Wed
Feb 15 2012 3:00pm

Calling All ’Scapers! An Introduction to the Farscape Rewatch

Farscape Rewatch on Tor.com

Welcome to the Uncharted Territories, where nobody is exactly what they seem, everybody wants to get inside your head or your pants — that is when they’re not trying to kill you — and your best friend probably has tentacles.

It seems like good timing for a Farscape rewatch since the series has just come out on Blu-ray. And considering the enthusiastic response to Emily’s eloquent blog about the show late last year, Farscape fans are definitely out there in numbers!

This rewatch will build up into a complete episode guide to Farscape. Its original incarnation — as a book written for Virgin Publishing ten years ago — was “Unofficial and Unauthorised” which meant I didn’t have access to the cast or crew, or to privileged behind-the-scenes info or lots of colour glossy 8x10 photographs with arrows and labels. All I had access to were the episodes themselves and any interviews I stumbled across in my travels.

That book, Uncharted Territory, covered the first three seasons and was commissioned just as Sci-Fi announced they’d be making seasons 4 and 5, so I was confident of a second edition.

Unfortunately, it was published THE EXACT DAY SciFi announced the show was in fact being cancelled. The publisher responded by remaindering it pretty much instantly. Frell. (I shouldn’t complain — one friend of mine had his Smallville episode guide recalled and pulped after three days on the shelves!)

So this rewatch will be composed intially of revised entries from the book, published once a week on Wednesdays. I’ll be rewatching the show for the first time since I wrote the book so I can add or change bits, and possibly violently disagree with my younger self’s opinions.

Without further ado, here’s how each episode will be presented:

Synopsis: A quick summary of what happens in the episode.

Character Sections: Each of the central characters will get his, her (or its) own section, where I note how they develop over time, and draw attention to action or dialogue that really defines them.

The Ballad of ***** and ****: How the romantic relationships of the crew blossom and flower... and then inevitably go all horribly weird and screwy.

World’s Apart: The various planets and civilisations Moya’s crew visit.

Alien Encounters: The races that Crichton and co. meet along the way.

Disney On Acid: Crichton peppers his speeches with pop-culture references that nobody else could possibly understand. This category will list and explain them all.

Get Frelled: Sex is a major component of the Farscape world. Everyone’s doing it, wants to be doing it, or is regretting having done it.

What Does This Do? Bodily functions are never ignored on Moya, from Rygel’s helium farts, to the radiation shielding properties of Zhaan’s puke.

Seen It All Before: Farscape is very good at taking old storylines and twisting them in new and unexpected ways. This section points out where you may have encountered a particular idea before.

Stats: The hardware of the Farscape world, the measurements, rules, facts and figures.

Logic Leaps: Moments when the story asks you to suspend disbelief just that bit too much.

Bloopers: Screw-ups and continuity errors accounted for.

WHAT Did You Just Say?: Memorable quotes.

Guest Stars: Who are they and where you’ve seen them before.

Backstage: Crucial behind-the-scenes info which informs the episode.

The Verdict: A brief, subjective review of the episode.

A note on the viewing order

Hold tight, this gets confusing....

The first half of season one was shown in no less than FOUR different configurations. For the real obsessives amongst you (don’t feel ashamed, I know and share your pain!) here they are:

U.K. transmission order:

  1. Premiere
  2. Throne For A Loss
  3. Back and Back and Back to the Future
  4. I, E.T.
  5. Exodus From Genesis
  6. Thank God It’s Friday… Again
  7. PK Tech Girl
  8. That Old Black Magic
  9. DNA Mad Scientist
  10. They’ve Got a Secret
  11. Till The Blood Runs Clear
  12. The Flax
  13. Rhapsody In Blue

(The original Australian Transmission order was almost the same, except “That Old Black Magic” ran between “Thank God It’s Friday… Again” and “PK Tech Girl.”)

U.S. transmission order:

  1. Premiere
  2. Exodus From Genesis
  3. Back and Back and Back to the Future
  4. Throne For A Loss
  5. PK Tech Girl
  6. Thank God it’s Friday… Again
  7. I, E.T.

...thereafter it’s the same as the UK.

The production team’s preferred viewing order (used on the original U.S. DVD releases)

  1. Premiere
  2. I, E.T.
  3. Exodus From Genesis
  4. Throne For A loss
  5. Back and Back and Back to the Future
  6. Thank God It’s Friday… Again
  7. PK Tech Girl
  8. That Old Black Magic
  9. DNA Mad Scientist
  10. They’ve Got A Secret
  11. Till The Blood Runs Clear
  12. Rhapsody In Blue
  13. The Flax

It would now appear that a FIFTH configuration has been inaugurated with the latest DVD and Blu-ray releases, on which “Rhapsody in Blue” and “The Flax” are switched.

Does your head hurt as much as mine?

My original book followed the U.K. transmission order, but this time I’m following the latest listing as found on the most recent box set releases — it’s basically the same as the preferred viewing order of ten years ago.

In the U.S. the episodes ran at forty-four minutes, which meant that approximately three to four minutes of disposable character material was shot for each episode but was only broadcast in Europe. However, that material has been included on all VHS and DVD releases and will be included in this rewatch.

These blogs are designed as a lighthearted aide-mémoire to the series, designed to be read alongside the episodes. They’ll be informative (hopefully), amusing (with luck) and opinionated (definitely), the idea being that you’ll find out stuff you may have missed, connections you hadn’t made, and you’ll sometimes agree and sometimes disagree with what I have to say, which is the way it should be — I look forward to lots of impassioned comments!

Let’s get started with the premiere episode.


Scott K. Andrews has written episode guides, magazine articles, film and book reviews, comics, audio plays for Big Finish, far too many blogs, some poems you will never read, and three novels for Abaddon. He is, patently, absurd.

Farscape Rewatch on Tor.com: index | next ›
23 comments
Zayne Forehand
2. ShiningArmor
I just peed a little.

Could not be more excited!
James Whitehead
3. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
Am contolling bodily functions slightly better than ShiningArmor but am still very excited.

Thanks for taking this on.

Kato
John Skotnik
4. ShooneSprings
I didn't realize there were discrepancies in the viewing order. Weird.
politeruin
5. politeruin
Sweeeet...been looking forward to this. I thought it was just going to be a pick and mix of episodes but i'm not complaining.
Scott K. Andrews
7. ScottKAndrews
Yay, glad everyone's stoked - the more people join in, the more fun it'll be :-)

ShooneSprings: The viewing order weirdness is because in Oz they often film two episodes simultaneously, even if they're narratively non-consecutive - they did this with the first filming block and it seems to have led to lots of confusion as to which order they should be shown in.
rick gregory
8. rickg
Note that the series is also available on Netflix Instant where they h ave the order"

Premiere
2Exodus from Genesis
3Back and Back and Back to the Future
4Throne for a Loss
5PK Tech Girl
6Thank God It's Friday, Again
7I, E.T
8That Old Black Magic
9DNA Mad Scientist
10They've Got a Secret
11Till the Blood Runs Clear
12The Flax49m
13Rhapsody in Blue
14Jeremiah Crichton
15Durka Returns
16A Human Reaction
17Through the Looking Glass
18A Bug's Life
19Nerve
20The Hidden Memory
21Bone to Be Wild
22Family Ties
Jason Henninger
9. jasonhenninger
Fabulous. One of my favorite things ever, this show.
Christopher Everett
10. MidwestMedic
Oh Frell! Yet another blog I JUST HAVE TO read. Really truely, I just told my wife tonight that I was thinking about taking my whole collection of Farscape and Babylon 5 DVDs to work (at a fire station like building) and starting a marathon watching session between emergency calls. I don't own a blue-ray player but I can see how Farscape would likely look good hi-def. Thank you for doing this blog. Can't wait to read and watch along.
politeruin
11. BenMech
Most Excellent.

This will go well with The ScapeCast Chronicles, doing the same thing in Podcast form (They're up to A Human Reaction) after the 4 season 88 episode (Why do those number sound familiar?) long, award winning The ScapeCast podcast
Bill Siegel
13. ubxs113
i'll be following along at home for the first time, looking forward to it!
politeruin
14. ChrisG
Fantastic! I'm very excited.

Coincidentally, I *just yesterday* started showing Farscape to my son, so it's perfect timing.

Thanks for doing this.
Iain Cupples
15. NumberNone
I've been rewatching the series over the last year or so, with breaks between seasons... up to the end of Season 3 so far. I'll be very interested to see someone else's thoughts!
Jack Flynn
16. JackofMidworld
You just made my day. I'd have thrown my hands up in the air and cheered but I'm at work and I don't want to scare the other cubicle monkeys.
S Barlow
17. Lizzibabe
I am flat out delighted you guys are doing this. I've been hoping for it for so long. Thank you so much!!!
politeruin
18. miss matched
looking forward to this one!
Ashe Armstrong
20. AsheSaoirse
It's late so all I have to say is...I love you.
Jan Grilanc
21. DrRoxo
What AsheSaoirse said. After reading about your plans for Farscape rewatch, man-crush was inevitable.

Seriously though, I found Farscape rather late, but it instantly became a favourite. One of two or three series I can bring myself to watch and rewatch again and again and enjoy them each and every time.

So thanks for doing this!
politeruin
23. eclipse22
hi i'm a little late to the party but i just had to bookmark this page!
i was actually looking for info as to why on my dvd it says "i,et" is 4th episode , because i was downloading s1 even though i own the complete boxset and on that torrent "i,et" is episode 2 so i was checking to see where the confusion lied! Your post shed a great light and cleared that problem for me all in one!
Also i stopped downloading the series after watching premiere the quality just wasnt that great and i figure why bother when i have the real thing. The problem though is now that i've watch premiere i feel like watching the entire series all over again! sometimes i just like waking up or going to sleep and glancing at my boxset on a shelf and think "i love that show ".Anyway i'll follow and hopefully i catch up to where you guys are.
Deb Mager Rickner
24. VTScaper
I just stumbled upone this blog and I can't say how much I am so thrilled to discover it: the original Uncharted Territories is so fantastic, and I can't believe that not only will these ep synopses be updated, there will BE A SEASON FOUR!!!!! Dancing in joy! Scott, I emailed you years ago about the concept of doing season four, and you explained what had happened, how the book was published the day of the cancellation, etc. Thank you so much for doing this. Coming in on Suns and Lovers here....not too far to go!!!

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