|"Through the Looking Glass"|
Remind the crew to tell Pilot and Moya that they should never decide when to starburst...
Click here to read the Farscape World synopsis for this episode.
Through the Looking Glass contains is certainly one of Farscape's most "traditional" episodes at it's roots. Multiple dimensions is a plot in science fiction that has become somewhat overused in many ways, often producing a confusing episode with explanations full of techno-babble. But luckily for us, this is Farscape, not a Star Trek, so techno-babble is not the order of the day. In fact, whilst it is certainly a complex idea and episode, the explanations are kept fairly simple, leaving us to enjoy the episode for what it is: a great episode that really helps bring the crew together.
The opening moments see something of a nasty discussion taking place, with the crew discussing whether or not to abandon Moya because she was without starburst. As would be expected, John and Aeryn refuse to abandon her, and put forward all the arguments against it. D'Argo and Rygel are in favour of abandonment, as is, somewhat surprisingly, Zhaan. The way her character has changed has been a very significant part of this season, and she has definitely become a lot more hardened through this experience. It was funny how no one would let Chiana talk as well, especially since she just wanted to tell them that the DRDs were watching. So Pilot and Moya have heard everything, and because they don't want to be left, Moya has decided to starburst. She doesn't have enough power to enter at a high velocity though, and the ship is split between four dimensions: red, blue, yellow and the regular one.
The dimensional split worked really, really well. The red Moya had a light that was causing everyone, except Chiana, to be nauseous. Every time John entered the red dimension they held nothing back in showing this, what with the amount he threw up and all. D'Argo, who had disappeared earlier, was actually in this dimension, and John and Pilot came up with a plan to put all the Moyas in full reverse, so he explained to D'Argo what to do. Then off he went, and hearing a noise he found the entry into the blue dimension.
This blue Moya was different, in that there was an extremely loud noise, meaning that when John found Aeryn they couldn't speak. They used a form of charades, which was just a great way of showing how well they can communicate without the need for words. Both Ben Browder and Claudia Black are phenomenal at what they do, and can portray a huge range of emotions without even speaking, and this was just a small example of this. On his next time in, Aeryn gave John a headset, which she'd modified to block out the loud e.m. wave so they could speak. He tells her that she must also put blue Moya in full reverse, and when he goes to explain she says that she knows. Well, of course she does, after all she was injected with Pilot's DNA in DNA Mad Scientist, so she should know. One of the things I like most about Farscape is that it remembers the little details, so I was happy that they did not forget this fact.
Then there was yellow Moya, also called the funny zone. John spots Rygel, but he's just laughing the whole time, and he makes John do the same. Some of the jokes were just appalling, but it was hilarious to see them crack up at these stupid things. So John wanted to find out what was going on, and left Rygel. Later when Chiana went a bit loopy on blue Moya he had to send her to yellow Moya. I thought it was interesting that Chiana was affected differently in the red and blue zones compared to the others, though I'm not quite sure why. Nevertheless, it was nice for her to be integrated into the story. So she and Rygel were in Pilot's den laughing, whilst John set it in full reverse. But the problem was, it didn’t work.
I thought it was great the way John gradually noticed the claw marks of the alien were grouped in prime numbers. He realised and then opted to do the right thing by making contact with the being. It was quite a spooky scene as well, what with this brown thing swirling round amongst white, it looked sufficiently odd. I thought it added to the oddness that we didn't see the whole creature, but only a couple of abstract shots. So this being says it repairs ruptures like the one Moya created, and tells John to go forward and it will try and conduct them through.
This leads John on something of a race through all the different Moyas telling everyone to starburst forward. I found Pilot's reaction to this idea and the creature itself intriguing, as he showed a lot of emotion in the few words that he spoke. Though he hasn't really been the focal point of an episode yet, with every appearance he is integrated more and more into part of the crew, and that just goes to show the quality of writing on the show. They really make the two puppets seem like, well, not puppets, and they also do a great job of making Moya seem herself like a living being. Rygel's antics in the yellow zone were extremely amusing too. So with the problem solved, they all end up on top of Pilot's controls, and they just burst into fits of laughter. Pilot couldn't understand it, but it was clear that they were so happy to have got out of this near death situation alive and unscathed.
The final scene was so fitting, and I thought that was excellent the way everyone was laughing and joking with such satisfaction. The stories, like D'Argo's incident with a female, and Zhaan telling Chiana how she's kicked more ass than Chiana's seen were very amusing. After the events of this episode Chiana really is integrated into part of the crew, and everyone is at ease with each other. This is the first episode where they really seem like a family, and it continues when Pilot interrupts and says that he doesn't see what's so funny, and they say that they are still alive and unharmed. It was nice to see that they toasted to the health of the baby at the end to. They were all together, eating like a family. It was a really nice scene.
This episode was sharply written, and very well directed. Each dimension seemed completely different, and all the actors pulled off great performances, and that includes the puppets! The way everyone worked together, as a team, probably for the first time to solve the problem and then came together like a family out of satisfaction was wonderful. I'd hazard a guess though that it also signifies trouble ahead for our crew. But now they've grown together, so at least we know they'll be there for each other.
I love to hear your views, whether you agree or disagree, so feel free to e-mail me your feedback. Review by Dani Moure.
Did You Know?
Through the Looking Glass was originally pitched by David Kemper as an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, in which the Enterprise comes across a derelict ship, which an away team finds empty, but there's actually a creature on board that leaves slime on the walls and has taken over the ship. It gets larger, and so it has to move on to the Enterprise. Of course, the idea went through many re-writes before becoming the episode you see here.
This episode was one of the hardest episodes to produce; hence it's placing near the end of the season, because of the difficulty in conceptualising it. It was difficult for everyone to grasp exactly what the creature and multiple dimensions would look like.
This episode signifies the first true interaction between Chiana and Rygel. As we know, this interesting relationship will grow throughout the series.
Zhaan's arm is made up of fibres that regenerate when torn... (This is another hint at her true nature).
The Hidden Memory
Bone to be Wild
John: "I thought you were junior miss tough-chick of the Universe."
Chiana: "Yeah, when I can hiss or kick or cry my way out of it. This is way way way way way different."
|We have 92 images from Through the Looking Glass online.|
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|Season 1, Episode 17 - "Through the Looking Glass"|
|Writer: David Kemper|
Director: Ian Watson
|Production number: 10117|
First UK Transmission: 10th Apr 2000
First US Transmission: 10th Sep 1999
June Salter (Voice of other-dimension Creature)
Gigi Edgley (Chiana)