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SYFY WIRE Farscape

Farscape: Peacekeeper Wars Director Reveals Secrets of Miniseries Ending: "We Have One Chance!"

Farscape executive producer Brian Henson reveals his favorite moments from The Peacekeeper Wars

By Tara Bennett

The entire run of Farscape was always a bit of a miracle. It began as an original Sci-Fi Channel series featuring human, puppet, and animatronic characters made by The Jim Henson Company. By the time it was done, the show confidently blended tones and genres, and proved to be way ahead of its time.

Over four seasons and 88 episodes, Farscape charted the far edge of the Milky Way galaxy adventures of lost human astronaut John Crichton (Ben Browder). Saved by the misfit crew of the living spaceship Moya, Crichton initially spent his time trying to find a way home. But as he acclimated to the ways of the Moya crew and eventually fell in love with ex-Peacekeeper officer Aeryn Sun (Claudia Black), Crichton carved out a new home and purpose. In the fourth season finale, Aeryn tells John that she's pregnant with his child... and then the pair are seemingly killed by aliens. 

After the show was prematurely cancelled, it was a cliffhanger that evoked a million screams from fans, or Spacers as they're collectively known. Series creator Rockne S. O'Bannon and executive producer Brian Henson then worked tirelessly for two years to get the funding to tie up the loose story threads in the miniseries, Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars (2004).

For More on Farscape
Farscape at 25: Ben Browder, Creators Talk Series Legacy - and Ideas For a Series Revival of Moya's Crew
Why Farscape Ended With a Miniseries Event - The Story of the Peacekeeper Wars
Ben Browder on Differences Between Farscape vs. Stargate SG-1: 'Farscape is Like Sci-Fi Crack’

Brian Henson reflects on returning to Farscape to direct The Peacekeeper Wars


Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars reunited the whole cast and crew for 182 more minutes of intrigue, dire stakes, and romance. In celebrating the 25th anniversary of the whole series this year, executive producer Brian Henson told SYFY WIRE that he returned to the director's chair on the show for the first time since Season 1 because it was the first time he was allowed back. 

Farscape was filmed and produced in Australia. Per filming rules in the country, that meant during production on the regular series Henson could only direct the first episode in production, "Exodus from Genesis" — which ended up being the third episode of the first season — to establish the tone and look. After that only Australian directors were hired including Rowan Woods, Andrew Prowse, and Ian Watson. However, The Peacekeeper Wars was a miniseries, so Henson could step back into the director's role to close out the mythology.

The Farscape scenes that stay with Brian Henson to this day

As is the case for many Farscape fans, the end of The Peacekeeper Wars remains an all-time favorite for Brian Henson, but not because of his own work. Rather, because of the outstanding work of the cast and the crew, especially Black and Browder.  

"I'm most proud of the birth sequence," Henson admitted. "They all did such a great job with a highly dramatic sequence that was also going to be highly comedic. They were in the middle of a very life-threatening situation and that sequence came out really well. Claudia delivered a particularly brilliant performance there. Claudia is always brilliant, but when she gets a chance to be funny as well, it's what she loves the most.

"All the way through Farscape, she loved to be able to have some funny moments," he continued. "But it was a little hard because it's like, 'Uhm, you're actually the most serious character we have.' And she's really brilliant at it!"

Henson said he also loved Browder's work when John Crichton wakes up and meets their child. "Ben and Claudia just did such a brilliant job," he enthused. "And the regulations on shooting a newborn baby are so tight in Australia. We had twins. They were allowed to be at the studio for 20 minutes. They were allowed to be in the stage for 10 minutes. They were allowed to be on camera for no more than, I think, six minutes, and they couldn't be under any direct lighting," he chuckled. "But the result was, of course, we rehearsed the scene over and over with a little stuffed baby. And then with Ben and Claudia, I was like, 'Guys, I hate to tell you this. We've got twins, but one of them cries all the time, so we really have one take. We have one chance!' And I just thought they did such a brilliant job."

Watch Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars on Peacock now!

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