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David Kemper talks about the cancellation and the show's future in SFX, and more
by Dani Moure - Wednesday, March 26th 2003

Category: Old News

In the latest issue of SFX Magazine (April 2003), Executive Producer David Kemper talks candidly of his feelings about the cancellation, how Sci Fi treated the show and his plans for the show's future. The interviews were conducted by Paul Simpson. Here are some exerpts:

On the promotion of the show for season four:

"They bought in a new team of people, and we understood from the get-go that they didn't understand the show or like the show. The stuff I was seeing told me there was something wrong. I said we'd do the best we could, but you can't get people to come to a show in the fourth year without promoting it."

On Sci Fi's attitude towards the show:

"They were saying, if we made it more like Stargate, everyone would love it. I knew that was wrong. We'd piss off our core audience and nobody new is going to know the show's on the air if it's not promoted properly. How do people watch The Sopranos? They have good publicity, which we had, and lots of promotion, which we didn't have. Sci Fi kept saying they didn't have the money to do it."

On the reasons for re-introducing the characters slowly at the start of the season:

"The whole beginning of the season was geared towards getting and keeping new fans, because if we didn't we were going to be in trouble. A lot of our regular fans were complaining. We did the best we could, and it didn't work. If we hadn't done that, it would've been worse. We were on the bubble right till the end. In retrospect, you can say it was a mistake, and we didn't get new viewers. They didn't come to look at the show. We didn't double our available audience. In hindsight, the year would've been just as good developing the Farscape story, but the attempt back in that day was trying to service the possibility of new people."

Hinting at what would've been in season five:

"Francesca Buller played a re-occurring Scarran, Minister of War Ahkna, who would have gone right through the fifth season, as would Duncan Young as Emperor Staleek. Jool was not done with Farscape. The fifth season and beyond would show that the Priests on Arnessk and what they did for a living may have had something further to do with the way that Farscape unfolded. But Jool needed some time on her own with these people to fulfil what I had in mind. I would have loved to have done a whole crossdressing episode with Chiana and Aeryn in man's clothes, Crichton and D'Argo in women's clothes so they could find out about the other side. That's a concept that really appealed to me."

In addition to those snippets, David Kemper talks at length about how Sci Fi acted towards the show for the forth season, particularly with the management changes, the cancellation as a whole, and how he felt about the season, particularly the beginning of it.

Ben Browder also talks about working with wife Francesca Buller again at the end of season four, and some of what he had planned for the fifth season (including what surely would've been an unmissable "split time" episode, which he would've co-written with Richard Manning). Claudia Black also reflects on her time on the series, from wearing the Scorpius makeup to playing Chiana, and her relationship with Ben Browder. Finally, Stephen Gallagher reflects on his original pitch for the series that would become Farscape way back before Rockne O'Bannon was called in to create the behemoth.

It's all in the April 2003 issue of SFX, out now priced 3.50. Click here for subscription and ordering information.

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