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Claudia Black

That Ol' Black Magic

Farscape star Claudia Black charts the rise of Aeryn Sun. "It’s amazing looking back to see how much she’s changed...", she says.

Claudia Black as Farscape's Aeryn Sun  The Henson Company

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Claudia Black is rapidly inspiring a whole new generation of Sun worshippers. From the moment she first appeared on the Jim Henson Company’s red-hot Sci-Fi adventure series Farscape, Black has been capturing the imagination of viewers around the galaxy with her electrifying portrayal of renegade Peacekeeper Aeryn Sun.

“I always knew a good template was there for Aeryn,” Black tells TV Zone. “I knew she would be a wonderful challenge and that her potential was just dependent on where the writers would take the stories episodically and per season.

“I’ve been very pleased with the great opportunities that the writing department has afforded me, especially in Season Two. They’ve been far greater than Season One, because you have to be introduced to the entire ensemble before you can start extending each character out. This season has allowed me to show a lot of new aspects of Aeryn’s character and personality, and I’ve just been having an absolute blast!”

Sun’s dazzling voyage of self-discovery is undoubtedly one of Farscape’s most compelling elements. Originally introduced as an obedient front-line soldier in the tyrannical Peacekeeper Corps, the no-nonsense Sebacean is forced to begin a new life as a fugitive aboard the living space craft, Moya. Once there, she slowly develops a sense of autonomy, trust and compassion her former Peacekeeper colleagues could only dream of.

Sun seeker

“Aeryn’s definitely growing,” notes Black with understandable pride. “I think she’s got the most interesting arc because when we first see her, she’s almost like a cardboard cut-out. She’s a girl who uses her rifle to negotiate – never her brain or her heart. She’s expanded so much since then. I’ve been allowed to express extreme vulnerability and absolute strength, which is a golden opportunity for a female actor.

“Towards the end of the second season, it’s amazing looking back to see how much she’s changed. She’s expanded and blossomed into what we would actually call a human being.”

Sun shine

Reviewing her two-year stint aboard Moya, Black points to season one’s PK Tech Girl and season Two’s The Way We Weren’t as Aeryn’s most satisfying outings to date. The former features Aeryn at her ass-kicking best, while The Way We Weren’tsheds some light on her dark Peacekeeper past.

“I was so proud to be involved The Way We Weren’t,” she says. “Tony Tilse, our director, did an outstanding job. The episode shows a new side of Aeryn; we see that she did have emotions before and we understand why she’s burned, and why she’s been so difficult with Crichton. It’s enormously important the way the past ties into the present, and I just grabbed hold of that opportunity with both hands and almost died when I came home every night from work because I poured myself into every ounce of that script."

Episodes like these have helped Farscape become one of the most enjoyable and consistently surprising Sci-Fi shows currently on the air. The series has already been a big hit on the US Sci Fi Channel, the UK’s BBC2 and on home video. It is set to enjoy further success from November, when it begins an uncut and uninterrupted weekly transmission on the UK Sci Fi Channel.

“That’s exciting,” says Black. “When it starts screening on the Sci Fi Channel in the UK, we get to be involved with something again from the beginning. “It’s been terrific to hear that the show’s successful in places like Britain. It’s been a real boost to all us here, because Farscape has only just started to air [on Australia’s Channel Nine network] and it’s encouraged us to keep going because everyone seems to be enjoying it.”

David Bassom

Get TV Zone #129 for the full six-page interview with Claudia Black

See also this recent Cult Times for a cover feature interview with Ben Browder (Crichton)

External Links:

 

Official Site (Henson)BBC Cult TV
Kieriahn's Farscape Starcharts
(best fan site for news)

and this Starburst Special for a cover feature interview with Virginia Hey (Zhaan)

Farscape images © The Henson Company
Feature © Visual Imagination Ltd 2000. Not for reproduction
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