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Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Eric C D, Sep 17, 2004.
!! Isn't that the equivalent of me suggesting people should go and see Star Wars and The Matrix?
This has been my ongoing thought while reading 99% of his Eric C D comments. This thread is no different than many threads I have read on other sites where people gave up on B5 because of Londo's hair or because season 1 had some clunkers. Andy
I agree: Passing Through Gethsemane is not that good episode, there's far better even in B5 itself. But Inner Light is a bit tougher to beat. Farscape has some extraordinary episodes which have shaked by world just like Inner Light did: ...Different Destinations, Infinite Possibilities, The Choice, Dog With Two Bones and John Quixote. But this is a matter of opinion, I just wanted to share some of my biggest favourites, sorry. I believe The Princess Trilogy won't change Eric's mind: instead he gets a real scientific kick (and a new chance to mock to show) out of John's "leap" in part 2 of the trilogy.
Why yes it is, if you're making the suggestion to someone who hasn't ever watched a SF action movie. I *was* trying to make recommendations for those who may not have tried SF short stories - not make new recommendations for those who *already have.* [sigh...]
I'm not asking for this to be another B5 or anything else for that matter. All I'm asking is for it (feel free to gag at the saccharine sentiment!) to be the best Farscape it can be! For example - just because it's one I can relate to, not because of any comparison between shows - is that for B5, people should watch at least until "The Coming of Shadows." If you're not hooked, then by all means quit watching, or just to watch some specific episodes if you want to see how the parts interesting to you play out without wading through the rest. When I started the thread, the first replies seemed to suggest that through the end of S1 was enough. Then people said through the end of the princess trilogy. Now it seems to be through the end of S2. That is/was the point of the thread - that I couldn't find suggestions like this explicitly or decipher from in other discussions without risking learning more than I wanted to about what happens later. The point was not to enter into some "my show is better than your show" contest. I can only reiterate my thanks to those Farscape fans who have contributed. I don't know that I see consensus, but there is interpretable info from which maybe even more than I can deide how far to go. Your passion is my motivation to explore the series further.
When the thread started, I agreed with most of the first few posters who said if you did not find it interesting by the end of season one then maybe the show was not for you. However, as you provided more and more information on why you did not like the show, it became evident to many that you simply may need to watch more (almost every question you asked a "why" to is answered eventually.) So my recommendation now would be to watch until the end of S2. If you do not find it interesting enough to see where the arc is going at that time, then safely say you gave it a fair shot and move on to something more to your taste and speed. Andy
PhilipG wrote (post #41):
You really do need to watch more episodes!
Even though this comment is addressed to Eric C D, it applies to me as well, and I'm trying, as I've said, to catch up on what I've missed to get a better picture of how the overall program is qualitatively.
Just what level of realism do you want? Sub-light-speed travel? Aliens that are completely unable to interact due to different tolerances to radiation, air composition, lighting, gravity etc? Communications (where possible) via a handheld translator, slowing down any conversation to a crawl?
You're on track here and this will be addressed anon.
. . . . Farscape at its best is an incredibly imaginative show, intelligently written, with engaging characters and plots. It started off so-so and ended up so-great, must-see TV.
Well, now here's where, for me, the gross hyperbole enters into the discussion. It could just be that I haven't seen Farscape "at its best", which I realize. Hence, the attempts to catch up. I don't have a lot of time to do it, so it's by no means systematic. What I have noticed, however,---unexpected to me--- is that I've seen more episodes of this show than I thought I had seen, and, from what I see, it is NOT particularly "intelligently written" (ha!) and neither the characters nor the plots particularly engage me. (Is this "princess trilogy" not the one with the statue angle for the lucky bridegroom? Yeah, I saw that one. "Great" plot and "intelligent writing" that one had!) And, though Farscape's not awful most of the time by any means---except for those weekly "Crichtonisms"---, "must-see tv" it ain't! Hyperbole, hyperbole, hyperbole!
Do people really want to know how Rygel farts so much helium? Come on, be serious!
Do people really want to know that Rygel farts at all?!? And why leave that activity to only a puppet character? Why not distribute it among the crew? Why doesn't Crichton or Zhaan ever lay a big one? [hardy-har-har!] (I'm serious!)
Jason Birzer wrote (post #36):
I keep scratching my head at the critisims of Farscape being "pop" sci-fi and "humanizing" aliens. Well, guess what, that describes most sci-fi on TV, including most of Trek. As much as I love B5, it is guilty of the same thing.
They're all guilty, as I said.
To say that Farscape is somehow MORE guilty of this is mindblowing.
Well, blow away. Unlike most of the other shows, Farscape's stories are unfolding in an environment which is populated almost totally with nonhumans ("aliens") (except for the "back-to-earth" stories, another turn-off for me). So, most of the characters we get to see in the stories are not supposed to be human (even if humanoid). The more we, the audience, get to experience such creatures, ideally the more contrast with humans should also manifest itself. Not so here, however.
MichaelGH wrote (post #37):
Babylon 5, another well oved show by me and on this forum, has aliens that are shown to be different from humanity but do share many of humanity's motivations. I also think that show does a pretty good job of making aliens seem alien.
If you're speaking of its supersentients, I agree with you. The rest---i.e., most of them---, no!
I think shows like Babylon 5 and Farscape are closest to bridging the gap between so called "Thinking person's" Sci-Fi and "Pop" Sci-fi.
You know, I think you're half right. Babylon Five does, indeed, bridge the gap pretty well between so-called "thinking man's" sf and "pop sci-fi".
(Star Trek's major sin of 'Everyone is really human inside, they just don't know it')
"Brothers under the skin"
Nicodemus wrote (post #35):
On the other hand, do we know how aliens should act?
"Anything's possible . . . . "
If they have two arms, two legs and the same body build as we do, isn't it likely that they would be acting a lot like us?
yes. Ah, but the sword cuts (at least) two ways on this. I will go into other aspects of this expected parallelism in a forthcoming thread.
I think the alien aspect in Farscape comes from the alien motivations of the characters - D'Argo is a betrayed warrior, Zhaan is an ex-priest, Rygel is seeking to get back into power and acts like a royal all the time, Aeryn's been raised as a Peacekeeper all her life and she acts that way, and tries to learn new ways.
"Alien motivations"? "Betrayed warrior"? "ex-priest"? power-hunger, etc.? Nothing unhuman about any of these. They're all thoroughly pedestrian motivations ("Menschlich, allzu menschlich."), in fact.
I understand your need to see some TRUE aliens with completely alien ways but that isn't really that important to me . . . .
Obviously you don't:
If you can't stand the fact that the aliens act a lot like humans in Farscape (and almost in any other scifi show), that's too bad. It's just necessary for the drama.
This has been claimed. I don't buy it.
I'm still saying that you should've liked the last four episodes of season one, if you're gonna be our new Farscape convert. I was quite amazed by Hidden Memory and especially Family Ties. Then the second season started and it was slow and boring again with episodes like Vitas Mortis and Taking The Stone. Cracker Don't Matter was hilarious, but The Way We Weren't was the first really excellent episode after Mind The Baby. The Princess Trilogy is okay, there's some very good moments with John and Braca, but otherwise I think it's a bit bland but entertaining nonetheless. For me, Farscape truly came to it's own with Won't Get Fooled Again, after that I was completely sold. So it can take time, at least it does with me - with Farscape it took about 1,5 seasons. To me, Farscape is really one of the best tv-shows ever with very good characters and excellent dialogue, which are to me probably the most important aspects of a good tv-show. Plots don't really matter that much although I naturally enjoy good and original storytelling.
Rex, This is totally OT but what do you think of "Firefly," and do you consider it true "SF?"
Absolutely! Shame it had to end with Season 4, but with the Peacekeeper Wars miniseries coming up, you never know... And Rex, I would be interested to hear what you think of Unrealized Reality from Season 4 given that it is probably the single episode in the entire series where the focus is more "science-fiction" than "pop-scifi". Just dont watch the following episode which resolves it as I expect you will hate it
Let me lead off by saying you've all got me to continue on with Farscape. Hey, I was ready to stop watching B5 after the first episode I watched for exactly the Londo hair problem. I had to be chivied back into watching it. I promise, that if I change my mind from ho-hum to Wow!, I will post it. I suspect good Rex is a Niven or Clement fan (as am I). Hmmm, or is it Brin or Cherryh? Forward? ...
Farscape is, and always has been, more Space Opera than Sci-Fi. Any 'analysis' of it as Sci-Fi is moot. If you like a good Space Opera, it is must-see TV. If that isn't your cup of tea, it doesn't make the show bad, it just makes it 'not your kind of show'. This thread has become pointless.
I understand that, but when you get right down to it, having "alien" aliens can hinder the telling of a story, because of the limitations you are under. It is the reason why we have "Universal Translators" and "Translator Microbes", because while the language differences would be more realistic, there would be too much time spent on stuff that gets in the way, and ultimatly, telling the story is what is important in TV Sci-Fi. Course, I think Farscape does have one of the most "alien" aliens that is a regular character, and that is Moya. A huge, living space creature that has been adapted over the years to carry other creatures. We have also come across wild Leviathans, and other Leviathans with pilots, and the symbiotic relationship between these two races. Personally, I think that's neat, and makes for interesting plot complications when the ship doesn't always agree with the crew, and has its own emotions. Jason
Maybe it helps that I grew up Catholic...
Maybe I just haven't read enough sci-fi, but I rarely if ever see motivations which are totally un-human. I guess I just don't really understand this criticism. If you have a story driven my motivations which make no sense to humans, then the story itself tends to make no sense. Similarly, it is hard to imagine a motivation which it completely unhuman. Can you give me an example? Maybe then I would better understand this sort of criticism which I see a lot when discussing so-called "pop sci-fi"
So to me, there’s no way to know this isn’t all a dream John is having in a coma after crashing his shuttle in the pilot episode. Maybe he wakes up and finds Bobby in the shower… No, I don’t think I’m going to change Farscape. But I do hope to standards are raised in whatever we watch – More West Wing, less - nah! I won’t say it as I’ll offend a random someone…. Instead, I'll risk offending the core audience here by stating, unequivocally, Farscape is my second favorite space opera starring muppets, ever! Enjoy! Eric. P.S. Pigs….. in…. Spaaaace!
Well Paul, this probably belongs in it's own thread, but... The acting may be a downcheck – heck, although I liked much of how Brother Theo was played, there was always some notes in that performance I didn’t understand. And I don’t have a high opinion of any of the acting in the whole of the series with the exceptions of “Flounder’s” Vir and the (IMO) award-worthy performances of Peter Jurasik and Andreas Katsulas. But IMHO the basic story of PTG rises to the category of one of a very few perfect SF short stories I’ve ever seen or read – on par with the very best of Twilight Zones, Night Galleries, or Outer Limits or my earlier statement about the some of the stories of Clarke and Asimov. And this has NOTHING to do with any comment about the overall story arc. And as to it’s moral – well I think the episode should be used in bible-study classes… Rarely have I been so philosophically and ethically challanged by material. Hmmm, you know, that phrase just reminded me of the memorable debates on ethical quandries that took place in the closing arguments each week on Picket Fences by David E. Kelly - there's another source for making you think (I wonder if that's coming out on DVD). I have hopes that some of the Farscape episodes people have chosen to list earlier in this thread can be similar. I'd say that is probably my primary motivation to watch on. There - that ties it back into Farscape....
About Farscape episodes compared to Passing Through Getshemane and others alike... I don't think Farscape has any high concept (is this a correct expression?) episodes like Inner Light; instead it takes the characters and pushes them to their extremes very efficiently as seen towards the end of season 2 and again in season 3 of Farscape. Different Destinations might be the closest to match that kind of philosophic writing that can be usually found in The Next Generation. It seems my English isn't good enough so that I could make my point more clearly - but maybe Farscape should just be watched as it is, without comparing it to any other show because I really think it's quite unique in it's style and substance, in the way it looks at things.
I'm not putting this in spoiler space because, if someone is in this thread more than likely they've seen the show until at least the end of the first season. Eric C D wrote: Also, in "Throne For a Loss" (Season 1 ep 4), Zhaan cut into her wrist and she bled a sap-like substance. This was done to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms of the young kidnapper. I believe the PTB planned on Zhaan being a plant all along.