Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!
Hop aboard Moya with all 4 seasons of 'Farscape' & 'Peacekeeper Wars' now streaming on Peacock
"Boy, was Spielberg wrong... close encounters my ass."
Shortly after picking up the domestic rights to Farscape — all four seasons of which are now on Peacock — in the late 1990s, a regime change occurred at the Sci-Fi Channel (the "SYFY" branding we all know and love was still some years off).
Thankfully, the new leadership didn't axe the show (as can sometimes happen in the world of entertainment) and even encouraged creator Rockne S. O'Bannon to "make it as weird as you possibly can," he recalled during a 2017 interview with The Paley Center for Media. It also helped that the incoming executives didn't really understand what the seres was about.
"That was the greatest thing you could hear from a network guy! Plus, like I said, it wasn’t really on his radar. He wasn’t really interested in it, so he pretty much left us alone and then off we went," he continued. "As it went on, I think everyone recognized, certainly at a network level and the Henson level, that the thing that distinguished the show was just how incredibly far outside any kind of the conventions of sci-fi TV it was. The farther out it would get the more it succeeded, the more it distinguished itself. And that freedom continued up until the very very end."
A forerunner to stories like James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy films, Farscape centers around John Crichton (played by Ben Browder), an American astronaut who accidentally travels through a wormhole while conducting an experiment in Earth's atmosphere. Once through the portal, a culture shocked Crichton links up with a group of intergalactic fugitives (some of them are Star Wars and Dark Crystal-esque puppets created by the Jim Henson Company) traveling aboard a living spaceship called Moya.
"All they have in common is that they want to get away and that bonds them," O'Bannon explained of the main characters. "I love Star Trek, so I hesitate to say anti-Star Trek because it’s not really in the interest of doing anti-Star Trek. It was more 'what’s an interesting variation of Star Trek?'"
Looking for even more sci-fi content? Check out shows like SYFY's The Ark, Resident Alien, Brave New World, Project Blue Book, Eureka, Heroes, Intergalactic, and more streaming now on Peacock.