A Farscape Community
Syfy (ended 2004)
It appears I am throwing a lot at you guys at once. And I am. But I always believed in striking while the iron is hot and TV.com has been cool enough to feature the re-introduction article and the 1st episode review. I really want to get a solid foot in the door with you folks who are fans and those of you just digging in. I can assure you I cannot maintain this pace, especially with my Almost Human photo recaps coming up the next 5 weeks. So why not! Let’s dive in, head first, arms flailing.

I will be the first to admit the 1st half dozen episodes of Farscape are a bit plodding. Any new show is subject to growing pains (Sleepy Hollow excluded!) and this was an experiment by the Sci-Fi channel to build something of their very own. That being said, while Exodus from Genesis isn’t the most jaw dropping, adventure filled episode – there are a ton of reasons to include it in this watchback review. Farscape took great pains in developing their characters in a very real way. It would be easy to have a little exposition on how they once were and graduate them all into the heroes they become and git raaht down to the adventure! But this show built these characters in a very organic way. We don’t rush through it – they are in a certain place right now. But by the end of season 1, they are in such a drastically different place – the awe of it all wouldn’t happen if we didn’t buy the people they are now. Crichton is still the naïve scientist. Aeryn is still the frigid, heartless Peacekeeper. D’Argo is still pretty much a mindless Warrior. So while I enjoyed all of Farscape there are a few I knew I had to include so we could feel them grow. Not to mention, Heat Delirium has to be introduced because it plays such an important part with the Sebacians, and half Sebacians (:-p) we meet later on. So just enjoy the ride and know that nothing developed in this series is ever wasted.

The 3rd episode of Farscape’s freshman season posed an interesting question. How do we view life forms we deem inferior? When our boot crushes an ant, should we care? After all – it is a matter of degree. We look at the ant as so much beneath the human race, we make no effort to avoid harming them let alone care when one sticks to our Timberlands. But, in another Universe, what if we were the ant and the boots are a whole lot bigger? Would another advanced species just walk right over us without even a second thought? John Crichton comes to terms that he might be that ant – and there are many different styles of boot waiting to crush him.

Considering life forms, it appears folks in the Uncharted Territories do not believe in toothbrushes (why isn’t it a teethbrush? I mean, what good is it to just brush one tooth?). D’Argo gently and gracefully introduces Crichton to a new method of dental care… The Dentik.


The episode proper brings two very different problems. A debris field of some sort is demonstrating strange behavior – almost a swarming of sorts. Problem two is that the debris is only thing hiding Moya from a marauder – a Peacekeeper ship filled with commandos searching for THEM.


Fortunately, the “debris” stays cohesive enough to hide them until the marauder leaves. But as Moya accelerates away, the “debris” looks to be sentient as it enters Moya without detection.

We move to Aeryn and John in the cargo bay where it appears the stowaways are keeping tabs on the crew.

John is getting his first lesson into the mindset of Sebacians…especially Peacekeepers. They see themselves as the proverbial “Boot” in the Universe.


As enlightening this conversation is to Crichton, it ends with one of the new arrivals shooting a barb into Aeryn’s hand (mistaken as a splinter)…

…and D’Argo’s neck (which he casually discards).

The visitors are still hidden, but a serious problem surfaces as the heat is rising within Moya at a rapid rate.

Pilot informs them he does not know the cause and he needs them to search the ship to find the malfunction. Crichton and Zhann team up (as do D’Argo and Aeryn) to try to find the cause and correct it. Crichton is flummoxed.

He admits to needing 10 minutes just figure out how to open a door and feels like Aeryn and D’Argo are testing him every second. And he is failing. Crichton really lets his guard down to Zhaan and shows his insecurity about not measuring up to the two warrior’s standards. Zhaan, always the voice of reason, suggests “Time & Patience”. He will prove himself to the crew in ways he hasn’t even thought of yet. Zhaan is John’s touchstone right now in the early part of season. The calming voice that keeps him going. And he is very grateful.

Crichton resumes his checks of the living compartments where an uninvited guest is helping itself to some hair.

“Gotcha!”

Actually, Crichton does exactly what I would have done in this situation…

I don’t want to name names (Helix / The Following), but I am getting tired of characters being written to do the least likely thing imaginable considering who they are supposed to be. You have expert PhDs addressing a nightmare contagion while breaking every single containment protocol imaginable and lying about everything to your colleagues. You have F.B.I. agents forgetting things that are second nature like calling back-up or trying not to cause deaths. Oh boy, I could go on forever with this. But here we have a character written to do exactly what anyone who is completely out of his element would do. Jump on a table and freak! I see a snake – I am outta there. But after a second to draw some courage, I realize I better try to catch it or kill it or it will catch ME when I least expect it.


If I bag that sucker and it starts to fight, well then, dammit…

The heat problem worsens.

We learn of a serious weakness every Sebacian suffers from. As Crichton says, “they are literally cold blooded”. Sebacians cannot handle excessive or prolonged heat. Any extended exposure brings on a slow decay that is both physiological and mental. They call it Heat Delirium – or, The Walking Death (since you never die from it, only continued suffering).

Sebacians, especially Peacekeepers rely on a fellow Sebacian to “put them out of their misery” with a quick death. It becomes critical they fix the heating problem quickly or Aeryn won’t survive intact. This information given to Crichton by D’Argo leads to a bit of insight as to where our characters are at and in how they view each other. Luxans have been enslaved by Peacekeepers and normally have no problem watching Sebacians suffer with this disorder. Luxans see the courage of their race as a clear step up from the cowardly oppression of the Peacekeepers. They see Sebacians as inferior. Sebacians look at Luxans the same way. Crichton openly accuses D’Argo of wanting Aeryn to die since her kind imprisoned him. We see a little bit of D’Argo's growth, as he assures Crichton the part of him that wants to see her live is bigger than the part that wants her to die. And Crichton’s judgmental tone… well let’s just say that by the end of the season it is inconceivable (yes I know what that word means) that so much animosity could exist with these 3 characters. Remember where they are right now when you look back at the end of the season.

Crichton goes on with his inspection of the ship, searching for clues. A couple large ones find him…


Both “Zhaan” and “Aeryn” are attempting to further raise the temperature of the ship and assault Crichton as he asks questions. And then this happens…


A genetically perfect copy of Aeryn has been running around essentially sabotaging the ship. John tells of his encounter with the “Not-Zhaan” and D’Argo comes up with a fantastic idea to be able to tell the reals from the fakes:

That is something they would really do on some shows. No dumber than impaling yourself so you could claim self-defense. No names. (Helix) A spray paint marker on the wrist suffices and the crew decides they need someone small to check out the spaces between the bulkhead and hull.


Off goes Rygel (under protest). Meanwhile, Officer Sun is not faring well. There is a nice scene showing the closeness Aeryn and Pilot seem to be developing where Pilot catches her with one of his many arms.


Rygel finds the worst case scenario as the creatures are nesting and apparently hatching eggs with creatures and crew duplicates alike.



Crichton runs into his copy and gives communication a try with unfavorable results as they know each other’s moves and kick each other’s ass. Meanwhile Zhaan is struck by a strange quill that seems to take over her mind.


This alien race, called the Draks, is able to speak through the real Zhaan (the duplicates are unable to speak) and she explains to the crew they attacked them. The Monarch of the Draks explains that they live in space but were in a cycle of reproduction where they seek out a place of warmth to hatch their offspring. When Crichton caught and killed the bug in his room, this race interpreted it as an attack. So they responded in kind. Crichton, through Zhaan, negotiates a truce where Moya will allow them to finish their reproductive cycle and then return to space. In turn, they will have environmental control in an isolated compartment. And it is in the nick of time for Aeryn. If anyone has any thoughts John and Aeryn are beginning to see each other differently…



Aeryn takes a huge leap. She puts her trust in Crichton. Trust he will kill her if she slips completely into Heat Delirium. He reluctantly agrees.

Unfortunately, the truce is short lived as the marauder finds Moya and storms the ship, shooting every replicant they run across.

The heat is blasted until Dominar Rygel the 16th goes into full Sovereign mode and works out a deal once again.

They are free. But no match for armed commandos. And here we see John take his first step away from being that naïve scientist, toward the tough hero we will begin to love. With Aeryn’s permission, he tells the “Monarch” to blast the heat.

By now the commandos are falling apart from the excessive heat and total confusion over seeing all the duplicates of the crew. Crichton and Crichton decide to put them over the edge.





But we are losing Aeryn.

Crichton bluffs. He could just kill the Peacekeepers, but offers them a chance to leave and tell Crais he is messing with the wrong guy – look at what he can do!

They buy his bluff. The commandos leave via their marauder, though Crichton is not confident the story they tell will discourage Crais from his vendetta.

As things return to normal, D’Argo makes of point of praising John on his tough call – risking Aeryn and his own life with a grand bluff. That little bit of respect is what had been missing since
they met. John t
hen runs into Zh
aan.

We get the theme of this story clarified. Who is worthy of living? Of dying? Who is anyone to deem any living being beneath one’s self? Zhaan says something very Zhaan about the need to respect all life. John thinks about how callously he killed the Drak in his room. How easy it is to think of something not worthy of life…and how easy it is for another to think that of you.

Crichton tracks Aeryn down in the Observation Deck.

Aeryn has a confession. She begins to talk to Crichton about dismissing inferior species. John takes it to mean she is discussing the Draks, until…

No. She is talking about him. About humanity. She used to look at lesser life forms as something useless. Something to be crushed. But not now.


And as we close…




I hope you enjoyed the episode – and I hope the discussion was entertaining! What is important is to hear what YOU think of Exodus from Genesis.

This is episode 3 of season 1. Next weekend we will have discussions on episodes 5 and 7 – Back and Back to the Future Again & PK Tech Girl. Can’t wait to chat with you then! If you have any season 1 episodes you want covered – please let me know. And for those if you seeing Farscape for the first time – I would LOVE your impressions on what you’ve seen. I would really like to get one or more of you to do a review through the eyes of someone seeing this for the first time. Let me know if you are interested!

If you are fan of Almost Human – look for my Photo recap on Tuesday. Have a great weekend and week ahead, gang!

This all started with this post: Most Romantic Moment in Sci-Fi TV

If you missed it:
FARSCAPE REVISITED: The Premiere
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I was goaded into a Farscape submission here on a new post I put up. I was really trying hard ...but I am such the fan boy.

Funniest Moment in Sci-Fi/Genre Televison
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I really love the tons and tons of "random sci-fi goo" used in this episode. Kill the bug - hey, lots of goo! Chop off Not-Aeryn's arm - blue goo! It could have been silly, but it ended up showing us how good this series would be at taking all the classic sci-fi tropes, all the usual visual effects, and having fun with them, instead of taking them too seriously or making fun of them.
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Look up at my last post. I am so weak!
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Lever cementing PUKE glue Goo!
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And this isn't the last time we see how useful puke can be in this show.
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My wife and I are waiting for the little one to start understanding what he's watching on TV so we can all re-watch Farscape together! The only problem is I don't think we'll make it until then before we do another marathon-watch.
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Inconsiderate kid! :-p

The little one is going to LOVE the Creature Shop creations! I say - TWO rewatches are in your future!

I would skip "Eat Me" with any kid. It still disturbs me and I am 46.
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Just re-watched Exodus from Genesis.Although it was good,it came across as a bit Star Trekish but will eventually find it's own voice and vibe later on.This is normal for a sci-fi series at the beginning to feel Star Trekish before finding their own direction and style(examples...Babylon 5,Stargate,etc..).In this episode,we start to see the characters beginning to mesh together and work as one.It was also surprising that Rygel was the hero of the episode.And the ending starts to show the beginning of a spark between Aeryn and John.Overall,an interesting episode.But the best is yet to come.
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just now noticed the parallels between the end of this ep and the end of peacekeeper wars
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Observation deck.. :)
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Hey, just saw you were doing this, thank you this is good. I've been at the end of season three for quite a while and I really need to get a move on, only I was afraid I might have waited too long with it and was in need of going back to review, so thank you again, this is perfect.
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It is my pleasure mog! I am trying to pick and choose, but everyone has so many favorite season on e eps, I fear I might be doing almost the whole season! Which doesn't break my heart - I was just worried about boring everyone, so i picked personal favorites and those crucial to the mytharc. We have a bunch doing a watchback and a few watching for the first time. Why don't you jump in? I think you will find it worth it. If not - I will probably cover over 1/2 of each seasons eps.

How the HELL did you resist watching the PK Wars mini? Season4 - PK Wars is really amazing.
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yeah, I'm ashamed of myself, this has been the weirdest show watching experience for me. I enjoy it so much, and yet I watched a season a year. This has never happened to me before. I love this show, I've no idea why I'm doing it to myself. And I don't think you'll bore anyone, this show is amazing and your recap was funny. They just don't do shows like this anymore, I guess I'm cherishing it by prolonging the experience but it is not a good way to watch the show and I need to get back to it.
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Word of warning. Have PK Wars Mini on hand before you watch the season 4 finale. They thought they had a 5th season and ended in one of the most WTF cliffhangers EVER! We had to wait 18 months for the mini to air - ending it properly.
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great review
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Awesome you took the time to say so, Mark. You make the time spent on this SO worth it.
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It was so early in the show FARSCAPE I was still finding my feet towards an opinion as the show felt different, but the episode story was not. And rereading your review I realised the difference and the similarities with regurly treaded paths.
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I had to watch two episodes this morning to catch up with your review. No problem of course :-). A lot of memories are coming back when I watch them as it had only been three years ago I had seen them. I watched episode three in a far better quality (960*720 but of course not full HD due to the format of season 1) then I had seen it before it it was beautiful.

I liked the character development and understood why episodes like these had to be filmed in season 1. It felt like a Star Trek episode as far as the problem with the Drak were concerned. If I would take a minute I would be able to mention a few episode that come close.

I was wondering why the marauder couldn't scan them through the debris but they could see the marauder.

I love those little human jokes and references Crighton makes as it keeps him human in my eyes. He mentioned one of my favourite films of all times: "Animal House" and in episode 2 he mentioned Degoba.

Although they are growing as companions, there is already a basis for this development laid out. It feels like they already like each other a bit but are afraid to give in. That would be a faster development then mentioned in the review, but still slower then some other series where the main characters love each other after the first episode already.

And let's not forget we also had Drakh (but with an 'h') in B5; they were a bit more dangerous. It probably is difficult to come up with different alien names that are acceptable for human viewers :-)


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And you have until next weekend to get through #5. Get crackin, man! ;)
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I am trying to get a friend involved who may feel "spoiled" by Aeryn and John. For me - I knew it was going to happen after this episode. Her 'Puss 'n Boots eyes directed towards him. His brushing hair off her forehead...

I KNEW it would happen. It was HOW it happened, how it was torn apart (very originally, incidentally) and how it was put back together that just "wow'd" me.
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Great review. Things I really liked about this episode are:
1. The start of the Aeryn/Pilot relationship
2. That Aeryn already trusts John with her life
3. That John just lets her have the win with the comment about lesser life forms

The chemistry between Ben and Claudia is just amazing.
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Funny this is the way we spent our Saturday night!

Humans. Are. Superior!
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