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18 June 2014
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Episode Guide
A Constellation of Doubt

Review

It reportedly took longer to make A Constellation of Doubt than any other episode. Not a moment of that time was wasted.

This tour-de-force by David Kemper uses the inspired device of framing the episode within a documentary about the visit of Moya's crew to Earth. We get the fun of seeing a brilliantly observed, utterly realistic recreation of American documentary TV, complete with self-important talking heads and gravitas-heavy presenter. Then there's the incongruous glory of seeing John, Chiana, et al watching themselves on a widescreen TV while sitting in the bowels of Moya.

Excellent, emotion laden performances, particularly from Ben Browder and Raelee Hill, heighten the tension. John Crichton's decline into deep, unpredictable despair by Aeryn's loss, and the clear inability of Earth to accept alien contact is particularly affecting. Sikozu's snippy desperation when pleading against his accusations of treachery brought her character fully to life as well.

Better even than this, though, was the documentary itself. Showing our aliens from many different viewpoints, but ultimately giving a warped view of them as an inevitable threat, it subtly and uncompromisingly aligns the viewer against humanity. We know what the aliens are like - what humanity says, as presented on the documentary, is so wrong that we have no choice but to put our sympathies with the opposing side.

Rounding off a ten out of ten perfect episode is John's final realisation of where he must go if he is to rescue Aeryn. Once again a Farscape set up pays off in an unexpectedly elegant and thoroughly wonderful way.

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