During the late 1990s, the science fiction genre received a new wave of enthusiasm with the popularity of Deep Space Nine and the like. Likewise, the Sci-Fi Channel was beginning to catch its stride, as it entered the scene in 1992. While the cable channel had enjoyed success with made-for-tv movies, it was primed to host original episodic content. This made it the perfect home for the Australian-American production, Farscape.
Farscape was envisioned by Rockne S. Obannon, who had previously created the celebrated seaQuest DSV. With the assistance of Brian Henson and the Jim Henson Company, Farscape developed a unique cast of aliens. The puppeteering expertise of the Jim Henson Creature Shop brought two of the series characters, Rygel and Pilot, to life on the small screen. The series was also funded and produced by Hallmark Entertainment.
Like many science fiction franchises before it, Farscape featured a modern-day American astronaut who found himself flung far from his home after flying through a wormhole. John Crichton quickly found himself amid a conflict between the Peacekeepers and the crew of the living ship, Moya. After accidentally killing the brother of one of the Peacekeeper Captain Bialar Crais, Crichton became one of the most wanted men around. His wanted status only became worse as another of the Peacekeer’s leaders, Scorpius, discovered that he had secret knowledge about wormholes implanted into his subconscious.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Maya’s crew opposed the Peacekeeper’s reign. Some of the crew members, like Aeryn Sun, were once members of the Peacekeepers. There were also former prisoners like Ka D’Argo. Another member of the crew, Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan, was a priestess for her people, Delvians, a blue-skinned plant species. Meanwhile, the ship that housed the crew, the Maya, was a fifth-generation living ship. Maya communicated to the crew through Pilot, a multi-limbed alien creature that was connected to her nervous system.
Throughout its four-season run, Farscape amassed 88 episodes that depicted the plight of the Maya and her crew. Even though the production had planned for a five-season run, the series was canceled at the end of the fourth. While this left the series at a cliffhanger for years, it was eventually resolved with the two-episode miniseries, The Peacekeeper Wars, which aired in 2004.
In addition to the series, Farscape appeared in two comic book series. First, Windstorm Productions published a two-issue miniseries, “War Torn”, in 2002. They also created a Chiana-centric story, “Fourth Horseman”, which had a story set in the second season. Years later, Boom! Studios created a new series of Farscape comics in 2008. They created three four-issue miniseries that continued the story after the conclusion of the Peacekeeper Wars.
Meanwhile, fans had the chance to collect their favorite Farscape characters with Toy Vault’s toy line. This toy line ran for two series, from 2000 until 2001. The first series featured four characters from the series: Chiana, Chrichton, D’Argo, and Zhaan. They also produced exclusive characters in the first series. Fandom received an Aeryn Sun (The Mutation) action figure. Entertainment Earth received Chiana (Escapee from Nebari Prime) while the Toy Vaul Club released John Chricton (Thank God It’s Friday Again). Beyond the exclusives, Toy Vault produced four additional Special Edition action figures in the first series: Chiana (Armed and Dangerous), D’Argo (Blood Runs Clear), John Chrichton (Commander), and Zhaan (Spirtualist and Healer).
Toy Vault’s Farscape toy line featured four more characters in the second series: Aeryn Sun (The Mutation), Bialar Crais (Captain), Rygell XVI (Dominar of Hyneria), and Scorpius (The Hunter). Similar to the first series, there was another exclusive action figure: Scorpius (Crackers Don’t Matter). Likewise, Toy Vaul produced three special edition action figures for the second series: Bialar Crais (Vengeance is Mine), Scorpius (Master of Evil), and Rygel XVI (Royalty in Exile).
While Toy Vault did not create any vehicles for the Farscape toy line, they did produce an accessory set, the Bag of DRDs. There was also a Collectors Edition action figure of Aeryn Sun. Some fans of the series may have gotten their hands on the box set within the first series of toys. This box set included action figures of John Crichton, Pa’U Zotoh Zhaan, Ka D’Argo, and Chiana.
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