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Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars (2004)
Director: Brian Henson
review by Alasdair Stuart
Farscape's greatest strength has always been its chaos. It was always a show where the main characters were eight steps behind the people who wanted them dead, on the run and frantically improvising whilst doing their best not to kill one another. Anarchic, utterly unpredictable and genuinely unique, it's one of the best things science fiction TV has produced in the last decade. And, I'm delighted to report, Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars is a wonderful conclusion to the series. Incorporating elements from the planned fifth season it's a sprawling epic of a story that ties everything up, gives everyone their moment in the sun and shows the series at its absolute best.
Part of this is down to the script that contains the usual gleeful disregard for convention. I'm spoiling nothing when I say Crichton and Aeryn do not spend the entire thing as a collection of crystals on a seabed and the resolution to this problem is smart, obvious and very funny. However, it's what the story moves onto that's really impressive. This is epic with a small 'e', taking in the origin of the Peacekeepers, all out war between them and the Scarrans, the ancient aliens who put the wormhole information in Crichton's head and a chunk of fourth season continuity. Characters return, characters die, loyalties shift and the whole thing is handled with this series' typical aplomb. For example, there's at least one revelation that completely passes the characters by because they're too busy trying not to die but hits the viewer like a ton of bricks and explains a lot of the series' more nagging questions.
What really impresses here though is one of the best casts in years. Ben Browder's desperate, bitter but heroic Crichton is on top form here as is Claudia Black's Aeryn Sun. Their first action on being revived sums the character's up beautifully driving home both their love for one another and exactly how dangerous they are. It's also almost impossible to see without grinning like an idiot. Wayne Pygram and Anthony Simcoe are also on top form and both are given genuinely memorable moments. Only Raelee Hill and Gigi Edgley seem faintly edged out, still turning in good work but not as central as they were on the TV series. This minor problem aside however, the entire cast gel superbly.
The Peacekeeper Wars is a bravura swan song, an utterly fitting ending to a wonderful show. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll laugh again and spend the rest of the time wondering how CGI could look that good. Great stuff.
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