It is not in the least Capricious to set a show that is, at it’s heart, a comedy so high. It was also created by SeaQuest mastermind Rockne O’Bannon, yet outstrips his first show by light years. Essentially, an American astronaut named John Crichton is testing an experimental craft when he is shot through a wormhole to another part of the galaxy to a living spaceship named Moya. There are aliens-aplenty, of course.

Favorite character: This is a surprisingly hard decision. The most well fleshed out characters are Aeryn Sun (played by Claudia Black, or Morrigan for the Dragon Age fan) and Crichton (played by Ben Browder). Crichton starts as a bumbling fool, and he takes a while to find his footing. Sun, on the other hand, is the traditional “strong no-nonsense” female until she starts to change. I have to give Browder’s Crichton the slightest edge because he’s more interesting in the beginning, but they really do make a great team.

Favorite secondary character: Rygel XVI (voiced by Jonathan Hardy). This series benefitted quite a bit from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. Pilot is the most visible beneficiary, but while he becomes surprisingly interesting as the series progresses, the imperious Rygel is more entertaining. He’s a self-serving jerk with a heart of gold… that he promptly melted down. He’s a shameless glutton. And — this is important — he farts helium when he’s nervous.

Why it’s here: I’ve never seen a comedy — and it is important to remember that the original purpose of this show was to get laughs — become such a well developed drama. I don’t know if that was the original intent, but it’s done fantastically well here. Moya is a character all her own, one which has never been duplicated.

Why it’s not higher: The first few episodes are a little awkward. The show doesn’t have a clear identity, and it shows. About halfway through the first season, it starts picking up. If not for the show’s “film” Peacekeeper Wars, it would have the worst ending in TV history; the film does tie things up a bit. I also do not like Sikozu.

One thought on “My favorite sci-fi TV series of all time, #5: Farscape

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