Farscape S1 (1999-2000)

Farscape starts with the old science fiction cliche of an astronaut who is thrown into an alien world. It’s a bit like LEXX, with a strange crew of less than heroic characters (apart from the human astronaut) escaping from overwhelming forces on a living starship and traveling a weird and bizarre interstellar culture. Unlike LEXX Farscape is more intend on actually developing the characters, even if the outcome is a question of taste. The first season of Farscape is very episodic, which allowed for a more in-depth exploration of the crews characters.

Due to financial reasons the best episodes are those that take place on Moya or in space, as the planetary cultures always look ridiculous. That said, even the original Star Trek and Star Trek TNG had problems with creating interesting and realistic cultures that were used only for one episode. In Farscape they often look like peaceful hippie communes, until the dark truth is revealed (“Thank God It’s Friday”, “Again, Jeremiah Crichton”).

Despite the episodic structure of the show in the first season, ongoing story threads are developed with the whole crew hunted by the Peacekeepers and especially their commander Crais. The ancients inject wormhole knowledge into Crichton’s subconscious in episode 16 “A Human Reaction”, which also gives the other crew members a more balanced look at the human race and its more darker aspects. Scorpius, the main villain of the next seasons turns up in episode 19 “Nerve”. Also some new crew members are introduced, Chiana in episode 15 and Stark, who turns up again at the end of season two.