Program the Tardis and the TiVos: The Doctor Who revival will finally come to American shores this March, when the Sci-Fi Channel begins airing Season One. (Via Triptych Cryptic.) I guess this means I’ll have to give up the Sci-Fi boycott, but, then again, I guess I gave it up in principle when I bought the first season of the new Battlestar Galactica last weekend.
“We’ve gotta crack open your head and scoop out those DVDs.” So, I picked up the Simpsons Season Six set today (along with Farscape Starburst 5, Sin City, and Layer Cake), and while normally I’m obliged to speak ill of Fox, I must admit they’ve done an admirable job in keeping the Simpsons fanboys (such as myself) happy with their Alternative Packaging Program. For only $2.95, they’ll mail you a standard Season Six box to replace the plastic Homer Head it currently comes in.
Speaking of quality television on DVD, some good news for ‘Scapers (or bad news, if you already bought the ridiculously overpriced $150 season sets): Farscape is being re-released in “Starburst Editions” — 3 volumes a season, 7 episodes per volume — at the much more reasonable price of $15-20 each. The first two-thirds of Season 1 are already out (mine came today), with more to follow in mid-March.
Ben Browder and Claudia Black, a.k.a. John and Aeryn Crichton of Farscape, will both be joining Stargate SG-1 as regulars in the next few months. Nope, I’m still not watching that Sci-Fi channel dren.
It’s finally here…at 9pm tonight and tomorrow, Sci-Fi will air Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars, the long-awaited and warmly reviewed conclusion to what TV Guide long ago correctly deemed “the best science-fiction series on TV.” Apparently, it’s still fun even if you don’t know the continuity, so come on aboard…there’s lots of room on this here interstellar bandwagon.
If you never saw Blake’s 7, which is ‘Scape‘s immediate ancestor, then here’s the basic gist: Smart-ass, gung-ho astronaut John Crichton (Ben Browder) was inadvertently sent through a wormhole to the far corner of space several years ago, whereupon he fell in with a bunch of rag-tag aliens aboard the living prison ship Moya. For the past four years or so, Crichton has been battling the nefarious Peacekeepers (Think Star Trek‘s Federation gone bad) while falling in love with one of their number, Aeryn Sun (Claudia Black), refining his knowledge of wormhole tech in order to get back home, and annoying all manner of extraterrestrial species with his inveterate pop culture referencing. (He’s already made it back to Earth a few times now…don’t worry, this ain’t Quantum Leap, and the show never takes quite the tack you expect.) In recent seasons, however, Crichton and his band of cranky shipmates have discovered that there’s a much bigger danger lurking in the far regions of space than the Peacekeepers…the reptilian, take-no-guff Scarrans. There’s obviously been a lot of twists and turns along the way, which I highly suggest you check out on DVD, but basically the Moya crew has had to align with some of their most dangerous past enemies (namely, the Scarran half-breed Scorpius) in order to outwit, outfox, and outlast the new Big Bads. Where it goes from here is anyone’s guess…but if you’re a fan of either quality sci-fi or smart, funny, sexy television in general (I’m looking at you, B5′ers, Buffyites, and Whedoniacs), you owe it to yourself to check Farscape out. Update: Brief, spoiler-filled thoughts in the comments.
For frell’s sake, don’t forget to set the Tivo, ’cause – as Quiddity notes, Sci-Fi will be showing all 88 episodes of Farscape (“the best science-fiction series on TV” – TV Guide) beginning this Friday at 8am. Seriously, if you’re looking to catch some of the funniest, sexiest, best-written sci-fi out there in recent years, check Farscape out while you have the chance. (And remember to boycott Sci-Fi once again as soon as they air The Peacekeeper Wars.)
No need to break the Sci-Fi boycott until the main event, ’cause the trailer for Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars is now online. It doesn’t look like they’ll be attracting any new fans with this miniseries, what with all the various unresolved subplots alluded to in the trailer alone (I’d forgotten about Wormhole Business-Suit Guy, for example), but at least we ‘Scapers will finally get some closure.
Lots of promo shots from the Farscape mini-series have made it online of late, and so far the Peacekeeper War looks like quality vintage ‘Scape, right down to Einstein Harvey. I may have to break the Sci-Fi boycott for this.
It’s official…A year after reneging on their two-year deal, the cretins at Sci-Fi have agreed to resurrect Farscape for the Peacekeeper War, a four-hour miniseries set for this fall. It’ll be nice to see Crichton & co. return for closure, and I’ll definitely have to break the Sci-Fi boycott for this event. Still, we were supposed to get 22 episodes, not 4 hours. Frellers…
In a bizarre conflation of sinister intergalactic bureaucrats, Wayne Pygram, a.k.a. Farscape‘s Scorpius, is cast as Grand Moff Tarkin (well, more than likely) in Episode III. There’s also some goofy rumor going around that Peter “Chewbacca” Mayhew has been signed for four SW films. Sheah. Update: On a semi-related Star Wars note, check out this tricked-up “H-Wing” Civic del Sol (More here.)…now here’s a guy who’d be into a third SW trilogy.
Are the Moya crew on their way back from oblivion? Rumors abounded yesterday that Farscape had been picked up for a 4-6 episode mini-season to finish the story, but then today’s abruptly-called Henson press conference was cancelled. What the frell is going over there? Update: Crichton lives!
Has Moya been rescued from oblivion? IGN reports that a 4-hour Farscape miniseries is in the works to tie up the loose ends left in the wake of Season 4. The Save Farscape headquarters has heard nothing, but there might be news at this weekend’s Comicon in San Diego, ground zero for the fanboyverse. (Speaking of which, I found one of the favorite multi-part stories of my comic book days, the Teen Titans Trigon Saga, in graphic novel format at Barnes and Noble today. A happy surprise.)
Salon examines the fan movement to save Farscape and speculates on how the tactics being created for this endeavor might work to change the TV-viewer relationship in the future. What with only two episodes to go, it may all be wishful thinking at this point…but it’s a shout-out nonetheless. (Sent via High Industrial.)
With only three episodes left before its untimely cancellation, Harvey returned to Farscape Friday night in “We’re So Screwed: Part I: Fetal Attraction.” Sigh…a la Twin Peaks, the “best science-fiction show on TV” (TV Guide) is now clearly building up to a huge cliffhanger which will never get resolved. So, just because I haven’t said it here recently, I still really hope Sci-Fi suffers heavy karmic retribution for their decision to renege on their 2-year deal with Farscape, beginning with lousy ratings for Children of Dune (which I probably would have watched had it not been for Farscape‘s cancellation – and yes, if you tuned in to Taken, you’re part of the problem) and ending with the demise of the network. A show that replaces ‘Scape with schlock like John Edward, the Dream Team, and Tremors: The Series has no business being patronized by the fanboy/fangirl nation.
As I mentioned earlier, the first of the last eleven episodes of Farscape begin tonight at 8pm on the Sci-Fi channel. This might be your last chance to pick up on one of the great sci-fi TV shows (Here’s a primer for new viewers.) And, from one great sci-fi TV show to another, Tomb of Horrors links to this BBC fellow prank-calling Tom Baker in the guise of the fourth Doctor…Baker comes off as remarkably good-humored about the whole thing.
On the eve of the last 11 episodes of Farscape (beginning this Friday at 8pm – Tivo’ers take note), Sci-Fi finally explains why they pulled the plug on the “best science-fiction show on TV.” Basically, it cost too much and was too hard for most people to keep up with. Which also explains why low-fi garbage like Stargate SG-1 lasts seven seasons.
After the turkey this Thanksgiving, what would go down better than some Ben Browder Chowder? Perhaps a Braca Brownie? At any rate, pick up the new Farscape cookbook, part of the Save Farscape campaign. It’s apparently filled with delectable morsels from the Uncharted Territories.
Although the initial flurry of activity may have dimmed considerably, the quest to save Farscape continues across the fanboy/fangirl nation. Next week, this fan produced ad will start appearing in 24 major media markets…it looks a bit rough but hopefully will spark some media coverage. Meanwhile, here in NYC I’ve taken to postering all the bus ads for Sci-Fi’s upcoming Taken around campus with BOYCOTT SCI-FI signs. Somebody keeps ripping them down, but hey…it adds structure to my walks with Berkeley.
Andrew Leonard of Salon pretty much sums up my thoughts on the Winona Ryder trial. I too grew up a Winona teenager…after Princess Leia, she was my second crush (and between the two of them, they pretty much locked in my predisposition toward wry, witty brunettes.) She was definitely the female icon of a certain generation of brainy, awkward guys (all the more reason why I always thought John Crichton naming his gun thus was one of those grace notes that made Farscape such a wonderful show.) Ah, well. On the bright side, fellow eighties icon Mia Sara appears to be making something of a comeback these days, even if it is on a show as lousy as Birds of Prey.
SAVE FARSCAPE! Send letters, e-mails, calls, and general consternation the way of the Sci-Fi Channel (and their corporate sponsor) for not living up to their genre billing. Who knows which letter or e-mail will put us over the top? Update: My sister-in-law Lotta, who’s been on the front-lines of the Save Farscape movement since last Friday, gets her e-mail read on CNN. You go, girl.
They cancelled Farscape?!? Oh, those frelling bastards. This makes me very, very, very unhappy. Update: Ok, it will probably amount to naught, but a campaign has begun, and I did send off a few strongly-worded letters this morning to Sci-Fi (if a show as bad as The Pretender can be brought back this way, it seems Farscape at least deserves the opportunity.) In case any one of the handful of readers here also cares to get involved, I’m reposting the letter writing guide I put up at AICN:
1) Be Polite. Which doesn’t mean don’t be angry, disappointed, emphatic, pleading, and/or strong in your choice of words. It means no swearing, no personal threats or threats to the company (OTHER than to say you’ll no longer be watching them.) Remember what [Farscape creator David] Kemper said about [Sci-Fi Channel President] Bonnie Hunter – if he’s not angry at her, you shouldn’t be.
2) Be “Normal.” Sci-Fi expects the fanboy/fangirl conventioners to be pissed and will write them off as acceptable losses. So it may help to disguise oneself (if necessary) as an average (upscale) consumer, deeply disappointed by the loss of the show. The type of person who wouldn’t normally watch science-fiction but was enthralled by Farscape.
3) Mention Critical Acclaim. Refer to both the Saturn awards and that oft-repeated TV Guide quote, “the best science-fiction series on TV” – Sci-Fi used it in almost all of their Farscape promos, so there’s no harm in hoisting them by their own petard. Plus, it’s true. (“TV’s best space series” [USA Today] and “The Year’s Best in TV” [Newsday] are also worth mentioning.)
4) It’s Not Just the Cancellation, It’s the Cliffhanger. It is a double disservice to fans and the show in that, in its current state, it will never be resolved. (Think Dale Cooper in the Black Lodge.)
5) Farscape gave Sci-Fi Legitimacy and Ratings. Before that first wave of Friday prime shows, Sci-Fi was Dark Shadows 24-7. Farscape was an early hit for the network and the first show to ever give the fledgling network respectability. As such, it deserves a more honorable sendout.
6) Crumbs Do Matter. If you’re participating in the “Crackers DO Matter” campaign and sending some form of crackers to Sci-Fi (I didn’t), make sure (a) they are sealed in a bag of some sort and (b) very well marked. This is most assuredly not the week to be sending unmarked powdery substances to Rockefeller Center.
7) This Decision Will Impact Sci-Fi’s Ratings. Admit to enjoying a few of the other shows on the network (or future shows – I mentioned anticipation of the forthcoming Children of Dune film.) Say that you will boycott these programs AND the network as a result of this decision.
8) You Will Also Boycott Farscape Reruns. I think [other posters are] probably right about the Sci-Fi plan…it’s to make all future money on re-runs of the first 88 episodes. Say that you will not watch them on Sci-Fi in protest.
9) Keep It Succinct, And Spell-Check. As I said before, the less fanboy and more professional the letter seems, the more Sci-Fi will have to wonder about the type of demographic who wrote it.
10) If Sci-Fi doesn’t save Farscape, they have no business calling themselves the “Sci-Fi” channel. Nuff said.
Hope that helps. Now lets go get the frellers.
Second Update: It can’t hurt to hit ‘em in the pocketbook and contact Sci-Fi’s corporate sponsors as well (scroll to the bottom for contact info.) If nothing else, I get to hone my strongly-worded-letter-writing for the next few weeks.
Sigh. As per last season, Sci-Fi is playing the ratings game and shelving the second half of Farscape‘s fourth season. So, after next week’s “summer finale,” there’ll be no more Crichtonisms until January of 2003. Bleah. At least it frees up my Fridays.
As per usual, I’m not sure which link I most want to jack from Quiddity…Farpark (Gotta love South Park Scorpy), or news of Romance and Cigarettes, the Coen-produced, Turturro-written musical.(Thanks, Megg.)
Farscape’s fourth season begins tonight (Sci-Fi, 10pm). Last time, the crew had gone their separate ways, and Crichton was in the middle of nowhere, running out of air…
As if all the aforementioned sports programming wasn’t enough for Friday entertainment, the 23-hour Farscape marathon begins at 7am tomorrow on Sci-Fi. As you can see, Roj Blake here is as evangelical about the show as I am, with good reason. Definitely worth a look-see if you’re not already tuning in.