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Farscape renewed for 22 more episodes

By Glen Oliver
July 24, 1999

Farscape has been an interesting beast: it took many people a while to get used to the hard-edged, surreal, sometimes very funny series about a handful of distinct personalities flying around a strange universe in a (now-pregnant) organic starship.

Some people can't quite figure out what to make of the show; finding the series' oft shifting tone (and Muppet-esque alien characters) disorienting and alienating. Others have found the show to be among the freshest and most inventive series to come around in quite some time. But for all its eccentricities, Farscape has managed to survive quite nicely during its first season, broadening its own exposure and audience while bringing the Sci-Fi Channel some of the network's strongest ratings.

I am happy to report that Farscape has received a renewal for 22 more episodes. This next season will incorporate a "very outrageous" character (to be introduced rather soon during this season), and one heck of a surprise will arrive at the same time the ship's baby is born.

Fans of the show might be interested to know that Farscape was actually on the "endangered species" list for a brief time. Not because of bad ratings or network disinterest, but due to an ironic and altogether different set of circumstances. In short: the ability to produce Farscape is heavily dependant on an economic / staffing infrastructure which necessitated the series being filmed at Fox Studios in Australia. Imagine the surprise and terror when The Powers That Be at Farscape discovered they would need to vacate the Fox soundstages in order to make way for Star Wars: Episode II, which begins shooting at the same facilities in late Summer / early Fall.

Moving Farscape's massive sets very far...and / or setting up an entirely new infrastructure on a different continent...was a dubious proposition at best. For a while, it looked like Farscape might simply collapse due to the complexity of the production - and the specificity of how the show is financed and realized. However, Farscape recently found a new home...apparently not far from the Fox Studios in Australia...which will accommodate the production and allow the series to continue relatively unmolested.

So, the adventures of Chrichton, Aeryn, D'Argo, Zhaan, Rygel, Pilot, and Moya will both continue and expand - as this odd and engaging upstart narrowly avoids being crushed under the weight of The Force. There's something humorously symmetrical, poetic, and symbolic in all of this - I like it...

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