Each week on a Sunday afternoon, join Alex (of Randomly Yours, Alex) and Katharine (of the unpronounceable Ventureadlaxre), as they re-watch the Australian-American sci-fi show Farscape, notable for the Jim Henson animatronic puppets, the excellent mish-mash of accents, and the best OTP-ship of all time.
Season One, Episode One: Through the Eye of the Needle
In which John Crichton, scientist and astronaut, somehow finds himself flung to a weird corner of the universe and meets a whole bunch of aliens. He has some trouble adapting and manages to score himself a nemesis.
K: Drat I thought that this opened in Australia, but him talking to those people and then seeing them later in Canaveral makes me think nope, Florida. Dammit. So the start isn’t nearly as interesting to me at all then :p
A: yeh, definitely America. I love Dad. I also love the idea of going into space being a relatively straightforward event – it’s the experiment that’s weird, not the launch.
The opening music is SO WEIRD. I actually don’t love it – I find it too discordant, and almost distressing. It also doesn’t really fit the show, in my mind.
K: I do agree about the music – it’s never been anything that fills me with that ‘eee’ kind of feel of a favourite show.
Isn’t it lucky that he can breathe the air in Moya. I do love how initially they all can’t understand each other because of languages though – even if they do have a fairly easy fix for it, it is better than them all ‘speaking English’ from the start.
A: I love the introduction to Moya! And the bots. Moya is such a beautiful craft. I also love the introduction to the characters – Dargo and his violence, even Xan is impatient. And I can’t stand Rygel at this point. Yes, I do like that they solve the language issue so neatly.
K: So we have a bit of excitement, the start of a plot line I had completely forgotten about (no one cares, Crais), and then the realisation that those aboard Moya have barely spoken before now. I do love John’s outrage at how wacky everything is.
A: I CARE CRAIS. I LOVE YOU. Also, yes, so funny that these people who seemed to be working as a team are actually strangers.
K: And we also have John and Aeryn’s introduction. And where are John’s clothes?! Rygel is such a little creep. I do like how at first Aeryn looks like a weird alien bug to only turn out to appear to be a normal human, and then again, appearances aren’t always what they seem.
A: John’s clothes? Who cares! Their meeting is magnificent. Aeryn is shown to be such a wonderful soldier. John talks WAY too much and always does; his references to pop culture are pretty funny, although it does rather date it.
K: I also love the small attempts they take to make it seem more alien. Green weird food. A fork that’s alien because it has two prongs rather than four. …People… farting… helium, apparently.
A: food cubes! Nothing weirder than space food. Farting is always hilarious, apparently.
K: Surely Aeryn can crawl through one of the larger gaps in the door though. She’s skinny as anything in this show. I wonder what makes her take John along with her thought, other indications of the person she used to be make it seem like she’d happily leave him behind, surely. Good ol’ Erp, though.
A: I’ve always wondered how it worked effectively as a prison ship, given the bars. Maybe Aeryn thinks John will be a useful bargaining chip, or a shield?
SAD FOR CRAIS.
I don’t really know why Aeryn defends John… except that it’s a sign of Aeryn’s inherent goodness which is rather unexpected in this context.
K: “Irreversibly contaminated” – the driving force behind nearly the whole show. And sudden Very Aussie Accents. Oh and ‘you can be more’ is also the driving force, I suppose.
A: Poor Aeryn, to have her entire reason for existence threatened. John’s resourcefulness is delightful, if somewhat unlikely in dealing with the guards. I love John defending Aeryn, in this situation, which is also unlikely but ludicrously honorable. Aw John. “You can be more.”
And stupid fake measurement systems! Woo!
K: I do love how this episode helps John confirm his theory he has worked so hard towards, and that he and Aeryn do it together – that Aeryn’s the only one who could possibly pilot Moya, yet it’s his theory that does it for them.
A: Would this be the first time that anyone has ever thanked Aeryn for doing something?
K: Probably. It probably is what draws her to John in the first place – that in the prison cell he wasn’t the attacker, and didn’t immediately think the worst of her, either.
And then we come full circle. I like that John’s the type of guy who fixes DRDs (incidentally I have a plushie DRD and I love him), and the recordings home. And everyone giving each other warnings.
A: OMG you can get plushy DRDs? That is so awesome. The ‘Dear diary’ stuff is a really interesting aspect of John’s experiences. I seem to remember that it kind of… peeters off eventually… I’ll be interested to be reminded how that does play out.
K: In summary, I forgot how damn awesome the animatronic puppets are – PIlot more so than Rygel, but then Rygel flies around and has more emotions on his face – PIlot is just so big and smooth. I wish I could have forgotten how starkly some Aussie accents stand out. The bit over the puzzle rings (when he doesn’t even really do anything with the ring?) is just so cringey. But I love this show so damn much.
A: Pilot is forever my best; I could easily live without Rygel. I like that there are different accents – that seems plausible! Surely that’s a good reason for them?? It’s an interesting pilot episode, for sure, introducing the main characters and the initial driving plot-force – avoiding the Peacekeepers in general and Crais in particular; figuring out how to live with each other on this stolen ship.
So in summary so far, Alex wants Crais, neither want Rygel, and Katharine is still glad she named her cat after Moya.
Join us next week for episode two, I, E.T.
You’ve just encouraged me to start rewatching Farscape. Due to circumstances I no longer recall, I don’t think I ever got past season 2, so the encouragement is appreciated.
Are you going to do all the episodes or just selected ones? My episode guide has I, ET as #7, which is why I ask.
We’re doing the whole lot! I think it’s worth watching, although there are some interesting changes after season 2. IMDB does have I,ET as ep 7, which is odd because it’s definitely second on my disk. Maybe something about a tv station showing them out of order? Who knows.