It goes without saying that Gigi's popularity can be traced directly to her role as Chiana on Farscape. As such this special show warrants it's own section on this webpage.
Farscape is an American science fiction show which was shot, and produced entirely in Sydney, Australia. With the notable exception of the lead actor, Ben Browder, and some of the writers and producers the whole cast and crew was composed of native Australians. Gigi starred alongside very talented cast of actors. Most of them were bassically unknown to American audience with exception of Virginia Hay who worked with Mel Gibson on Mad Max, and Paul Godad who played an agent in the first Matrix. Claudia Black did play small roles in big Holywood productions such as Queen of the Damned, and Pitch Black - but that was after Farscape became popular.
So what is so unique about Farscape? The show was produced by Henson, and all the costumes and animatronics were done by the legendary Henson Creature Shop. It can be easily said that FS employed the most elaborate, and detailed prostetics and puppets that were ever seen in a TV show. For example Gigi's, Anthony Simcoe's and Virginia Hay's makup and prosthetics were usually taking 2-3 hours to apply on average. Furthermore Farscape is probably the only TV show which employed animatronic puppets on such a grand scale. It would be very hard to find any other show in which two of the main characters are done purely through animatronics and pupetery - and yet still are able to convey emotional output and performance expected from a real human member of the regular cast.
Farscape is a mix of unique concepts, and unique people. It was the anthithesis of every Star Treck like science fiction production, and it boldly went where no TV shows have gone before.
Farscape is the story of an American astronaut who accidentaly falls into a wormhole while testing an experimental aircraft. He is flung across the galaxy, and finds himself in some uncharted territory, inhabited by wierd alien species, ruled by powerfull military organizations and generally unfriendly for a mere earthling.
If that was not enoug, upon his arival he manages to colide with and destroy a ship piloted by a brother of Capitan Crais (a slightly unhinged, extremely vengfull and powerfull individual) killing him in the process. He also manages to get himself stuck on a escaped prison ship crewed by renegades, and former prisoners. Not only does this ship turn out to be a living being, and the crew a collection of the most bizzare creatures Crichton could ever imagine - it also happens to be sougt and chased by the said capitan.
And thus, the story of John Crihton begins. It is a saga of a simple earth-man stuck in the middle of a bizzare world which he does not know or understand. His main goal is to stay alive long enough to figure out how can he get back home...
Of course this is just the beggining, as the story twists and complicates with Crichton aquireing the secret knowledge of the wormhole inner workings in an encounter with an ancient alien race. This knowledge, imprinted in his unconscious memory can help him to get home, but also can be used as a horrible weapon allowing anyone to lounch undetectable attacks, or hurl whole stars across the galaxy. The posession of this knowledge quickly makes him the most wanted person in the known space, and pushes him and his friends deaper and deaper into the unknown parts of the galaxy.
Gigi Edgley initially was supposed to appear only in one FS episode: "Durka Returns". She entered the picture as a chained prisoner - a thief, and political recidivist who is considered a dangerous criminal by her own people. Thanks to Gigi's great performance, Chiana's death scene was quickly scratched from the script, and she was allowed to stay for few more eps. Unpredictable, mischevious, highly-sensual, sligthly immature, often strange and mysterious - but always interesting, Chiana quickly managed to capture the hearts of the audiences landing her a regular spot among John Crichtons crewmates.
As the show gained popularity, and was ataining it's "cult" status, Gigi grew to become a new sexual icon, lusted after by all scifi-geeks. However unlike many other barbie-dolls of science-fiction Chiana also had an unique and interesting personality, unmistakable manierisms and a very talented actress behind the wheel. Gigi's performance as Chiana was one of the most impressive displays of acting skill on TV in the recent years. To "become" Chiana, Gigi altered every single aspect of her pesonality. Her haracter had unique body language, posture, breathing pattern, pronouciation and voice pitch - all of which were were far from what a Gigi looks and souded like off the set. Chiana is without a doubt one of the most alien, humanoid characters on TV as of yet.