A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while Farscape isn't as violent as some other science fiction series, there's a lot of conflict seething below the surface. Just about every character is part of a race, faction, or army that has at least one mortal enemy -- and often more. Many of the episodes are structured around these conflicts, making anger and aggression a common plot device. Battles are frequent and lead to injuries and loss of life. Watch for some occasional iffy language ("hell," "piss"), rare drunken behavior, and some sexual tension and cleavage-revealing clothing. Some of the aliens' extreme appearances might frighten younger kids.
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What's the story?
When intrepid astronaut John Crichton (Ben Browder) blasts off from Earth aboard the experimental spaceship Farscape One, he accidentally falls through a wormhole and emerges on the far side of the universe, right in the middle of an interplanetary conflict. His own ship destroyed, Crichton finds refuge aboard an enormous living spaceship named Moya, which is crewed by an eclectic band of galactic rogues. Many of his new colleagues are just as displaced as the lost astronaut, and FARSCAPE follows their adventures as they try to return to their various home planets.
Is it any good?
The Australian import has similarities to many other sci-fi shows, with a team of adventurers encountering conflicts and crises as they explore the galactic frontier. But this one stands out thanks to its special effects and production values. Several of Moya's crew are Muppets, but never seem any less alive than the human actors. Meanwhile, the show's story lines manage to stay in the sweet spot between taking themselves too seriously and devolving into utter schlock. Crichton's tendency to make 20th-century pop culture references ranging from Die Hard to Monty Python is especially endearing.
Farscape is a sophisticated series, and one that boasts an array of well-developed characters with unique back stories that explain how and why they ended up on the run. But as entertaining as the show is, its depth also makes it complex, and newbie viewers may have trouble following along -- let alone understanding the various reasons behind the warring factions -- if they don't start from the beginning. But overall, Farscape offers sci-fi fans a fun, inventive, and thoughtful foray into the universe.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about science fiction. What is the history of the genre? What are its common themes? How does the story in this show compare to other popular TV science fiction shows?
Does bringing together this diverse group of species make conflicts between them more likely? How do they reconcile their various goals and agendas? When they work together, is it because their teamwork is best for the group or to achieve their own ends?
Themes & Topics
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