interview farscape Taken from TV Zone #138

Rockne S O’Bannon
Tales from the Farside

Rockne S O’Bannon has truly taken small screen Sci-Fi into Unchartered Territory with his latest – and, arguably, greatest – creation, Farscape

Crichton and Scorpius

UK viewers can watch all of Farscape’s first season back to back on 28th and 29th April on Sci-Fi, followed by the first episode of Season Two at 8pm on the 29th.

Season Three Spoilers are here!


There's no place like Farscape. In the two years since contemporary human astronaut John Crichton was propelled into its unique alien environment, Farscape has become the home of arguably the boldest, brightest and most mind-bogglingly brilliant Sci-Fi saga currently on the air. And as Crichton’s exploits rocket into their third season on the US Sci-Fi Channel, series creator/executive consultant Rockne S O’Bannon promises that Farscape will continue to defy and exceed viewers’ expectations.

“The show has fallen into a pattern that I’m really quite pleased with,” explains O’Bannon. “Each season kind of has its own theme and really turns in a different direction from the season before.

“The first season was really one of getting to know you. It was about Crichton getting his sea legs, if you will.... In Season Two, Crichton has gained a knowledge of how things work and is actually far more effective, even though he has the incredibly difficult influence of the Scorpius chip to deal with. And at the end of Season Two, something quite significant happened, which was the big elaborate robbery. Now as we swing into Season Three, the characters have access to a tremendous amount of wealth, which is going to be a big factor in the third season."

Family Ties

O’Bannon is tight-lipped about what exactly lies ahead in Farscape’s third year, as he believes that the show’s element of surprise is its greatest asset. But as a taster for TV Zone readers, he happily drops a few specific hints about what’s coming up.

According to O’Bannon, Season Three will provide Crichton with “his first opportunity to really interact with the world around him”, and will see him becoming “very pro-active” in his quest to return to Earth. O’Bannon also cryptically refers to an upcoming story arc development that will radically alter the nature of Crichton’s weekly adventures, and describes it as “a stroke of genius” on the part of the show’s head writer/executive producer, David Kemper.

Above all, though, Farscape’s creator says that the show’s third season will be a memorable year for Crichton and his shipmates aboard Moya. “For me, the third season is really one of character exploration... All the superficial stuff has been burned off and the characters can really bond. In particular, the Crichton-Aeryn relationship is something that’s going to become quite significant in the third season.”

As with Season Two, O’Bannon helped develop the story arc for Farscape’s third year, and continues to act as its producers’ principal consultant. In a welcome change from last year, O’Bannon will also be writing (rather than ghost rewriting) “two or three” episodes of Season Three.

“David [Kemper] asked me if I could write a few this year, and I was glad to. I missed writing for the show, having written so much of it in the first season. “My first script involves Aeryn,” reveals O’Bannon. “I’m really pleased with the kind of journey the Aeryn character has taken, and all the episodes that explore Aeryn are of particular interest to me. So the opportunity to do an episode in the third season, where a significant event of great personal interest and anxiety to Aeryn occurs, is really exciting to me...”

David Bassom


"Our mojo's really working!". Rockne S O’Bannon talks more about the working environment, the genesis of Farscape and the possible spin-off movie in the full six-page feature in TV Zone #138


Season Three Spoilers!

Scorpius‘Write a few words about the new season of Farscape,’ TV Zone's Mr Spilsbury instructed me. ‘It’ll be easy. Just talk about what’s going to happen in Season Three.’ For a Farscape fan, that’s like a red rag to a bull; of all shows currently airing, the one that springs the biggest surprises is Farscape. So let’s spoil things a bit for the rest of you.

Crichton and Zh'aanLast season we left things in rather a mess. Crichton was on an operating table with his brain hanging out, Aeryn was dead and D’Argo’s son Jothee was on the verge of a hot ‘n’ steamy encounter with Chiana (well, if you date an Outer Space whore, what do you expect?). Rygel was planning to leave Moya and the ship herself was crippled in Space, having been burnt from within to save her from robots taking her apart.

Flash forward… well, no time at all, really. In the season opener, Season of Death, things aren’t quite as dire as they seemed. Crichton is quickly put back together, although the cyber-Scorpy remains in his brain, Chiana and Jothee go a little too far, Crais sets out on a mission of vengeance against Scorpius, and Aeryn…

What, you think I’m going to give everything away? By the end of the episode, things are closer to the usual status quo, but relationships have changed and one of their number is dying. With the expansion of the regular cast (Wayne Pygram, Lani Tupu and Paul Goddard, Scorpius, Crais and Stark respectively, are all in the opening credits now), the scope has broadened to follow individual crew members in their own mini-arcs. What Scorpius will do next isn’t clear, but a new opening narration suggests that Crichton has a choice to make about the future of Earth now Scorpius can find a way to get there. The crew seems renewed, and the series looks like it is going from strength to strength.

Paul Spragg, editor of Xposé


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