On March 20,1999 my Dad called me (unusual as usually my Mom called) and he asked if I watched the new show on the SciFi Channel the night before. I asked the one with the puppets? He said yes—I needed to catch the repeat as it was really good. During the week I did and then watched “I,ET” the next Friday. My husband came home from work and said the puppet show? We then both watched. Didn’t live up to the pilot but the characters and acting as well as the effects were enough we began watching regularly. One day while the kids were at school and I was off I went to the SciFi Channel’s website. I found that I wasn’t the only one excited by this show. I was involved with the X Files fandom online — a group of us that met on Delphi, a text based internet site. The Farscape fandom was different however as there was harmony. Some factions yes but overall we had a great reluctant hero in John Crichton played by Ben Browder. Crichton was surrounded by amazing characters. It was unlike anything else I had seen both in regards to storytelling and production values. At the end of the season after one of the episodes it flashed on screen that there was to be a convention on Labor Day weekend in Burbank. I had attended many Creation conventions for Star Trek and X Files. I attended both days taking a friend one and my youngest daughter the next. I have to say it was an amazing experience! The actors, producers, and writers were so enthusiastic! Apparently they had gone to see the newly released Galaxy Quest to prepare ! At that time many actors who appeared at the cons were embarrassed to be in scifi and to be at a convention. The Farscape actors were different for a couple of reasons—they were working in Australia isolated from their fan base in the U.S., U.K., and Europe as well as the fact that except for Ben Browder they were all Australian. Being somewhat cynical, knowing they were actors after all I still enjoyed the weekend immensely! I started looking for information on the actors which was not as easy then as now! There was one Ben Browder site that was already inactive. I thought I would try and see what I could do. I am a clinical microbiologist so was out of my league. I found a build your own site and got started. Meanwhile a girl in the U.K. started a great site. Soon there were two sites , Britngie’s and my little one. A third , benbrowderonline from Germany appeared. The fandom grew and continues to grow with many more sites,Tumblrs etc. Ben charms fans each time he appears somewhere. This fandom has brought me joy onscreen and off. I have friends around the globe that I would never have met without Farscape. People dismiss online interaction but when your kids are young and go to bed early the internet allows you to hang out with friends across the Atlantic while being able to check on your sleeping kids. And we discuss kids, jobs, politics, books , sports . I have friends the ages of my daughters which actually makes being a parent a bit easier as I know better questions to ask 😉 I have shared laughter and tears over things onscreen and off with these people for 15 years.
I loved the enthusiasm and love those involved with the making of Farscape shared for their work that we fans felt. The Farscape actors, writers, and producers set a bar that I feel few other shows can meet. Even though genre acting has become much more acceptable and the take over of San Diego Comic Con by the entertainment industry legitimizing “conventions” the Farscape family’s love of their project remains a step above the others in a class of it’s own. I attended all of the “official” west coast Farscape conventions. I admit each time I harbored the fear that this time would be when they were just tired of this — would it be surprising? No, yet it has not happened 15 years later.
Thank you Farscape for 15 years of fun and tears and WTF moments!