Day 209: Frelling Trainers

Farscape’s Chiana admires some Cons that are charity trainers in two ways…

July 28 main

Ah, Farscape, the show that introduced pissing muppets and fart gags to sci-fi. And I loved it.

While a bit of the anarchic spirit of Farscape lives on in Defiance (not surprising since it was developed by the same guy) no SF drama has ever been quite so brilliantly bat’s arse. It embraced concepts and characters that you wouldn’t have expected to work outside of Hitchhiker’s or Red Dwarf, and made them work in a show that could also rip your heart out with emotion at times. It may have silly but it was not lightweight.

This was the show that had two versions of its main character swanning about the universe for a whole season; this was the show that made a star out of neural implant; this was the show that had its main villain appear in a rabbit costume; this was the show that had its star wake up in women’s clothes in a peep show attraction; this was the show that got away with an animated episode for heaven’s sake.

fascape alienThe input from Jim Henson’s Creature Workshop made sure the aliens were truly unique, and the costume design was often like a fetish convention.

I miss Farscape. But at least it ended in style with the Peacekeeper Wars mini-series which was a bizarre and spectacular as any fan could want. The series was an acquired taste, but if you acquired it, you were rewarded tenfold.

Smeg fridgeThe Swear Box

Farscape also followed a grand SF TV tradition of making up swear words that then went on to be used by geeks in day-to-day conversation. Farscape gave us frell, a not very subtle combination of f**k and hell, but also  dren, which never passed into the zeitgeist in quite the same way.

Arguably Red Dwarf started the trend with smeg, a cheeky shortening of “smegma”, the fancy name for knob cheese, that somehow made it past BBC censors. It also meant that no one could ever take a certain brand of fridge seriously ever again.

Admittedly the original Battlestar Galactica had already introduced frak (hmm, that sounds a little bit like f…) in the ’70s, but the word wasn’t popularised in fandom until the reimagined 21st  century series. Thankfully, the original series’ other swear word, felgercarb (which sounds like a performance enhancing drug), was not championed in the new series.

Equally thankfully, nobody over the age of 12 ever thought that using Monk And Mindy’s shazbot (which sounds like an Essex version of the Buffybot) in normal conversations was acceptable.

firefly1Then Firefly came along with, gorram which, despite sounding like the not-very-objectionable “God damned”, remains perennially popular as a geek swear.

Defiance is currently trying to popularise shtako, which is making some inroads into geek culture, but its only vague semblance to sh*t may prevent it becoming the new frell or gorram. Stargate’s Mik’ta was onto a loser from the start as it doesn’t sound like any pre-existing swearword at all… AND IT HAS A FRELLING APOSTROPHE IN IT!

Finally, if you want to be really obscure – but get serious kudos points from anyone else who gets the reference – try using Belgium in a swear word capacity.

Finally, honourable mentions to two non-TV franchises Star Wars for poodoo – which is clearly crap – and Judge Dredd for drokk, which manages to make dross sound about 20 times harder.

A word on the trainers, which are Cons with a curious design on them saying, “DESI(RED)”. The label inside indicate that proceeds for the sale of this range went to AIDS, TB and malaria charities. And now I’ve got them, they’ll be sold on once more in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK. So a very charitable pair of trainers.

Which reminds me… have you sponsored me yet? These blogs don’t write themselves you know.

See you tomorrow.

Donate buttonUsual Sign-Off

• Current total: £1,075

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything  from 8 to 10) contact me at so I can arrange collection.

• Please, please, please leave comments below! I’m after ideas for mini-challenges, future photoshoots and how I can find enough pairs of trainers!


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