscing about my happy days on Farscape…

…and all the terrific people I had the privilege of working with and all the wonderful fans I got to know and all that sort of schmoop… but I’m on deadline, so that ain’t happening, and all you get is a couple of pics and a warmed-over and expanded version of a three-year-old Tweetstorm.

Like Sand Through the Hourglass…

…so are the March 19ths and other days of our lives…

19 March 1998: I first meet Rockne S. O’Bannon at the Jim Henson Company, then headquartered at the Raleigh Studios, re a possible gig on his new TV series Space Chase… which he says will probably get a new title.

Rockne asks if I’d be willing to relocate to Sydney, Australia for the duration of the gig. I say “sure,” feeling 100% certain it’ll never happen.

Two months later (7 May 1998), I pitch some Farscape story ideas to Rockne and to David Kemper (who I’d worked with on Star Trek: The Next Generation, eons earlier, practically across the street at Paramount Studios).

One week later, I’m officially hired to write a Farscape episode (“Throne for a Loss”).

19 August 1998: The Henson Co. hires me as a full-time Farscape writer, and I start work with David & Rockne at the Raleigh offices the next day.

Over the next few months, David travels back and forth between the writers’ room in Los Angeles and the production in Sydney. He keeps telling me that eventually I’ll head down to Sydney as well. I nod and smile, still 100% certain it’ll never happen.

6 February 1999: I’m on a plane to Sydney, to my astonishment and delight, and even manage to get two hours of writing done on the flight.

I cross the International Date Line for the first time and lose a day out of my life because we arrive in Sydney on the 8th rather than the 7th! But I’m not complaining, because everyone has been telling me how much I’m going to love Australia… and I soon discover everyone was dead right about that.

19 March 1999: Farscape premieres in the USA on the Sci-Fi Channel (now SyFy). I watch it on my laptop in a hotel room in Sydney, Australia. Streaming… over dialup. Less than ideal.

Earlier on 19 March 1999: David informs me that the new character being introduced in ep 15 will be named “Chiana”… and, per Rockne, it shall be pronounced “CHEE-ann-uh” rather than “chee-ANN-uh.” I am dubious that Rock’s preferred pronunciation will prevail.

19 March 2001: In our Sydney writers’ room, the most excellent Justin Monjo remarks (re: me, him, and David) that “the three of us make a good pair now.”

19 March 2002: Becky Hunt from the Creature Shop, asked if a particular critter is headless, replies “It’s headless if you take the head off.”

22 October 2002: After four blissful seasons of working with some of the most AMAZING AND WONDERFUL PEOPLE ON EARTH, I pack up my Sydney apartment and fly back to Los Angeles for the final time.

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