Farscape was a prime-time television soap opera set in Dallas, Texas. It revolved around a wealthy oilman and pothead, his alcoholic wife and the rest of his family, who all lived together in a high-rise condo. The show revolves around their fun and games(destroying the flat etc.) and the alcohol problems of his wife and the potheadety of himself.
If you didn't realise it, Farscape actually hint a bit about the meaning of life. But if you didn't catch it, try here
- J.R. Ewing (John Crichton)
- Sue Ellen Ewing (Aeryn Sun) - wife of J.R.
- Bobby Ewing (Ka D’Argo) - brother of J.R.
- Pamela Barnes Ewing (Chi Anna) - wife of Bobby & sister of Cliff.
- Jock Ewing (Rye Gel) - father of J.R. and Bobby.
- Miss Ellie Ewing (Zotoh Zhaan) - mother of J.R. and Bobby.
- Lucy Ewing (Noranti Pralatong) - Resident Whore
- Cliff Barnes (Bialar Crais) - Pamela's brother & Sue Ellen's lover.
- Clayton Farlow (Scorpy Uhss) - Miss Ellie’s second husband.
- Kristin Shepard (Sikozu Shanu) - sister of Sue Ellen & lover of J.R.
- Ray Krebbs (Pi Lott) - Building Super.
- Jenna Wade (Priscilla Presley) - ex-girlfriend of Bobby.
- Billy-Bob Mockby Junior (Meeklo Braca) - the recurrent mentaly deficient mechanic.
Behind The Scenes
The name of the show came from the Texan mispronunciation of the phrase fire escape, a Macguffin-type device the show's writers frequently fell back on to get the main character J.R. Ewing (John Crichton) out of sticky situations which were often the result of his own devious machinations.
Ewing’s catchphrase "I’m goin’ out to the farscape" became a hugely popular slogan while the series aired, and ended up on a wide variety of merchandise including T-shirts, bumper stickers, coffee mugs, waterpipes and temporary tattoos. In the drug community, "Let’s go out to the farscape" became coded slang for "Let’s go get high", as J.R. often spent time on the fire escape with a hookah pipe that resembled an oil well.
While the show was set in Dallas, it was shot in Sydney, Australia and used Australian actors in most of the roles. This was a cost-cutting decision made by the producers, who simply couldn't afford a cast full of actors with SAG cards. A major criticism of the program was the inability of the Australian actors to deliver even remotely convincing regional accents and perhaps the series biggest stumbling block was that Crichton – the only American actor on the show – arguably delivered the most unconvincing Texan accent in the entire cast.
The Moya Estates & The Talyn Pool
The name of the high-rise building was "The Moya Estates" and it was unique in that it was a "living building". In the climactic episode near the end of the series’ first season, The Hidden Mammary, the building gave birth to a low-rent slum dubbed "The Talyn Pool" by Ewing’s wife Sue Ellen (Aeryn Sun), naming it after her father who worked in the pool cleaning industry, and was killed in an unfortunate accident involving chlorine and a Baby Ruth candy bar.
An ongoing series gag involved a stoned J.R. Ewing attempting to drill for oil in the Talyn Pool slums for no reason other than to drive Sue Ellen further into her alcoholic stupor. She often retaliated by sleeping with Ewing’s nemesis, Cliff Barnes (Bialar Crais), a failed politician who took up residence in the slums. The root of the Ewing/Barnes rivalry was never made clear, but it appeared to have nothing to do with J.R.’s intentional killing of Barnes’ brother in the Farscape pilot.
In fact, in this first episode, Ewing makes a comeback in Dallas after a four week drug rehabilitation program unfortunately vain, breaking all the speed limits aboard a stolen Buick Riviera. In his frenzy, Ewing goes straight to the hot dog stand owned by Barnes’ brother and rolls over it many times. It is unknown whether Ewing was aiming the hot dog stand alone or the man behind it.
Key Farscape Moments
Do You Mind the Baby?
An early series plotline involved Sue Ellen’s pregnancy and the identity of the father – was it Ewing or Barnes? Audience figures dropped at this time as viewers didn’t seem to care about the father’s identity as much as the inexplicable fact that Sue Ellen didn’t appear to be "showing".
Who Shot J.R.?
In the final moments of Dime Bag Dichotomy, Farscape’s second season finale, J.R. sat on the fire escape smoking a doobie, and was suddenly shot with little yellow bolts of light by an unseen assailant. For months "Who Shot J.R.?" mania took the world by storm and interest in the show was at an all-time "high". The producers of Farscape, noting the intense ratings spike, ran with this, and decided to kill off J.R. in every subsequent season finale, only to have him reappear alive and unhurt in every season opener, with increasingly ludicrous explanations given for his inability to "just fucking die already".
The Missing Ellie
When Zotoh Zhaan's heavy make-up began causing her health problems, she opted to leave the series near the beginning of the third season. Rather than kill off the beloved character of Miss Ellie, the producers elected to recast the role with a heavy-set male actor who was an unknown - literally. The unknown actor played the part for the rest of the third season without being given any credit, although he is rumored to have been famed American actress Donna Reed, who had a problematic sex-change operation.
Zhaan returned to the role of Miss Ellie in the fourth season, but neither of the show's two fans at the time seemed to notice that she was ever gone in the first place.
Farscape’s fourth season finale, the appropriately titled Bad Writing, predictably ended with the death of J.R. The twist this time around was that Sue Ellen died with him. The two engaged in fisticuffs on the fire escape after an argument concerning the identity of the father of Sue Ellen’s unborn baby. (It is noteworthy that Sue Ellen still failed to look at all pregnant - a fact hammered home by Sun playing the scene wearing only a bikini and her "Miss Texas" pageant sash). They both fell to their not-so apparent deaths after knocking over the oil well hookah pipe and slipping on the water.
The combination of drugs, violence, sex-out-of-wedlock, and all around poor writing & bad taste, led The SoSo Channel, which aired the program, to cancel it despite having a "contract" with the production team for another 23 seasons.
The fan outcry was so lacklustre, that the producers had to pay The SoSo Channel to allow them to film a miniseries to tie up the dangling plot threads.
Of course after it's unfortunate cancellation at the hands of a really dumb, but apparently extremely sexy network executive, Bun E. Hummer, the network was sold and eventually there arose a call from a distressed fan base calling for a continuation.
Eventually, "Farscape: The PC Warzzz" was produced in an orgy of "we're so sorry for ruining this show - please forgive us and accept this peace offering because we have a new series beginning shortly after we show this clap trapped knock off of season one and we would really like Farscape fans to cross over and give us big ratings."
Thus, the PC Warzz became notched firmly in the Farscape pantheon as not so much crap as an effort to garner the faithful for another series.
Farscape is famous for its creative language designed to circumvent the FCC's censorship while still allowing the characters to cuss like sailors on leave. The show producers were lately taken to court for that many of those famous curse words were in fact copyrighted Pokémon names.
Here are some of the most used ones along with their translation:
- Hermana: "You slept with my sister!"
- Fred : quite often used, meaning "crap!" "shit!" or "fuck!" depending the circumstance
- Holy Baloney: "You inbreed fucker!"
- Dren: "You homo bitches!"
- Winona or Winonna: used exclusively by Ewing, meaning: "Like Winona Ryder, you are a whore!"
- Pie-Lot: first a reference to a building name, it became the most popular swear word among the characters, meaning something between : "Fuck that!" and "Suck it, bastard!"
- Has-Moth: Simply means: "Fucking-bitch-ass-ugly-nut-dickhead-crappy-cock-sucker-of-bloody-fucking-hell-of-doom-that-kills-shit-faced-kitties"