Moya is invaded by energy riders, whilst Scorpius returns, and he's having some very bad dreams...
Click here to read the Farscape World synopsis for this episode.
When I was watching "Losing Time", I found myself just waiting for some delightful characterisation. Why? Because the first thing I noticed was "Written by Justin Monjo", a man who as I'm sure you'll know I think a great deal of in terms of how good he is at writing for the Farscape characters. So I was genuinely a little disappointed that by the end of the episode, Moya's (now pint-sized) crew remained almost exactly as they were, and received little characterisation. Except Jool that is, who had some odd moments. But saying that, this episode did mark the return of the real Scorpius, for the first time since "Season of Death", which is always going to be a big bonus for me. As you know, I'm a big Scorpius fan, and to Mary Wood, who wrote in her review, "Scorpy tends to be a stereotype villain" I say, "Mary, you ignorant tralk..."!
This episode showed Scorpius doing what he does best – being evil. But not in the generic way, rather in his own cold and calculating way. You see, the episode begins with Scorpius plugged into something, be it accessing the neural clone he retrieved in "Die Me, Dichotomy" or simply something to regulate his temperature as he sleeps, and he's having visions about John and getting the secrets about wormhole technology. However, it's soon revealed that the Command Carrier is at a wormhole, and Scorpius and crew have been conducting tests. A rather abrupt project leader insists that Scorpius let him send a manned flight. The trouble is, that man dies, and Scorpius does not take defiance lightly, so he orders the project leader to his death. This is the kind of thing that I find most intriguing about Scorpius; whilst he's not malicious and tends to be more calculating than irrational, he will not tolerate defiance and is not afraid to show anyone who is boss.
Also, it was interesting to find out that Scorpius is still obsessed with getting the secrets of wormhole technology, only this time there's a crucial difference – we find out why. This was by far my favourite part of the episode, finally finding out why it's so important, and it's all because the Peacekeepers have told the Scarrans they have secret wormhole weapons to stop the Scarrans from attacking, but the Scarrans are getting very suspicious. So it's imperative that Scorpius finds out the secrets of wormhole technology so he can develop weapons with which to fight the Scarrans, because man to man they're badly out-matched. To me this revelation finally makes clear exactly why Scorpius has been so relentless in his pursuit of Crichton, and also as he says, it explains why the Peacekeepers allow him such leeway in chasing John – they are a desperate race in need of weaponry. And here was me thinking Scorpius was doing it for personal reasons! Seriously though, it did make me wonder if perhaps this will eventually tie in to the Retrieval Squad storyline currently happening with the crew on Talyn, in that perhaps the reason the Peacekeepers want Talyn back now is because they doubt that they'll uncover the secrets of wormholes before the Scarrans attack, and they could use Talyn as a prototype to create more Leviathan gunships, with which to fight the Scarrans.
Another question that remains unanswered is just why Sebaceans can't survive wormhole re-entry when humans, or at least John, can. It seems that in a way, John may be some sort of key to wormholes. In my musings, I had another thought that perhaps it's somehow related to the Ancients (who gave John the wormhole knowledge in "A Human Reaction"), in that maybe they made it so the knowledge they gave John could only be used by either him, or perhaps only humans.
As a final note in the Scorpius storyline, I found it quite noticeable that Danny Adcock, who played Co-Kura Strappa, also played T'raltixx in "Crackers Don't Matter", because he seemed to use exactly the same voice. If they ever run the two episodes back-to-back, I don't think there will be anyone left who doesn't notice! I'm not knocking his work, but I just found it odd. On the other hand, Jo Kerrigan, who also played the Vorcarian Blood Tracker Rorg in seasons 1 and 2, sounded completely different whilst playing Linfer here.
But back on Moya, we had the "rider" plot playing out. My favourite things about this aspect of the episode were the direction and the music. The direction was just superb, as Catherine Millar does a really good job (save for the blooper) in providing some very interesting imagery. I particularly found the repeated use of dripping – both the blood and the water – very imaginative, in that it not only showed literally the dripping, but also seemed to indicate the passing of time. The music which accompanied this dripping, and in fact the score as a whole, was subtle yet a perfect reflection of what was going on in the respective scenes. Guy Gross seems to excel at this kind of subtle score, and definitely deserves a big pat on the back for his work on this episode.
There were also great performances all round, as was probably to be expected. The puppeteers excelled yet again in the number of facial expressions and the amount of movement they gave Pilot. It was just superb, especially when he was possessed. A special mention must also go out to DRD Pike, who almost stole the show. It's one of the best performances I've ever seen by a machine! Seriously, I really felt attached to it, I don't know why. Maybe it's because you can use a DRD to talk to Moya or something. Gigi Edgley turned in yet another great performance. Much like in "Out of Their Minds", she excels at these roles in which she is playing another character. She has one of the best ranges of performance of any actor on the show, and this was just another showcase of her talents. She makes a superb Chiana, and a great just about everything else.
The rest of the cast were good as usual, probably having a ball only having to do every other episode until the stories converge (although saying that, David Kemper probably forces them to come to work to make tea or something), except for Ben Browder who is still in every episode. Jool seemed to be just about the only character on Moya that seemed different. It was a bit odd how she suddenly went from being miss "I'm a bitch and I only care about myself!" to miss "I'm so concerned for Chiana", but I took that as an indication that she is gradually starting to grow into the crew. Perhaps because of the split, with half the crew gone she's starting to fit in and bond more with the rest of the crew. Then again it could be nothing like that and just be a blip in the writing.
The special effects used were also superb, and despite what some people said about the speed-up effect, I actually really liked it, as it seemed to be a bit like a parallel to the theme of losing time. The aliens were well designed too, although they did remind me of the aliens from an episode of "Star Trek: Voyager", where their crew accidentally were holding some creature in their warp core or something. All I remember is they were an orange colour, and the aliens in "Losing Time" reminded me of them.
So, it's time for my closing thoughts and you may be wondering why I haven't yet given an opinion on the main plot. Well, the reason is simply that I found it really odd. It was a bit similar to what's been done before (another take on the premise of "A Bug's Life" in a way), but what really bugged me was the extreme lack of characterisation. Maybe my annoyance at the main plot does stem from the expectations I have of a script that comes from Justin Monjo, but I was left disappointed. Nevertheless, the episode is good and fun, and well worth watching just to see the revelations from Scorpius. Much like "Thanks for Sharing", this seemed like a bit of a transition episode that's just setting the seeds and building towards a banging plot arc that will take us through the rest of the season. From the preview of the next episode, it looks as though we return to Talyn to catch up with the others, and it looks as though mother's about to be reunited with her daughter. So it works well in setting the story up for the future, but as an episode in itself "Losing Time" stands as good, not great.
I love to hear your views, whether you agree or disagree, so feel free to e-mail me your feedback. Review by Dani Moure.
To see Mary Wood's review of "Losing Time", click here.
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Did You Know?
Presumably, the crew still believe that Scorpius is dead. Crais thought he killed him in Season of Death, and the crew have not seen the real Scorpius since.
Scorpius apparently has to inject himself with something, probably nutrients, to sustain him.
The Scarrans are amassing forces to attack Sebaceans, but are holding off because the Peacekeepers lied and said they have secret wormhole weapons. This is why wormhole technology is so important to Scorpius, and why he has been given so much leeway in chasing Crichton.
Peacekeeper High Command estimates that Scarran warriors outnumber Peacekeepers ten to one.
Sebaceans lose integrity and become goo when they attempt re-entry into a wormhole. Since Crichton survived, human physiology apparently can survive, so he could be the key.
Crichton again uses a DRD to communicate directly with Moya, as opposed to going through Pilot. He used the same technique in They've Got a Secret.
When Crichton was "tasted" by Tallip, he kept bleeding. However, none of the others did. The reason behind this was never revealed, although Jool suggested that it might be because humans are a deficient species.
In the last scene on Moya, Chiana was able to sense that D'Argo was in the room, even though John still thought he was down in the neural cluster. How did she know he was there?
When Tallip tasted Jool, there was a clear continuity/editing error. As Jool is thrust against the wall, D'Argo and Chiana are standing side by side. D'Argo shouts and rushes forward, but is thrown back, and Chiana goes and kneels down. A few seconds later, after cutting back to Crichton shouting and Jool still against the wall, we see D'Argo and Chiana right back where they were before D'Argo was knocked back, and he seems fine and Chiana doesn't seem worried!
They've Got a Secret
The Hidden Memory
Mind the Baby
Look at the Princess, Part 1: A Kiss is But a Kiss
Look at the Princess, Part 2: I Do, I Think
Look at the Princess, Part 3: The Maltese Crichton
Won't Get Fooled Again
Die Me, Dichotomy
Season of Death
Self Inflicted Wounds, Part 1: Could'a, Would'a, Should'a
Self Inflicted Wounds, Part 2: Wait for the Wheel
Another episode with a number of good lines...
Jool: "I'm with miss monochrome; let's just get the frell outta here."
D'Argo: "Girls, we'll all sit down and watch John. Off we go..."
Chiana: "What if I have to piss?"
D'Argo: "Well then, we will all urinate together."
Chiana: "You promise?" [laughs]
Chiana: "What the veg are you talking about? What is he talking about?"
[Pilot spasms and groans]
Jool: (to D'Argo) "Shoot him! Shoot him now! You're the warrior, shoot him now!"
D'Argo: "Alright, with what? My nose?"
Jool: "Shoot him."
D'Argo: "Actually, now that you mention it, I've been feeling a little angry..."
John: "Yeah, that's normal for you."
Drillic: "This will never happen again."
Scorpius: "Oh, it'll happen once more. Instructor Drillic will pilot the next trial. Wash out the prowler... for immediate deployment."
Drillic: "Scorpius, I'm not flying the next trial!"
Scorpius: "I'm afraid, that uh, Braca will insist..."
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