Review: “Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars” (mini-series)

Although “Farscape” never got the fifth season that the Sci-Fi channel apparently promised them, a sustained campaign by loyal fans ensured that the show was given a good send-off with this three-hour mini-series. I would like to start this review by thanking all the people who campaigned to ensure that this amazing show actually reached it’s proper conclusion.

I should also point out that this review may contain some spoilers, both for the previous seasons of “Farscape” and possibly for this mini-series too, but I’ll try to keep them to a minimum.

“Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars” begins sixty days after the events of the ending of season four of “Farscape”. Thanks to Rigel’s diligent searching, Crichton and Aeryn are able to be re-assembled and revived by the inhabitants of the ocean planet which Moya is resting on. However, in the meantime, Scorpius has managed to single-handedly ignite a full-scale war between the Peacekeepers and the Scarrans and, of course, both of them want the wormhole knowledge in Crichton’s brain more than ever……

The first thing I will say about this mini-series is that it is epic. In the space of less than a fifth of a typical season of “Farscape”, this mini-series manages to pack as much drama, comedy, plot-twists and action as you would find in a typical season of the show into just three hours. In many ways, it’s what TV Tropes would refer to as a “big damn movie” – except, of course, that it isn’t technically a movie (it’s split into two episodes on the UK DVD, although apparently some versions of the DVD edit it into a single giant episode).

But, if you haven’t watched “Farscape” before, then you’ll probably find “Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars” to be fairly confusing. However, if you’re a fan of them show, then you’re in for a treat….

I cannot praise the pacing of this mini-series enough, the story never feels rushed even though it moves at a slightly faster pace than the average episode of the show. Naturally, there are a lot more space-battles and gunfights than you would expect from the average episode of the show, but these are as expertly-directed, dramatic and suspenseful as you would expect from a series of this calibre. Seriously, I cannot praise the special effects in this mini-series enough.

Yes, a lot of film-makers like to dazzle their audiences with lots of flashy special effects, but “Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars” has a suitably complex and interesting story to back this up (unlike, say, “Transformers” or anything like that). Likewise, the characterisation in this mini-series is even better than usual (considering the short length of it) and you can expect to see a few familiar characters return and a few familiar characters leave too.

For such a short series, it has a surprising number of sub-plots which are all expertly resolved by the time the end credits roll. Even though “Farscape” didn’t get a fifth season, this mini-series is certainly a very good replacement for it. I’d love to say a lot more about “The Peacekeeper Wars”, but I don’t want to give away any major spoilers.

Yes, it was made for the fans and, yes, you need a good understanding of what has happened within the past four seasons of “Farscape” to get the most out of this film (and, let’s not pretend any more, it is a film). But, if you’re a “Farscape” fan, then you certainly won’t be disappointed.

As with any “Farscape”-related thing, I will end this review with the formality of giving “The Peacekeeper Wars” five out of five.

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