As part of our theme month for Sci fi romance, I thought I would bring the focus on another medium which is television and movies. Now most of the people that know me are aware that I’m a huge Farscape fan, which I think has one of the best Sci Fi, or if not one of the best romances, that has ever graced the small or big screen. But there have been other examples from other shows which helped push the envelope in terms of gender roles, as well as producing a damn good story. So I will be highlighting some of my favourite couples who shined in Sci Fi in this post, which I hope if you haven’t checked out before will do so now, especially if you’re a fan of star crossed lovers.
John and Aeryn – It is no surprise they top my list *cough. points to my avatar* and I’ve made no secret of the love I have for this show, which is partially due to the fantastic chemistry which Ben Browder and Claudia Black, as well as the other cast members. However, FARSCAPE, for me, became something really special because it really highlighted the tone of what star crossed lovers should be. John Crichton is an astronaut who is flung across the galaxy while on a test mission for a new space module, and he finds himself captured by alien outlaws on a prison ship. His first meeting with Aeryn Sun is very memorable when he literally ends up close and personal with Aeryn!
I adored the fact that traditional gender roles were switched with John and Aeryn; Aeryn playing the tough soldier who has closed herself off because she learned that having feelings only leads to pain and vulnerability; and John who uses his sense of humour to help cope in a crazy new world, and he has a sense of wonder which is almost innocent-like. The world Farscape explores is full of zaniness and imagination, and what it means to be human in an alien world. Their characters both evolve, with Aeryn learning that being open and vulnerable is not a necessary a bad thing, and John–who loses his innocence pretty fast–still retains his sense of humanity as well humour, even though he pays a huge price for the repercussions in his actions and those against him.
John and Aeryn’s relationship is filled with angst, drama and lots of sexual tension–unlike some shows that tease with the potential of a romance but never delivers on exploring a romantic relationship between two leads for the SFF genre, Farscape certainly succeeds. And at its heart is the love story between John and Aeryn which is described by one of the producers as ‘an epic love story’.
Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. O h how I love thee. The X-Files became one of my first fandoms, as well one of my all time favourite shows, although I try to forget what happened in the last two seasons…
Like John and Aeryn, the traditional twist on gender dynamics has a similar twist. Scully has a more cool, scientific rationale, and Mulder is more open and sensitive, as well having an intuition that almost borders on the psychic. Their investigation into the paranormal and conspiracies helped to conceive a partnership and a bond that was unbreakable. But what drew me into the show was their relationship which was filled with unresolved sexual tension that which had the producers writing episodes that teased the possibility of the romantic feelings they shared.
Although we never really get to see them consummate their relationship during the series, the show ends confirming that they’re together. I did feel cheated just like other fans of the show because it was never shown in a satisfactory way. Yet X-Files was the show that created the term shippers and fan-factions. But there were opposing groups of fans who didn’t want to see them together so the producers felt this was the best way to deal with their relationship. I think due to the way their relationship was handled, other shows took note and learned from their mistakes.
Roslin and Adama. In the reimagined television series of Battlestar Galactica were my favourite couple in the series. Roslin and Adama butted heads straight off in how to handle the remaining surviving humans from the Cylons, who were determined to exterminate them. It was one of the best sources of conflict in the series for me, and despite their differences, they learned from their mistakes and grew to admire and respect each other. Both became a touchstone for each other, and I loved the quiet, deep respect overtones of their relationship which was genuine and realistic.
Olivia and Peter. Fringe had similar dynamics in many ways to The X-Files but unlike alien conspiracies, and the paranormal, it is time-travel and alternative realities that make up the show. And this plays with ‘what if’ scenarios like a child in a toy-shop. It’s pretty much confirmed midway in the series that Olivia and Peter are together, although the path to true love is not easy when the time-lines are being interfered, and an alternative version of Olivia becomes an imposter trying to wreck things. But I loved how things were played out and the ending was very satisfying.
Spock and Uhura. In the reboot movies, although some would say that it should be Spock and Kirk. I really adored the twist that Spock had a long-term romantic relationship, because it was never really explored in the original series, although ironically it was suggested that Uhura and Spock might have a romance brewing but was shut down by the powers that be. When they first kissed in that lift scene it showed how much Spock felt for Uhura, and I loved that the path being set for him will explore and embrace his human side, which I think will have some interesting possibilities.
Here are some more of my other favourite couples:
John and Delenn from Babylon 5. I loved their relationship and how it developed throughout the series. When Delenn explains on how Minbari’s courtship was fun as well as amusing because John was so confused by the traditions. But it added a sexy component to and their romance which was a wonderful layer in this space opera tale.
Sharon and Helo from Battlestar Galactica who are my second favourite couple in this series. Sharon knows she is a Cylon but falls in love with Helo and allies herself with the humans, even though they distrust her.
So are any of the couples I featured today are in your list and who are your favourite SFF couples?