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18 June 2014
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Episode Guide
Terra Firma


The triumphant culmination of this mid-season trilogy finally really does take John Crichton back to Earth, then takes a long hard look at the loneliness of the long-distance astronaut.

By bringing John back to a home depicted with the realism of this episode takes some serious risks. Contrasted with down-to-earth scenes and characters, the alien, science-fiction elements of the show might have looked unconvincing. Instead, the aliens' behaviour and presence on Earth makes the petty, provincial concerns of humanity look unrealistic instead. Why worry about geo-politics when cosmo-politics has just become an issue?

The invisible alien sub-plot was rather derivative and Predator-esque, although entirely worthwhile if only to see Grayza’s sexual toying with the bemused Braca.

Farscape doesn’t need to put its bug-eyed monsters at the centre of its stories, and instead, a well-structured script brings characterisation, one of Farscape's great strengths, to the fore. It's easy to bring Chiana to life on Moya's command deck - but it's a mark of writer Richard Manning’s skill, as well as actor Gigi Edgley’s, that she's equally believable swigging champagne from the bottle at a formal IASA gathering.

The crowning achievement though, is to make John Crichton's decision to return to space not just realistic, but inevitable. Throughout the series he's grown and changed, a journey that we viewers have shared. Only now can we see just how alien his experiences have made him. His long search for home is over, because it isn’t his home any more.

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