Universal translators always skip swear words

February 7th, 2014, 7:45 am

Average Rating: 5.00

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Scorpius: Treading the fine line
between 'cosplay' and 'fetish gear'

Author's Comments:

Reply TheCatMolloy, February 7th, 2014, 9:15 am

I think Farscape is on Netflix in most countries, so if you like Science Fiction and haven't seen it you should definitely give it a go. It starts off with astronaut John Crichton and his experimental spacecraft getting sucked through a wormhole into the middle of a firefight on the other side of the universe, and follows his adventures on an unarmed organic ship crewed by escaped prisoners on the run from what basically amounts to Space Nazis.

It builds from this basic premise wonderfully, with series-spanning story arcs and a deft hand for trope subversion. When faced with a living ship and its motley crew of misfit aliens in the pilot episode, Crichton, our point-of-view character, snaps. He never really snaps back. This gives the show license to be really weird because there's a running theme of "WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!" supporting the whole thing. It's balls-out insane, and frequently hilarious. The scripts are sharp, the effects have aged well, and it's got one of the best bromances in Sci-Fi.

About halfway through the second series, it started messing with Paige's brain. The script for today's strip is lifted directly from a conversation with her. Farscape takes the time-honored sci-fi tradition of using alienese swear words (รก la Battlestar Galactica's 'Frak') so that characters can be foul-mouthed without pissing off the network censors.

It's actually used for characterisation - the more thoughtful characters (particularly the villains) seldom swear, Crichton doesn't start using the new words straight away, and their most poetic (and frequent) use comes from the centuries-old deposed aristocrat in exile Rygel. Elsewhere they're the multi-purpose adjectives and exclamations swear words are in any language. And Paige has started using them.

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User's Comments:

Reply Valley, February 7th, 2014, 11:09 am

"Stop! Or I'll fill you with...little balls of light..."

I love that show.

Reply Umbeh (Guest), February 7th, 2014, 12:33 pm

Frell.. I've been marathonning it too and you're right!

Reply GabrielsThoughts, February 7th, 2014, 3:32 pm

Farscape is also available on Prime as well. Barring the peacekeeper wars, which can be purchased for a nominal fee.

I thought it was on par with the early years of StarTrek:Voyager and not nearly as enjoyable or fun as the original Lost in Space. I don't see much in the way of character development either, which is ironic because I should be the last person to argue such. However, as odd as it sounds, I don't really count interpersonal relationships and group dynamics as character development. If you have experimentation and philosophy involved then we can talk... and it has to be about more than hard science and theoretical physics because then you may as well be talking about magic.

Also, "Fetishism" appears to be the key to good storytelling these days not characters, complex relationships, or quality. As with marketing, politics, and religion, if you can get into their pants, their wallets, or otherwise figure out a way to coerce, extort, manipulate, or separate them from their ability to make choices based genuine understanding and not fear, contempt, surprise, shock, anger, and grief, under the illusion that you're connecting them to a higher power, then you can talk character development. Otherwise, I see hubris, emotional blackmail, and otherwise unhealthy competition or oneupmanship.

Reply Saskyou, February 8th, 2014, 3:45 am

I can't believe you are all missing the awesome timing of the GIF.
Gee, time your reading right, guys!

Reply GabrielsThoughts, February 8th, 2014, 10:03 am

@saskyou Not everyone reads as fast as the author. Besides, it should be spinning an popping in and out at random intervals. Wynona should have laser beams and a kickback or something and D'argo should be blinking.

Reply DBSS (Guest), February 8th, 2014, 2:09 pm

WTF? Just to let you know in case you haven't been informed, but Google has blocked your page as containing badware. Firefox had it flagged.

Reply NtKPaige, February 8th, 2014, 7:09 pm

We're working on it, bear with us folks.

Reply TheCatMolloy, February 8th, 2014, 7:17 pm

Problem isn't showing up on Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer from my computer. Possibly a server-side problem that's been sorted out already :/

Reply Guest, February 9th, 2014, 9:27 am

Odd, the vote button is gone

Reply EveryoneYOUknow (Guest), February 10th, 2014, 1:44 am

No E-Farscape (yes I chose a cheesy title, because it's past midnight and I can do that)

I love this show and I'm only on the third episode. I'm already converting my friends to it and I will create a fandom, I will, I will have ships and otps and AUs and everything. Farscape is incredible and you showed it to me just in time. (cuz I just finished watching all the episodes of Chuck and needed a new series to watch non-stop while I work on an actual social life.)

And I love the gif, I didn't catch it at first, but then refreshing the page, I finally caught it!

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