Mollusk's Farscape Makes Me Think Pages

Images: Swamp Landing

In the second episode, I, E.T., the crew of Moya decides, despite objections from Rygel, that it would be a good idea to attempt to land Moya in a swamp.

With a lot of space shows the landing sequences can be really boring shots of whatever ship slowly and gracefully descending to whatever planet. The action happens and connects scenes and explains transitions, but it doesn't engage the viewer at all. In contrast when Moya enters an atmosphere on Farscape the viewer is treated first to struggles among the crew including a lecture from Rygel about the ominous nature of mud, in which they have decided to land. Then, when the ship enters it takes time and gets everyone tense while outside the ship can be seen to cleave a rent through the atmosphere. Landing a spaceship doesn't have to be boring. It can be a treat built up with foreshadowing and allowed to play out in stages. What really makes me wonder is why it took so long to start seeing this kind of work.

Early reentry Late reentry

Actual touchdown on the swamp comes only after a period of skimming at low altitude and high velocity.

Above swamp Hitting swamp

Having landed, Moya is quickly taken under by the mud, as Rygel had glumly predicted.

Sinking in mud Sunk in mud

Quite some time and much dramatic unfolding later Moya becomes capable of rising again from the mud, and makes a spectacular display before speeding of into the heavens in characteristic close encounters style.

Rising from mud Floating above mud

And they are away.

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