Trivia / Farscape

  • Acting for Two/Double Vision:
    • Almost any episode featuring Crais, as the actor, Lani Tupu, also voiced Pilot.
    • Also Wayne Pygram, who plays both Scorpius and his mental clone, "Harvey". While Harvey starts out being little more than a copy of Scorpius's personality, he later develops a personality of his own in seasons three and four, taking on knowledge and appreciation of popular Earth culture from Crichton's mind and becoming a less antagonistic character (i.e. concerned more with his and Crichton's survival.) Numerous episodes feature both Scorpius and Harvey.
    • And in the "Look at the Princess" storyline, Jonathan Hardy, the voice actor for Rygel, appears onscreen as one of Moya's alien "Builders" (his eyebrows are the giveaway).
    • In Season 3, Ben Browder started pulling double duty as John Crichton during the episode "Eat Me" until one of the Crichtons dies in "Infinite Possibilities (2): Icarus Abides"
    • In the Season 2 episode "My Three Crichtons", Ben does triple duty as Crichton, Caveman Crichton and Future Crichton.
    • The "Unrealized Reality" swapped the actors around for comedic effect. Melissa Jaffer never makes an appearance as Noranti in this episode or its sequel, "Prayer". Instead we get Bizzaro Rygel. (Probably to spare her from two long makeup sessions in one episode.)
    • In Season 4, Jason Clarke is billed as the Scarran officer, Captain Jenek (the one Chaina tried to kick in the "mivoks"). He also played the role of Lechner, Aeryn's imaginary lover, in the flashback sequences of "Prayer".
  • Actor Allusion:
    • When the crew lands on Sykara ("Thank God Its Friday...Again"), Crichton quips about how much it reminds him of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. When Rygel goes, "Huh?", Crichton adds, "Don't worry, no one saw the third one." Jonathan Hardy, the voice of Rygel, was in the first Mad Max movie, and the actress who plays Zhaan, Virginia Hey, was featured in the second movie The Road Warrior.
    • When confronting each other in Pilot's den, Crichton refers to Kaarvok ("Eat Me") as a "sick, Hammer Horror son of a bitch". Shane Briant starred in four Hammer Horror movies, usually as a mad doctor.
  • Actor-Shared Background:
    • "FRANK KOKAKIS?? I dated your sister!" John's outburst in "A Human Reaction" was ad-libbed by Ben Browder, who hoped to startle the *real* Frank Kokakis (a childhood acquaintance) into falling out of his chair.
    • In "John Quixote", Browder added the sideways elevator and Arthur Dent references as a tribute to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and its star, Mark Wing-Davey, who was the head of Browder's drama school.
  • Bowdlerise: UK Viewers were unable to see the fake abortion in "Prayer", as it was edited out.
  • The Cast Showoff:
    • In "Won't Get Fooled Again," the Scorpius analogue is a drummer - a skill Wayne Pygram possesses and has put to good use.
    • In "Scratch 'N' Sniff", Chiana does some fire-twirling to wow a crowd of onlookers. Gigi Edgley possesses this skill in real life.
    • Does Claudia Black's lizard-like tongue trick count as a skill?
      • I suspect her husband would say yes.
    • In "A Human Reaction", Aeryn's language sounds to outsiders like Aeryn's speech backwards. The kicker is that this isn't a post-production effect: Claudia Black actually spoke backwards for the take.
  • Contractual Immortality: Usually avoided, but occasionally pretty obvious, as with each of Rygel's "deaths".
  • Creator Cameo:
    • Director Rowan Woods plays the fake Zhaan in "John Quixote". He said the hardest part was having to shave his body.
    • In the faux news story on the Farscape crew ("A Constellation of Doubt"), David Kemper was the shadowy informant ("We're fairly certain how she, uh...cured the blind boy in Brazil."), while Brian Henson played a talking head.
  • Development Hell / Vapor Ware: The webseries actually listed contracts for producing spots before promptly disappearing without a trace. Surprisingly, however, the trope by averted bigtime when the producers were able to mount the Peacekeeper Wars miniseries, complete with the TV cast (many of whom had gone on to other projects), and get it on the air within a year and half of the show's cancellation.
  • Dueling Shows: With Star Gate SG 1. Although oddly, Lexx had the misfortune of looking like a cheap ripoff of Farscape in spite of coming first.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Virginia Hey shaved her hair and eyebrows to become Zhaan, and suffered serious health issues because of her makeup that eventually forced her to leave the show.
  • Fake American:
    • Whenever they had an American character who wasn't John or Jack, they were probably played by an Australian: the most notable were John's mom and sister, "T.R. Holt", and his best friend DK.
    • Also, Australian actors Gigi Edgely and Anthony Simcoe played their characters of Chiana and D'Argo with fairly passable American accents, though they had trouble pronouncing the name of the ship ("Moyer"). If you listen, Gigi's cadence is still very Aussie, in spite of the accent.
  • Fake Guest Star: An unusual example: Despite appearing in almost every episode, both Lani Tupu (Pilot) and Jonathan Hardy (Rygel) aren't even credited in the main titles. They only ever get a guest star billing if they appear as a live-action character (such as recurring character Bilar Crais and the Leviathan engineer). Lani Tupu was even Promoted to Opening Titles, only for his role as Crais.
  • International Coproduction: Filmed in Sydney, Farscape first ran on the Australian TV Channel Nine Network. As usual with shows filmed overseas, Australia, the UK, and Canada aired episodes months in advance, whilst Sci-Fi bludgeoned its viewers with long hiatuses.
  • Real-Life Relative: Francesca Buller, wife of Ben Browder, appears in all four seasons of the show as alien characters (M'Lee from "Bone to Be Wild" in Season 1, ro-NA in two of the "Look at the Princess" three-parter in Season 2, Raxil in "Scratch 'n' Sniff" in Season 3 and Minister Ahkna in four episodes of Season 4. Minister Ahkna is the only character she has played for more than one season, having to have been included in "The Peacekeeper Wars" mini-series).
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • Production took place in Sydney to take advantage of lower costs. Nearly the entire cast hails from Australia and New Zealand, with the exception of All-American Ben Browder (Crichton). "A Human Reaction" is set in Australia for this very reason. The Earth scenes in seasons 2-4 are set in nebulous parts of Florida.
    • The reason why Browser changed into all-black (Season 2 onward) was because his IASA outfit kept getting singed by the pyrotechnics on set.
    • The largest part of the budget was spent on the expensive props, sets, and puppets. Apparently it was the toughest part of re-negotiations every year. Backers expect these things to be expensive in season one and get cheaper as the years go on, but the Henson Workshop was more accustomed to film shoots where the prices are fixed. Where the show saved money was on cast: it had lots of "bottle" episodes on the standing sets with only one guest actor.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Screwed by the Network:
    • At the end of every season, Farscape had a monkey on its back: Their numbers were decent, but not great – and it was always contending with SG-1, which always did better in the ratings, and didn’t cost quite as much to make. Studio execs could be forgiven for scratching their heads and asking why they should keep running Farscape in the face of that math. By the end of the third season, they went ahead and picked up the show for two more seasons instead of just one, but it seems like there was a price tag attached. Every 'Scaper has heard about the network notes: stuff like “make the show more sexy,” “make the show less serialized,” and the classic “make it more like South Park.” The opening of season 4 was the result of SciFi insisting on slowly reintroducing the cast for new viewers.

      The second half of Season Four is when the network stopped with the notes... only to drop the bomb later: Sci-Fi execs internally decided to back out of the contract by shortening the order to a 13-episode half season. When the showrunners attempted to fight for the original contract, the series was summarily canceled. And all of this after the fourth season finale cliffhanger had been filmed, leaving no time to write and film a new ending for the series. There would’ve been more urgency to get the story moving and less time spent treading water if the writers knew they weren't coming back.
    • Battlestar Galactica was launched within weeks of the announcement, effectively taking Farscape''s slot in the lineup. Fans took umbrage with comments by SciFi execs that BSG was conceived to fill their need for a "sexy, edge, space-based scifi drama," which was exactly what they had just cancelled.
  • Throw It In: Much of the more comedic lines were reportedly ad-libbed by the actors. Also other little things, such as Crichton's nickname for Chiana ("Pip") being Ben Browder's nickname for Gigi Edgley.
    • Chiana was originally not part of the cast, and her first appearance, she was supposed to die. However, the cast and crew liked her so much they let her live and made her a main character. A side effect of this was that Edgley decided to keep the exaggerated head movements she needed to do in her first appearance thanks to her restrictive contact lenses, despite them being replaced with more comfortable ones.
  • Trope Namer: Farscape is the Trope Namer for:
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The series was originally pitched (as Space Chase) to FOX in 1991. The series was, in fact, repeatedly rejected before being picked up Sci-Fi Channel, but Brian Henson loved it and pushed it whenever the opportunity arose.
    • Part of the original concept was for Moya to be a large ship with lots of crew, all of them bizarre aliens. Jettisoned early in the development process because of time, money, and effort constraints, the idea was that "every episode would be the Cantina Scene from Star Wars.
    • Originally, D'argo was envisioned as a much older character, a robot would have been part of Moya's crew, Zhaan was a Buddha-like male (referenced in "John Quixote") and the Peacekeepers were formless, smoke-like creatures in humanoid armor. Moya's design also changed considerably several times.
    • As stated above, Chiana was meant to die in her first episode.
    • Scorpius was originally sketched out as a puppet character, and Crais's sidekick. Paul Goddard (Stark) also auditioned to play Scorpius.
    • Obviously, the never-produced Season 5. The Peacekeeper Wars summarizes the basic arc that the season would've been. Among the stand-alone ideas that have surfaced was a two-part time travel story to be co-written by Ben Browder.
    • Plans for a series of sequel webisodes were derailed by the 2007 writer's strike. That, plus Rygel and Pilot's puppets had decayed since the show aired. We got the comics instead.
  • Written by Cast Member: "Green-Eyed Monster" and "John Quixote" were both written by Ben Browder.
  • Written-In Infirmity:
    • At least two actors had to quit the show, or take a leave of absence, due to a bad reaction from the makeup: Virginia Hey returned on the condition that she wear a bald cap. Melissa Jaffer had to sit out the mini-series; her voice is ADR'ed over a lookalike.
    • Rebecca Riggs was heavily pregnant by the time they shot Peacekeeper Wars, thus no attempt is made to disguise Grayza's stomach. Maryk believes he is the father, though a persistent fan theory speculates that the child was conceived during Grayza's rape of John on Arneesk in "What Was Lost - Sacrifice". But to quote Sagan, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence", and Maryk serves little purpose in the story other than explaining Grayza's pregnancy.
  • You Look Familiar:


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/Farscape