Okay, back to Farscape. I had seen it mentioned in TV Guide and on forums, but I had no idea what it was about other than aliens. I thought maybe it was similar to Babylon 5. I didn’t know what Firefly was about either. It turned out that the two shows have a lot in common, although they have very different feels. They both take place on ships, of course, with crews that are outlaws. Both ships have picked up random passengers who have been forced to integrate with the crew. Both crews are trying to avoid the big bad authorities–the Peacekeepers in Farscape’s case and the Alliance in Firefly’s. The shows are similar enough that I’ve been getting them confused. It took me a minute to remember that, yes, Firefly was the one with reavers. And during one episode of Farscape I thought, you know, they should be more careful when they’re visiting these planets. Who knows who could see them and contact the authorities? They should probably stick to the outer planets. And then I realized that they only talk about the outer planets on Firefly!
But the shows are really very different. Farscape is quirky (it’s a Jim Henson production!), but it has a fairly conventional sci fi feel and a lot of the usual sci fi elements. Firefly is basically a Western in space. The sci fi elements are kept to a minimum. In fact, at this point I don’t even know how they manage interstellar travel. Both shows balance humor and serious issue exploration, but Firefly does a better job of it. It’s more nuanced and more natural. Its characters are drastically different from each other, but they are ordinary people, not the somewhat stylized aliens of Farscape. Still, Farscape does a good enough job in my opinion. Overall, I’d say I like them both in different ways.
But the fact that I was expecting Babylon 5 when I started on Farscape makes me want to watch Babylon 5. 🙂 Maybe I’ll try watching that together with the new Battlestar Galactica and see what happens. Those seem different enough to keep straight. Or the old Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers. I get those completely confused, mostly because I can barely remember them.
Tomorrow, I’ll tell you what I’ve been reading.