Welcome to the Uncharted Territories!
In 2017, the Dope Fiends Comics and Legend of the Adorbs amigurumi are proud to bring you a whole new brochet fandom in honor of another one of our all-time favorite sci-fi TV shows - Farscape!
"Huh, what's Fire Escape?" <- If you've ever heard this, you know the pain we 'Scapers' face when trying to explain THE BEST 'Lost in Space' show since "Lost In Space" to someone. Farscape is a brilliantly designed and written series by Rockne S. O'Bannon and Brian Henson that features the work of Jim Henson's studios and has a heavy practical effects base built on their wonderful, photo-realistic alien creatures.
The show ran for four seasons from 1999-2003 with a 2-part miniseries follow up on SyFy channel in 2004. Although there has been alot of noise about a new series/web series for the show, it hasn't happened yet and the fans out there still want more...
What do we do at the Dope Fiends Comics when we want more? We DO IT OURSELVES! Therefore it is with the greatest pride in our skills and love of Farscape that we proudly present, the WeebieScape!
Commander John Crichton
"Don't move, or I'll fill you full of... little yellow bolts of light..."
As the main protagonist on Farscape, Crichton serves as the entry point for the viewer. His experience becomes our experience as he is swallowed by a wormhole while conducting an experiment for the fictional I.A.S.A. (INTER-national aeronautics and space administration.) The "Farscape Maneuver" uses a planet's gravitational pull to accelerate a spacecraft to previously unrecorded speeds. However, when coupled with unusual solar flare activity, a wormhole could be accessed, and travel to distant points in space made available.
When this accidentally happens to Crichton, he finds himself emerging in the middle of a firefight, between the Peacekeeper armada, and an escaping Leviathan prison transport. Due to a series of misunderstandings, close calls and intergalactic faux-pas, Crichton joins the escaped prisoners on Moya (the living ship which is itself enslaved and used as a prison,) and so begins the most awesome and creative story ever broadcast about an Earthling in space.
Unlike many other science fiction shows about space adventures, Farscape is unique in that Crichton connects us to fabulous alien people and places in a contemporary sense. He is from an Earth we recognize, not from 'A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...' Nor is he from 'the not too distant future...' The technology he exhibits, and best of all, his pop-culture references where perfectly on par with the show's air dates. Although they may become dated as time moves ever forward, what gives Farscape it's charm is that viewers identify and empathize with Crichton as the best humanity has to offer, and are glad he represents us as the ambassador to the Uncharted Territories.
When brocheting the Weebie Crichton, I chose to go with a later, more assimilated version of his wardrobe. Not only are the peacekeeper duds more fashionably exciting, but I felt that they represented a moment in his character arc, where Crichton stops being confused by what has happened to him, and commits his humanity to surviving as an integrated part of his new surroundings. If anything says human, it is our ability to adapt and conform with things that our minds previously thought impossible... plus then I could also brochet Wynona, Crichton's favorite pulse pistol!
Officer Aeryn Sun
Ka D'Argo: "I thought I would live much longer."
Officer Aeryn Sun: "I never thought I'd live this long."
Aeryn Sun is another excellent example of character growth. She has the ostensibly obvious role of being a familiar face to John Crichton in an unfamiliar place, as her species, Sebacean is a distant offshoot of humanity. Her character arc begins with Aeryn being a mindless drone in the Peacekeeper's military armada. As just one of many soldiers, Aeryn is taken prisoner aboard the escaped prison transport Moya, where she meets Crichton and his new friends.
Throughout the course of the show, Aeryn is an important character, not because of her role as Crichton's love interest and grounding point in the Uncharted Territories, (super male-dominated, fails the Bechdel test) but instead because she serves as a touchpoint for the audience over the course of the show. As Crichton becomes more and more comfortable with the alien nature of his circumstances, Aeryn becomes more and more human as she interacts with him. Her growth is special due to the irony of her commanding officer, Commander Crais, declaring her "irrevocably contaminated" by contact with an unknown alien life form. At first the audience sympathizes with her in this unfair judgement, but by the end of the series, we come to see that he was right all along.
Despite her newfound humanity, Aeryn embodies the best aspects of an alien race. She is a badass warrior, and her perspective on how humans live and think is an excellent foray into the imagination of what a civilized culture of alien life could be like. When Crichton first meets her and is forced to explain compassion to her, Aeryn admits, "Yes, I know that feeling. I hate it." Yet, she learns to eventually embrace compassion without compromising her own cultural mores and personal beliefs.
As an amigurumi, Aeyrn is interesting because her pulse rifle was the first prop to be brocheted, and set the tone for the rest of the series of WeebieScapes. Her wardrobe in the show is almost entirely black, so it was easy to create her clothes. Perhaps a future update may highlight one of the few dresses she wore (mostly in Crichton's imagination) and if I can swing it... a princess crown?
General Ka D'Argo
"Warrior to warrior, I vow - one day, I WILL kill you."
Who has two thumbs, tankas and answers to "Big D?" - This guy right here! D'Argo is another wonderful example of the type of good character development Farscape encompasses. As a large and mighty alien specimen, he is seemingly ferocious and violent when Crichton first meets him, but we learn throughout the series that D'Argo is one of the most pensive and introspective members of Moya's crew. His growth is evident as he learns to trust and eventually revere Crichton's judgement and company.
A Luxan warrior with has a highly developed sense of honor and moral value system, D'Argo also embodies the youthful and comedic aspects of soldier turned leader. Although he is eventually elected Captain of Moya, he at first has many power struggles with Crichton (who he sees as competition for the Alpha male spot.) This is resolved as their friendship develops with the use of roshambo. There is a wonderful moment of boredom where D'Argo is shown playing Paper/Rock/Scissors against himself.
The biggest challenge when it came to brocheting D'Argo was actually his qualta blade, which is actually fully articulatable.
Dominar Rygel XVI
" I never run away. I... strategically maneuver."
Politics. You can't get away from them. Even in space, politics insinuate themselves into every decision made. Take Rygel XVI for example, he's a two foot tall space frog that once ruled over 600 billion subjects, until he was deposed from his throne like an ABC in Alphabet City song by his cousin, and sold into slavery on Moya.
Although he doesn't have much in the way of imposing stature, Rygel is an integral member of Moya's crew because of those pesky politics. His formal education and pedigree make him something of an elitist and this helps out on numerous occasions when Moya's adventures call for a bit of bluffing and maneuvering. Rygel always looks out for number one, and will gladly help you, if he judges it to be in his own best interests. Although he sells out his shipmates several times, he is a master strategist and is often revealed to betray the betrayers. He does show a sense of loyalty and growth throughout the show, but on a much lesser humanizing scale than Aeryn.
Rygel is one of my favorite characters on Farscape because he pays true homage to the roots of the Jim Henson studios, as a completely practical effects styled PHYSICAL muppet! Part of me will always see a little green frog when I look at him, regardless of his true Hynerian nature. As a puppeteer and animator I understand the possibilities of combining practical and digital effects, and will always applaud Farscape in it's use of both types of storytelling aides. Having Rygel be a physical puppet makes the show better for so many reasons, the most important of which is that he is an actual member of the crew that the actors can react to, and act with.
When I sat to brochet Rygel as a Weebie, I wanted to indicate his stature in scale, and that meant also creating his throne sled. I think I had the most fun animating Rygel and his floating chair because it gave me more opportunities to play with Adobe Character Animator's dragger feature, timing Rygel's arm, and then synching the throne sled's joystick to that motion.