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SYFY WIRE Farscape

How Bras (Yes, Bras) Helped Save Farscape 25 Years Ago

In very ingenious ways, Scapers helped to ensure that Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars got made. 

By Tara Bennett

It's been 25 years since Farscape (streaming now on Peacock), the Sci-Fi Channel's (now SYFY) first hit series, debuted in 1999. A cult show back in its day, critics and fans alike now cite the Rockne S. O'Bannon-created and The Jim Henson Company-produced show as one of the best science fiction series ever made. Inventive, unafraid of subverting typical space-centric tropes, and entirely off-kilter by choice, Farscape made its own lane and went on to inspire other eclectic sci-fi titles like Guardians of the Galaxy.

And because of all of that, Farscape attracted a particularly dedicated fandom — known as Scapers — who loved the tone, smarts, and oddness of the show. When the fifth season of Farscape was canceled before Season 4 finished production, the fandom took it upon themselves to save the show. They created a website — — and organized campaigns meant to get the attention of the execs.

Did that including mailing bras to the corporate headquarters? It sure did!

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’

Why Farscape initially had a tough time finding a huge audience

farscape red vest john

While television fans today take for granted being able to watch their favorite shows right in their hands whenever they want, when Farscape debuted, it was appointment TV with VCR backup. Plus, the internet was just starting to become a place where fans migrated after airings to talk about what they watched, and speculate about what might come next. Farscape also was the first original series on the Sci-Fi Channel, which was just a burgeoning cable channel gaining placement across national cable providers at the time. 

In a recent SYFY WIRE interview with actor Ben Browder (John Crichton) for the 25th anniversary celebration, the actor provided context on the show's early footprint. 

"I don't think it ever had the reach in the way that we think of reach during the heyday of peak TV," he explained. "Partly because it was on Sci-Fi Channel, which only had 50 percent coverage in the nation when we started. By the time we ended, Sci-Fi had 75 percent. But it was Friday night appointment viewing.

"We have, and had, an incredible fan base who were engaged," Browder continued. "They were engaged online and that's part of the new New World, which just didn't exist prior to March 1999. We were still using stone tablets then," he joked. 

How the Scapers saved Farscape with their unorthodox ideas


The internet also became a powerful resource for fans to organize around when their favorite shows got cancelled. While Farscape can't claim to be the first show to have fans rally to save it — that distinction goes to Star Trek: The Original Series — it was one of the few show campaigns to achieve its intended outcome. Executive producer Brian Henson publicly attributed the green-lighting of Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars (also streaming on Peacock) to the loud and proud pressure campaign of its fans.

The Save Farscape group was an organic collection of show fans who immediately circled up around the globe to put pressure on Sci-Fi and carriers to keep the show going in some capacity. The common approach by fandoms at the time was to take out trade magazine ads or billboards pleading their case, or to picket outside corporate headquarters. Save Farscape organized by sending wanted posters of the characters to media outlets and Sci-Fi Channel headquarters, with letter-writing campaigns, and through mailing items like bras (to show their support, get it?).

In a recent interview with Collider, Browder remembered the campaign's impact: "So back in the day, they shut down the phone system at [the network] for two weeks. For two weeks, the Sci-Fi Channel could not get a phone call in and out because they were being inundated with calls. They sent funeral wreaths and flowers that completely filled up the lobby of the building in New York. They had a thing called 'Brascape,' where women mailed their brassieres to the Sci-Fi Channel. They had brassieres stacked up in a room from people complaining about the cancellation of Farscape. They picketed in front of the building. So, it was a real world with real impact."

Corroborating that kind of fandom gumption, Browder said to SYFY WIRE, "Gotta appreciate the creativity of that fanbase. The fan campaign to get the miniseries was beyond epic levels."

Twenty-five years later, the call for more Farscape is still very present and getting louder. The series is now being watched by new generations on streaming services like Peacock, which gives O'Bannon and Henson more leverage as they look for a home to finance a return. In the most Browder way, the actor joked he his own solution for that: "Just walk up to SYFY and knock on their door. Leave them some bras that say, 'More Farscape.'"

Watch Farscape and The Peacekeeper Wars on Peacock now!