Farscape And Battlestar Galactica Speak To The Experiences Of Homelessness

Illustration for article titled Farscape And Battlestar Galactica Speak To The Experiences Of Homelessness

Both Farscape and Battlestar Galactica are narratives about homelessness, writes a woman who survived life on the streets, in the newest issue of Homeless Tales. But she finds Farscape both grittier and more inspirational.


Battlestar Galactica, writes MetisRebel, is about a group of people who've lost their homes and are cut off from everything:

Battlestar Galactica is about a group of humans who, due to their arrogance of playing God with artificial intelligence technology, find themselves on the wrong side of a genocide rained upon them by their own robotic creations, the Cylons. Humanity's planets are bombed out of existence.

Meanwhile, Farscape is about one particular human who loses his home, and it resonates a great deal with the real experiences of homeless people:

a scientist/astronaut who is accidentally shot through a wormhole alone in his experimental pod then finds himself, through no fault of his own, in another galaxy during a shoot out between escaping prisoners and their lawful captors.

"Homeless" is truly an apt description. John Crichton of Farscape is both physically and metaphorically, lost – light years from all he knows and the civilizations he encounters are far beyond his technological comprehension. It's a violent, dangerous universe. He has no idea where he is, how to get home, or how to improve his situation. He is confounded by who is allied with whom, who is reliable–or not, and the political/social/cultural realities of his new situation.

Early on, Crichton's so out of his depth, he doesn't even know how to open a door. MetisRebel can identify with his feelings of insecurity and tentativeness:

He's just a nice guy, who accidentally bounced through a wormhole into the wrong place, at the wrong time. Others alternately bully and con the new guy. Not much different than popping into the local homeless drop in, the first time... Crichton, who starts out as reasonable, compassionate and sensible is then relentlessly driven by the violence committed against him and the violence he must in turn, commit to survive, over the line of sanity... Crichton just wants what every ‘homeless' person wants. He wants to go home.


But eventually Crichton becomes so adept at surviving in his new circumstances, he can't even relate to Earth when he finally does get home. He's an inspirational figure because he does learn to master his bewildering situation.

In the end, MetisRebel finds Farscape a more helpful narrative than BSG, because Crichton and his friends band together to improve their situation. BSG's "hand of God," meanwhile, feels too much like waiting for governments or large corporations to do something to improve your circumstance, when you're out on the streets.


[Homeless Tales]


I loved both shows and think is is a crime that Stargate lives on instead of Farscape. But I don't think it was better written than BSG.

Farscape was great, up until it turned its great villain, Scorpius, into a "good guy". Much like BSG was great until the Cylons started to switch over the the "good" side.

I would love to somehow morph the two.