THE ILLUSTRATED SEASON FOUR COMPANION
May 8, 2003: Below is an excerpt from the
latest volume in this fantastic series. It's from the chapter Into Season
"What's interesting about Season 4 is the episodes
that came closest to the series' original sense of awe and wonder of a
human lost in space were the stories where John Crichton returned to
Earth." - Rockne S. O'Bannon
WORMHOLE CLOSES AGAIN, SWALLOWING MOYA COMPLETELY inan instant. Gone. No trace of wormhole or Moya!
have got to be kidding me.
as CRICHTON REACTS to the unthinkable, we FREEZE FRAME, SUPERING
"TO BE CONTINUED"...
production finished on the third season, Farscape’s executive producer David Kemper began working with the Sci-Fi Channel,
outlining the ideas that he had for the fourth, and possible later, seasons of
the show. His efforts were rewarded when the channel ordered two further
seasons on 1 October 2001. Although they expressed great confidence in the
series’ future, they also put a “kill option” into the agreement, just
became involved in protracted discussions with Sci-Fi about exactly what it
was that they had ordered. “Their new promotional people didn’t seem to
understand the show,” Kemper notes. “They were worried that new people
couldn’t get into the show because it was semi-serialised. They wanted us to
make it more like Stargate.”
Channel had recently taken on production of Stargate SG-1, and it was their intention to pair the
fourth season of Farscape with their new series. Kemper was aware that the
two shows were very different, although the promotional people had a problem
understanding this. “‘He’s a man who has to save the universe!’ was
the tagline they suggested,” Kemper recalls. “We pointed out that it was
nothing to do with the universe: John Crichton just wants to find his girl.
Then we got promos that said he slept with any alien babe that came his way.
We couldn’t understand how they could get that from what we were doing.”
had to deal with a request that Claudia Black had made during the filming of
‘Dog with Two Bones’. She needed to take some time away from filming, and
asked if it was possible for Aeryn to come back later in the season. Ever
willing to help the show’s stars, Kemper looked for a way to make this work.
decided that I would use this opportunity,” he says. “We were going to
bring in a new person anyway, just because we like to keep the show fresh. New
people keep the show from stagnating. I told the network that I would start
the first episode with Crichton with a beard meeting Raelee Hill's character.
Anyone new who tuned in would essentially be seeing what could be the pilot
for a brand new series. Crichton would not be encumbered with the Aeryn
relationship. It would be boy meets girl for the first time, there are some
sparks, and we watch them go!”
in America dealing with this, and bringing together a new core team of writers
for the year. However, in Season
4, series creator Rockne S. O'Bannon took a significant step back, working on
other projects and letting others run with the ball on Farscape.
"It's always the case with something that's 'your baby'; once you've
handed it over to someone else, there are bound to be things done that you
don't completely agree with. But Season 4 certainly maintained Farscape's
reputation for never being conventional, and I appreciated that,"
was proceeding at Homebush Bay ready for filming to begin early in 2002.
Season 3’s producer Tony Winley had left the show to work on feature films,
so Sue Milliken, who had been in charge of the second year, returned to
produce the show alongside Andrew Prowse. Most of the other key personnel
returned, with Dave Elsey and the Creature Shop team working on aliens and
props for the first three episodes, and Tim Ferrier busily designing sets for
the Art Department to construct. Ben Browder stopped shaving, so that
Crichton’s hirsute look could be genuine.
The show’s directors and post production crew were delighted by the switch from
full frame filming to widescreen, which would give the whole show a more
cinematic quality. The titles for the season were recut, and a new voiceover
subtly changed the emphasis of John Crichton’s worries. There was an air of
rejuvenation about the series, that boded well for the coming year…
TABLE OF CONTENTS
February 18, 2003:
Just to let you know that Book 4 was delivered to
Titan this week, on course for its May 30th publication date.
Here's what the newest volume will cover:
Foreword by Ben Browder
Into Season 4: David Kemper talks about what
the requirements were for the year
Episode Guide: all 22 eps with comments from
all the lead cast, plus guest stars Barry Otto, [Dr Tumai in Coup by Clam]
Tammy MacIntosh, Kent McCord and Francesca Buller, producers David Kemper,
Ricky Manning and Andrew Prowse, creature shop supervisor Dave Elsey,
production designer Tim Ferrier, composer Guy Gross and post production
supervisor Deb Peart.
Script to Screen: John Quixote fully analysed,
including the plotlines we didn't see, how to run over Rygel and eating baked
The Characters: Each of the main cast discuss
their characters in S4, with contributions from puppeteers Fiona Gentile and
Mat McCoy as well as Lani Tupu and Jon Hardy on Pilot and Rygel; recurring
characters: Braca, Grayza, Jool and Stark from their actors.
Creature Shop - Dave Elsey dives behind the
scenes of S4; combined with the piece in Farscape Mag #12, this will give a
pretty complete view of the year.
Production Designer Tim Ferrier discusses his work
Into The Future - what happened, including an
exclusive interview with Brian Henson
Afterword by David Kemper AND
The Last Word by Rockne S. O'Bannon
The book is available for preorder from Amazon's UK store. Publication date is May 30th
UPDATE February 18, 2003: Thanks to Sue
for passing this along. Sue wrote to Titan, the publisher of the Illustrated
Companion, and suggested a special John and Aeryn cover. The following is the
response she received:
I take your point about the cover, and I'm pleased to
tell you that we are already planning to do a variant cover for this volume,
which features John and Aeryn (and no one else!). This cover will not be
available from Amazon, or in normal bookshops: it will only be available
through Diamond Distributors, who are a specialist company who distribute to
comics/sci-fi collectors shops like Forbidden Planet... The ISBN for the
Diamond Exclusive cover edition is: 1 84023 698 1.