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Investigating "Farscape": Uncharted Territories of Sex and Science Fiction (Investigating Cult TV Series) Paperback – 30 Mar 2007
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Thought-provoking... always engaging... lively read. Lorna Jowett --Critical Studies In Television
"My name is John Crichton. 'I'm lost'. An astronaut. Shot through a wormhole. In some distant part of the universe. 'I'm trying to stay alive'. Aboard this ship. 'This living ship'. Of escaped prisoners." During its fourth and - for the present - final season, "Farscape" was the Sci-Fi Channel's highest rated original series. With its dedicated fan-base, "Farscape" seasons are still top-billing Sci-Fi DVDs. This first proper analysis of the show, written by a scholar-fan, uncovers "Farscape's" layers and those of the living spaceship Moya. Jes Battis proposes that "Farscape" is as much about bodies, sex and gender, as it is about wormholes, space ships and interstellar warfare. It is this straddling of genres that makes the show so viewable to such a broad audience, of which almost half are women. He explores "Farscape's" language and characters, including Moya, its creation of 'family and home', of masculinity and femininity, and the transformation of an all-American boy.See all Product description
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The scope and detail of the piece is incredibly impressive, the passion the author has for the material is infectious, and the way in which he sucks you into his analytical world of the Moyans is intoxicating. And like all good unoffical Farscape books, it forces you to see things in the episodes that you hadn't seen before.
But this isn't JUST a fan book - it's something much more, and hopefully the first of many. GET IT.
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I give it five stars because in doing what I perceived to be its chief aim - the kind of close reading of a text that brings out so much more from it, like a magic-eye illusion - it does a perfect job. And I greatly enjoyed that, feeling like I could go back and watch any given episode, now, with more things to look for and new understandings, and see it with more depth than I ever did before.
If you'd like a range of interesting takes on Farscape, ranging from the sexual to the political and beyond (which, I should note, the author acknowledges as only his take and that he fervently hopes for more perspectives from others), and enjoy discussing what it means to be human, political commentaries in fiction, and stuff of that ilk, then definitely read this book. If you enjoy the show for simply for its explosions and wit, then by all means stick with that, and keep enjoying it as is, though you might find yourself bored or bemused by Investigating Farscape.
He also does not understand some of the European influences and ethos on the show and is caught up in poor arguments.
For example Chiana has a "tralk", which the Farscape community accepts as a meaning "slut", yet there are plenty of people in reality who are very comfortable in their sexuality and are not weak or gender-trapped.
The author is determined to take some of the shows key moments and inject his "queerness" in every moment.
I must stress I am not homophobic in any way but Season 1 - finale with John and D'Argo drifting in Space above the destroyed Gammak Base, he argues poorly to turn that into a sexual argument.