Syfy Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View

Farscape at 25: Ben Browder, Creators Talk Series Legacy - and Ideas For a Series Revival of Moya's Crew

Rockne O'Bannon, Brian Henson and some of the Farscape cast look back on the ground-breaking Sci Fi series.

By Tara Bennett

Farscape ushered in a lot of firsts for the basic cable television channel originally launched as the Sci-Fi Channel in 1992. During the channel's first seven years of existence as it grew its audience and cable carriers around the country, Sci-Fi Channel aired syndicated reruns of genre classics like The Prisoner, Doctor Who and the gothic soap, Dark Shadows. In March 1999, Farscape marked a sea change in programming ambition at the channel.

Twenty-five years ago this month, Sci-Fi Channel turned into Sci Fi. They launched their first prime-time programming concept called "Sci Fi Friday" which consisted of a four hour block of new one-hour programs led by... Farscape. The series was one of the very first original programs bought for the cable network, and became its first original hit lasting for four seasons and 88 episodes. Since its end in April 2002, Farscape continues to show up on best sci-fi and cult TV series lists from publications like TV Guide, EW and even SYFY WIRE

For its big silver anniversary, SYFY WIRE caught up with Farscape's creators Rockne S. O'Bannon and Brian Henson, along with actors Ben Browder and Gigi Edgley about this milestone moment and their hopes for continuing Moya adventures.

What is Farscape about?


Farscape was co-produced by The Jim Henson Company and Hallmark Entertainment. It's premise was co-developed by American creatives Rockne S. O'Bannon and Brian Henson, but the series was physically produced in Australia with local crews and actors. Featuring human actors, many in prosthetic makeup, animatronics and puppetry, the series revealed a portion of the Milky Way galaxy unknown to humans, including astronaut John Crichton (Browder).

When he is displaced there by a wormhole, Crichton is taken aboard the living ship, Moya, and then begrudgingly protected by its crew when he accidentally kills a Peacekeeper fighter. The series unfolds around their adventures as Crichton tries to go back home. 

What does Farscape remain so beloved by fans and those who made it?

farscape red vest john

It's taken a quarter of a century for Farscape to achieve the respect and appreciation that it boasts today. At launch, Sci Fi the channel was still growing so if you didn't have basic cable TV that carried the network, there was no other way to access the series. But for those who had access and loved unique sci-fi storytelling, Farscape was like discovering a tingly aura morph. 

Brian Henson told SYFY WIRE that it's been such a singular experience to watch the series go from niche audience, to convention darling and now well-respected series by both critics and audiences.

"It's so interesting because we live in an industry where I've heard year after year after year, that you know you have a hit after the opening night. In my company, that has been 100% not true," Henson laughed. "Well, I guess the first Muppet Movie was a hit on the first night. But other than that, everything grew on people because what we do is always very original. And that means nobody knows what to expect which always takes longer to find a fan base. And the fan base of Farscape just gets bigger and bigger."

Want More on Farscape?

From Farscape to Five Nights at Freddy's? The Connection Between the SYFY Classic & Horror Hit
Where is the cast of SYFY's ‘Farscape’ now? Ben Browder, Claudia Black & more

Why Farscape Ended With a Miniseries Event - The Story of the Peacekeeper Wars

For actress Gigi Edgley, who played Nebari thief Chiana, Farscape has been an active part of her daily life since she was cast in the show. "In my heart and soul, it still is very much alive," she said about the series. "How I know that is almost every weekend, I'm at a different state, a different country, all around the world and I have people of all ages coming up to me — still 25 years later — just so emotionally connected and involved. Asking, 'When is it coming back? Surely it's not done yet. I won't watch the last episode, because it's not done to me. Don't tell me what happens!' It's amazing how magical and how far its reach has gone."

Rockne O'Bannon has gone on to create and work on many other genre series, but Farscape remains one of his very favorites. "It was a terrific experience, and it just continued to be a labor of love for the four years it was on," he shared. "We've had 25 years of people finding the show and I'm always gratified by talking to new fans. The enthusiasm is remarkable to me."

Edgley agreed, adding, "So many people come up and say [Farscape] was ahead of its time. It's quite interesting that is definitely one of the common remarks that people say. I was just living it and I thought it was so spectacular. I just knew everyone else thought so too. I feel like it was epic in its time, for sure. And I don't think we've ever seen anything like it before, or since then."

Could there be future adventures for Farscape?

Farscape GETTY

The most common question by all Farscape fans — old and new — remains: why hasn't there been a continuation of the story as a movie or new series?

O'Bannon acknowledged the plea and said, "Looking back, there's been a lot of conjecture about bringing the show back which I'd love to do. Brian and I have been talking about that at length for quite a while."

Having continued the adventures as a comic book in 2008, O'Bannon said future stories would be a revival of the canon and not a remake. "And even though we would love to have gotten it going sooner, there's actually something to be said about having had a 25 year gap," he said. "It's not something you would ever plan to do. But I think it's potentially a real advantage in that there is such a span of time that the characters could have grown and other things could have happened.

"The Uncharted Territory, where the series takes place, is truly wildly expansive," he continued. "It's an opportunity to explore new stories there. Brian and I are talking all the time about what's the right place? The marketplace right now is the Wild West. Mostly desert, I think," he joked about the slowing of projects in Hollywood. "It's about finding the place that knows what they want and is willing to take a flyer on something that I would like to say even now, 25 years after it was originally on, is still unlike anything else."

Browder is also onboard with catching up with Crichton, Aeryn Sun (Claudia Black), their grown son, D'Argo Sun-Crichton, and the whole Moya crew. "Do I think that there can be a story?" he queried. "For sure. Do I think there should be a story? Yeah, I actually think so. But I'm looking from the inside of it, and I'm interested in the story of Moya's crew as they age into these different phases of life. I think Picard has done it exceptionally well. You have talented people telling a story about a different phase of life. As long as you're in that, doing it, then that's a decent model. But I'm not in charge of Hollywood," he laughed.

And if there are never any new Farscape adventures, Browder said it will still remain the "greatest job" he ever had without question. "I learned more. I worked harder than I can imagine working at any other time in my life," he said. "It was a marathon of glorious obstacles and you're constantly learning all the time. That includes from the storytelling process, to the physical nature of shooting it. There was always a twist, always an impediment and always a problem to solve. And I was incredibly lucky to be working with a group of people that cared about the story, that cared about the craft and cared about the art. I was just lucky to even have that experience for a short period of time."

The stars and creators will also be a part of Shout! TV's March 19 for a 25thAnniversary marathon of Farscape, featuring new segments hosted by stars Ben Browder and Gigi Edgley and an introduction from executive producer Brian Henson.