Salutations to my fellow carbon based life-forms!

I hope this week finds you all well.

Two nights ago I finally cracked open the Farscape box set that my lady-love got me for Christmas.  the move was, in part, precipitated by the arrival of Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars.  I really think they should have included the movie as part of the box set, seeing as though it is the end of the series, but it's not like those managing Farscape ever had much in the way of good sense as far as these things go.  I point to how badly they bungled ending the series to begin with as a prime example... but I digress.

Hearing that quirky, bizarre music again sent chills down my spine.  Ellie and I devoured our delivered Indian cuisine to John Crichton's up-beat confusion and Aeryn Sun's faltering loyalty when she finds out that not only is John not Sebatian, but that her own commander wants to kill him for something even she considers an accident.  Ka D'Argo's bluster, Rygel's helium farts, and Pau Zotoh Zaan's unwavering, sensual calm (who knew one could pull off sexy and spiritual at the same time?) provided the perfect flashback-nerdgasm to my Chicken Tikka Masala.  This is not, of course, to forget either Pilot or Moya, though as of the first episode we do not yet know the full extent of their abilities or personalities.

I don't think I really knew how much joy this show brought me until I started watching it again.  I'm doubly excited to be introducing Ellie to it, and relieved/glad she liked the pilot episode.  I'm eager to see the rest of the series, and already regret having to do "grown-up" stuff first today.

I don't think I'm going too far to say that Farscape was, and remains brilliant.  Despite the late 90's/early 2000's low production values (I remember it improving a little), the show manages to convey a sense of quirky charm.  The performances are deep, and the actors become some enmeshed with their characters that one finds oneself quickly joining them on the other side of the universe without effort.  The writing was top-notch, and many series still on the air today can't measure up to Farscape's glory.  I'd even say that few series have ever been as creative or beloved as Farscape was in its hay-day. (Star Trek comes to mind, though the 'Trek crowd is slightly different in some ways.)
One can easily see this in the explosion of outrage (Far-rage?) that detonated after the last episode aired.  As I recall, even my boss was pissed.  (Fortunately, the movie was really good and tied everything together well).

I will be eternally grateful to my darling for bringing this incredible series back into my life!

In doing some research for this post I came across an interesting site called Farscape World.  The most recent general posting on the site announced a Farscape web series to be produced, which got me excited until I saw it was dated 2007.  Apparently, the project was going to be made by Sci Fi Channel, and note that I wrote Sci Fi and not Syfy.  I presume the project was eventually scrapped as the network execs there are like lobotomized zombies.  If any of you can find this thing, if it does exist, please post it in the comments below.
Also, for the curious, here is an old web page trying to explain why Sci-Fi (now Syfy) canceled the show despite its stable base of fans and good ratings.

If you are interested in purchase of the Farscape Box Set, and/or of the Peacekeeper Wars, click the links.  Amazon is currently offering an insane discount!

Alrighty, enough nostalgia, on to (briefly) V!


Well, I'm willing to bet that ABC is intentionally trying to kill this one off.  Apparently, its ratings justified a second season, but someone at the company hates V.

Why do I make this statement?  Season 2 is already well underway.  Not that I watch ABC that much, but I really had no idea that it started during the first week of January.  I'm even less likely to watch ABC now since it appears to be another network who hates its intellectual fan base.  V does not have any web rebroadcasts available.  Instead, and over clear fan-rage, ABC has given us tongue in cheek text summaries on its web site of past broadcasts.

Offensive?  You bet.  The summaries do not do the episodes justice (or if they do, maybe the show deserves to be canceled, but I doubt it).  The hokey narration of what is a serious science fiction show grates on my nerves like sandstone.  Less than a handful of paltry clips, largely pointless, are also available with each insipid narration.  Seeing as though science fiction's base tends to be the intellectually savvy, and because of that a lot of viewers prefer to see shows on the web (apparently), or like me, like to get caught up on the web before resuming regular T-V watching, ABC's move to not webcast V is a slap in the face and may be the death-nell of yet another sci-fi show.

Not that V was really that good, but if it is getting better there are whole groups of people, like myself, who may never know it.  I'd think it far better to start keeping track of web hits and sell advertising space on webcasts than to kill a show like this, but I guess I don't know what I'm talking about.  I'm not a network exec, after all, I have a mother.  (Not that I'm bitter at the recent assault on sci-fi shows... no... not bitter...)

It'll be interesting to see what comes of V in terms of it being a barometer for science fiction on television in the future.  SyFy's recent cancellations of both SGU and Caprica for, as I heard it, essentially having a more of a web-based audience than a TV based one does not bode well for visions of the future and the creative "what if?"  Sure, Fringe is still on the air... for now... though why I can't understand (sorry people, it's crap), but I've heard tell of its eminent cancellation as well.  The future of speculative fiction on television may be bleak for at least the next few years.

That is not to say the genre of science based acted imagination will disappear.  From what I've read, it seems there is a small, but growing new media for our favorite genre to be found in webisodes.  Series like (shudder) Riese, and something I've not had a chance yet to check out called Pioneer One, maybe lighting the way into a new delivery system for the mythology of the modern age.  Only time will tell, but it seems that the lower cost of these productions may provide a pathway for survival for that which we love.

Oh, and on a final note, I heard about Pioneer One from a blog that I recently became aware of called Axiom's Edge.  Check it out!

Be Well All!


  1. Yeah well, I think V is kinda crap. They should have renewed FlashForward instead. Started off a bit slow, then took a lot of chances midway through and because ridiculously interesting and almost brilliant by the end. Plus it had John Cho and Dominic Monaghan.

    As for Fringe, seasons 2 and 3 have been kind of amazing as well; once the show got away from being an X-Files imitation and starting playing with its alternate reality plotline more, I have been entertained and impressed.

  2. I'm going to have to agree with your evaluation of V. Overall, it's always been kinda low on the writing scale. I didn't even bother to look up the summary for this week, and especially now with the attitude the network is pulling, I doubt I'll ever watch it again.

    As for Fringe, I just couldn't get into it. The first season turned me off so much I'm not willing to give the rest of it a chance. There was one episode where this vampire thing was replacing its cerebral spinal fluid through ingestion... which would've destroyed the fuild in its stomach, so the whole thing didn't make any sense and wound up offending my science sensibilities. Tell me that the later seasons have gotten away from that kind of improbable junk (sorry) and I might give it a chance, maybe.

    On a more positive note, I have found/been directed to some pretty cool new web-series. Check out this week's post!

  3. "Improbable junk" is what a lot of science fiction is about, and something you seem to pick and choose when it comes to which programs you enjoy. (I mean, is there really extensive scientific accuracy in Farscape? No, because that's not what the show is about. Fringe isn't about scientific accuracy either, they just need the veneer of it because of who the main characters are. I direct you to TV Tropes: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness)

    I prefer to focus on the characters, the underlying mythology behind the world(s), and the story they're trying to tell with them.

  4. Improbable Junk is what I call things that really, really stretch the limits of what I consider believability. I cited the CSF ingestion for a reason: it's what did the show in for me. They would've had to have explained how her whole digestive system was different for me to buy that one -and they didn't.

    Since, as far as I can tell, Fringe is about humans (mostly), such explanations are necessary. Without them, the show is just plain unwatchable to me.

    Yes, I pick and choose. I get to do that because entertainment is subjective. You get to do the same thing because entertainment is not math. I also get to choose why I like something and why I don't. So do you.

    Is Farscape horribly accurate scientifically? As you pointed out -no. But it is vastly entertaining, which soothes over any offense I might feel at such inaccuracies. I cannot say the same for Fringe. I'm not entertained by it. I don't like it, and I have a right not to as much as you have a right to like it.

    My biggest problem with Fringe is what you pointed out, actually, that it has the "veneer" of being scientific. If they abandoned that veneer and just went into the realm of fantasy, I wouldn't be so offended by its existence. I'll say it once more, that simple fact makes it entirely unwatchable for ME. I will never tell you that you can't be entertained by it. That's your choice and more power to you.

    I'll check your links in a bit and post about them separately.

  5. Okay, looked at the scale. You may laugh, but I have two reactions to it:

    1. My tastes float in the Hard range of Sci-fi, but can involve "soft" but never either extreme.

    2. The numeric scale given below the generalities is wrong. Relativity does allow for things like wormholes and de-facto FTL and "casual star travel". Also, some string theories seem to indicate it is easier to accomplish things like wormhole creation than we thought. (Hence all the worry about CERN making black holes).

    If you want to know some of the math behind these statements, I refer you to "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene, and "Faster than the Speed of Light" by Joao Magueijo (there's an enye over the "a" in his name).


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