Friday Flashback: Farscape

20 years ago, Nine didn't quite know what to do with Farscape.

It was some 20 years ago that Aussie-made Farscape first screened on Australian television as a Friday night sci-fi curiosity.

Scenes were filmed in the car park behind the Olympic stadium, the Archery Park, sites around Homebush, Sylvania Waters, Middle Head National Park, and the Auburn Japanese Gardens.

Produced by The Jim Henson Company, Nine Films and Television & Hallmark Entertainment, it hit screens after changes in Nine management, leaving this rather odd show at the mercy of scheduling.

It only last 4 weeks before it was replaced by the Wimbledon tennis coverage.

It later reappeared against the Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Olympics and late at night over the next two weeks, with the final episodes in December.

A second season was shown in December 2001 and shown for kids at 5pm, although some episodes with more adult themes screened later at night.

A third season landed in summer after one day cricket matches while a final season was never broadcast at all….

Having screened on the SciFi channel in the US, Farscape remains a cult favourite.

This scene features the first appearance of Tammy McIntosh as “Jool.”

11 Responses

  1. They had such amazing chemistry. I really enjoyed the series. And I’m a big Stargate SG1 fan too. Claudia Black has great chemistry with Michael Shanks also. Great actress.

  2. I wonder what Nine were thinking when it invested in Farscape. By and large, Australian commercial TV at the time didn’t rate science fiction, and pretty much science fiction didn’t rate in return. The poor treatment of Star Trek: The Next Generation by Nine (late timeslot, irregular scheduling, months between the US first showing and the Australian premiere) makes me wonder why Nine would think about giving Farscape a nod.

  3. Farscape was commissioned because the Sci-Fi channel’s interest, and it aired their first. Back then US syndicated and genre shows were being produced in Canada, NZ, Australia and even Guam because the subsidies and lower cost made it cheaper than the US guild system. Farscape was cancelled when SciFi pulled out of S5, after the first block of S4 rated badly. Nine screened it in odd slots get some revenue and drama quota points for it as it was never going to rate in primetime on Nine.

    The Peacekeeper Wars was made by Henson for DVD, after they bought the rights to series, and would be distributed separately.

  4. Love this show. It’s dark & quirky, very different to anything else around. Aliens, puppets, sentient spaceships, a pop-culture quoting astronaut!
    Missed it when it first aired but a friend put me onto it, then I bought the box set. Fun playing spot the guest star, especially under layers of prosthetics. Didn’t know for a long time that D’Argo was played by Anthony Simcoe, who was Steve in The Castle.

  5. Been re-watching this on Amazon Prime and am midway through season 3, it still holds up for my money, only thing is they don’t seem to have Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars on there yet even though it was said it was going to be back in March last year (though it was being remastered to HD
    so may be delayed). Hopefully once covid-19 is done the planned follow up will occur as talked about at Comic Con last year with Brian Henson saying he was on board, guesting with the release of it on Amazon they’re likely looking at as an “Original.”

    Also loved when Ben Browder and Claudia Black turned up in Stagate SG-1 and did a nod/parody to Farscape: youtu.be/UCNDdlCo4rA

  6. The was also a miniseries The Peacekeeper Wars” after season 4.
    Sad to say this and the mishandling of The West Wing were the kind of things that led my to buying the seasons of shows I like from overseas rather than waiting for networks to show things I was interested in.

  7. I’ve heard so much about this cult show, but have surprisingly not watched it yet. A shame it was scheduled at various times at the time of its airing, and including it up against the Sydney Olympics Opening Ceremony of all things too at one stage.

    Do any of the netowkrs networks have the rights to the show by any chance, or just jump on board and finally get a dvd of it? lol

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