bimo: (Fivey_Adric_Tardis)
Yesterday evening, I tried doing one of the "My Year in Fandom" memes that seem to be floating around at the moment, but eventually I had to acknowledge the fact that my personal TV year has been far too retro-oriented to tackle most of the questions. So, here's a format-free version of the time warp that Cavendish and I have been performing...

Apart from the most current season of Doctor Who (which wasn't exactly my cup of tea), the by far "youngest", most up to date shows I watched were ST: Enterprise (2001-2005) and Farscape (1999-2003). Perfectly fine turn-of-the-millennium genre tv, and ideal for a study in contrast, regarding about every aspect that one could possibly think of.

The most noteworthy difference, however, would be how differently both Farscape and Enterprise dealt with the aftermath of 9/11. One show - the one which had started out with a clearly pacifist mission statement - suddenly laden with unreflected militarism and themes of retribution, therefore alienating a good portion of its core viewership, including me, and the other show - the often wild, violent, chaotic, over-the-top maverick - offering its viewers the much more differentiated, complex approach of "Terra Firma". My love for Farscape has never been greater than during that scene in which a visibly upset Jack tries to explain the impact the 9/11 attacks have had on American society and himself, but ultimately leaves his son John unable to understand.

Poignant and valid on several levels, just as good television should be. (Btw., when I wrote this entry, I caught myself making a rather intriguing Freudian typo, "fathermath" instead of "aftermath".) As I've already said to [personal profile] selenak, Farscape's S4 brought along not only some of the show's worst episodes but also the very best.

So much for my first TV highlight of 2011. For the second one I really have to thank Cavendish, who, once we had finished our business in the Unchartered Territories, kindly suggested to re-watch two of his own childhood favourites, and thus catapulted us straight into the realm of the 1970s mini-series.

Rich Man, Poor Man (1976-1977) and Roots (1977). As incredible as it might seem, to say those shows were equally fascinating to watch (the occasional "head desk" moment included), would be an absolute understatement. The creators of both shows were ambitious, the format fresh, and the production values high. I guess, to do both series justice in regard to their origins, contents, scripts, and acting I really ought to come up with another entry.

So I'll leave you with this:

Most generally underestimated actor/director of my personal TV year: Bill Bixby. Yup, the Bill Bixby.

Favourite female character: Maggie Porter (Susan Sullivan), workaholic and highly competent lawyer and part time love interest of Rich Man, Poor Man's male lead Rudy Jordache (Peter Strauss) during the show's somewhat uneven and soapy, but nevertheless extremely addictive second season.

Favourite male character: Roots' s Chicken George Moore, played by the wonderful Ben Vereen. Chicken George and his wife Mathilda (Olivia Cole) would also be my number one candidate for "favourite TV couple" and the characters I wouldn't mind being adopted by.

Sorry John, sorry Aeryn ;-)
bimo: (DRD_beware)
Fandom: Farscape
Title: Prometheus' Wake
Characters: Bobby Coleman
Summary: Uncle John has shown mankind a glimpse of the universe, stolen the fire and torn the lid off the tricky box.
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 1241
Author's Note: I'd like to thank my two wonderful beta readers A Damned Scientist and Cathy1967, not only for the great job they did with this story but also for their willingness to help out when help was needed. Additional thanks go to Kernil Crash who came up with a very pragmatic solution for a rather embarrassing problem. Seriously, guys, without you this little piece would have likely ended in cold storage.
Story on AO3: Here

Prometheus' Wake )
bimo: (Best_of_Timelords)
Back in 2003 I finally succumbed to the Dark Side started journaling just a couple of weeks after [personal profile] selenak had introduced me to Farscape. So out of sheer curiosity I went back to check my old journal entries for any Farscape-related thoughts I might have posted during that period, only to find that apparently I had never shared this poor little ficlet in my journal (which is kind of odd, because up to this very day it is one of my personal favourites)


Title: Floating
Author: Bimo
Setting: S1, right after the pilot episode
Summary: How do you cope with completely alien surroundings? As long as there are miracles, there's hope...
Notes: Thanks to Selena, for introducing me to the wonderful world of Farscape, and to Kathy, for beta-reading :-)


Floating )
bimo: (Fivey_drawing)
Yesterday was the day we watched Farscape 1.18 to 1.20, the three episode demarcation line consisting of "A Bug's Life", "Nerve" and "Hidden Memory" which so clearly announces the show's official loss of all innocence. And, good grief, can I tell you, even if you are able to brace yourself against the raw emotion being portrayed in these eps because you already know what's in store - the violence, the pain and the madness, Ben Browder's grand tour de force on the Aurora Chair - absolutely nothing of it fails to hit home.

What I failed to notice, though, during my first viewing about eight years ago and which now strikes me as all the more obvious is how much these elements are actually just the logical consequence of a long consecutive series of little steps and decisions, each of them adding level upon level, layer upon layer. Seemingly harmless details like the gradual introduction of Farscape-specific vocabulary such as "frell", "dren" or "fahrbot". The repeated probing of characters' borders, the things D'Argo, Rygel, Aeryn, Zhaan and Chrichton are truly capable of doing and the things they are not. Oh, and of course we have the continuous theme of mental and physical violation that has been there as an undercurrent practically ever since day one, sometimes played more humorously like in "Thank God, it's Friday. Again", sometimes as serious and chilling as can be like in "Durka Returns".

So much for Farscape, now for the service announcements...


***
Technical Problems and Online Presence LJ/DW:

While I'm able to receive LJ comment notifications again and despite recent problems will continue to stay present on LJ for various reasons, I thought I should let people know that communicating via Dreamwidth is more than welcome. I've been happily crossposting from my DW account for quite a while now and check my DW reading list about as regularly as I ckeck my LJ.

Planned Holiday Absence:

August 16 to August 26 (Scotland, Outer Hebrides and Glasgow). In the extremely unlikely case that any of you should be geographically close enough to meet up with us during that period, please let us know. We'd be delighted :-)

***
bimo: (DRD_beware)
The poll regarding the question which series [livejournal.com profile] cavendish and I should take into consideration for our next rewatch project resulted in a clear tie between Blake's 7, Babylon 5 and Farscape. So I took liberty to follow my instincts and gently coerce into convince Cavendish to try out Farscape for a change. An endeavor which, at first, was met by much skepticism from Cavendish's side. After watching the pilot episode he uttered "Do we really have to watch this for four full seasons?" to which I replied with the usual "Trust me, this show will evolve into something radically different, just wait until we reach the end of the first season" speech.

On the plus side of things:

By now we have safely progressed to ep 1.8 "That Old Black Magic" without any further complaints. Also he doesn't seem to mind the muppets, even has expressed sympathy for poor, stressed-out Pilot.
bimo: (DRD_beware)

There were quite a few more sensible ways to spend my time, but since it was Sunday afternoon and  Farscape muse had struck..

John Chrichton as drawn by Bimo )


bimo: (DRD_beware)
This morning, when I sat at the breakfast table, my mind still cozily wrapped in various layers of drowsiness, I had the oddest Farscape thought occuring seemingly out of nowhere.

Supposed, there is a crossover universe between Farscape and Neil Gaiman's Sandman series, which member of the Endless would each Farscape character be most likely to meet? And at which point of their respective lives would this encounter probably happen? I still haven't finished pondering on this but here is what I came up with so far )

[livejournal.com profile] cavendish, I thought I'd better use cut-tags, since the post contains one or two details about the later seasons. So read at your own risk ;-)
bimo: (DRD_beware)
This evening I was able to enjoy a few hours of unexpected spare time, because the horse I am riding had an appointment with the blacksmith. Somehow I felt like drawing... *g*

I apologize if the sketch is a bit sloppy but I'm not exactly a genius when it comes to pencil.

John Crichton as drawn by Bimo )
bimo: (DRD_beware)
Today's definition of the term "luck": Spilling the entire content of your XL-sized coffee mug over your writing desk without one single drop of liquid hitting your keyboard (it's the fourth, btw.; keyboards fear me, I'm their doom *g*)

But back to the bundle of disconnected notes that I came here for...


***

[livejournal.com profile] cavendish's entry about Re-Unification Day, incorrigible teenage idealism and the importance of hopeful Utopias not only re-awakened my love for the groundbreaking qualities of Star Trek: Classic , it also caused me to wonder about the representation of humanist values in current Sci-Fi/Genre TV.

The most obvious finding: We clearly live in a "Post X-Files" age now. Where Roddenberry's Federation of Planets postulated the benefits of scientific advance, peaceful exploration and tolerance, the Federation officers of Joss Whedon's Firefly have turned human future into a paranoiac's nightmare. And while faith in political bodies or larger collectives as such appears to have been irreversably shattered, the remaining fragments have been rearrangend to form something else. Something that in the end might easily prove to be the more powerful optimist vision: humanism displayed not under ideal circumstances but in the face of terror and, also, the firm belief in the individual's capability to change.

So, here is my reply to anybody accusing shows like Farscape, Babylon 5, DS9 or the later seasons of Buffy of too much bleakness: don't look at the amount of despair and gloom. Look into the hearts of the characters. And you will find hope for mankind. More than enough.

***

I finally saw the season premiere of Angel. After last years' fantasy-heavy and apocalypse-loaden story arcs, the episode itself felt rather refreshing and ironically also much closer to the earlier, more reality-based plolines of seasons 1 and 2 than anything that has happened to Angel and crew after Pylea. Go A-Team. Go!

***

Some TV shows are like your favourite sweater. Though worn-out, baggy and bleached, you will unconditionally love them till the very end. I missed you, ER. Great to have you back!

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