It’s no secret that we’re big Farscape fans around here, and I am forever frustrated that series leads Ben Browder and Claudia Black haven’t gone on to have massive careers after their stellar performances on the series. But my Farscape love doesn’t stop and Ben and Claudia — it’s hard to find a weak link in that cast. Aussie actress Raelee Hill joined the show late in the game, first appearing in the fourth season episode “Crichton Kicks.” She played Sikozu, a “Leviathan expert” whose loyalties seemed to be forever in flux. She eventually even started up a relationship with Scorpius, and let me just say: eww. Fun fact: Hill had actually auditioned for the role of Commandant Mele-On Grayza, which eventually went to Rebecca Riggs. Exec producer David Kemper liked the actress but thought she was “too likeable” for a straight-up villain, so created the role of Sikozu specifically for her. Hill turns 41 today.
“Where No Man Has Gone Before” (October 24, 1987)
Star Trek: The Next Generation always seemed to struggle with what to do with the character of Wesley Crusher. Given how many fans were walking around conventions wearing slogans like “Shut up, Wesley (in an Airtight Container),” it’s clear they never really succeeded. The first season episode “Where No One Has Gone Before” was one of their early attempts to make Wesley more interesting and less annoying. Unfortunately, they may have overshot the mark by comparing his innate scientific acumen to Mozart’s musical abilities. That observation was made by an enigmatic figure known only as the Traveler, an alien who helps crank up the Enterprise’s warp engines all the way to eleven, propelling the vessel into another distant galaxy. While Next Gen’s first season was full of a lot of stinkers, I’ve always liked this one just for the sheer notion of the Enterprise literally going where no man has gone before. The episode aired on this date in 1987. Now then, does anybody out there have the Traveler’s digits? Our space program could use an alien kick in the pants.