The Farscape Love Story of John and Aeryn, Explained by Ben Browder


  • Celebrate
    ‘s 25th anniversary with a June 24 marathon celebrating World UFO Day on Shout! TV.
  • Ben Browder speaks to us about the realistic love story between his character, John Crichton, and Claudia Black’s character, Aeryn Sun.
  • Browder also explained how found family forms an important part of
    , and the ‘fish out of water’ element of the show.

Tune into Shout! TV’s special encore presentation of the Farscape25th Anniversary marathon in celebration of World UFO Day. The marathon will broadcast Monday, June 24, beginning at 11am PT on Shout! TV and Farscape TV. It’s a great opportunity to revisit or introduce yourself to the show that marked a major transition for the sci-fi genre, focusing more on series-long arcs instead of episodic television, and shifting from the darker space opera period of ’80s and ’90s sci-fi to a much funnier, action-packed, and charming environment. At the dawn of the millennium, it was Farscape that would become the biggest influence on sci-fi in the 21st century, paving the way for the MCU (especially Guardians of the Galaxy) as we know it.

Something that a lot of people loved about the show was that, instead of falling into what was always called the “Moonlighting trope” of the will-they-won’t-they love story, which all falls apart when the two characters finally get together, the main characters of John Crichton (Ben Browder) and Aeryn Sun (Claudia Black) got together pretty quickly, and were allowed to tell a unique love story that was lived in and that had its ups and downs. It’s still referenced today as one of the best love stories on television.

MovieWeb spoke with Browder to celebrate the anniversary of the series, and he had this to say about the John and Aeryn love story.

I just think that the John and Aeryn story is more like most people’s stories,” began Browder. “You know, in any relationship there’s no linearity. It’s not always, ‘Just do this and now you’ve reached it.’ I’ve been married for 36 years, yeah, almost 36 years I’ve been married, and I can guarantee you that one day you’re going to try to kill each other, and the other day you’re gonna be just so into each other over time. And so I think that it’s real. I think it feels real to people. I think people feel the desires. They feel the pain that people cause one another. They feel the impossibility of it.” He continued:

“You know, you can be in a relationship and you can be madly in love, and something in life is gonna pull you apart. That could be work. It could be kids. It could be finances. It could be a pandemic, and it’s going to stress your relationship, and that’s what makes it real. That’s what makes it interesting.

“And the fact that […] you want to see them together is a testament to the writing staff and to Claudia Black.
It’s chemistry, which is the metaphor, but you take these […] two vials, you pour them together, and you end up with something which is effervescent

Related: Farscape’s Ben Browder Told James Gunn ‘You Stole My Show!’

Finding Found Family in Farscape

The idea of a ‘found family’ is now practically a trope in film and television, from the aforementioned Guardians of the Galaxy to the Fast & Furious franchise. This was another element of Farscape that set the stage for 21st century franchises, with the show bringing together different forms of life (and very different personalities) to create a genuinely charismatic and inspiring found family. John Crichton, a human astronaut caught in a wormhole and flung across the universe, learns to create a life, home, and family for himself. Browder commented on the theme in our same interview.

“I’ve been very lucky within my own life,”: explained Browder. “When I went to college, I had a found family. When I went to England and drama school, I had a found family, but when I moved on, almost every time you’d go to a set, but certainly a television or film set which goes for a long time, you become like family. And that’s one of the reasons that people go back and visit all the Star Trek families, right? Every single one of them ended up being a kind of family, and they kind of became family to one another during the work process.”

How do you build a life in a world which is beyond your comprehension? You know, for instance, for John, it’s like […] How do you build a life and a family and friends in an alien environment, which honestly, today we don’t have to leave our home to feel that we’re living in an alien environment.

The Jim Henson Company

Browder provided more context, with the show premiering in early 1999:

“It’s the turn of the last millennium. You know, we’re in 1999, 25 years ago, we’re approaching the apocalypse, right? Because it’s the millennium, we got Y2K going. ‘Oh, the world’s gonna fall apart.’ But the world was rapidly changing. The way we were processing information was rapidly changing. Computers were coming in, cell phones were coming in.
So you walked out your door, and you felt like this is a world that I don’t recognize from 15 years ago, 20 years ago, and that’s a constant process for everyone in this world

“And so, if you can bring that to the screen,” concluded Browder, “I think most people can relate to it. Maybe not everybody, maybe somebody’s living in a bubble somewhere which hasn’t changed in 50 years, but I don’t know that person.”


20 of the Best Science Fiction TV Shows of All Time, Ranked

Sci-fi has been on television since its earliest days, and the best science fiction TV shows span 60 years, from The Jetsons to Stranger Things.

Check out the Farscape marathon on Monday, June 24, beginning at 11am PT on Shout! TV and Farscape TV. Fans can watch the entire series, including the Emmy-nominated miniseries Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars, on-demand on Shout! Factory TV and streaming 24/7 on the Farscape FAST channel. Also available from Shout! is the Farscape: The Complete Series (25th Anniversary Edition) Blu-ray collection.