Farscape 1.17 – Through the Looking Glass

We enjoyed this one, with a very notable caveat. The premise is neat, and the execution is really interesting. The ship’s “starburst” – your typical jump to lightspeed or hyperspace or whatever – goes badly wrong and it is stranded, caught frozen in space across four dimensions. Each is represented by radically different lighting and sound mix. One of them is dominated by an incredibly loud ambient noise; even shouting, the characters can’t hear each other over it.

I like to listen to TV with the volume a little higher – just a hair higher, honest – than perhaps other people might like, but that dimension’s sound was so remarkably, deliberately, unpleasant that I turned the volume way, way down, just above muting it. Since the story demands repeated travel to the version of the ship that is trapped in the blue noise dimension, this meant I had the remote on the arm of the sofa and fiddled with it throughout. One of the other dimensions induces motion sickness and nausea. Just as well we didn’t have a big Thanksgiving meal before sitting down to watch it.

Full marks to the production team for pulling this off. Between the sound and the lights and the camera tricks and the visual effects, it’s incredibly effective, but it sure makes for uncomfortable viewing! The kid summed it up best: “Yeah, I liked it… except for all that noise!”

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