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Ben Browder, Wayne Pygram and Dave Elsey in TV Zone Farscape Special
by Dani Moure - Thursday, June 5th 2003

Category: Old News

The latest TV Zone Special (#51) is all about Farscape, and features several interviews with the cast and crew. It also examines the show by season, and looks at what might have been. Here, we present the second part of our look at this issue, with a round of excerpts from interviews with Ben Browder, Wayne Pygram and Dave Elsey (and we'll let you know what else you can expect them to discuss). I highly recommend purchasing this - it's an excellent piece and a more than worthy addition to any collection.

Ben Browder (Crichton) talks about Farscape's audience, fan feedback, the end of the show, the cancellation, the show's future, writing "John Quixote" in season four and getting back to auditions.

On Farscape's audience:

"Farscape is a different creature from most television. Most people would rather come home and turn on Friends and eat a TV dinner and drink a couple of beers, and not have to bite off as much as watching an episode of Farscape. That is what they want, that's just not what we did. That isn't what Farscape was. We weren't catering to that audience, we were catering to Farscape's audience, which I think is a slightly different breed. The Farscape audience in general is highly engaged and intelligent and demanding. The danger, of course, is that when you fall short, you're gonna get hammered by them for it but I don't think most people would hammer an episode of Friends going, 'Ah, it sucked!' With Farscape, you better believe it, every other week somebody's going, 'Ah! What happened to this show?' And that's the beauty of it. You're writing for a really, really good audience, in the sense that they're engaged in what you're doing and that makes a challenge for you and it makes the story interesting to tell and hopefully makes the story interesting for people to watch."

On the last episode, "Bad Timing":

"If you look at the final episode [of each year], it generally sets the tone for the next season. 'Dog with Two Bones' was a very surrealistic kind of piece [that led to] strange elements in Season Four. Between 'John Quixote', the presence of Noranti, unrealized realities and the exploration of wormholes and Time travel, there's a different sort of tone for Season Four which is established by the end of Season Three. And Season Five is a Humpty Dumpty season, putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. Literally. So literally and figuratively you have the first beat of the next season, which is a closure of the Earth elements and putting lives back together after they've been so fractured in the last three years. So Season Five was, as planned, totally different from Season Four."

Wayne Pygram (Scorpius) talks about his time earlier this year in LA, the end of the show and how it all happened so fast, his final scene with Sikozu, what he hopes for Farscape and how the cast and crew are doing now.

On how Season Four was structured, and keeping future story arcs in mind:

"That was difficult, because we never knew what was ahead. I couldn't even begin to play some scenes, or some hints as to where I was going. Season Four was literally chaos. You got your pages the night before if you were lucky, so you couldn't even begin to plant the notion of a ruse or the seeds of these schemings, because I didn't actually know where we were headed, so I found that very frustrating. I was also very dissatisfied with the flowers at the end. I didn't buy that way of tidying Season Four up around those flowers after spending 3.5 seasons talking about wormholes. When we got to the flower thing, it came so late and I thought it was clumsy. These are the little frustrations I suffered because I didn't know where I was headed. I have a sneaking suspicion that, in Season Five, Scorpius would have ended up more like the guy he was in Season One, but now we'll never know."

On the future of the show:

"I do hope for the day when we can finish the story, but I know full well that the chances of that happening are very slim. It's quite likely never going to happen. And I need to work; that's why I'm going home earlier than I had intended. I need to work and put it behind me. I need to work with a new bunch of people and go on to somebody else's set and put on some new shoes."

Dave Elsey (Creature Designer) talks about how he approached his creations how they worked on the show, and comments on making Aeryn pregnant in "Crichton Kicks", the makeup of Scorpius and the design of Noranti.

On the team's approach to the aliens:

"To be honest, part of the way we worked is whenever they brought back a character that we'd seen before, it was a great opportunity to improve it. Maybe we'd make the moulds differently or colour it differently or use different hair, so the temptation was always to go back and do everything all over again which created a whole new batch of problems! The first thing we said when we stepped off the plane was, 'We're not going to do any aliens that you might see on other TV shows!' That was the best and worst decision I ever made because it turns out that there are reasons why other shows have aliens walking around with just foreheads on. It's actually a really good idea, and to do it the way we do it doesn't make any sense at all. To be honest, it was a real pain in the ass for all of us, but I think what ended up on screen was worth the extra trouble."

In addition to all that, there are interviews with Rockne O'Bannon (Series Creator), Paul Goddard (Stark), Rebecca Riggs (Grayza), and Melissa Jaffer (Noranti). You can find snippets from their interviews in yesterday's piece.

TV Zone Special #51: Farscape Special is available now priced 4.99. For ordering and subscription information, please visit Visimag's website.

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