last updated: july 16, 2002

Behind The Scenes with David Kemper

David Kemper recaps season two and shares Behind The Scenes knowledge on Rittenhouse's excellent new Farscape trading card set. Like the previous sets, the quality of the cards is amazing and the love for detail evident. With four new autographed cards (among them DK's!!!) and more fab costume cards, they are definitely worth collecting. Find out more at the Rittenhouse Archives Ltd website!

The set Farscape Season Three is due out in September with more autographs, SketchaFEX, Animation, and Behind The Scenes cards. Don't miss it!

Mind The Baby (card BK1)

The most distinctive aspect of Farscape for me is the elegantly simple concept that Rockne S. O'Bannon designed into it from the very beginning. An Earthman from today thrust into the far reaches of alien space, allowing us to discover this wondrous new world throught 21st century eyes.
In the first episode of season 2, writer Ricky Manning's device of having John teach D'Argo the children's game "Rock, Paper, Scissors" reminds us better than any speech that our hero is, indeed, one of us - a human far from home. A fantastic job of wrapping up an impossible season 1 cliff-hanger while simultaneously driving the story forward."


Vitas Mortis (card BK2)

"We'd talked a lot in the past about Luxans being superstituous, and finally decided to [put] our pens where our mouths were, and get a love story for D'Argo out of it in the bargain. Built around superlative performances by Anthony Simcoe (D'Argo) and Melissa Jaffer (the ancient Orican holy woman), this episode allowed us to explore the Luxan sense of loyalty, mysticism and committment.
D'Argo was forced to grow beyong blind belief, exercising his own brand of wisdom in setting the errant Orican back on the correct spiritual path. Rygel plugging a hole in Moya's skin with his behind was also a sure-fire winner."


Taking The Stone (card BK3)

"This was the first big episode written for Chiana's character. After reading Justin Monjo's emotionally complex and moving script, Gigi Edgley had one request - to change her dead sister to a brother. In real life, she's very close to her younger brother, and she wanted to use that connection to fuel her performance. And what a performance it turned out to be. Remarkably raw and tender, risky and richly nuanced all at the same time - a star turn.
Director Rowan Woods pulled out every trick from his feature film repertoire to pull off cliff diving sequences without actually killing our star."


Crackers Don't Matter (card BK4)

"Production issues meant that sets could not be built for the episode originally planned for this slot ("Picture If You Will"). Rather than rewrite an existing script, I opted to create a brand new one in less than a week. Dog-tired from finishing "Taking The Stone", Justin Monjo went home with simple instructions: one guest star, no new sets, make it funny, clever, emotional and exciting. And oh yeah - write it tomorrow!
The result: one of my personal favorite episodes with an all-time great moment - Crichton the Ridiculous! Credit Ben for fearlessness, going for broke (the song was his ad-lib), and turning it into an incredible performance. I can watch this one all day."


Picture If You Will (card BK5)

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The Way We Weren't (card BK6)

"A fan, cast and crew favorite, this episode was 7 months just in the writing! Many different versions had to be thumbed through before arriving at the right balance of backstory, personal saga and, real-time dilemma for Moya's inhabitants.
Director Tony Tilse wonderfully pulled all these elements together, shot it in an exciting, dictinctive style, and allowed everyone room to act up a storm, particularly the magnificent Claudia Black. Her performance provides the tent-pole upon which this whole episode comfortably rests.
Emotional, moving, full of insight and revelation, this has to be near the top of everyone's "Best Of" lists. And what about the talented artists who brought all versions of Pilot to vibrant, heart-rendering life? Bravo all around."


Home On The Remains (card BK7)

"Budong - instant Farscape legend. Who wouldn't be intrigued by a mining colony on the carcass of a giant, planet-sized animal? Ben and Gigi had tons to do here, and never hit a false note. Ben riding Rygel's Thronesled still makes me smile. The sets are fantastic; the computer graphics superlative.
The core idea was to explore Chiana's sense of (im)morality. While willing to cross many lines, we find deep down, a set of values she will not violate. The ending - where Chiana is (almost) cold-bloodedly responsible for the villain's death - was debated and rewritten many, many times to get the tone just right. And watch for Anthony's (D'Argo's) superbly building performances as D'Argo literally aches for Chiana's affection."


Dream A Little Dream (card BK8)

"Wow, are there rumors about this one. All untrue, though. So, why was the first episode we shot aired in the number 8 slot? Because it was always designed to be a modular. Moya's sets hadn't been rebuilt yet in our new studios after the first season hiatus, so we had to shoot this episode (which takes place almost entirely on an alien planet of lawyers) first, and then hold it.
For behind-the-scenes buffs, this story was one of the original five (reworked for the current season) that creator Rockne S. O'Bannon wrote back in January 1994 to help sell the series."


Out Of Their Minds (card BK9)

"Actors, actors, actors. A great script means nothing without them. And in this case, a great script didn't just meet actors - it met great actors, all at the top of their game. Name one: Ben, Claudia, Anthony, Gigi, Jonathan Hardy (the voice of Rygel) and Lani Tupu (the voice of Pilot), as well as the puppeteers who bring Rygel and Pilot to life. How else do you realize the near-impossible goal of doing a body/mind switching episode, if not with gutsy, dead-on, clever, intelligent performances?
All credit must go to director Ian Watson for guiding the ensemble with such an insightful, knowing hand. I'm particularly proud to have been Executive Producer on a television show where the lead actor relieves himself in the hallway while possessed by the mind of an alien king. And Claudia's turn as Crichton is outrageously good and funny. Winner, winner, winner!"


My Three Crichtons (card BK10)

"Thirty some-odd episodes into the Farscape saga, it didn't take a genius to realize Ben Browder was the best actor I'd ever had the pleasure to work with. So, I figured, wouldn't three Bens be even better than one? Three Crichtons, to be exact.
When you watch this episode, it's easy to forget it's one man playing all three, disparate roles, so believable is the illusion he weaves. This one impressed even me, and I learned a lot about acting, since I was priviledged to watch Ben prepare each day. I'm also partial to Gigi's tender performance with Neandro Crichton, a vibrant emotional core to the story."


Look At The Princess, Part 1: A Kiss Is But A Kiss (card BK11)

"This story came to me in almost complete form in the spring of 1998, as we began to work on the first year's scripts. Rockne S. O'Bannon suggested holding it until the second year, since so much of it required the audience to really understand our characters - and boy, was he right.
This 3-parter is all about relationships, Crichton's and Aeryn's in particular. It also marks the beginning of the D'Argo/Chiana romance, further complicating the emotional crosscurrents on Moya. The trilogy is notable for the groundwork it lays in the Crichton-Scorpius relationship, as well as being the first time we meet a member of the Scarran race."


Look At The Princess, Part 2: I Do, I Think (card BK12)

"When I look back at this episode, amidst the myriad wonderful performances, sets, stunts, costumes and special effects, two things jump at me. First, Fran Bueller's unbelievably smart performance as ro-NA, the weird little alien who betrays Crichton, and second, Ben's stunning "I've-been-pushed-too-far-this-time" disintegration during the now classic Jakench cockpit sequence. For those alone you can watch this episode over and over.
And, of course, it has the added benefit of leaving our hero not only married at the end, but frozen as a statue, too! This last, a fantastic CGI special effect was married to Dave Elsey's (Creature Shop) spectacular statues - life size and real!"


Look At The Princess, Part 3: The Maltese Crichton (card BK13)

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Beware Of Dog (card BK14)

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Won't Get Fooled Again (card BK15)

"Love it or hate it, this is one of the episodes that defines Farscape for me. Fearless risk taking by filmmakers. Ricky Manning's breathless script found a perfect match in the wonderfully warped vision of director Rowan Woods, and Ben Browder delivers a performance that would've been nominated for an Emmy had this played on network television.
Everyone brought their best to this episode - check out Claudia's performances in both Aeryn incarnations, as well as Anthony's wildman D'Argo. And that is really Wayne Pygram as Scoripus playing the drums - he's a trained drummer. Lastly, this show contains one of my all-time favorite Farscape images: Crais in Dorothy's ruby red slippers! Fearless, talented people gaving fun equals great entertainment. By the way, can you tell that I love this episode?"


The Locket (card BK16)

"Creature Shop head (genius) Dave Elsey created a brand new form of super-thin, elastic 'skin' for this episode, and the results speak for themselves. When such excellent creativity and craftsmanship are married to superlative actors like Ben and Claudia, the result is bound to be startlingly good, and this episode proves that.
Writer Justin Monjo's idea of playing an old-age love story between Crichton and Aeryn hit just the right spot when juxtaposed with the mystery playing out on Moya. This is also the first real 'teaming up' of Zhaan and Stark's mental abilities, a theme that would continue to play out in future episodes."


The Ugly Truth (card BK17)

"The first thing that leaps out at you upon viewing this episode is Tim Ferrier's spectacular production design, followed in short order by the Aliens' frightening visages, another daily wonder from the Creature Shop. When Crichton and the others are stranded atop their domes prison, they really are stranded. Tim built a scaffold over20 feet high, and director Tony Tilse stages all the action up there - without hand-rails!
I went up once, and it unnerved me sufficiently that I thereafter left those lofty heights to trained professionals...the actors! And speaking of actors - with each viewing, new things pop out at me, as everyone gave marvelously nuanced performances during the disparate retellings of the story's central event."


A Clockwork Nebari (card BK18)

"Lily Taylor's first script for Farscape explores Chiana's secret and surprising past, introducing us to the brother even she thought was dead. No one who's seen Crichton's eyeball-stretching experience can do so without flinching (Creature Shop and CGI wizardry), and Ben's resultant take on the laid-back, surfer dude Crichton is as funny as it is perfect.
Claudia and Anthony are perfect as 'mind-cleansed' Nebari drones, and Gigi gives another riveting performance as Chiana, building upon the familiar relationships she began exploring in "Taking The Stone". And, of course, anytime you have Rygel pretending to be docile and content, you know something's wrong...and bound to be fun."


Liars, Guns and Money, Part 1 (card BK 19)

"We traditionally end the season with a 4-part story arc, and this episode gets us off to a sizzling start. In an attempt to purchase D'Argo's long-lost son from slavery, our gang decides to rob a Shadow Depository - a criminal bank. And what a bank! The sets were the largest I've been on. Ever. We had more extras running around in costume than in many feature films.
And then, there's NAtira. Memorable in every way, Natira is the product of fine writing, excellent direction by Andrew Prowse, unbelievable creatuer design by Dave Elsey; drop-dead, fantastic, blue-shell costume design by Lou Elsey; and a sizzlingly adventurous portrayal by the talented Claudia Karvan. And Crichton's fantastic crawl away from nemesis Scorpius? Ben Browder at his never-fails-to-surprise-me best! I dare you not to like this episode."


Liars, Guns and Money, Part 2: With Friends Like These

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Liars, Guns and Money, Part 3: Plan B

"'Tony Tilse set a man on fire! Tony set a stuntman on fire?' That was the call that sent all of us scurrying down to the set to watch the spectacular carnage Tilsie was orchastrating upon Natira's Shadow Depository at the end of our season's second three parter. This episode had more outrageous stunts, more explosions and more computer generated laser beams than nearly the of the year combined.
We debated long and hard over who would sacrifice themselves to save our crew, and Farscape lost some wonderful characters this day. But ultimately, what made this episode so special was the year's worth of encroaching madness for Crichton. Ben's tortured portrayal of a man who can't take any more still makes me shiver."


Die Me Dichotomy (card BK22)

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