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Why Farscape Ended With a Miniseries Event - The Story of the Peacekeeper Wars
Looking back at one of the most ambitious SYFY miniseries that wrapped up one of our favorite shows.
Not all sci-fi shows get a proper ending, but Farscape was one of the lucky ones.
The beloved SYFY original series, which ran for four seasons from 1999-2003 (and is streaming now on Peacock), was one of the networks earliest and most acclaimed original series to really enter the cultural zeitgeist, paving the way for future spaceship-based hits like Battlestar Galactica and the ongoing SYFY original The Ark (which is set to return later this year with Season 2).
The show starred Ben Browder as astronaut John Crichton, who accidentally flies through a wormhole and finds himself on the other side of the universe in an alien world where he lands on a ship filled with criminals on the run. It was Firefly before Firefly, it was Guardians of the Galaxy before Guardians of the Galaxy. The series’ four-season run was exceptional, telling some of the most ambitious, nuanced, and straight-up weird sci-fi stories anyone could ever hope to pull off on the small screen.
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But like most shows, ratings started to slide as the show wore on, with ratings dipping enough in Season 4 that the decision was made not to renew the series. The only problem? The creative team had devised a major cliffhanger — complete with a “To Be Continued” tag — to wrap up Season 4, which closed with Browder’s Crichton and his partner Aeryn Sun (Claudia Black) blasted by a mysterious weapon and broken into a billion crystalized little pieces.
Fade to black.
Why did Farscape end with a miniseries?
Fans were understandably shocked by the cliffhanger, and when news of the cancellation broke, one of the most ambitious and feverish “Save Our Show” campaigns ramped up, with plans to tear down the show’s sets actually paused while everyone waited to see what would happen about a possible renewal or wrap-up event. Ratings might’ve been down, but there was clearly interest in getting something made to wrap up the show.
So with fans clamoring for a proper ending, a deal was soon struck to bring the series back for a miniseries event to finish the story once and for all. Dubbed The Peacekeeper Wars, the four-hour, two-episode event series premiered in 2004 and basically picked up all the loose threads the show had left dangling, from a looming war between the alien factions the Peacekeepers and the Scarrans, to John and Aeryn’s efforts to have a child, to the fate of the rest of the crew who called the spaceship Moya home alongside Crichton and Aery.
The ending is admittedly a bit rushed (which isn’t a shock, with so much material to get through in just four hours), but it’s a great finale. It touches on some themes so grand they’ll make Oppenheimer fans ponder a bit, brought a fitting end to the saga, and left things open enough that fans could still dream about what came next for Moya and its crew.
Stream all four seasons of Farscape, and the Peacekeeper Wars, on Peacock.