Matttttt's Unpublished Article (Continued)


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"SCI FI has been able to continue ordering seasons of Farscape because the show performs strongly in the ratings. This is very satisfying to us at the network, as well as to Farscape's producers, since it clearly shows that the series has struck a chord with viewers. Happily, because enough viewers keep watching this terrific series, we can afford to keep making it."

        But by the following September, everything had changed, significantly, and very much for the worse.

*****

    It takes a few minutes for me to locate the people I’m meeting - I don’t know yet if we qualify as a group, or even as a we.  There are four of them, sitting at a table in the back of a lounge-restaurant in the eastern part of the mall, ordering appetizers and sipping iced tea and beer.  To my relief, they all look like ordinary human beings.  No Klingon foreheads, no silly T-shirts printed with obnoxious slogans; just nice-looking people with inviting smiles.

    We make introductions; we order food.  Our leader, a young woman named Linda, looks kind but harried (it turns out she's a schoolteacher, so this is normal for her).  Her second-in-command is a tall, thin chap named Carlos, who actually admits to being an actor.  Rounding out our table are a young man named David, a somewhat gruff fellow whose name I never catch, and several notepads covered with scrawled information about the proposed group's future weekend activities.

    Under the tutelage of the movement's Southern-territory Web site, otherwise known as Save Farscape Central or SFC, a series of rallies across the U. S. has been organized for the fifth of October.  The most crucial of these rallies, the ones held in the nationís major Neilsen ratings markets, are meant to attract the attention of the news media; Chicago has volunteered to do its part.  Or rather, a few brave and enterprising Scapers from Chicago have volunteered to lead our city into the national movement.

    Plans are hastily drawn up, and suggestions are tabled for which media outlets to contact.  We decide to pass out flyers at a high-traffic location in Chicagoís downtown Loop district; the rally itself will be held at a park off of Irving Park Road in the northwestern part of town.  We're bringing snack foods, including saltines and animal crackers (in honor of the episode entitled Crackers Don't Matter); we'll be printing posters and flyers at our workplaces to cut expenses.  We hope to create a more permanent organization once more people are involved.  Finally, our goal is to get ourselves on televisionóthe best way, we feel, to get our message across to prospective viewers.

    " All right, we can do this!" exclaims Linda.  "We're going to save John Crichton."

*****

    The John Crichton of whom Linda spoke that Friday night is the long-suffering protagonist of Farscapeís space-opera angst-fest.  As portrayed by actor Ben Browder, Crichton is a mercurial, short-tempered Southern astronaut with an acid wit that masks his sensitive nature.  Browder, who has also written two episodes of the series, was among the first of the people involved with the show to speak publicly about its cancellation; in a brief interview on CNN Headline News, Browder appeared to be hiding his despair after a negotiation session between Henson and Sci Fi had failed to bear fruit.

   Browder was not the only member of the Farscape creative team who was distraught over the cancellation.  By all reports, the entire cast and crew were crushed by the news, and spent the next few nights alternately drinking too much at wrap parties and crying in each otherís arms.  The bad news had come just as the last day of shooting had commenced for the fourth season.  The final episode for the season had already been filmed out of sequence some weeks before; there was no more work to do.  The teamís anguish was further fueled by the terrible knowledge that the story theyíd spent four years building could never be finished - the fourth season would end in a cliffhanger, for which a resolution would never come.

II.

 

Perhaps the facts speak best for themselves.

#(DK) As of yesterday, we were informed --
#(DK) after massive efforts by everyone at Henson
#(DK) and working on the show --
#(DK) most importantly Brian HensonÖ
#(DK) that Sci Fi was not going to exercise it's
#(DK) option to pick up the 5th season of Farscape.
#(DK) The rumors that everyone has been calling me
#(DK) about are sadly
#(DK) very sadly true.  

 These were the words of David Kemper, in an Internet Relay Chat session on September 6th, 2002. 

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