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When I first heard that a new Sci-Fi series was about to be aired on the BBC I thought 'oh great! Another Star Trek copy is just what we need' Then I heard that it was about a bloke who travelled through a wormhole while accidentally testing a space craft and found himself in a strange world of Aliens and I thought 'Hm, sounds familiar'
Then I saw it. Farscape was like a breath of fresh air to me, yes there were the usual aliens, guns, ideals of justice, but there was so much more and it was all presented in a way that looked so polished and movielike that you couldn't help but fall for it.
The basic premise is that US astronaut John Crichton is testing a new type of space craft propulsion, when he inadvertantly enters a wormhole and appears on the other side in a galaxy far different to our own. He soon finds himself in danger from a group of small craft attacking a much larger one and knocks into one of them, sending it hurtling off into space before exploding.
John's craft is pulled aboard the huge ship, where he meets prisoners Ka D'Argo, a huge Luxan warrior, Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan a Delvian priestess, who was imprisoned for the murder of another Delvian priest and Rygel XVI, the slug like Dominar of the Hynerian Empire. He learns that the ship they are travelling in, Moya, is in fact a living ship and has a pilot that is bonded to it. The bad guys who are after them are called Peacekeepers and are a type of military force. Aeryn Sun, one of the Peacekeepers, is brought together with the rest of the group and they are forced to become allies in order to escape capture and imminent death by others like her, in particular Captain Crais.
From the very start you can see that this group of travellers hold many secrets and their characters already start to become interesting and deep, we start to discover their strengths and weaknesses pretty soon after this. The writers have done a great job of keeping the plot fresh, in light of the many sci-fi stories that have already been, and they really care about the characterisations of the crew. John himself is eager to return home, but feels a loyalty to the crew, who are beginning to feel the same for each other. There are plenty of comedy moments as well, as the group grin and bear each others problems and traits and Rygel manages to get greedier as time goes on! The whole thing has a lot less of a USA feel to it as well, concentrating more on Australian actors and settings, adding to that new and original feel.
There are moments of pure magic in the show, partly from the wonderful Henson creature workshop and also from the wonderful actors and stories that are both excellently realised. These get stronger as the series progresses as well, culminating in a frantic ending that will leave you gasping for the second series.
Luckily all of these are available on video, but it's the DVD versions that are really worth investing in. Coming in 5.1 Surround sound and using it wherever possible, the experience is even more amazing in digital and coupled with some wonderful extra interviews and behind the scenes sections, it's well worth collecting the whole set.
All I can say is now I'm hooked on the greatest Sci-fi series ever to be created and I urge everyone else to watch it too, I can't wait for the third series to start, even though it means collecting all the DVDs for that as well! Farscape is fantastic.