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Pop Culture: Sci-Fi TV & Film’s Best And Worst Dads

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JorElKentToday we’ve all hopefully been spending time with our fathers, or at least with our fond memories of them. Given how much of an impact our fathers have on our lives — even if only by their absence — there’s no surprise that daddy issues extend all the way to the final frontier. So, in honor of Father’s Day, we decided to take a closer look at some of science fiction’s most memorable dads, and the ways their teachings and legacies shaped their children.

As the bar against all others will be measured, we decided on a duo that represent both sides of the old “nature vs. nurture” debate: the Kryptonian Jor-El and the Kansan Jonathan Kent. Jor-El gave Kal-El the genetic potential to do great things, and his final acts were to ensure his son’s survival even as his planet died. On the other hand, Jonathan Kent (along with Martha, of course) helped shape Clark into a true hero worthy of the name Superman. So, with Jor-El and Jonathan serving as two sides of our paternal ideal, here are our picks…

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Farscape: Everything You Need To Know About The Comics Before The Movie

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FarscapeEaster weekend is all about death and resurrection for the Christians of the world, but even the secular Farscape fans had something to celebrate this past weekend. While doing a panel at Wondercon in Anaheim, creator Rockne S. O’Bannon said that a Farscape spinoff movie is indeed in the works. That confirmed rumors from earlier this year, when writer Justin Monjo revealed that he was writing a script for a Farscape movie. A smaller but important element is that it sounds like the events of the Farscape movie will follow those of the BOOM! Studios comics, with the movie picking up many years later, with John and Aeryn’s son D’Argo now 19 years old and all three living in hiding on Earth.

Both O’Bannon and Farscape novelist Keith R. A. DeCandido handled the writing duties on the comics, so it’s no surprise that they’ve got the official stamp as “canon.” However, we realize not every Farscape fan is a comic book fan. Maybe you just want the Cliffs Notes version without having to read through the Farscape comic series and its various spin-offs and tie-ins. Well don’t worry, ‘scapers, we’ve got your back. Here’s everything you need to know about the comics before eventually diving into the newly announced movie.

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Farscape Creator Confirms Movie Spin-Off Is In The Works

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FarscapeWhile it might not have demonstrated as many lives as Futurama — not yet, at least — Farscape has definitely proven itself to be a hardier show than any of us could have guessed. Although the show was contracted to run five seasons on what was then still the Sci-Fi Channel, the network canceled it at the end of the fourth — leaving the show on a horribly cruel cliffhanger episode that bore the all too apt title of “Bad Timing.” Thankfully, the weeping, wailing, and blind rage of the fans earned the show a coda: the 2004 miniseries Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars, which gave the story a proper (albeit occasionally tragic) wrap-up. And while it was awesome to see the show get a worthy ending, it was still sad to admit that the miniseries would likely be the last we’d see of Farscape on our screens. But, to borrow a quote from a different space franchise: never tell me the odds. It turns out the rumors are true: a Farscape movie is indeed in the works.

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Comic(s) Relief: Are Farscape’s Comic-Book Adventures Worth The Trip?

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FarscapeOne of the best science fiction series ever made just celebrated its 15th anniversary. Farscape originally premiered on March 19, 1999, on what was still called the Sci-Fi Channel at that point. With a motley crew of crazy characters, Muppet aliens, and a twisted sense of humor that often counterbalanced very dark storylines, Farscape was unlike anything we’d seen on television. And in spite of an unexpected cancellation that looked like it’d leave fans in the lurch, the show managed to get a second chance at closure in the form of the 2004 Peacekeeper Wars miniseries.

All these years later, comes the word that maybe, just maybe, we might get a new Farscape TV movie. And I hope so, because that would be awesome. But what you might not realize is that Crichton, Aeryn, Jothee, Chiana, and the rest actually didn’t just settle into a quiet retirement after The Peacekeeper Wars. I mean, they totally intended to — they’d earned their happy ending — but the story of Farscape actually picked up again in 2008, courtesy of comics from BOOM! Studios. Show creator Rockne S. O’Bannon worked with Farscape novelist Keith R.A. DeCandido to plot out the Moya crew’s further adventures through the Uncharted Territories, and the comics are considered official canon by the Jim Henson Company. So if we really might get a new Farscape movie at some point, now is the perfect time to catch up on where the story went after the Peacekeeper Wars reached their climactic end.

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Ladies First: The Best Female Characters Of Sci-Fi Film And Television

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RipleyLoaderOne of the reasons we love science fiction is because there’s no shortage of strong, dynamic, fascinating female characters kicking around the galaxy, a trait that isn’t always a given in other genres. Iconic characters like Ripley and Sarah Connor have become the bar by which most other female heroines are measured against, but thankfully sci-fi doesn’t limit its badass females strictly to the most obvious form of badassery. Our favorite sci-fi heroines might have what it takes to field-strip a pulse rifle, or they might have the fortitude to lead a desperate fleet of mankind’s remnants across the stars to a new home. They might be able to take down multiple murderous cyborgs, or they might have the courage to serve as inspiration for revolution against an oppressive government.

When it came time for us to pick out favorite female characters from science fiction film and television, the task was more than daunting. After several rounds of voting, arguing, throwing things, and threats of blackmail, we finally whittled our list down to 19, our picks for the very best, most interesting, most compelling, most badass female characters the genre has had to offer across film and TV. We’re listing them in alphabetical order by last name, but it’s strangely appropriate who wound up as number one regardless…

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Farscape Celebrates 15 Years: Today In Science Fiction

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FarscapeMan, there’s nothing worse than your favorite shows making you feel oooooolllllllllld. At least the anniversary of Farscape, which premiered 15 years ago today on what was still then called the Sci-Fi Channel, isn’t quite as painful as the realization that it’s been over 20 years since Babylon 5’s pilot TV movie The Gathering first aired. Thankfully, while B5 continues to dwindle into obscurity because Warner Bros. refuses to put the damn thing on Netflix already, Farscape is available for streaming on both Netflix Instant and Amazon Prime Instant Video. If you’ve been meaning to give the show a look, what better time to start?

But even if you’re not feeling it after the first couple of episodes, just stick with it — trust me. I gave it only a couple of episodes initially before losing interest. Why was this show’s tone all over the map? What was with all the Muppets? Why was it all so…weird? Thankfully a few episodes down the line a friend talked me into giving it another shot, and that’s when I got well and truly hooked on a series that became one of my all-time favorites. And that weirdness? That’s one of the best things about the show.

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