CULT TIMES SPECIAL #26
by Paul Spragg
Who knows, it may become a franchise yet! Ben Browder looks back on four years of the universe being against him.
A few seconds later, he's back. Did he forget to wash up? He laughs, reiterating his conversation. "'Hey, here's the thing. Don't forget...' 'Yeah, yeah, yeah, I got it, got it, got it.' 'Farscape's over with. Don't forget! ' She's not called the boss for no reason."
on the conclusion theme, Browder relates that, "For years I've been saying to David [Kemper],
'Y'know, David, you should pull stuff out of the paper. Someone would bring in something, Discovery
magazine, or Scientific American, going 'This would be an interesting thing to do, we'll just twist
it'. I'm the one that says, 'You know, with all the drive-by shootings..."' He laughs.
"'Really, we should just drive-by shoot a main character, what do you think?' I just didn't think
it was gonna be me!
would love to comment on the fractured ending, but we're in a different realm of possibilities, and
even if they're dead, is [anyone] dead or not? There's a lot of stuff there. Was Jesus Christ dead or
not? The large mythic elements of the series come into play." So now he's saying Crichton turns
out to be Jesus? "Well, his initials . are JC, you know," Browder laughs be- fore proceeding
to point out the similarities: "He's one of the most hated men of his time and place. The empires
want to destroy him, to take what he knows. The large mythic elements in storytelling are similar no
matter what the culture, whether the culture be real or Science Fiction."
the actor have preferred a happier ending to the show? "I don't know. I have to be honest with
you, I don't know what I would prefer. Do I have a problem with the way Season Four ends? No, not at
all. You have closure on a number of elements, and you have a new element introduced."
As to the abrupt conclusion of the series itself, Browder
admits he wasn't best pleased. "No, I wasn't. Career-wise it probably doesn't hurt for me to be
back in LA trying to find something else while I'm still a relatively young man. Being in Australia
was not a great boon for my career. Doing Farscape, however, was a great experience for me, a
fantastic experience and a great opportunity to tell a story, to be involved, to learn. I don't know
of any other character on television that has had the range of things to do that John Crichton has
had. It's this really awesome character that the writers crafted for me '. to do; a fantastic
character. It was a gift; , you don't expect many of those, if any; over 88 episodes you don't expect
to get that kind of boon. I didn't want that story to end, I didn't want those challenges to end, I
didn't really want to leave Australia, which I loved. I didn't want to leave my friends and comrades,
my mates, behind. I went to Australia, didn't know anybody, and I came away with some of the best
mates I'll have in my life. And I miss them. And I knew I was gonna miss them the minute we stopped
shooting, I knew I was going to miss them. Because the day was coming; it always comes."
the actor still in touch with everyone? "I can't keep in touch with everyone, otherwise my phone
bill would be unbelievable! I saw Wayne [Pygram] out for the weekend. Saw David Franklin last week-
end. I talk to Ricky Manning and David Kemper and Justin Monjo from the writing staff, Andrew Prowse,
Tony Tilse, Rowan Woods from the directing staff. They're not really all that accessible be- cause
they're in Australia, most of these people. You can't pop round for a cup of tea, you know? Kind of a
we finish, Browder wants to make sure I've got everything I need from the interview. "You don't
have to use every- thing," he insists, "just take the bits where , I sound smart and
generous and kind." He laughs. "It's your job to make me look intelligent, man! Or the
opposite is, if you've got a real bone to pick, you can take stuff out and make me look like an idiot.
Depends how you feel that day. So I'm hoping that when you write it, you have a good day. You go for a
massage, have a beer, make sure you haven't had a fight, make sure you've had sex in the last six
hours and then start to write! That's the day I want you to have when you start this article,
even has the solution if sex isn't readily available. "Look, it's a business expense!" What,
sex can be written off against tax? "I don't know how the tax board feels about it, but I'm
saying you can. 'Look, it was research! ' You're a writer, you can write about anything, anything is
research. 'I ordered a pizza, it was research be- cause I needed to know how it felt to eat pizza, and
I'm writing a scene about eating pizza.' It's all research, man. That's the great thing about writing;
you never know what's gonna be useful."
he has a back-up plan. "In the letters section say, 'Look, as opposed to the normal letters, I'm
accepting proposals for sex with a guarantee that I will print your letter about how good I was in the
.1 sack'. You're set, man! If you can't use the 1 magazine as a dating service, what's the 1 point in
having one? Look, when I went into acting, I went in because of girls. The theatre chicks were really
cool, and I'm kind of convinced that probably was the main motivation. I did happen to like acting,
but, you know... But really man, theatre chicks were 'Wow'! I liked the theatre chicks! I thought,
'Well, I'll just hang out with them for a while, that'll be a career.' But magazine editing is the
same thing. Am I gonna see you using it as a dating service or not? Are you gonna wimp out on
me?" Okay, now he's scaring me. "I'm just tryin' to protect my interests so you write
Looks like if the acting goes quiet, there's always a career as an advice columnist...