So midway through its second season, Farscape had a big, complex epic storyline about court intrigue on an advanced planet with very fragile relations with powerful neighbors in its part of the cosmos. It is the sort of precarious situation that this gang of misfits is certain to make worse, and do they ever. “Look at the Princess” is tremendously fun, piling one completely bizarre complication on top of each other, while depicting one of the most truly alien civilizations we’ve ever run into. This gang may look like us, but they’ve used their tech to come up with downright wild and outre solutions to the problems of ensuring peaceful dynastic succession.
Along the way, we get involved with double agents and triple agents and brutal solutions to internal politics, acid baths and old enemies. Our son was pleased by the acid bath and far less pleased with the return of Wayne Pygram as Scorpius. Unfortunately, a big brawl in the acid bath room, where Scorpius, D’Argo, and John join forces to take down a big mean alien agent with disintegration breath, was literally the only thing in these three hours that our son enjoyed, but I thought the whole thing was great.
It certainly wasn’t flawless – I think I’d have preferred it if they just gave Virginia Hey a couple of weeks vacation rather than distract from the court intrigue with her storyline, which doesn’t really go anywhere – and the alien city suffers from what I call “the Peladon problem” after a planet used a couple of times in Doctor Who. It never gels as a genuine environment, with no sense of spatial continuity between the rooms and gardens that we see. But it’s still a very, very good story, and a fine point to end on.
This is our blog’s last trip to the world of Farscape, although I certainly plan to continue with the show myself. The kid just simply does not enjoy this show anywhere as much as I hoped, although he has had a ball with some of the sillier installments. Reading ahead, it seems like the show takes a much more adult edge from about this point forward, so this is a good place to retire things. For the old romantics in the audience, I think I ended on a beautifully high note. John and Aeryn use an odd little “compatibility” drink that the civilization uses to quietly acknowledge to the audience – although not to each other – that they really can make things work as a couple if they can just stop being stupid to each other. Claudia Black smiled and my heart melted, and the kid missed it, because their testing smooch had him hiding under a blanket.