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 Nine: DNA Mad Scientist
A scientist promises a way home for the lost wayfarers, but of course all is not as it appears. Friction results within our merry band…
A: EW NEEDLES IN EYES gross.
K: Yeah, heck with that. Not going to happen, nuh uh. I highly doubt it’s necessary, DNA indeed.
A: I love that while Aeryn has come around to doing some science, she’s unconvinced by all this ‘doing experiments involving needles in eyes’ business.
K: This is because Aeryn is one smart cookie.
A: significant glances at the silent servant? Oh something is going on there.
A: aw ZHAAN! Your joy at seeing your homeworld is beautiful.
K: Surely she could go home. She has skills, she could hide there somewhere, surely 😦 Poor Zhaan.
A: the scientist’s voice really doesn’t match his appearance, for me. It should be deeper. More threatening.
K: And maybe slower or something, doesn’t match the tilt of his head.
A: well that’s controversial. Is the chance to find several people’s homes worth one of Pilot’s arms?
Wait that’s not controversial. The answer is NO. Just NO, GUYS.
K: Why are scientists always crazy?! Even my mum went ‘tsk!’ at that and I didn’t even realise she was paying attention.
A: aw Crichton isn’t in the database. So sad. Although as Aeryn points out, it’s not like John is any worse off… And I love that Aeryn calls John out: you think YOUR life is so hard? I know where my home is and I can’t go there!
K: Makes sense, though. Some days (especially in 2016!) it would seem pretty good to not have to come back to earth, surely. And Aeryn should skill, Peacekeeper areas seem pretty cold – and not in a good way, either.
A: they are ATTACKING Pilot! Even Zhaan! The drive to go overwhelms their friendship and that’s just WRONG. Pilot and Moya should just ditch the rest of them and fly off into the sunset.
K: Even Zhaan! is right – I so don’t believe her doing such a thing. How in the world could they DO such a thing?!
Aeryn should get to go with Pilot though; they’re buddies.
Seriously, Zhaan. Disappointed in your.
A: and yup, as if we hadn’t already guessed, the scientist is definitely MAD AS. Experiments, clearly.
K: And what the hell is that thing. This certainly isn’t a cozy night with Muppets Tonight.
A: Pilot is going to forgive them? Really? Oh Pilot… your bind to Moya and duty make you subsume your anger, and there’s something tragically noble in that.
K: Noble, but PIlot needs to kick some ass. You’re so much more than their worth, Pilot. Pilot should get a crew like in Becky Chambers’ novel The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet – they’d care for you, Pilot!
A: YES AERYN castigating Zhaan and D’Argo? Excellent. And D’Argo, dismissing Pilot as a mere ‘servicer’ is so far beneath you.
K: When Aeryn says you’ve gone too far one best take a step back and have a look at your damn self. D’Argo is an idiot. Grumble. Zhaan has so much more intelligence than this, I can’t understand how they could be so selfish!
A: John, your self-pity is unattractive.
K: Drink moar, John. Whinge whinge whinge.
A: AW AERYN. Your fear of being left alone – finally revealing that to John – is wonderful. As is your reaction to the idea of being on a planet full of billions of Crichton…
K: Aeryn is the only sane one in a mad house. Go read with Pilot and to hell with the rest of them. Aeryn having never been alone is a strange thought – it would be utterly terrifying. I mean, most humans find it hard to consider moving towns without knowing anyone in the new place… imagine that on a planet scale.
A: Rygel, you’re disgusting.
K: He doesn’t even rate.
A: D’Argo, you are not winning any friends in this episode. Hmm and rubbing your eye… either you’re a toddler (which you kind of are), or there is SOMETHING DODGY going on.
K: Aha, yup.
A: aaand now we get the argument about who is going home first. Great. This is just ripping our crew apart.
K: Dump ‘em all out the airlock.
A: Aeryn, what are you DOING, going back to the mad scientist? … oh. You want a Sebacean colony. OH YOUR PAIN 😦
K: Going back with Crichton really is a turn-off, eh. The assistant is female? Huh.
A: did we see purple in the eye of anyone else?
K: Don’t think so, no. Another element to show how Sebacean is different to human? Or he’s done something really bad for her?
A: I love that Pilot has a dig at them all; he’s not quite as equanimous about the situation as he wanted to appear.
K: I’d actually be quite happy to send Rygel home first – all the sooner to get rid of him, surely. I love Pilot. He’s surprisingly sarcastic at times, which I love about him.
A: Aeryn all woozy – it’s quite nice cinematography to show that – and then John just rocks up all self-absorbed as always… and John, you actually just made a PMS comment? Seriously? Dude. Grow up.
K: Crichton really is selfish in the first season. Or a lot of the time? Eh, at least he’s not perfect in every way, I guess.
A: I hate you Rygel.
A: Aeryn has weird webbing growing on her body! But that doesn’t stop her from attacking the scientist and demanding the truth.
K: Because Aeryn is one of the few capable people on this damn ship in this episode. I wonder if this means this is how Pilot experiences things all the time? Maybe that’s why he has such a low stimulating room to live in?
A: Zhaan is basically suggesting that Rygel would deserve death at this point… and D’Argo can’t be trusted at all.
K: They’re all selfish.
A: omg Aeryn is turning into Pilot. She can hear what’s going on with Moya… and I am so glad that John came through, offering to help Aeryn find help. And I LOVE that he doesn’t react with disgust.
K: And this is where the bond between Pilot and Aeryn starts to grow.
And Aeryn saying she’s scared? Whoa.
A: Zhaan, are you attempting to SEDUCE Rygel? That’s amongst the most gross things that has happened on this show yet.
K: Aha. This episode is all kinds of wack.
A: The contradiction between John’s solicitous behaviour towards Aeryn, vs the behaviour of Zhaan and D’Argo and Rygel, is really striking.
K: Yup, and…
A: Tch. John, you’re a bit hopeless aren’t you.
A: oh and NOW we find out that the mad scientist (presented as male) has stolen the science lab from the ‘servant’ (presented as female). HUH. The lab animal becomes the master…
K: Which makes this episode worthwhile.
A: Why, exactly, does the cartographic crystal look like a Hugo rocket? Or, y’know, a penis.
K: Easy to find moulds of, I suppose!
A: whoo science talk!
K: So if we had Crais doing science talk, how would Alex react?
Aaaand now we discover that the crystal is going to erase Moya’s memory if Rygel manages to upload it. Destroying it makes everyone a bit sad.
K: And still selfish. Surely there are heaps of other ways to find their stupid homes.
A: John goes on a glorious anti-eugenics rant, after the mad scientist proclaims himself the closest possible thing to perfection.
K: Who wants to be perfect anyway? What next? Sit down and read books forever? Finding perfection would be a boring life.
A: … you’re not selling the ‘it’s bad to be perfect’ thing to me, K.
I’ve loved the way John has not made any comment about appearance so far, regarding Corlana or Aeryn’s changes – I think his look is about Aeryn’s change in itself, away from who she was, not about any revulsion.
K: One of John’s better aspects, I have to agree. It seems also with these episodes that the graphics are okay in the start of the episode, then get worse as they run out of budget, or something.
A: aw John trying to understand Aeryn is cute.
K: They don’t have emojis in space! What a damn relief.
That look that John gives Aeryn is why these two are everyone’s damn OTP after all these years though, my goodness.
A: D’ Argo as a musician doesn’t really work.
K: But the thought is there, somewhere. Maybe. Not really. HOW COULD THEY CUT OFF HIS ARM?
In summary, shipmates before science. Homies before home. And NO MORE CUTTING OFF PILOT’S ARMS.