Why Was Farscape Season 5 Never Made?

‘Farscape’ is a science fiction drama series that revolves around an astronaut named John Crichton whose experimental space mission turns on its head, throwing him across the universe. Finding himself trapped among alien creatures, he becomes part of a fugitive alien starship crew possessing deadly technology. Crichton then forms a team with a group of rebels amidst a fierce and intense intergalactic battle as he embarks on a spectacular odyssey, trying to find his way back to Earth.

The series was created by Rockne S. O’Bannon and premiered on March 19, 1999. Following its release, ‘Farscape’ was subjected to primarily positive reviews from fans and critics alike, garnering praises for the compelling performances of the cast enhanced by the futuristic sci-fi set pieces. Since the credits for the fourth season roll after a cliffhanger, it leaves the viewers curious about the prospects of the fifth season.

Farscape Season 5 Plans Scrapped by Network

‘Farscape’ season 4 premiered on June 7, 2002, on Syfy, while the season finale was aired on March 10, 2003. The fourth iteration of the series consists of 22 episodes with a runtime of approximately 46 minutes each. Now, regarding the fifth round, here is what we can tell you about it.

Unfortunately, the Sci-Fi Channel decided to withdraw its funding for season 5 and canceled the show even before the fourth season had finished airing. The primary reason for shelving the show, despite it receiving several awards and accolades, was that the network thought it was not generating as many ratings and viewership as it did until the third season, making it way too expensive to renew.

During an online chat with fans, some of the cast and crew members of ‘Farscape’ — Brian Henson, David Kemper, and Ben Browder — announced the cancellation. After the announcement, it was only a matter of a few hours before fans of the show began a campaign to restore the show or get it transferred to another network that would fund its next season. Due to this uproar, the plans to get rid of the sets after production was put on hold pending the possible revival of the show in the future.

Bonnie Hammer, the Senior Vice President of Programming on The SciFi Channel at the time, broke the silence on the network’s decision to cancel ‘Farscape’ the way they did in a January 2003 interview with TV Guide Online. She said, “We never wanted to cancel it… The ratings had softened, and it was getting increasingly expensive to produce. We just couldn’t make the financial deal. But we never wanted it to end when it ended. We had all intentions of doing 13 more episodes.” Consequently, as of writing, ‘Farscape’ season 5 officially stands canceled.

However, thanks to the attention that the fan campaign generated, the show’s cancellation was noticed by the news media. Following the media attention the news received, several European financial backers offered their financial support to Brian Henson, encouraging him to revive the show and end it the way the makers intended to. Thus, in 2004, The Jim Henson Company produced a mini-series titled ‘Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars’ to wrap up the storyline.

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