John & Aeryn by fridayFarscapeWeekly Roundup of Cool Stuff

Season 4 -- Deejay DK's Mega Master FS Remix
GutPageant 12 August 2002

Note: This article was originally posted to the alt.tv.farscape newsgroup on 26 July 2002 in this thread, and also on SCIFI.com's Farscape bulletin board. GutPageant's original posts have been minimally edited for general audiences.

I always thought enlightenment was supposed to lead to Nirvana, not the other way around.

And I never guessed Destiny's Child would be a key to understanding Season 4. Hmmphh! No, this isn't an article about Crichton's bootyliciousness. It's about looking at Season 4 in a way that makes it comprehensible.

Forget [Executive Producer David] Kemper's "novel" metaphor. Think music instead. Specifically, Electronica.

What Farscape has done in Season 4 is appropriate the sensibilities and structures of electronic music: hip-hop, trip-hop, acid house, techno. The telltale earmarks-- sampling, sequencing, resequencing, bootlegging, looping, repetition, repetition, repetition-- are present but in typically perverse Farscape fashion, the musicality isn't in the soundtrack, but in the *storytelling*.

"Every place I've been... I've been there before"
John Crichton, "A Human Reaction"

The first three seasons of Farscape are being deconstructed and reconstructed right before our eyes. Known characters, plots, themes, and images have been sampled, then filtered, flexed, modified, and reshaped... creating something new yet oddly familiar.

Season 4-- It's Deejay DK's mega-master FS remix (extended club version).

The three new aliens have all elicited accusations of being substitutes; cheap knockoff combinations of previous characters.

Grayza:: Wrests control from previous Peacekeeper commander who is then treated to the Aurora Chair / atypical Peacekeeper who threatens, then has a seaside tryst with, Crichton / takes cosmetic tips from the Nebari. [Grayza as Scorpius x Jena x Chiana]

Noranti: spiritual older woman, knowledgeable about herbs / unusual mental abilities, a bit unbalanced / psychic with more than two eyes [Noranti as Zhaan x Stark x Seer Cresus] (A few months back, I pegged her as Stevie Nicks x Dopey. Throw in Grandmama Addams and an eye and it's still a keeper.)

Sikozu: Arrogant, book-smart redhead with ridiculously long name / moves oddly, and is not averse to using her sexuality when convenient / recovers rather well after losing a limb [Sikozu as Jool x Chiana x Pilot]

"I know all you guys, don't I? It's a little out of context... but I know you."

Here's a context: think of how hip-hop and techno recordings sample different source materials and rework them. You recognize some bits, but others are warped and rearranged to produce something new. A constant criticism is that it's unoriginal, ripping off what came before. Kind of like Sikozu being referred to by some as "Jool 2.0" (which I admit is pretty funny).

Season 4's episodes exhibit the deejay touch as well. Crichton Kicks struck me as a meld of Premiere and Jeremiah Crichton with a dollop of Eat Me (crusty Pilot, dying leviathan, harvested flesh). It's like what the music press has taken to calling mash-ups, or bootlegs. Two or three different recordings are seamlessly (and illegally) combined electronically into a new song. One of the better known mash-ups is "Smells Like Teen Booty" which merged Destiny's Child vocals with Nirvana's guitar riffs. Sounds silly but it works. Like "Crichton Kicks" works. And everything's the same, yet different.

Promises? Exodus from Genesis (heat delirium) + Mind the Baby (Aeryn makes deal with disenfranchised Peacekeeper who had been previous season's archenemy).

Lava's A Many-Splendored Thing is less a mash-up, more a *remix* of Throne For a Loss. Same basic theme: Dominar is bagged by thugs with unusual gear (gauntlet/shield belt). Same actor, John Adam, played the head honcho in both these eps (Bekhesh/Raa'Keel). Coincidence? Is it coincidence as well that the actor who played hammerheaded Ullom in "Promises" also provided the voice for hammerheaded Kabaah in Scratch 'n Sniff? The same, yet different.

Natural Election is full of sampled bits of earlier episodes, enough to warrant its own post. I could fill a dancefloor with all the plots, themes, and quotes from the first three seasons that have been excised from the original sources and reformatted to a new Season 4 context.

When John pins Sikozu down and spells out her limited options in "Crichton Kicks", how many didn't think it looked and felt like the scene in "Durka Returns" with Chiana?

"It's amazing... I see every... system!" Is that Sikozu connecting to the neural interface in "Promises", or Crais hooking up with Talyn? (It's the former, and the Sikozu scene actually recycles footage from Aeryn's joining with Talyn, as well as other older clips.)

A blood-tracking hound-- Brindz ("Crichton Kicks", 4.01) or Vorcarian ("Till the Blood Runs Clear", 1.11)?

A pregnancy that's on hold unless a barrier/stasis is removed-- Moya's ("They've Got A Secret", 1.10) or Aeryn's ("Promises", 4.05)?

John writing equations on the Leviathan's surface-- "Premiere"(1.01) or "Crichton Kicks" (4.01)?

"We are not going in there undefended"-- Aeryn in "Throne for a Loss" (1.04) or John in "Lava's A Many-Splendored Thing"(4.04)?

"...sorry" "For what?" "For everything..."-- John to Aeryn in "A Human Reaction" (1.16) or Aeryn to John in "Promises" (4.05)?

You get the idea.

"Every place I've been... I've been there before"

"What Was Lost" employs resequencing and repetition. A couple of scenes from part 1 were filtered and reused in part 2-- the post-Grayza wave breaking, John being pursued in the water by Oo-Nii. There's a shot of John retrieving Winona that's actually used twice in part 2, first after Granny threw it off the cliff, and then mere moments later when Oo-Nii knocks the gun away and John picks it up again. The shot of John floating face-down in the water after Granny dusts him in part 1 is reused in part 2 after he has leapt off the cliff. It's jarring and obviously very noticeable, since loads of people have complained about sloppy editing and poor continuity. It's kind of a visual stuttering, similar to what a turntablist might do with vinyl.

"Yeah, I've been here."

The big question remains-- who's the deejay? Who's behind the sampling and remixing?

"Oh, no, no, no, no... I stopped raving years ago."
John Crichton, "Look at the Princess"

I've been leaning toward Granny with her third eye and her mega mega white mega mega white dust. After all, drugs have long been associated with techno music. (Was Aeryn hanging out in Moya's equivalent of a 'chill-out' room?). And you will know Farscape by its trail of dead and drugged...

If this were Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Star Trek:Deep Space 9, John might be in a rubber room trying to make sense of his existence.

If this were a J. Michael B5-guy show, there'd be a group of either children in a classroom or janitors at a bar, telling tales they've heard of the notorious Crichton & company, getting the details wrong in the process, like a game of Telephone.

If this were Enterprise... well, I couldn't say because I'd have fallen asleep halfway through.

But it's Farscape, and there are just too many possibilities for an already lengthy article. So there it is ... I hope this makes sense to someone other than me. Make of it what you will.

Ms. GutPageant is a graphic artist whose lifelong love affair with music has been known to occasionally manifest itself within her contributions to various Farscape discussion forums.

Copyright 2002 by GutPageant and FarscapeWeekly.com. You may freely link to this article, but please do not repost it without receiving prior permission from the author.