Science fiction is rare nowadays, true science fiction that is. Yet then, there is Farscape - the resurrection of what was once meant by that idea. Boldly go - and boldly show. This show is a painfully necessary addition to a watered down concept, to a creatively starving genre whose flagships, like Star Trek and The Outer Limits, now look pale and corroded in the face of this dashing and daring fresh approach.
Though the premises and parameters may look like a mixture between 'Buck Rogers', Star Trek and Babylon 5, that's just the surface, the starting point. Everything else is a wild mix which seems new in each and every aspect, which is especially audible in the musical theme.
SF is about charting uncharted territories of space and time, about toying with scientific advances to come and extraterrestrial species yet to discover. It needs both a child-like innocence and a deeply serious morality for science fiction to work, this stark contrast, this fine line between the ridiculous and the sublime, the same fine line walked by the likes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and also the original Star Trek.
Tragedy and good drama just don't work without humor, without some form of relief from weighty concepts and heavy subjects. SF fails when it cedes the childish charm to being the revolutionary critic of society, yet it shines when it pretends not to care, when it is aware that it is a form of art and entertainment - and that these two terms denote just the same thing. Art doesn't arise from arrogance, it comes from innocence, from an innocent - and thus outside - perspective. That's what pieces like 'Blue Velvet' and Who Kills The Mockingbird are all about - and, of course, also Farscape.
Give it a try. I was hooked from the start.
May 20th, 2001