Cult-TV Flashback: Farscape: "The Way We Weren't"
In fact, this particular installment points to the reason I deeply admire Farscape so much, even on a second viewing a decade later. The overall stance/philosophy here is realistic rather than overtly operatic, idealistic, or heroic.
This creative approach boasts two distinct advantages.
One: the sense of realism in terms of character interaction and history grounds the far-out proceedings. Farscape is visually dazzling in a fashion that few science fiction series have ever achieved (Space: 1999 is another notable example of such an achievement), and if the characters in Farscape were all perfect, idealized beings (as is the case on TNG, for instance...), there would be nothing to hold onto; no way to identify with the adventures or their participants. The colorful world of Farscape and its inhabitants would seem remote.
And two: the realistic, fully-dimensional approach to the colorful characters makes their eventual bonding and infrequent unions of purpose and mission seem all the more grand and inspiring.
The main characters on Farscape are exiles, thieves, cheats, a fish-out-of-water, and even an ex-fascist. When this motley crew gets it together and somehow beats the Powers that Be, you not only sigh with relief, you actually cheer.
In short, the series' writers keep setting the main characters at each other's throats, separated by their divisions and differences, experiencing set-backs and then -- at just the right time -- they bring everyone back together. It can be quite rousing, even rather emotional at times.
Farscape brilliantly mastered this particular narrative structure.
But getting to specifics, in the second season's "The Way We Weren't," Chiana (Gigi Edgley) unexpectedly discovers a shocking video recording. It depicts the brutal murder of Moya's first pilot by Peacekeepers...under the direction of draconian Captain Crais (Lani Tupu).
This is a double shock, actually, because no one aboard the bio-ship even knew that Moya's current Pilot was not her first.
|Aeryn participates in the brutal murder of a Pilot.|
Pilot and Aeryn have long since learned to get along, and even bonded, so this recording could be a huge problem.
|Pilot wants to "see the stars." Maybe too much.|
But then, commendably, the story goes one better and reveals, also via flashback, Pilot's original connection with Moya too.
Shockingly, even this kindly creature -- a veritable rock of stability on the Leviathan since the series' premiere-- boasts a personal history that he is ashamed of too...and also keeping secrets about.
Specifically, Pilot was never approved to be "joined" with Moya (or any Leviathan), and so teamed with the Peacekeepers to link with Moya outside of the hierarchy of his people and his laws. Pilot was impatient. He wanted to "see the stars" and he didn't want to wait.
That burning desire,that impatience, led Pilot to commit a grievous error...a crime.