I promised Dani I'd give all of you some info on the new Farscape book as soon as I could, and since the final text has just gone to the publisher, I guess you guys get the news first. The name of the book is The Creatures of Farscape, subtitled Behind the Scenes at Jim Henson's Creature Shop, and it follows the creation of Farscape's myriad alien characters from the early days when the show was still called Space Chase, right through The Peacekeeper Wars. It's packed with tons of cool art and photos, most of it in color, including a lot of stuff that's never been seen before. As a lifelong SF fan and makeup/makeup FX junkie, I wanted to do the kind of book that I'd be interested in buying myself. I hope this is it.
As a bit of background, when I was back in London a while back, I had dinner with Dave Elsey, who ran Farscape's Creature shop in Sydney, Dave's wife Lou and his long-time partner Colin Ware. They had been trying to do a book about the work on the show, but when Farscape got canceled, the publisher bailed. Dave wanted to know if I'd be interested in working on it, but as I'm sure everybody knows, it's very difficult to get a book off the ground when the show has just been axed. So it's taken quite a long time to find a publisher and put the project back together, but I hope you'll all feel it's worth it.
The book covers the initial design phase, going all the way back to its earliest Space Chase Days, when most of the characters looked very different than the way they finally ended up on screen. D'Argo as a giant animatronic lizard? Zhaan a male Buddhist monk-type? Scorpius a multi-legged insect? You'll see it all for yourself. Some of the original art has never been seen anywhere before, mainly because it was scattered around dusty shelves in the London Creature Shop for years. Plus lots of interviews with the people who were there at the time, from producer Brian Henson to series creator Brian Henson to the original artists and designers.
After that, we cover each of the four seasons, with plenty of full-page color photos, running commentary by Dave Elsey, behind the scenes and episodic shots, concept designs and comments from some of the actors. I know one of the big complaints I've heard from Farscape fans over the years is they couldn't find that many good color photos from the show (with the exception of the now-defunct official magazine). That's why I wanted to do a big groovy hardback book that hopefully won't fall apart after the hundredth time you've thumbed through it.
And no, we haven't forgotten about the mini-series. There's a huge section on The Peacekeeper Wars, but I don't want to say too much about it as some readers of this site would probably get a bit peeved if I gave anything away here. Suffice to say, you'll find some photos that probably won't be seen anywhere else, a few revelations about scenes that never made it into the final product, and a couple of surprises. I'm not trying to be coy here, but I promise you won't be disappointed. Oh yes, and we've also got an introduction by producer Brian Henson and a final word by Dick Smith, arguably one of the world's greatest living makeup artists.
So I hope that gives you some idea what to expect with this book. In anticipation of your questions, we hope to have it out in October, to coincide with the mini-series here in the States. I'll try to have more specific info as it becomes available, but feel free to ask any questions on this site and I'll try to answer them when I can.
All the best,