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“This series mirrors in many ways the UK's greatest...”


written by helruna on 04/02/2010

This series mirrors in many ways the UK's greatest shows, Blakes 7. It mixes in classic shows like Buck Rodgers. However for a teenage TV time production, produced by the Henson [Muppet] Company, the show is decidedly dark, clever as it is sci-fi delicious. --------------

The story follows a US Astronaut called John Crichton. He gets whipped through a worm-hole to another part of the universe into a massive galatic war. He accidentally kills the brother of a space captain. The war is at the time of series 1 between the Peace Keepers and anyone who resists. The captain is head of starship and goes hunting for Crichton. Meanwhile Crichton gets away on an alien spaceship called Moya with the aid of the ship's onboard fugitives.
They go from planet to planet surviving and they just happen to have a well balanced team, soldier types, medic, thief, seductress etc etc... Crichton uses great cultural references throughout the series. It's a bit like Spaced with its film, TV and cultural references. When he hurls these at friends and enemies alike its one of the things that drew me into the series.
He is drawn into the fight against the Peace Keepers but at a cost of not being able to get home. Later when we does manage to get home, he finds that he's not as comfortable with it as he thought.
There's great political parallels throughout the series. Crichton finally meets his nemesis Scorpius and ironically saviour. This role is excellently played by Wayne Pygram. The S&M aspect is played down, but for adults you cannot help but chuckle at how close the the mark the Henson company gets!
The show's main protagonist is Crichton who is a child prodigy, headstrong and sarcastic.
The camera work in this show is superb it follows the characters around in a wobbly fashion creating a sense of sheer size of another universe and how strange it would feel. The budgets for space battles and special effects are second to none. Sometimes you have to wait for an arc to play out before another HUGE battle, but the great thing is the Ship the fugitives are on is purely defensive. This puts the fugitives at huge risk and doesn't become an all out battle tipped in the favour of the good guys [like Blakes 7].
The series then changes pace, where Crichton gets captured by Scorpius and starts to loose his mind putting the whole ship in danger. This story arc is terribly brave and well executed.
Claudia Black plays Crichton's love interest Aeryn Sun. Their partnership and chemistry is magical. It didn't come off in Stargate after the show's cancellation. Claudia Black is also seen in the excellent movie Pitch Black!
A shout really needs to go to Gigi Edgley who plays an alien really, really well. Although Chiana's character isn't really evolved until the 2nd and 3rd series her character's charm, sexiness and portrayal make her one of my favourites in the series. The way she speaks, moves her head and talks is ingenious.
I was shocked when the show was cancelled. They later made a final TV/movie called "The Peace Keeper Wars". I've watched this twice now and I think second time around it comes across better. The series shows human nature in a positive and negative light. There's great love, sadness, loyalty, betrayal plus portrayals that absolute power is so overwhelming sometimes its better to live in peace rather than tip the scales.

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