And so begins the greatest science fiction series in history.
It’s about this guy, Commander John Crichton, who is about to take off in this thing. And he knows something’s up.
What happens to him is he gets shot through a wormhole. Only 5 minutes and 17 seconds into the first episode. That’s what I love about Farscape, well one of many things. No endless exposition; no condescending explanations; straight to the action and the people who make it.
Crichton understandably doesn’t enjoy his first wormhole trip, although it did turn out okay. True, he got kidnapped by DRDs, assaulted by a Luxan, spat on by a Hynerian, and left wondering.
< what is the matter clip>
Well, there’s a lot wrong with them as we see in future episodes. But in Episode 1 we are watching through Crichton’s eyes, except for a brief exchange between Zhaan and D’Argo. He is lost, far from home, and we are lost with him.
<I’m on another planet>
Yes, Dorothy, you aren’t in Kansas anymore, and neither are we. This is not the standard science fiction show, not by any stretch.
< hissing negotiation clip>
The primary purpose of any first episode of a TV show is world building. The audience needs to be introduced to the main characters and the conflicts they are facing. Farscape’s Premiere episode does just that. The episode focuses mostly on two people, setting up the central dynamic of the series.
We have Crichton, an astronaut with a famous father who creates his own experiment which goes wrong and strands him in another part of the galaxy.
He meets the woman of his dreams who promptly beats him up.
< clip of how to beat up Crichton >
However, Aeryn, the Peacekeeper prowler pilot, does forge an unlikely bond with Crichton. It begins because she realizes he is not one of the escaped prisoners, so by circumstance, a potential ally. Understandably, she is more open to ally with him than with D’Argo, Rygel, or Zhaan.
<they need information clip>
She aligns herself too closely with Crichton, condemning herself by defending him.
<Aeryn and Crais clip >
Although Crais seems rather quick to condemn Aeryn.
But this first episode sets up so much future action in the series, which I won’t mention to spoil it for any newcomers. But there’s a history between Crais and Aeryn, and a bigger history for Aeryn that is only hinted at in this scene.
Peacekeepers are clearly totalitarian thugs, and Aeryn is, well, now was, one of them. She loses her place in the Peacekeepers because she protects Crichton.
Crichton returns the favor by protecting Aeryn.
< if she stays clip>
That scene sets the tone for the relations among D’Argo, Aeryn, and Crichton for quite awhile to come.
< you can be more clip>
I have argued in an earlier video, and I will do so again, that Crichton’s statement “you can be more” is a major theme of Farscape, especially for Aeryn. There is no shortage of symbolism that Crichton is releasing Aeryn from her shackles at that moment.
Anyway, our heroes escape the two bumbling Peacekeepers (I wonder what Crais did to them) but don’t get far.
< command carrier clip >
Crichton bails them out.
< Crichton writes on floor clip >
Instance One of Crichton taking over and getting the others out of a tough spot. It is a little surprising that he is so forward, but he asserts himself using what expertise he has.
I have to break in here with a Reality Check. I am no mathematician, but I know that you can’t solve an equation without some data. You can’t solve for E in E=mc2 if you don’t know the value of m. Crichton doesn’t know the values of any of the variables, yet he miraculously comes up with 28-38 degrees to escape the command carrier.
<28-38 degrees clip>
How Aeryn and Pilot know what to do is a mystery as Crichton has said very little in specific to them. But, hey, at some point every plot needs a suspension of disbelief in order to continue, and this is that point in the first episode. Really, if we could accept that wormholes exist, that slugs can ride throne sleds, and so on, we can just accept that Crichton’s maneuver works perfectly, and Moya and passengers are saved.
It’s the other main characters that shows the brilliance of Farscape. Science fiction, especially television science fiction is rife with cliches and stock characters. Farscape’s first episode appears to give us some of those stock characters. But while other TV shows never get past those stock character stereotypes, Farscape . . . well, I’ll discuss that in future deep dives, and as the episodes progress and get more complex, and so also will my deep dives.
If you love Farscape and like the deep dives, please support my Farscape Continues project by giving a few dollars through the Ko-Fi link in the description below. See you again soon.