I’m afraid I confused the heck out of our son with this one. Reading ahead, I decided to skip episode seven because it seems really unpleasant, and read that episode eight had an interesting backstory. Apparently, this was one of the very first ideas that Rockne S. O’Bannon proposed for the series: a planet of lawyers, run by competing law firms instead of political parties. About 90% of the population are lawyers, and everybody else stuck in menial, subservient roles with very few rights. I enjoyed it. Litigara feels like one of those weird planets that Dredd would have visited in The Judge Child Quest in the early eighties.
This was originally intended as a story in season one, but it was held back and then filmed as the second season premiere, an adventure that half the cast would have while the others were still out in space. Season one ended on a cliffhanger, and then season two would start with this story before circling back to reveal that John, D’Argo, and Aeryn were still alive in the second hour. Happily, wiser heads prevailed and this was repurposed as a flashback story a couple of months later instead.
But I made the mistake of telling our son this two weeks ago, and I think one of the reasons he was so unimpressed with “Vitas Mortis” is that he misunderstood me, and thought that story was the one that was skipped, and he spent the hour trying to figure out how it could possibly take place before their rescue. I’m sure this isn’t the only time that a TV show has held on to an episode for several weeks and run it as a flashback. Hopefully, the next time he runs into it, he won’t have some clueless old man confusing the issue.