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Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars

Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars

What he said:

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Unless you’re a fan of the show, you will not be aware of this movie’s existence. Nor should you bother seeing it unless you plan on watching the show first. You would be absolutely lost if you tried watching this movie without having seen the show first.

But if you must know, it’s about an astronaut named John Crichton who gets shot into a part of space so far away they’ve never heard of Earth or the Milky Way Galaxy. Crichton manages to inadvertently piss off one of the most powerful groups in that part of the universe, discover some very powerful information that makes him an even bigger wanted man than he originally was, and encounters all kinds of new life forms along the way. The latter is what first attracted me to the show.

Everyone once and a while – especially late on a Sunday night – I would come across this weird (but unique looking) show with some really different looking creatures. Created by Jim Henson Productions, Farscape incorporates all kinds of puppets and interesting special affects like no other show I’ve seen. The colors, creatures, and ideas are truly different. Farscape was a wonderfully weird show.

It was abruptly cancelled after production had ended on its fourth season. The fourth season also happened to end on a cliffhanger.

The Syfy Channel (known as Sci-Fi back then) said the cost of the show was unwarranted considering the ratings. Fans were upset, a grass roots campaign was started, and a little over a year later they were filming a miniseries that would allow them to finish out the storyline.

Last we saw John, Aeryn, and the rest of the crew of Moya they were hiding out on some new water-based planet, trying to avoid the mounting conflict between the Peacekeepers and the Scarrans. It would appear the inhabitants of this planet are a race thought to be long gone. They could also be key players in ending the war that threatens to tear the uncharted territories apart. This puts the crew of Moya right in the middle of a bad situation once again.

Chrichton and co. try to convince the two sides to sit down with this new species, but that seems to be problematic. So once again, the vital information he possess about wormholes is at front and center once again. Can John Chrichton negotiate peace or will be finally be force to use the information he knows about wormholes as weapon? And whose side would he take if he were forced to pick?

There is a lot of good about this movie. Firstly, it’s simply nice to see this series on the big (little) screen. It was disappointing it was canceled in such an abrupt manner.  Giving it a three-hour sendoff was nice compensation for the fans.

The characters’ familiarity with one another was great. Farscape has always been a character driven show - so it’s always been good at that – however the cast was really having fun with one another in this movie.

The interactions between John, Aeryn, and D’Argo were particularly entertaining. The whole crew of Moya is just one big, screwy family. It always has been, but there’s just a real comfortable feeling amongst the cast here.

Wayne Pygram was as excellent as ever. Scorpious is one of the more memorable, driven villains I have ever seen. Always scheming, planning ahead, manipulating the situation; he is the consummate tactician.

They even bring back some of the more memorable part-time and guest characters over the years. They all fit too, none of it felt forced or rushed.

Everything was bigger; the action, effects, and costumes. Sometimes it worked, while others it didn’t. Some of the action was a little matter-of-fact, but overall it was a lot of fun. The CGI was still kind of “eh”, but still better than it was during the show.  

Though, it wouldn’t be Farscape without a few errors would it?

First of all the audio of this movie is quite poor at times. Pilot’s (one of the coolest looking characters on TV) voice is completely off. It doesn’t even sound like the same character I watched for four seasons. This may not seem like a big deal, but his demeanor is a big part of who he is. He’s a calming influence over the crew, so it’s kind of a big deal. At times, Aeryn, D’Argo and some others sound off as well.

Another problem is the WTF moments. Farscape has always had them and this movie is no different. From what I understand (after watching the making of documentary), the show is notorious for it. Apparently they have a lot of problems with last minute rewrites. While not excusable, it suddenly makes sense. Plot holes, random events, and things that just generally don’t make sense have an explanation now.

Farscape also has this habit of pushing things too far. Its weirdness is what makes it unique and appealing; however it also works against it. Sometimes you get the sense they just keep pushing boundaries for the sake of it. As a result, you end up rolling your eyes at the absurdity of the situation. The show always walked a fine line in that sense.

Regardless, I find it to be immensely entertaining. It was a fantastic finale to a truly unique show.

Prognosis: Thumbs up.

This movie review was written for your entertainment on February 4, 2011.

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