Monday, August 26, 2019

A Temporary Place to Grow Old

One of the common pitfalls of living in a Science Fiction world is you might wind up ageing at a vastly different rate to your friends and loved ones. In Farscape, this happens to Aeryn and Crichton, the culprit being some kind of yellow nebula Moya wanders into.

Season 2, Episode 16: The Locket

This is primarily an episode about romantic relationships--obviously Aeryn (Claudia Black) and Crichton (Ben Browder) but time is also spared in the subplots for Chiana (Gigi Edgley) and D'Argo (Anthony Simcoe) as well as Zhaan (Virginia Hey) and Stark (Paul Goddard).

Yes, sixteen episodes into the second season, we finally see Stark again, acting much saner, after his abrupt, inexplicable absence after the escape from the Gammak base at the end of season one (an unused part of the script explained he'd borrowed a transport pod). Now he's back just in time to help Zhaan sort out the crew's temporal troubles after Aeryn returns from a brief reconnaissance 160 cycles (years) older.

Which in Sebacean terms looks around 75. She offers no explanation but urges everyone to flee the nebula/mist before it's too late. When she passes out, Chiana and Rygel (Jonathan Hardy) take the time to see if Aeryn brought back any loot in the shuttle.

This leads to the first real relationship hurdle for D'Argo and Chiana as he finally puts his foot down over her thieving tendencies. The characters seem to realise for the first time that D'Argo's rigid sense of honour may clash with Chiana's naturally fugitive instincts and behaviour.

CHIANA: We're not gonna make it. Are we?

I feel worse for Chiana. One suspects there's been a lot more instability in her relationship history than in D'Argo's.

Meanwhile, when Crichton gets stuck behind the time distortion with Aeryn, the human and Sebacean couple find more stability than they could ever want.

Once again, the perks of shooting the series in Australia are manifest with such a lovely, weird location, posing much easier as alien than any southern Californian desert ever did.

The obvious point of comparison for the episode is Star Trek: The Next Generation's "Inner Light", which packs much more of an emotional wallop, mainly because "The Locket" ends up playing for much lower stakes. But it's still a good, bittersweet bit of television.

. . .

Farscape is available now on Amazon Prime.

This entry is part of a series I'm writing on Farscape for the show's 20th anniversary. My previous reviews can be found here (episodes are in the order intended by the show's creators rather than the broadcast order):

Season One:

Episode 1: Pilot
Episode 2: I, E.T.
Episode 3: Exodus from Genesis
Episode 4: Throne for a Loss
Episode 5: Back and Back and Back to the Future
Episode 6: Thank God It's Friday Again
Episode 7: PK Tech Girl
Episode 8: That Old Black Magic
Episode 9: DNA Mad Scientist
Episode 10: They've Got a Secret
Episode 11: Till the Blood Runs Clear
Episode 12: Rhapsody in Blue
Episode 13: The Flax
Episode 14: Jeremiah Crichton
Episode 15: Durka Returns
Episode 16: A Human Reaction
Episode 17: Through the Looking Glass
Episode 18: A Bug's Life
Episode 19: Nerve
Episode 20: The Hidden Memory
Episode 21: Bone to be Wild
Episode 22: Family Ties

Season Two:

Episode 1: Mind the Baby
Episode 2: Vitas Mortis
Episode 3: Taking the Stone
Episode 4: Crackers Don't Matter
Episode 5: Picture If You Will
Episode 6: The Way We Weren't
Episode 7: Home on the Remains
Episode 8: Dream a Little Dream
Episode 9: Out of Their Minds
Episode 10: My Three Crichtons
Episode 11: Look at the Princess, Part I: A Kiss is But a Kiss
Episode 12: Look at the Princess, Part II: I Do, I Think
Episode 13: Look at the Princess, Part III: The Maltese Crichton
Episode 14: Beware of Dog
Episode 15: Won't Get Fooled Again

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