Series: Farscape

Exploring the frelling Frontier.note 

"Welcome to the Federation Starship SS Buttcrack."
John Crichton gives a synopsis

"If Star Wars and Red Dwarf had a baby, and then that baby ran off to join the circus, that's Farscape."
SFDebris gives the greatest description of the show possible

Farscape, a Space Opera co-created by Rockne O'Bannon and Brian Henson (son of Jim), ran from 1999 to 2003 on the Sci Fi Channel. Production took place in Sydney, Australia, to take advantage of lower costs. As a result, nearly the entire cast hails from the Land Downunder, with the exception of Ben Browder, who is American. Several of the aliens went far beyond Rubber-Forehead Aliens into the realm of Starfish Aliens, thanks to puppets and animatronics created by the Jim Henson Creature Shop.

The story follows John Crichton, a hapless astronaut who winds up stranded in a distant galaxy aboard a ship — a living ship! — named Moya. While en route back to Earth, John and the crew — including disgraced stormtrooper Aeryn Sun, proud warrior D'argo, destitute king Rygel, space punk Chiana, vegetable-based mystic Zhaan, deranged soul-ferryman Stark, and the symbiotic, appropriately named Pilot — find themselves the target of both sides in a war between the Peacekeeper military complex and the reptilian Scarrans. Meanwhile, John is looking less the plucky human these days and more like a shellshocked anti-hero on the edge of sanity.

At the end of the day, the half-mad (and so half-sane!) John is able to save everyone because he's the most deficient of all the species aboard.

Conceived as a madcap and subversive take on the genre (similar to its Canadian and British counterparts, Lexx and Red Dwarf), Farscape became heavily serialized in its second year, coinciding with the show's sharp turn into "gritty war drama". Even at its darkest, the show gleefully skewered the standard science fiction tropes of its time, and has been referred to as the "anti-Star Trek." Our so-called heroes tended to have more sordid backgrounds and bad habits than usual, and the clean, well-dressed military served as the antagonist. Actions had consequences, bad judgments were often made, and plans tended to go stupendously wrong. The series is also notorious for its mantra of Death Is Cheap, to the point where John Crichton expired no less than seven times (not counting numerous deaths in parallel worlds). On the other hand, writers were more apt to kill off a departing character than simply write them out.

Farscape bears some resemblance to the '70s British series Blake's 7, which was also centered around a group of escaped convicts challenging an evil dictatorship from their high-powered ship. Many B7 fans see the character Grayza as an acknowledgment of this, because of her strong resemblance to Servalan, B7's own Big Bad. The fact that actress Rebecca Riggs is an avowed fan of B7 doesn't hurt.

Canceled in 2003, Farscape was resurrected on the Sci Fi Channel for a two-part miniseries that resolved the cliffhanger from season four and gave fans a condensed version of the planned plot for season five. In 2008, BOOM! Studios started publishing ongoing — and canonical — Farscape comics, from stories written by Rockne O'Bannon and scripted by Keith R.A. DeCandido and David Allan Mack. There were two ongoing series set post-Peacekeeper Wars, one following Moya's crew (Farscape) and one following Scorpius (Farscape: Scorpius), the spin-off since merged back into the ongoing story as of the War for the Uncharted Territories Story Arc, as well as a pre-PKW series following D'Argo. O'Bannon has also recently stated that he has had some discussions with the Henson company about a potential film revival.

This series has its own recaps page.


Farscape is the Trope Namer for:



"Frell me dead!"

Alternative Title(s):

Farscape The Series