Interesting Take on Farscape Cancellation

Personally, I haven’t been watching SciFi channel since they have canceled Farscape. Most people however got over it, and moved to bigger and better things. Many are active in SG1 and BSG fandom. While I think BSG has some potential to be enjoyable, I don’t see myself going crazy over it. But I digress… It’s interesting to look at FS cancellation in retrospect and ask – what really happened there. Someone has posted very interesting speculation on Gigi Enthusiast Message Board.

This might be a tinfoil hat theory, but for me it sounds plausible. If I was a big soulless suit at SciFi I would probably think the same way:

isn’t it amazing how cancelling Farscape made its “two stars” available to combine into their safer-in-every-way, presold series Stargate? As far as they saw, most people still watching Farscape wanted to see Ben and Claudia, right? Right. Farscape was too difficult in many ways thanks to David Kemper’s leadership, but worse, Scifi had to shell out to build its audience against the increasingly bad odds. Then they got Stargate, which was already built up bigger than Scifi would ever do it thanks to it having been backed by bigger players right? It was just getting up there in seasons for the big networks. Also Battlestar Gallactica came along to be a quality “heavy” to fill out the second spot of their bill.

Sounds about right. Get rid of the risky, envelope pushing show based in Oz, and invest in two local heavyweights that are guaranteed to succeed. Then bring over the two most prominent Farscape stars into the heavyweight show to boost the ratings.

Personally I don’t think the cast swapping was part of the original plan. I think this probably only surfaced after the Peacekeper Wars did well in the ratings. The suits figured – hey, lookit that – these crazed FS zelaots can still bump the Nielsen a bit. Let’s try to nab some of the US based cast members to boost SG1 cause it’s been slipping.

Sigh… I do miss Gigi. She seems to have faded into obscurity lately. I hope she lands a decent gig sometime soon – preferably something that has at least remote chances of airing in US, or at least ending up as a torrent somewhere.

Oh, ExquisiteIrony – if you happen to read this, the register function on your board seems to be b0rked!

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2 Responses to Interesting Take on Farscape Cancellation

  1. flu_ UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Fedora Linux says:

    I dont know if you noticed this, but the episode quality seems to have slipped down to nill after season two. The first couple episodes of season three are good, and them things started getting hokey, even campy at times. I am a hardcore FarScape fan but I definately noticed a degradation in story quality and even a change in the acting and shot aspects after season two. I think FarScape was heading somewhere nasty anyway, and was doomed for cancellation. It is unfortunate for all of us.

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  2. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    One thing that happened to Farscape is that it got more bold as the time passed. After Crackers Don’t Matter Kemper has figured out that the Scapers love offbeat, weird scripts that push the envelope.

    So they kept pushing it, and we loved it. We squeeled with joy like schoolgirls whenever something bizarre happened. And thus we ended up with a whole episode revolving around road runner cartoon joke, and bunch of other weird things.

    Sikozu was an ultra lame character. She was essentially a carbon copy of early Season 1 Chiana. She was the oddball character with her own agenda, who could shift alliances at anty time. But somehow the writers decided to domesticate Chiana and then reinvent her from scratch in Sikozu.

    Then we had Grayza taking over as the # vilian of the series. Crais was a good character, Scorpious was awesome, but she was totally lame. But if you think about it, it all conforms to the common theme: push the envelope.

    So we replace Scorpious with a PK seductress who enslaves men with her mightly clevage juice. Push the evnelope.

    I think this became the mantra at the witers’ table. Instead of trying to write good cohesive stories they were trying to make up new inside jokes, and top the last outrageous skit. Some of this stuff was still great though. We loved most of it, and we were willing to forgive them all the goofs just because they were pushing the show into new unexpected directions.

    All of a sudden Farscape started to become an acquired taste. The entry barrier for new fans just became to high. By Season 4 it was a common Scaper lore that you hook people onto the show by giving them some of the tamer S1 and S2 episodes, reel them in with the big arcs and then once they are sold on the show you let them experience the craziness of S3 and 4.

    Alot of people say the quality slumped in the later seasons. But I think this was not really a slump as much as a departure from the beaten path. Both the writers and the actors experimented alot with different things. Sometimes we got really awesome episodes out of it, sometimes we got slapstic commedy, and sometimes we got road-runner jokes. They made some bad choices, and some good ones.

    But I loved that show. Even when it was bad, it was still awesome. It was a hell of a ride, and I will miss it. I think they desrerved a full Season 5 to tie up all the loose ends and end with a bang. But we got PK wars so I guess I can’t complain.

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