Rates the Farscape Episodes
The Captain gives "Unrealized Reality" a rating of:
Captain's Rating Scale:
5 Moyas-one of the best episodes
4 Moyas-an excellent episode
3 Moyas-a good episode
2 Moyas-a fair episode
1 Moya-a less than fair episode
0 Moyas-a poor episode
"Unrealized Reality" is an interesting departure for Farscape
in several respects. The first has to do with the fact that Farscape
has never really been a show to go the Star Trek way of engaging
in heavy techno babble. For example, its never explained fully how
Starburst works, or how the energy flow through Moya propels her
into Starburst. Whereas on Star Trek, there is plenty of stuff about
how the warp core pumps energy into this and that. On Farscape,
things just generally work because they, just work. And for this
series, passing over the techno babble has worked quite well because
it has not been a necessary part of the show. But with "Unrealized
Reality", the episode is almost entirely techno babble stuff
on a very high level, and needed to be in order to create the substance
of the story. We are talking Steven Hawking level almost, with all
kinds of discussion of time, parallel realities, unrealized realities,
permanence of realities, the effects of changing history, etc.
Perhaps the one time Farscape went so far into the realm of scientific
techno babble was "Self-Inflicted Wounds", with Neala
and the Pathfinders and discussions of the wormhole network running
through the universe. But in that case, it made things confusing
at times and rather difficult to follow the story. In the case of
"Unrealized Reality", the techno babble is far less confusing,
though still quite complex and well thought out, due to the fact
that the theoretical elements are well accompanied by real world,
visual examples. These examples consisted of unrealized realities
or flashes into the past or possible futures that were experienced
by Crichton. Its almost as if we the audience were students in a
temporal physics class, and the professor gave us the definition
with plenty of visual aids. This was a very well crafted way to
handle such high levels of complexity and theoretical discussion.
Though, I wonder what a real scientist like Steven Hawking would
have to say about the theories of time presented on this episode.
Did the Farscape producers perhaps read Hawking's or Einstein's
stuff to get the answers? Now, I am no scientist, but the theories
they presented sounded very scientific and well researched to me.
Perhaps someone who goes to a Farscape convention sometime and goes
to the Q&A sessions with Kemper or one of the producers might
ask them if they did indeed consult scientific references for this
Another major departure for this episode was the cerebral aspects
to it. While Farscape has done cerebral stories before, most of
the time they go into the realm of "what is going on in Crichton's
head?", like "Won't Get Fooled Again" or "Dog
With Two Bones". But in this case, the cerebral aspects of
the episode were on a very serious, and far more complex level.
In this case, the cerebral plot points were connected to the interaction
of wormholes and time, and Crichton's interaction with both, added
on to his experiences since going through the wormhole in the Premiere.
The story is not all about what is in Crichton's head, but rather
what wormholes really are and how they interplay with time, and
with Crichton's life.
A final aspect of the departure elements for this episode is the
fact that Crichton's apparent mission has changed. Its not like
he was on some grandly designed mission before, but his main purpose
was to get home to Earth and survive, while at the same time keeping
the wormhole knowledge out of Peacekeeper and Scarren hands. Now,
the wormhole aliens in this episode seem to expect Crichton to become
the guardian of wormhole knowledge.
This sets Crichton into a place entirely apart from anyone else,
and almost makes his journey now a little bit separate from that
of his comrades. While Moya's crew will, I'm sure, always be there
for him like they have been, many aspects of this new mission of
his will probably have to be undertaken on his own, with his friends
not able to help him. The survival skills he has learned since coming
through the wormhole in the Premiere have helped to prepare him
for this task.
Of course, the end of this episode will probably be the most remembered
aspect about it. We the audience are left with a mid-season cliffhanger,
with Crichton hanging in orbit around Earth. What happens from here
is anyone's guess. But, this time, I hope the producers at least
do some things to resolve the cliffhanger elements of this episode
in the next installment. While they did answer the question about
where Moya went when she was sucked down the wormhole at the end
of Season 3, there are still some questions left unanswered from
THAT cliffhanger. Now, we've got ANOTHER cliffhanger with a lot
of stuff still unresolved from the PREVIOUS cliffhanger.
This was truly an excellent episode, and one with a story that was
adeptly handled so that the audience was not left totally confused
and dumbstruck by the cerebral, techno babble nature of it. The
implications that it has on the future of the show are astounding
to be sure. This episode, while it does not make up for all of the
shortcomings of Season 4 to date, does reflect a good amount of
improvement in terms of the substance of the story and gives me
a great deal of hope for a better direction for the rest of the
season to follow.
What did you think of "Unrealized Reality", or this review?
Let your voice be heard in a reply below. Feedback is always welcomed.
By the way, I apologize for this review coming later than usual.
I attended a party last night, and was quite busy reading a book
for graduate school today. I only got a chance to see the tape I
made of the episode an hour ago.
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