and analysis by Dallascaper
John Crichton, son of American astronaut
Jack Crichton, is testing an experimental space craft--Farscape
One--when he is accidentally drawn into a wormhole. The phenomenon
deposits John on the other side of the galaxy where it doesn't take
him long to get into trouble.
after escaping the wormhole, John is involved in a collision with
another spacecraft. The collision results in the destruction of
the other craft and the death of its pilot. This is bad for John
because the pilot's older brother is a paranoid, psychotic military
leader known as Crais. Click
here for the Tauvo Crais memorial site.
is the captain of a command carrier ship belonging to a military
empire known as Peacekeepers. Peacekeepers are an oppressive, human-like
species known for keeping "peace" and "stability"
with the use of brutality and military cunning. One of their jobs
is the assassination and imprisonment of political dissidents and
is a ship containing such prisoners that is attempting to escape
the Peackeepers when John arrives. Thinking the strange vessel's
pilot might posses technology that would aid in their escape, the
prisoners bring John on board their ship.
prison transport is a living Leviathan, a sentient bio-mechanoid
ship named Moya. The Leviathan is controlled
by another being permanently bonded to it called a Pilot.
Peacekeepers keep Leviathan and Pilot under their control with the
use of a "control collar."
facilitate their escape, the prisoners removed the collar and the
ship performed a starburst - a faster than light defensive maneuver.
their escape we are introduced to the three prisoners on board:
D'Argo - Luxon warrior; Pa'u
Zhaan - Delvian priestess; and Rygel -
the deposed Dominor of Hyneria. A Peacekeeper pilot is inadvertently
pulled into starburst with Moya and is captured. The different species
communicate with the use of "translator microbes," which
John is promptly injected with. Unfortunately for John, he is of
no use to the escaped prisoners and is quickly subdued by D'Argo
and Aeryn Sun, the Peacekeeper pilot, escape
Moya and inform Crais of their location. Crais, determined to kill
the man who piloted Farscape One, captures Crichton. A stunned Aeryn
comes to John's defense, but is branded "contaminated"
by associating with the unclassified alien human and is also taken
into custody. John, Aeryn, and D'Argo escape PK confinement and
rendezvous with Zhaan and Rygel onboard Moya.
is no match for Crais' command carrier and is unable to starburst.
When all seems lost, John instructs the crew on a little maneuver
he calls the "slingshot." Moya escapes Crais and heads
for the uncharted territories where Peacekeepers supposedly have
That is a lot to fit into 43 minutes of television. Perhaps that
is why Farscape, one of the more entertaining science-fantasy shows
to come along in quite some time, got off to a very rocky start
with me. This episode has its moments, but just seems too rushed.
We are given very little background information on the show's main
character - John Crichton or any of the other characters. It is
hard to feel for someone when they are a complete stranger.
It took Farscape all of five minutes to set up the story and get
John lost in space. Once there, the show gets better, but it really
should have been a two-hour television movie. The final escape from
the Peacekeepers was horribly done and seemed like an afterthought.
Had the episode end there, it is doubtful I would have come back.
Fortunately, the last segment, with John's confrontations with D'Argo,
Rygel and Aeryn, was quite interesting and hinted of things to come.