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David Kemper and Ben Browder - US SciFi Channel Chat
Conducted on 9th January 2003

From: SciFi.com IRC

The day before the second half of season four debuted on US TV, Thursday, 9th January, executive producer/writer David Kemper and series star Ben Browder joined fans for a Farscape chat.

[ChatMod] The floor is closed folks. We're just waiting on David. Shouldn't be long.
[Ben Browder] DK is trying to connect
[ChatMod] I'll go ahead and post the introduction while we're waiting
[ChatMod] Hi everyone, thanks for joining us here. I'm Ben Trumble for SCIFI. Tonight we're happy to be chatting with FARSCAPE writer and producer David Kemper. David has helmed FARSCAPE through it's four seasons on SCIFI.
[Ben Browder] But he's fairly internet insecure
[ChatMod] In addition to his FARSCAPE adventure, David has served in varying writer/producer capacities on such series as SeaQuest DSV, American Gothic, Pacific Blue, Poltergeist: The Legacy and Tour of Duty. Additionally, he has written numerous episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager, The Pretender, The Equalizer, Stargate SG-1 and The Outer Limits.
[ChatMod] Brief word about the drill. This is a moderated chat -- please send your questions for our guest to ChatMod, as private messages. (To send a private message, either double-click on ChatMod or type "/msg ChatMod" on the command line - only without the quotes.)...Then hit Enter (or Return on a Mac.)
[Ben Browder] Dk's on java
[ChatMod] We're sorry about the silence. We're still waiting for David. Bear with us
[Ben Browder] that should explain some things
* Barbarella sets mode: +v DK
* ChatMod sets mode: +v DK
[ChatMod] Hi David. Really to rock and roll?
* ChatMod sets mode: +v DK
[ChatMod] David, can you type to the screen?
[Ben Browder] David... your fingers working?
[DK] Hey, Guys. Why is everyone here?
[Ben Browder] It's ALIVE!
[DK] Am I on. Is this microphone on?
[Ben Browder] testing
[Ben Browder] one
[ChatMod] You are live and loud
[Ben Browder] two
[ChatMod] Ben too
[DK] Two
[DK] DK, too.
[ChatMod] First question...
[Ben Browder] Lets do this thing
[ChatMod] [Gmmas] to [ChatMod]: What are the chances of us seeing a Farscape movie and how soon?
[DK] Oh, now.
[DK] STOP IT.
[DK] Wait till we finish the damn show, first.
[DK] (But...
[Ben Browder] We're waiting on the script...
[DK] we're working on something like a script, if you must know.
[Ben Browder] There IS a script?
[Ben Browder] Wow
[DK] Well, YOU'RE not in it.
[Ben Browder] It's Cruise... right?
[DK] Pitt.
[Ben Browder] oh
[Ben Browder] figures
[DK] Next Q
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [DaScape] to [ChatMod]: Ben - Did you enjoy working with Kent as your father? and did you ever see him in Battlestar or Airplane prior to working with him??
[Ben Browder] At least it's not Affleck this time
[Ben Browder] Saw him in reruns of Adam 12
[Ben Browder] Kent's a total pro
[Ben Browder] Man can find his mark and the light faster than any actor I've ever met.
[Ben Browder] And he's a great bloke.
[Ben Browder] GA
[ChatMod] [Commander-StrideR] to [ChatMod]: What's the word on projects besides Farscape?
[DK] My career's dead, How about you, Ben?
[Ben Browder] Looking for one at the moment.
[DK] A lot of us in Australia
[DK] are looking to put together a project and work together
[DK] on something in the near future.
[Ben Browder] Just started back in LA this week
[DK] It goes without
[DK] saying that Ben would get a call from us
[DK] almost instantly should we get funding.
[DK] GA
[Ben Browder] LOL
[ChatMod] [Rhayle] to [ChatMod]: Will we have a better understanding of why the old woman is in the story come the next eleven episodes?
[Ben Browder] DK?
[DK] Ah, that would be a spoiler. Best you should watch and see.
[DK] On the other hand,
[DK] I can get all esoteric on you
[Ben Browder] please don't
[DK] and say that why is ANYONE in our life?
[DK] Why does
[DK] the person next to you in your
[Ben Browder] here we go
[DK] class or at work just show up and
[DK] become a friend?
[DK] Sometimes
[DK] you just accept and roll ahead with the people thrust at you.
[Ben Browder] I'm heading for some coffee
[DK] GA from D
[ChatMod] [Oziscififan] to [ChatMod]: So who was funnier on set, Aeryn, Chinana, or Braca?
[Ben Browder] ooohhh
[Ben Browder] Dangerous question
[Ben Browder] Frankin is very funny in a dry fashion
[Ben Browder] Franklin even
[Ben Browder] CB tells great jokes
[Ben Browder] and GiGI is just a trip
[Ben Browder] But choosing might be perilous
[Ben Browder] ga
[ChatMod] Next, a comment and a question --
[Ben Browder] hello... testing... one....
[ChatMod] A comment, followed by a question --
[ChatMod] A comment, followed by a question --
[Ben Browder] ok
[ChatMod] You're fine Ben
[ChatMod] [Wormy] to [ChatMod]: Why did you have to go and make Farscape such a great show? Now it hurts so much to lose it!
[ChatMod] [ElRenno] to [ChatMod]: Did you all play a lot of practical jokes on each other on/off the set?
[DK] Ben?
[Ben Browder] It's DK's ultimate way to torture you.
[Ben Browder] Practical jokes...
[Ben Browder] we'd never do that
[Ben Browder] we're all highly trained professionals
[Ben Browder] ga
[DK] Hey folks,
[DK] do we have any Q's that don't skew towards boxers or briefs?
[ChatMod] Well --
[ChatMod] [p40whk] to [ChatMod]: David, as a writer, do you fit the script to the personality of the actor or dou you hope the actor is versitile enough to convey the meaning of what you write?
[DK] Very good question.
[DK] It works both ways...
[DK] When the actor is not that talented, you write the best you
[DK] can and hope that they can keep up. Sometimes
[DK] you have to ultimately lose them and move on.
[DK] In the case of most of our talented cast
[DK] and in Ben's case in particular
[DK] you have actors who are so strong that we
[DK] the writers actually learn from them. For instance,
[DK] we notice the strengths that Ben, for example
[DK] can bring to the screen, then we tailor the part to them.
[DK] In Ben's case, he was able to play serious,
[DK] romance,
[DK] and tough, strong leading man.
[DK] Buttttt....
[Ben Browder] Thanks David.... I love you too.
[DK] he showed us that he could do comedy,
[DK] and also get "crazy,"
[DK] so we took flight in those directions and the show
[DK] morphed and was all the better for it. And
[DK] that holds true for everyone.
[DK] Think of Gigi and Wayne to name only two.
[DK] They took us to places we never thought their
[DK] characters could go. And when Lani showed us that
[DK] he could play "tortured" bad guy -- one who
[DK] was torn between the dark and the light, we went that way in a heartbeat.
[DK] DK GA
[ChatMod] A follow up to that ...
[ChatMod] [WastelandGraphics] to [ChatMod]: What is the biggest challeng when writing an episode for Farscape? Drama, character interaction, technical babble?
[DK] Ben is as
[DK] qualified to answer this as I am...
[DK] Want at it, Kemosabe?
[ChatMod] Ben stepped away for a minute
[DK] Okay, mine...
[DK] Techno babble does not
[DK] really exist on our show.
[DK] We get rid of it. Finito.
[DK] The hardest part is the over plot of an
[DK] episode, and keeping it in line with the sweeping theme of the series,
[DK] and then layering in the characters and making it about THEM. That's
[DK] what I think the audience responds most to. And it's ultimately the most fun to write. Good question. GA
[ChatMod] [JUle27] to [ChatMod]: Can you tell us a bit about who or where you had the inspiration for the concept of unrealized realities?
[DK] Having written the script, I will take the blame. I was looking for a way
[DK] to explain in drama terms what I believe.
[DK] I think we are continuously standing
[DK] at micro-crossroads, and our actions determine
[DK] where we end up. I do not in any way
[DK] believe in astrology or predestination. I think
[DK] that we choose. If I decide to beat the yellow light, I could get broadsided. But
[DK] if I screech to a stop, the guy behind me
[DK] might hit me. Each action carries a different consequence, and
[DK] could lead to a different unrealized future. I'm just
[DK] surprised that the ep resonated with so many people. It's a tough
[DK] concept to deal in, and I was afraid
[DK] more people would scratch their heads and go, "Huh."
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [OliDay] to [ChatMod]: Was there ever a major change in direction while doing Farscape?
[Ben Browder] Ok... I'm back... sorry bout that still moving in and just had the delivery of a major appliance.
[DK] Every week, day, minute, scene and line. We are a show
[DK] that respects,
[DK] EXpects,
[DK] even demands
[DK] participation from all creative
[DK] participants. That, naturally, causes mission control
[DK] to make constant changes in where we're going, day by day.
[DK] However,
[DK] the overall arc had only 3 or 4 MAJOR turns
[DK] that we didn't plan before the various seasons started.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [trustywinona] to [ChatMod]: since the series has ended without a proper close...will we ever find out how Far§cape was set to end?
[DK] I'm hoping that will come to light in the future, on screen, either large or small.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] Ben, people want to know the appliance. Brand, ice making abilities, etc...
[Ben Browder] Actually... it was a car.
[Ben Browder] which is getting probed and prodded as we type.
[Ben Browder] ga
[ChatMod] [DaScape] to [ChatMod]: Are you optimistic about the ratings rising for the rest of season 4? I believe its doing better over here in the UK so far and the show has has a LOT of media coverage
[DK] I think that the hubbub you fans around the world
[DK] have created over our cancellation
[DK] will result in an uptick, as we say. Hopefully, if
[DK] we can build over the next 11 weeks on that,
[DK] we'll be able to control which direction
[DK] Farscape's unrealized reality will go.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [WastelandGraphics] to [ChatMod]: Ben, how have your kids reacted to all the pressure, first of fame, then to move back to the States?
[Ben Browder] I don't talk about my kids... but thanks for asking... and they're doing fine.
[Ben Browder] ga
[ChatMod] [Zugrail] to [ChatMod]: Who do you feel is the strongest possible network/outlet for Farscape to possibly continue on, Scifi, UPN, Etc. ?
[DK] That is a business decision that is beyond where I sit right now.
[DK] My advice is to
[Ben Browder] way beyond where I sit
[DK] worry less about the future and enjoy the present. Some of our best
[DK] episodes are about to hit the screen starting tomorrow night. I'd
[DK] love it if all our fans would sit
[DK] back, watch, enjoy and spread the word.
[DK] GA from DK
[ChatMod] [uisceboo] to [ChatMod]: Ben, been doing any writing?
[Ben Browder] Been noodling
[DK] Writing, Ben, not cooking.
[Ben Browder] but the move left me computorless for quite a while
[Ben Browder] and that means I end up scrawling on napkins
[Ben Browder] or envelopes
[DK] In the kitchen again...
[Ben Browder] there's a great story on the back of one of my gas bills
[Ben Browder] if I could find it
[Ben Browder] in all this chaos
[Ben Browder] Hope to get something down this year.
[Ben Browder] ga
[ChatMod] [GutPageant] to [ChatMod]: Did you ever consider yourselves engaged in a contest , competing with other genre shows to be the first to do 'things you'd never see on Star Trek'?
[Ben Browder] LOL
[Ben Browder] or things you never wanted to see on Star Trek
[DK] Never thought about them in the slightest other than to wish my friends who produce them luck and hope that they help raise the profile of the genre.
[DK] GA from DK when Ben's done.
[Ben Browder] I always watch genre
[Ben Browder] and hope I'm going to love it
[Ben Browder] so... nah... it never
[Ben Browder] felt like a competition
[Ben Browder] ga
[ChatMod] [chicago] to [ChatMod]: Ben what is your favorite DK written episode ? DK what is your favorite BB written ep?
[Ben Browder] Die Me Dichotomy was brilliant
[DK] My favorite Ben written ep was probably, for sheer symmetry and elegance, Green Eyed Monster, however
[Ben Browder] always loved doing DK eps
[DK] he contributed to each and every ep in ways that even you, the fans don't realize. It was a
[Ben Browder] he wrote great stuff for actors
[Ben Browder] writes great stuff
[DK] suggestion from Ben to myself that helped transform the infamous "cartoon" ep
[DK] into something special and brilliant. And the suggestion
[Ben Browder] my head spins when I think of the stuff he threw at us to do
[DK] was one from a writer to a writer, not an actor to a writer. That's what makes
[Ben Browder] we argued
[DK] Ben's contributions to a show like this so special. And it is why
[Ben Browder] a lot
[DK] I would love him to write and act on anything I do. He makes me look good.
[DK] GA from DK
[Ben Browder] David was always right
[Ben Browder] ...
[Ben Browder] ...
[Ben Browder] no
[Ben Browder] really
[Ben Browder] ga
[ChatMod] [babymoya] to [ChatMod]: What can we expect in the episode on Friday with JC hanging out in space, with no why to survive the next 10 seconds? I mean, he is technically gome now. This is of course without giving too much away.
[DK] Okay,
[DK] I'll give a spoiler here.
[DK] Crichton runs out of air and dies at the end of the teaser.
[DK] Then the show
[DK] becomes about the other characters. It's a shock, I know.
[Ben Browder] The last half of the season was very easy for me
[Ben Browder] sat on the beach
[DK] C'mon, now --
[DK] you only have to wait until
[DK] tomorrow to find out.
[Ben Browder] phoned David to ask how things were going
[Ben Browder] tommorrow is almost here
[DK] It's a FANTASTIC ep, written by Monj and directed by Rowan Woods. You will NOT
[DK] be disappointed, I promise. You, the fans,
[Ben Browder] Except the Crichton fans
[DK] are about to see our finest run of 11 eps in a row that we've ever done.
[DK] Sit back and enjoy.
[DK] GA from D
[Ben Browder] watching his funeral
[Ben Browder] ga
[ChatMod] [trustywinona] to [ChatMod]: Mr. Browder: for someone coming off of such a major project, whats the next move? Same Q for Mr. Kemper.
[Ben Browder] Test the waters
[Ben Browder] see what turns up
[Ben Browder] impossible to know at the moment
[Ben Browder] DK... we really should get one of them crystal ball thingies
[Ben Browder] ga
[DK] Well, I have offers to do things on other shows. But at the moment, I think my immediate future is to stay connected to Andrew Prowse, Lil, and a few others in Australia, and try to mount another series with the same level of quality and character engagement.
[DK] And the crystal ball would be GREAT.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] David, as you might imagine, many people are asking if you'd like to comment on how you feel Farscape has been treated by SCIFI?
[DK] Hmmm.
[DK] Load gun.
[DK] Shoot gun.
[DK] Shoot self.
[DK] Okay...
[DK] Let me try to miss myself and
[DK] still give an answer...
[DK] I think that cancelling Farscape was a mistake.
[DK] It took away something special.
[DK] The fans,
[DK] the critics,
[DK] and the people who make the show
[DK] are all reacting the same way.
[DK] So, in retrospect,
[DK] I think it's something that should have been allowed
[DK] to continue on and grow.
[DK] Besides, now Ben is in the states -- as I am the moment -- and we, along with Ricky Manning,
[DK] had grown to love our new home.
[DK] Very tough to learn to drive on the right side of the street again.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] You are an adroit shot!
[ChatMod] [LadyCrais] to [ChatMod]: DK, you mentioned last week on your radio interview that the sale of Henson might bring some major changes. Have any discussions with the buyers begun yet?
[DK] My ear is burning, though.
[DK] That is A) out of my league,
[DK] and B)
[DK] not something I am at liberty to talk about beyond saying
[DK] that I still have a deal to write and produce for the company, and expect
[DK] to honor and fulfill that in a very creative way. ;-) Stay tuned.
[ChatMod] Several people have asked what Pilot and Moya will be looking for in terms of future roles away from Farscape?
[DK] Rygel and Pilot are, I believe, animatronics who have been dismantled and are resting comfortably while they await the revival of Farscape in any manner or form.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [Carney] to [ChatMod]: Can you comment on why "Moya John" sees "Talyn John's" memories? Or is this something that will be discussed through the series?
[DK] Ben?
[DK] Help.
[Ben Browder] uh...
[DK] Can Carney be more specific, Moderator?
[Ben Browder] I'm dealing with contracts for a brand new car.
[Ben Browder] ga
[ChatMod] [Wormy] to [ChatMod]: Have any of the core Farscape actors made any commitments that could interfere with the filming of a possible fifth season?
[DK] There is no 5th season.
[DK] We have been cancelled.
[DK] My hope is that ALL of the cast
[DK] has a conflict. They are great
[DK] actors and deserve to be working immediately. I hope for
[DK] them the best, and should Farscape be fortunate enough
[DK] to launch again, we'll worry about it then.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] David and Ben the hour is officially over. Any clues at all about the adventure we're going to have over the next eleven episodes that you haven't given us yet?
[DK] I can continue on a bit more if you like.
[ChatMod] We'd love to keep going --
[DK] I'll save any thoughts about the end of the season for the very end of the session.
[Ben Browder] keep going DK
[DK] B, you leaving?
[Ben Browder] I'm swamped here.
[Ben Browder] ga
[DK] I'll call you after the chat.
[DK] Hey, folks.
[ChatMod] Good night Ben
[DK] Want Ben's new phone number in the states? What
[DK] am I bid?!?!?!?!?
[ChatMod] Thanks for taking the time to log on tonight
[Ben Browder] Night ya'll
[ChatMod] 3000000 Brit Pounds so far
[Ben Browder] sorry for all the interuptions at my end
[DK] I'm sure BEN would sell it for that much.
[ChatMod] [joecrichton] to [ChatMod]: there was a mention on the henson website for farscape about anime. can you comment on this at all
[DK] You can have my HOME for that.
[DK] Not in my wheelhouse. I'm contracted to do live action vehicles.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [GutPageant] to [ChatMod]: Opening the season with 4 (mostly) Aeryn-less episodes was pretty bold. Is it overanalyzing to think that you were trying to put the viewer in Crichton's shoes--wondering where she was and when she'd return?
[DK] Not really. There
[DK] were physical, logistical issues that we had to deal with,
[DK] and we wanted to send a chill through everyone. What IF she were gone.
[DK] So you're pretty close to dead-on there.
[DK] We also wanted
[DK] to leave a hole to intro Sikozu and let
[DK] the audience wonder -- as would Crichton -- whether this new woman
[DK] was going to be competition for his affections.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] David several people have asked, as a writer and producer why have you been drawn to scifi as a particular genre to work in in your career? What makes good scifi interesting to you personally?
[DK] I think scifi has chosen me more than I have chosen it.
[DK] I tend to think fast. Not really that smart, just get bored quickly.
[DK] And I tend to think of a thousand ways to do the simplest
[DK] thing.
[DK] Ask Ricky. Several
[DK] hundred-thousand times he wanted to kill himself
[DK] after we had found a way to do something and
[DK] I kept exploring down dark allies.
[DK] My feeling is that the exploration is the process by which you discover
[DK] a new way to do something. However, that MUST
[DK] be balanced by the realities of TV production. When I'm off in lala land, Ricky grounds me. If I get grounded,
[DK] then Ricky or Justin or Ben can go nuts. Anyway,
[DK] I tend to think "outside the box," (which is a phrase I hate, though it does describe it), and continually
[DK] search for something interests ME. If I find it,
[DK] I hope that it interests others as well. Also,
[DK] Scifi is a genre that lets you take risks, and within reason, I LOVE risks.
[DK] They get you excited about things again. I just hate
[DK] watching a drama and figuring out how
[DK] it's going to go, and then being proved RIGHT. That means I was there way before the producing team
[DK] should have let me get there. Snore....
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [Nonalla] to [ChatMod]: Sikozu and the Old Woman are new to this season. Are we going to get a chance to see them develop ?
[DK] Betcha.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [Simon] to [ChatMod]: DK if i wanted to follow in your footsteps, how woul di go about it?
[DK] As a writer?
[DK] Hmmm...
[DK] I am at a family home in suburban home in Detroit, Michigan at the moment, in the bedroom of
[DK] my 14 year old niece, typing on here computer.
[DK] Earlier today, I told her and two of my other nieces something about the
[DK] entertainment business.
[DK] I said, it's not like being a doctor where
[DK] you have to have a specific
[DK] body of knowledge
[DK] before you can even start your career.
[DK] I said, if you really want to work in the music or TV business,
[DK] all you need is that desire.
[DK] But it has to be
[DK] stronger than all the other desires,
[DK] and it has to be stronger than the desires of all the other people
[DK] who want the same job you do.
[DK] Stay at it. Stay broke.
[DK] Work for love instead of money.
[DK] Work to work.
[DK] Love your work.
[DK] You will succeed.
[DK] Not just in that BS way of,
[DK] if you love what you're doing, that's enough.
[DK] But you will actually succeed in this business.
[DK] And you will have fun until the heart attack hits.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [MaryWood] to [ChatMod]: Speaking as a film student here, how much or how little involvement do you have with the directing, editing, etc, of an ep? I'm having trouble picturing someone handing one aspect of their "baby" to someone else.
[DK] On Farscape, a lot of the control
[DK] has been ceded down the line.
[DK] Andrew Prowse and Lil and Ricky and Justin and Ben and Rowan and Tony and many
[DK] others (Dave Elsey, Tim Ferrier), can
[DK] do what they like. It comes back to staying within the framework that we lay out
[DK] and then being madly creative.
[DK] Think of us as a jazz show.
[DK] We have a theme. We lay down the beat
[DK] and then each instrument more or less gets to solo for awhile within the song.
[DK] But it better be in the same tempo as the group, or it will be discordant, and you will not
[DK] be allowed to solo again. But on Farscape,
[DK] we're by now experts at each others quirks and moods.
[DK] I can go for awhile. Got fresh Everreadies in.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [babymoya] to [ChatMod]: In the next few episodes, will Rygel get "some?" I mean JC and Aeryn get "some;" D'Argo and Chiana, they get some; Noranti did it to herself; Sikozu got some on that insect free world. But, when will Rygel get "some?"
[DK] Check out the end of last season. Ryg was pretty happy little Hynerian, if'n I recall.
[DK] D
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [OzDebP] to [ChatMod]: Looking back over the last 4 years, is there anything you would have changed about the show or your contribution towards it?
[DK] Wow. A really good question.
[DK] I do not have an instant answer that pops into my head.
[DK] Give me a moment to reflect...
[DK] I love the pace.
[DK] And I love the characters.
[DK] No one cared if the series got too serialized in the beginning, they
[DK] just wanted "quality." This was the way we achieved it.
[DK] Then, after the quality became expected, the desire was for us to make ourselves more "episodic," meaning
[DK] that each ep would stand alone -- not continue an overriding storyline.
[DK] This is, some say, the reason our audience never grew. I disagree,
[DK] so upon thinking, I would not change that, either. It is what MADE us special.
[DK] You learned to care about the characters and love as they loved.
[DK] I guess the thing I would like to have done differently was find a few more writers who could stay in for the long haul.
[DK] Rockne (S. O'Bannon, Farscape's creator), Ricky, Justin and I literally almost killed ourselves
[DK] writing the series.
[DK] I would have liked to have been able to sit back a bit more and enjoy the goings on.
[DK] I would have like to have spent more time on the set, just enjoying the actors as they work.
[DK] And I would have liked more time to think, and sit and stare. That's where all the good
[DK] ideas come from, being alone with your brain and your fears and your determination.
[DK] So, all in all, I'd keep it the same. I like how it turned out.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [Wormy] to [ChatMod]: Speaking of audience, how do you feel about the Nielsen ratings?
[DK] I believe they habitually undercount cable.
[DK] Our show seems to be one that is watched in groups.
[DK] Even if you are a Nielson family, you will
[DK] only count as 1 even if there are 1,000 people in your living room.
[DK] I think we got a bit hosed there.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [DaScape] to [ChatMod]: I recently read your latest article in the Farscape Mag and its a facinating piece to hear it from the producers mouth. Do you enjoy writing your coloumn and if the mag continues will you carry on writing for it?
[DK] I will write for Farscape Magazine as long as they are in production.
[DK] They are a great group of people, and I am
[DK] particularly loyal to Martin Eden and David Bassom and Brian and all the gang.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [fialka] to [ChatMod]: Can you tell us a bit about the process of breaking a season?
[DK] You have just finished 11 months of insanely hard work.
[DK] You are so exhausted that you are probably sick.
[DK] The actors have collapsed and gone on holiday.
[DK] The directors are on TV movies and somewhere else.
[DK] You get picked up for next season.
[DK] Without a break, you must meet in my kitchen, and
[DK] over the next 3 weeks, outline a whole season in rough form.
[DK] It is frightening in a very tangible way.
[DK] What if you frell up? What if you're not good anymore?
[DK] What if you're too tired?
[DK] Fear drives you.
[DK] The fans drive you.
[DK] You are desperate to not disappoint.
[DK] So you stay up late and think, think, think.
[DK] You come up with ideas, bat them around.
[DK] Get a flash of inspiration.
[DK] Then, you pitch and sell the Hensons.
[DK] Then, Scifi.
[DK] Then, you divide up stories.
[DK] Then, you sit and break each story over 2 weeks apiece.
[DK] Then, all 5 or 6 writers go their separate ways
[DK] and have to have a script done when we all reconvene in a month.
[DK] But no one (except crazy Justin)
[DK] actually writes.
[DK] The rest of us just go home and curl up for 20 days and try to get sleep and recharge to do another 1 insane
[DK] months in a row.
[DK] Something like that. From the horse's mouth, so to speak.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] David -- people want to know -- do you use frell in everyday speech?
[DK] When there are scapers in the room (as there are here) or when there are children in the room (as there are about 10 behind me, watching this as I type.)
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [offthehook] to [ChatMod]: I know we're not getting any real spoilers out of you. But could you give us *some* idea of how much popcorn (ammo for those "grrr" moments), tissues (for the truly Kemper scenes), and beer (to drown our sorrows) we should stock for 422?
[DK] Ep 422, Andrew, Ben and I think, tops the last 3 season enders.
[DK] Be prepared.
[DK] Do not watch alone.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [AgentSun1] to [ChatMod]: as a writer, do you find it hard to write a certain number of serious and funny episodes to have a balance, or is it really just maniacal inspiriation that comes and gives us some of the most hilarious and some of the most dramatic episodes?
[DK] Both.
[DK] The best crazy bits are sheer inspiration on someone's part.
[DK] The rest is hard work and balance.
[DK] My job is akin to being an air traffic controller, even of my own ideas.
[DK] Balance the drama with the humo(u)r,
[DK] the action with the romance,
[DK] the light and the dark,
[DK] the expensive and the super expensive. :)
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [Starburst] to [ChatMod]: Could you explain zhaan in the ending of John Quixote? was it really her?
[DK] Zhaan is gone. What Crichton experienced was something inside of himself, inside of the game, inside of Stark. But it WAS the real Virginia.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [Stedman] to [ChatMod]: Mr. Kemper, any idea on how the cancellation of the series will effect the DVD sales? will the whole series still be released? (Moderator note: And MANY people want to know if you would contribute commentary to future DVD releases?)
[DK] If there is time for them to get a few of us down on tape,.
[DK] we will
[DK] certainly add commentary.
[DK] And yes, every single episode of Farscape will appear on DVD.
[DK] How the cancellation will affect sales? I think it will increase the sales
[DK] as people continue to discover the show and clamor for more.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] David a lot of fans are wondering -- how important are rating for the next 11 episodes in terms of future Farscape projects whether on SCIFI or elsewhere?
[DK] I think very important.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [DaScape] to [ChatMod]: This might be a stupid question.. but were you ever stuck for an idea of an episode? or storyline for Farscape? or even dialoge for a character?
[DK] Sometimes, on the micro level.
[DK] As far as
[DK] the major stuff, it was butter, as we say.
[DK] Very free flowing.
[DK] The least congested for ideas I've ever been. I LIVED for those
[DK] characters.
[DK] As I say, no one on the planet save for Ben feels the loss of this series like I think I must.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [CrystalMoon] to [ChatMod]: Aeryn came back to Moya quite different from last season. She's smiling, confiding in Chiana, ready for a relationship. Will we find out what caused such a major change?
[DK] 8 Ball says:
[DK] I would think your expectations may be rewarded.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] Bouncer] to [ChatMod]: Ben's character killed a whole lot of people/aliens/things over the past 3 1/2 cycles. Does he (JC) have any regrets, or is it apart of what had to do in order to survive, and he just dosen't give a damn anymore?
[DK] Very
[DK] much
[DK] both.
[DK] Crichton has changed immeasurably because of what he's had to do.
[DK] Like any of us would.
[DK] He is you, me, Ben.
[DK] He is human.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [KempersBabe] to [ChatMod]: if you had the time right now to sit and watch any one episode of Farscape, for your own personal enjoyment, which one do you think you would choose?
[DK] Wow.
[DK] I'm partial to Revenging Angel, Die Me Di, and 3 eps coming up in the last 11 you are about to see.
[DK] But I think I am watching
[DK] for different reasons and seeing different things than other people are.
[DK] I am watching the contributions of actors and techinical people and directors, etc.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [Gmmas] to [ChatMod]: DK - is it hard NOT writing new stories for Farscape characters at this point? Do you find you still have the characters and their new stories going through your mind?
[DK] Yes.
[DK] I just finished 22 hours of flying
[DK] to get to Detroit.
[DK] I was writing on a new project, and it was boring me.
[DK] I stopped and read gossip magazines.
[DK] That never would have happened if I had A FS script on my computer.
[DK] It has proven difficult to get the lady out from under my skin and soul.
[DK] But I am working on it, and expect the new year here to free the obstruction.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [moonbebe] to [ChatMod]: Will we ever see the 12 minutes of footage that was shot in case the cartoons in Revenging Angel didn't work?
[DK] Some of it has been released on the DVD already.
[DK] Another 5 minutes are still in the vault.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [Fravid] to [ChatMod]: How involved were you in the original idea for Farscape?
[DK] Moderator, let's go to 11 pm EST. Good?
[DK] Original idea for Farscape? Simple.
[DK] Brian Henson called my friend Rock and said, let's do a space series.
[DK] Rock created Farscape.
[DK] Then he called me and said,
[DK] "Look what I got. Want to work on it?'
[DK] I stupidly said yes.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] David, good science fiction television often seems influenced by good science fiction television that has come before it. How do you think Farscape will influence future shows?
[ChatMod] 11 ET it is
[DK] Wow. I hope
[DK] that future shows will concentrate
[DK] on the characters.
[DK] I hope gobbledygook is banished. What the hell does it do but take up time, bore you, and kill the plot.
[DK] I hope that quality
[DK] becomes the watchword.
[DK] If it ain't good, don't do it.
[DK] If it doesn't say something special, something about the human condition, about why
[DK] we live and love and explore, then go home.
[DK] That's what made the first Trek damn special. It was about US.
[DK] About our dreams and aspirations.
[DK] In a small way, Rock wanted to get back to that.
[DK] That's what I hope we do.
[DK] I hope we are a slight wind
[DK] that pushed the genre just a bit back in that direction.
[DK] And I hope that future generations
[DK] watch our show and say,
[DK] Those are some cool folks who made that. I wish I could have been part of something like that.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [cymem2] to [ChatMod]: DK, how can we keep track of your future projects?
[DK] Just watch the web.
[DK] People will know, and it will hopefully be publicized.
[DK] At the very least, I will stand on street corners and hand out flyers.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [CrystalMoon] to [ChatMod]: How much input did Scifi and Henson have on the scripts? On the overall season arc? For instance, did they say anything about the lack of Aeryn in the beginning of this season or the twinning from last season?
[DK] It was a discussion, but we had a very free hand in what we were doing. And recall, as I said earlier, there were other considerations besides
[DK] just story points that dictated the beginning of the season.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] [moonbebe] to [ChatMod]: Since we know Claudia contributed to the end of Season 3, could you tell us whether she also contributed to Season 4 too - in a writer's sense that is?
[DK] The end of season was essentially a writer's project this time around, although Ben sits in the room continuously, so you could say he had input.
[DK] As did, as ALWAYS, my incomparable partner, and the director of the last ep, Andrew Prowse.
[DK] GA
[ChatMod] David, any final comments tonight on the next 11 episodes?
[DK] Okay, we'll wrap it up here...
[DK] The last 11 eps are the finest run in continuous form that
[DK] we have ever had.
[DK] We have hit our stride here, in my humble opinion.
[DK] You will see a filmmaking team at its peak.
[DK] We achieve so much in the last 11 eps that even I am a bit awed, and I sat on top of the damn beast the whole way.
[DK] Eps 412 and 413 will surprise the dren out of you. They are clever and sparkling.
[DK] Yay, Ricky, Justin, Rowan and Peter.
[DK] Eps 414, 415, and 416, I predict,
[DK] will leave you stunned.
[DK] Ep 417 will leave you as mystified by what we eat and drink behind the scenes as did the cartoon ep.
[DK] And eps 418-422 will just about twist you up, down, and inside out.
[DK] Some of the best acting I have personally ever been around is delivered as the season draws to a close.
[DK] You notice, I say, the "season," not the series.
[DK] There is no fifth season right now, folks.
[DK] There is no movie yet.
[DK] But I do not believe Farscape is dead. I believe quality rules, and I believe
[DK] there will be more.
[DK] If I wasn't the biggest optimist in the world, I would have killed myself at the START of my TV career.
[DK] So sit back, watch, and please enjoy. We had so much
[DK] fun making these eps, it would be a shame
[DK] if you watched them with anything but joy and love in your hearts.
[DK] This is a TV show. It is "entertainment." View it as such,
[DK] and have faith that good and righteous unrealized realites can happen
[DK] if we all lean in the same direction.
[DK] Perhaps SciFi will
[DK] ask us to chat again as the end of the season draws close.
[DK] If not, then this will serve...
[DK] Thank you, the fans, for all your marvelous support.
[DK] Thank you, the fans, for being so involved, and carrying the banner when you show was cancelled.
[ChatMod] David we'd love to chat with you any time
[DK] And, and thank you, the fans, for getting the joke. For watching
[DK] so loyally and
[DK] making us a part of your lives.
[DK] Without you, I was out of a job a long time ago.
[DK] Have a good one, and please enjoy the work you're about to see with a light heart. If not,
[DK] you negate a lot of the positive energy that was expended in making it.
[DK] And thanks to the Moderator and Barb for hosting.
[DK] Bye for now.
[ChatMod] David. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat. It's been a pleasure. Stay warm in Michigan! We can't wait to talk with you again. Good night. Thanks to our audience too for all your support, and your many, many questions. We'll open the floor now.
[DK] DK stepping back.
[DK] XX
[DK] GA
* Barbarella sets mode: -m
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