Mollusk's Farscape Makes Me Think Pages

Characters: Crichton

Crichton in spacesuit

The focus of the series is with Crichton, who narrates the introduction, and toward the end of some episodes adds entries to his journal. Crichton is a well crafted modern hero in that the essentially positive role he plays is moderated by misunderstandings and his own foibles. Being the sole representitive of humanity on a show that contrasts humans with a spectrum of imaginative alternative beings and cultures forces the writers to take a moderated route. Particularly impressive to me is the fact that some dark elements have still been encorporated into Crichton's character, keeping him from boring us with only well meaning and well considered actions.

Crichton's experimental orbiter, from which the series takes its name, and which is used to set the scene from the first episode gets pretty good dramatic milage for a little ship that looks so much like the one wrecked in the first seconds of each Steve Austin show.

Crichton watching Crichton walks with Aeryn

In the first episode of the Farscape series, there is a scene where Crichton puts on clothes after being examined by the crew which kind of makes me think things could have gone in a radically different direction from the start. Honestly, it's good to watch a show that isn't such high art that it won't stoop to some fairly cheesy sexualization, and Farscape actually seems to me to be more mature and respectful in presenting sexual themes than most other shows. Or maybe I just find these actors more compelling than most.

Crichton puts on clothes Crichton talks to D'Argo
Crichton farming tannot root

Crichton repeatedly plays a role way more rich in humility than typical hero roles. When on the planet of Tannot Root farmers he not only helps just about everyone along through the meandering plot, but also ends up personally perforated by a worm in order to avoid the creepy delightedness that comes from a Tannot Root diet through its parasitic action. All the business surrounding the Tannot Root emphasizes a peculiar difference between Crichton and Aeryn: He exhibits his modern heroic stance with moderation and humility and some mistakes and failures here and there, while Aeryn's heroism and modernity comes from her intensity and combativeness and lack of interest in failures or analysis.

Crichton gets worm 1 Crichton gets worm 2
Crichton blown up

This time learning lessons in humility from Rygel, of all people, Crichton gets nearly blown up and has to talk things out with Rygel. This is during the Durka Returns episode, which is a showcase of the dramatic range of Ben Browder, who plays Crichton. This episode involves him convincingly holding back a manic puppet; having a complex ongoing negotiation with Chiana, carried on largely with looks and gestures; and making yet another foamy-mouthed Peacekeeper enemy, all in addition to dodging two major explosions and also diving aside when shot at. Phew! Some folks star in bigtime television roles and bank on a pretty face, like Farah Fawcett (Boo! Bad actor! No action figures for Farah!), but it seems that the folks who hired Ben Browder are intent on getting their money's worth by making him work for his wages.

Crichton after explosion Crichton to Rygel: Stop that!

This just in (extremely silly):

An observant old codger named Browder
Said, "Now, between bean soup and chowder,
You'll find, my good friend,
That bean soup - in the end -
Will prove to be several times louder."

Hee, hee. The Internet is a miraculous source of information, not so? Of course this all adds humor to this old gas station photo:

Browder Gas
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