Hi everyone. It’s been a few weeks I know. I’ve been away but i’m settled in back home and ready to get to work entertaining you all. This week’s MT is about one of my favorite shows, Farscape.
This week we’re looking at episode “Out Of Their Minds”, which first aired. July the 7th, 2000. This was the “mind swap” episode, a common trope in science fiction.
This idea was one of the first stories that Creator Rockne S O’Bannon and Producer David Kemper came up with when they were developing the show.
“that was one of the ideas David and I had when we were first speaking and starting to generate ideas for the show – when he and I were the only two people on the show.”“Farscape Chronicles” - Starburst Edition DVD v2.2)
It was one that would not have worked that early in the shows run, at least according to Rockne.
“In the first season, we sensed that the audience didn’t know the characters well enough, and the actors were still getting used to who they were. It just wouldn’t have been that much fun that early on, but by the middle of the second season, it was the perfect place to put it. The actors had spent a year and a half with each other and picked up each other’s mannerisms, which they would mimic and have fun with.” (“Farscape Chronicles” - Starburst Edition DVD v2.2)
The strength of this episode is the way the cast nails acting like the person who is inhabiting their body. The cast took video of themselves and shared it with whoever was possessing thier body before shooting to give them a chance to practice mannerisms. ADR Enginner Angus Robertson spent hours working with the cast to ensure their performances matched up. It was originally planned for everyone to overdub their voice over the actor who played that character but director Ian Watson felt that having the actors use their own voices would be more effective in showing the swap. (“Cool Farscape Facts” - Starburst Edition DVD v2.2)
The idea of giving the DRDs the ability to print out pictures of the cast was a last minute idea by Ian Watson.
On the matter of if the Halosians were inspired by the Skekis from the Henson classis The Dark Crystal there is a differing of opinion. Director Ian Watson did not feel so. (Cool Farscape Facts” - Starburst Edition DVD v2.2) Dave Easley the head of creature effects gave his take in a scifi.com chat from 2001.
Moderator: <ceallaig> to <Moderator>: hey Dave, welcome to the insanity. In Out of Their Minds, the Halosians were rather reminiscent of the Skekis from Dark Crystal. Was this intentional, a ‘nod’ to Henson, or just the way it turned out?
DaveE: Another good question
DaveE: Originally in the script, the Halosians were described as ‘bird-like’ and the first thing that jumped into my head were the Skeksis form the Dark Crystal.
DaveE: One of my best friends in the world is a guy called Lyle Conway who designed the Skeksis and also the plant from the Little Shop of Horrors and at the very beginning of when the creature shop was formed, had basically my job in London.
DaveE: I still think that these were some of the best things the creature shop has ever done.
DaveE: They are a cheeky nod to these characters and I never thought for an instant I’d get away with it!!
Just for comparison....
Anthony Simcoe recalled enjoying this episode because he made him think about choices he made as an actor.
“When I get certain kinds of things in a script, I always change them. Whenever the writers use apostrophe words like ‘can’t’, such as ‘I can’t go into that room,’ I will usually say ‘I cannot go into that room’ because that’s how I see D’Argo speaking. It takes him just that extra stress. I’d always made that decision, but it was only when we came to [this] episode that I had to articulate it. When I heard Gigi saying ‘can’t’, I said ‘Gig, there’s a can’t in there, and I would normally split it into two words.’ Then, Gig would do it. Hearing those little details and bouncing them back and forth was great!” (“Farscape Chronicles” - Starburst Edition DVD v2.2)
On a side note I got to see him speak at a sci-fi con in Springfield, Mass during the shows run, early 2000s or late 90s. He was a gem to see on stage and he is so differnet in real life than Dargo was. If you ever get a chance to meet him I recommend it.
Well guys that’s all I got this week. It feels good to be back, and I hope you all learned something today. I’ll see you all on next weeks Midweek Trivia.