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Farscape (first broadcast 1999) is a science fiction television series produced in Australia by the Jim Henson Company with the backing of US cable broadcaster the Sci Fi Channel.
Originally conceived in the early 1990s by Rockne S. O'Bannon, Brian Henson and writer/executive producer David Kemper under the title Space Chase, the show centers on present day American astronaut John Crichton (played by American actor Ben Browder), who has found himself flung through a wormhole to a distant part of the galaxy, where he is constantly caught in the middle of conflicts between planets, empires, and the incompatible personalities of the escaped prisoners with whom he has taken refuge.
Farscape is one of the new generation of popular science fiction TV shows in which the main concerns are surviving in a hostile, chaotic universe and dealing with interpersonal conflicts, instead of exploration, warfare or law enforcement. Its main influence was the 1970s cult BBC television series Blake's 7. See also Lexx and Firefly.
Henson has traditionally specialized in puppetry, and Farscape is no exception; two regular characters are animatronic puppets: the miniature deposed Dominar Rygel XVI of Hyneria (voiced by Jonathan Hardy) and the ship's Pilot (voiced by Lani Tupu), a multi-armed elephant-size creature physically and mentally bonded to the living Leviathan ship, Moya.
In 2000 and 2001, Farscape won two Saturn Awards for Best Syndicated/Cable TV Series and Best TV Actor (Browder). In 2002, Farscape won two Saturn Awards for Best Syndicated/Cable TV Series and Best TV Actor (Browder), as well as receiving nominations for Best TV Actress (Claudia Black as former-soldier Aeryn Sun) and Best Supporting TV Actress (Gigi Edgley as the pixieish rogue Chiana). Farscape completed production of its fourth season in September, with a fifth season contracted but suddenly cancelled.
In September 2002, the Sci Fi Channel, which was then owned by ailing conglomerate Vivendi, unexpectedly opted to withdraw its funding of the fifth season, threatening cancellation of the popular, critically-acclaimed show. Fans mounted a massive letter, phone, e-mail, and advertisement campaign hoping to pressure Sci-Fi into restoring the show or another, more financially solvent, network to take over.
Although the network cancelled the series, early plans to have the sets scrapped when production of the fourth season wrapped were quickly reversed; the sets were instead put in storage pending future decisions. When it was certain the show would not be renewed, the sets were destroyed.
In May 2004, the Sci Fi Channel announced that it would air a two-episode miniseries that began on Sunday October 17th 2004 at 9pm. Called Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars, the miniseries aimed to wrap up the season four cliffhanger and tie up some elements of the series in general. Early speculation saw this as a viability test to bring the series back, but due to the finality of the miniseries and the fact that actors Ben Browder and Claudia Black have both made commitments to work on Stargate SG-1 in Canada, that seems unlikely.
In December 2003, the Jim Henson Company started production of the 4 hour miniseries to wrap up many of the threads dangling at the end of Season 4, episode 4.22 "Bad Timing". Creator Rockne S. O'Bannon and Executive Producer David Kemper wrote the miniseries and Brian Henson directed it.
Interestingly, Henson refers to the 4 hours as episodes 4.23-4.26, though the New South Wales Film Office refers to the production as a '2 x 2 h. Telemovie'. Production of the miniseries was expected to wrap in March 2004 and aside from the announced airing on the Sci Fi Channel in the U.S., it is to be broadcast in the UK on Sky One on January 16 and 23, 2005 and by a (currently unnamed) terrestrial broadcaster after that. The miniseries will not be shown on BBC Two as expected, as the BBC decided the acquisition cost would be too high.
Show Description Credit: wikipedia.org
|> Airing History & Information|
|Last Airing||Oct 17, 2004|
|Premiere||March 19, 1999|
|Format/Time||Color / 60 Minutes|
|Upcoming Airs||Not currently airing|
Captain Ka D'Argo
Gigi Edgley.... Chiana (1999-2003)
Rebecca Riggs.... Commandant Mele-on Grayza (2002-2003)
Jonathan Hardy.... Dominar Rygel XVI (voice)
Ben Browder.... John Crichton
Tammy McIntosh.... Joolushko 'Jool' Tunai Fenta Hovalis (2001-2002)
David Franklin.... Lieutenant/Captain Meeklo Braca (2000-2003)
Claudia Black.... Officer Aeryn Sun
Virginia Hey.... Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan (Pa'u 1999-2001)
Wayne Pygram.... Scorpius (2000-2003)/Harvey (2001-2002, 2003)
Raelee Hill.... Sikozu Svala Shanti Sugaysi Shanu (2002-2003)
Paul Goddard.... Stark (2000-2002, 2003)
Melissa Jaffer.... Utu-Noranti Pralatong (2002-2003)
Lani Tupu.... Voice of Pilot/Captain Bialar Crais
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(January 18, 2005) Buy It (USA) (Canada)