Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars 2004 3-4*
Preview. March 1999-2003 TV series Australian, aired UK and US. Disc1: film, Disc2: Extras I like better 4* after percolating, appreciate niche, style, effects, fun. Didn't know till Extras that fans demanded film to finish cancelled series. Actors Black and Browder both loved in Stargate SG-1. If only all beloved cancellations ...
Aeryn Sun (Claudia Black) voices over silent body of fiancé, former Earth astronaut John Chrichton (Ben Browder) "You did it .. All dying has stopped .. three is not such a scary number .. but I will not accept it as a tradeoff for losing you". Boom. Big space-fight.
Cut to remote water planet ocean, where Rygel (puppet voiced by Jonathan Hardy), Muppet cute-ugly Dorian-alien from Hyneria, brings up (literally vomits) treasure (spoiler = baby bits). Mission over at secluded stopover, our team returns to main stream society, and shocking news. "We are now officially engaged in the last war of our era". Enemy Scarrans "were already taking the galaxy by force, system by system".
Their leader is Emperor Scorpius (Wayne Pygram). Although ornate in top-knot hairdo and gold-embroidered red silk Oriental coat over red skin, I am reminded of giant green-skin villain Sarris (Robin Sachs) in Galaxy Quest). He baits War Minister Akhna (Francesca Buller) with the promise of power and status, as Empress, if she helps him build an empire. She is not credible as a warrior leading pursuit, when dressed in impossible impractical tight skirt and high heels.
Chiana (Gigi Edgley) "Witchiepoo", joyful over regained eyesight, jumps on Rygel's boss D'Argo (Anthony Simcoe), in welcome. He is tall, auburn-furred, and tentacle-scalped. Her chalk white skin and hair are stark beneath make-up to look black and white. Pilot is the other puppet main character, who directs ship Moya. Her tri-partite baby squid shape seems a precursor to the 2009 Star Trek Nero's Romulan mining freighter Norada.
Until I realized fans demanded movie after series cancelled unfinished, the plot made no sense, starting from the show's end. Perhaps if one knew the large cast of couples from 1999-2003 TV series and back story, many jumps and flashbacks would make more sense. How everyone pairs off is annoying. Reminds me of "The Big Bang Theory", expanding from nerd quartet to their sweethearts. Best moments.
Perhaps in the TV series, females influenced more than as side-kicks, but here primarily are attractive appendages. Sikozu (Raylee Hill) is a skimpy-top redhead kick-ass. Defense leader Braca (David Franklin) has pregnant Grayza (Rebecca Riggs).
One-liners break the tension, add humor to the most serious situations. Wild invented curses, like "fuzzbot", "Frell", where F- off is blanked out, started in the TV series, continue here. "Hang the frell on" means wait for coming aid.
I'm fond of Shakespearean from Look's "Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School and other Scary Things" and Viking from Cowell's "How to Be a Pirate". My memory is tricksy right now, so I can try my own oaths, inspired by Farscape.
Aeryn: Who's taking fire?
John: Who isn't?
A: You don't know what you're doing.
J: I never do.
John's motto "Run first", goes by the wayside when odds "not good" are the "best odds we ever got".
J: Chrichtons don't cry. Often. Or for very long.
Scorpius: You are immune to the probing.
J: That's because I always speak the truth.
D'Argo: You've grown, dude.
son Jothee: It's the armor.
Stark goes "completely farbot" before John saves him from drowning in flood and fire.
A: "I'm pregnant, not incapacitated"
Jool: I belong here.
John: You always made the best mistakes.
Some odd references sound out of place or time. "We're hit by any more missiles and we're Spam". Spam is canned meat, supplied in 1937 to US troops, still popular in Hawaii. They have IRS, but do they know what that means?
Behind the scenes
Even behind the scenes, the actor who plays the black masked elder Scorpius/Harvey (Wayne Pygram) cannot keep track of all species names. We learn the back-stage secrets, like magic tricks exposed. Shots sound like fire-crackers because they are. From TV show to full-scale film, their first orchestra of 80 musicians, saws and puffs. A "baby" is doll, a fake.
The crew motto, from the top dog producers, was "Play". Food was laid on in actual tons. "Modesty strips" slipped off accidentally, we are told, not recorded for posterity, so still Family rated.
Too much next is boring, a recap of 2 months in crystallized stasis and lost pregnancy. Baby bits, left inside, grow inside Rygel. Besides required for parenthood, he is also the crown Prince of his people. His royal court demands he return.
Jothee (Nathaniel Dean) plays deus ex machina, bringing unexpected reinforcements to help his estranged father D'Argo.
Chiana: The frellings killed my D'Argo.
Stark marries John and Aeryn in a fountain to a patter of nonsense syllables - funeral and puberty rites - then "Do you love each other enough to marry? Then you are. Congratulations." He pushes them into the water so the son is born wet.
Time deadlines put pressure on the plot. The birth accelerates to days. Although Chiana's new eyes can see through walls for enemies, the enemy Scarrans bomb the temple protecting awakened remnants of the Eidelon race. The Eidelon species, believed extinct, have a genetic ability to persuade others to make peace. But an Eidelon must touch an angry target to affect it.
In a universe at war, the survivors are the only hope. John will not, and cannot, construct a doomsday weapon. He cannot convince his own side, let alone their opponents, otherwise. They will not stop until John builds the end of them all.
John: People make peace.
d2 Extras (right arrow key pages through)
1 The battle behind the wars - behind scenes mix with interviews, cast, crew, lots
- Sep 2002 series cancelled, story unfinished, f-g great, tears, fan outcry, so Dec 2003 mini-series
- script readthrough, mid-makeup, 8 stages, "farscape day" runs 3 hours behind, ship called Penetrator invades Decimator (D'Argo), monumental scale, leather, animatronic puppets cost more than actors have to be careful, 90% dialog drowned out. re-done, "chunder" = vomit
"In space you can do whatever you like" "no holds barred"
2 Conceptual art gallery - 54 sketches, mostly bw (black and white), costumes, sets, alien font, mostly ships, look alike by the end
3 Storyboards - 67 arrows direct action on quick bw frames
4 Spacecraft gallery - 16 frames 2D, 3D white, grey, color
5 Prop gallery - ~118 frames: weapons, accessories, clothes, bedding, prosthetics, tools, set "dressing", doodads - numbered out of order, boring when sealed boxes plastic wrapped
Setup: Audio: English; Subtitles: English, Spanish