Farscape

1999, TV Show

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Richard Dean Anderson Marks SG-1's 200th

Richard Dean Anderson, Stargate SG-1

TV Guide caught up with Richard Dean Anderson on the Vancouver set of Sci Fi Channel's Stargate: SG-1, where he was making his first visit back since he left the show one and a half years ago to spend more time with his young daughter. Sitting in a mock wedding chapel, Anderson looked just fine in a tux, as he waited for a nuptial scene to begin. (SG-1 fans, you'll love it.) The occasion was special not only because of the former star's return — the first of two SG-1 and three Stargate Atlantis visits this season — but because the episode was the 200th of the decade-old show (airing Friday, Aug. 18, at 9 pm/ET). Anderson talked to us about the anniversary, why he returned and what he's been up t read more

I'm a fan of your great, ...

Question: I'm a fan of your great, great column, which is one of the best things on the Net when it comes to TV criticism. I'd like to have your opinion on the Battlestar Galactica finale. The first part was really good, but the last part seemed like I watched the Season 2 finale and the first half hour of the Season 3 premiere. I wonder why the writers didn't end Season 2 with the nuclear explosion or with newly elected President Baltar crying at his desk. Maybe an explosion that threatens none of the characters' lives is not a good cliff-hanger, or the image of a madman leading the survivors of all mankind isn't spectacular enough to keep the fans chatting until October. When I saw "One year later" on the screen, I couldn't believe it. What a twist! This jump to the future could fit well with a six-month gap between the seasons, but here in the middle of an episode it doesn't really work. The Cylons occupying New Caprica is certainly a promising new story arc and it raises a lot of ... read more

Battlestar Galactica is my ...

Tricia Helfer, Battlestar Galactica

Question: Battlestar Galactica is my favorite show on television right now. It's so well done and feels so real for a sci-fi show. But whenever I bring the show up to my friends, they always laugh. I've noticed that because the show is in the sci-fi genre, people don't give it a chance. Do you think that this is going to change, or will the stereotype always be there for this show? Also, how is this show doing with ratings? Is it gonna stick around for a long time? Answer: Battlestar is doing just fine, and there's no reason to think Sci Fi will pull another Farscape with this one. And while we're on the subject, tonight's episode (Feb. 24) is one of the best hours of TV in any genre you're likely to see all year. So many twists and revelations, including a welcome return to the Cylon-occupied planet of Caprica. It's smart, suspenseful, surprising — just a wow of an episode. But, as Mike suggests, just try convincing your friends who look at you like you're wearing Vulcan ears when you ... read more

Now that the Sci Fi Channel ...

Question: Now that the Sci Fi Channel is going to air the new Doctor Who series from the BBC in March, what do you think of the show, and will it make a mark here in the U.S. with sci-fi and genre fans, now that Enterprise is gone and Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel/Firefly are also gone? Answer: I'll be honest. I'm far from a Doctor Who expert or even a fan. The few times I ever tried watching the earlier incarnations of the show on PBS or wherever, I was underwhelmed. But I doubt I gave it much of a chance. Now that I'm more invested in the genre, especially since Farscape rekindled my passion for space fantasy and Battlestar Galactica confirmed it, I'll approach this series with an open mind. It certainly seems to be arriving with a fair amount of buzz and hype, so I can't imagine why this wouldn't work to Sci Fi's advantage ... read more

I've seen the many promos for ...

Question: I've seen the many promos for the upcoming series Love Monkey and plan to watch because of Tom Cavanagh. My question is, do you know if Josh Randall (also from Ed) will be in any episodes? I've noticed him doing guest spots on a few different shows recently and would really like to see the two together again. Seriously, how much would you like to see the $10 bet at least one more time? The show looks funny enough to throw it in at least once. On a different note, I still don't agree with you that Battlestar Galactica is a top-ranked show. Sure, this half of the second season finally shows a little promise, but I think it's still nowhere near as good as Farscape or Firefly. Answer: No disrespect to Farscape or Firefly (which should be obvious if you've ever read me before), but Battlestar is hardly comparable to those more fanciful sci-fi/fantasy series. (As with soaps in the earlier discussion, it's dangerous to judge shows against each other merely because they exist within ... read more

I've recently discovered that ...

Question: I've recently discovered that I have psychic powers of prediction. Here is my prediction for March 2005: Prison Break will return on Fox. The ratings will be abysmal. Longtime viewers will get to see the end of Season 1 (thankfully) but the show will not continue. I've seen it happen before. Remember how Farscape's ratings dropped after Sci Fi pulled it off of the air for seven straight months without reruns (four episodes from the end of Season 3)? Nine-tenths of TV viewers — and it seems like ten-tenths of Nielsen families — are creatures of habit. How many people still care after a hiatus that long? The answer: only the die-hards — the ones who suffer again and again when networks pull this dren. What's your opinion on my psychic forecast? Answer: Sorry to burst your crystal ball, but I think Prison Break will do just fine when it returns. Yes, it's a long break, but not as long as initially rumored, and Fox will go all out promoting the one-two punch of a Prison Break-24 ... read more

In terms of interest, action ...

Question: In terms of interest, action and characters, I rate Threshold first, Invasion second and Surface dead last. Yet Threshold has been canceled while the other two have been renewed. What is your opinion of the three shows, ratings aside? Answer: I flip-flopped continually between Threshold and Invasion as to which I preferred. It usually depended on which I'd seen most recently. Threshold seemed to me more fun, but Invasion is more emotionally involving and intriguing, and lately has made its way back to the top (although none of the network sci-fi/fantasy shows comes close in appeal or distinction to Battlestar Galactica; I'm anxiously awaiting tapes of its first new episodes, scheduled for January). On Invasion, the relationship of Mariel and Sheriff Tom is so deeply interesting and disturbing to me, I watch the show in fascination even when the narrative seems to meander. As I've said before, considering how subtly creepy Invasion is, I'm amazed it's doing even as well as it ... read more

Without a Trace
Murky mysteries in the Bermuda Triangle

I've become spoiled by Sci Fi Channel's annual December miniseries — not to be confused with Sci Fi's proudly pulpy, drive-in style, Saturday-night cheesefests with titles like Locusts: The 8th Plague. (They stir fond childhood memories of Cincinnati's "Cool Ghoul" hosting Z-grade shockers every weekend.) Sci Fi's minis are a different matter, often among the best and most ambitious TV-movies of the year, including the epic Taken, the robust Farscape sequel The Peacekeeper Wars and the Battlestar Galactica remake, which launched that darkly fascinating series. So maybe my expectations were too high fo read more

Hey Matt! Your online column ...

Question: Hey Matt! Your online column is just about as addictive as the shows I love! Back in the Buffy heyday, I could not get a certain friend to watch the show. Her resistance to love the denizens of Sunnydale only further fueled my desire for her to accept it into her life. After several heated debates, I wanted to duplicate that scene in A Clockwork Orange and strap her in front of a TV! Why do you think viewers get so impassioned about "just TV shows"? Do you ever get annoyed at readers who try to convince you to like a show you've written off (Surface, Criminal Minds, etc.)? "You'd adore it if you'd only watch one more episode...!" Answer: Hey, thanks. And good question. My feeling always has been that people get possessive, obsessive and sometimes downright deranged over their favorite shows because it's such an intimate process to invite these series and characters into one's home on a regular basis. There's nothing quite like getting wrapped up in a well-told story or ... read more

I agree with Laurie, a ...

Question: I agree with Laurie, a reader from your previous column who chooses Surface over Threshold or Invasion. I am a big "sci-fan" fan (Star Trek, Farscape, The Prisoner, Lost, Dr. Who) and this show is far more interesting than the other two new entries this season. Threshold is OK, but its "monster of the week" story structure is can get old very fast. Invasion is dreadfully dull. I don't mind slow, but it's just not compelling in any way, and watching it quickly became a chore. Surface is fast and fun. You actually get to see the monster — a nice change of pace. It's hampered by NBC's family-first production values (think SeaQuest), but watching these four story lines unfold is much more interesting than, say, seeing a married couple bicker over who's watching the children tonight (i.e., the first two episodes of Invasion). It's supposed to be fun and it is. Answer: One man's fun is another's nap time, but never let it be said that I don't allow opposing points of view in this ... read more

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Premiered: March 19, 1999, on Sci Fi
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (127 ratings)
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Premise: Cult favorite about an astronaut stranded light years from Earth in an alien war zone and his adventures with a group of extraterrestrial fugitives on the lam from an evil collective. A handsome production design, complex characters and imaginative plot twists characterized this gem throughout its run, which ended with a jaw-dropping finale that brought the tortured romance of Crichton and crewmate Aeryn to a (seemingly) shattering end.

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