A Snurcher's Guide to Farscape

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Production No. 101

Best Viewed As 1.1

Aired As
1.1 (US & UK)

Original Airdates
19 Mar 1999 (US)
29 Nov 1999 (UK)

1.3 (US)
4.02 (UK)

Abbreviations: (none)
Alternate Titles: (none)

Wassup? · Backstory · Reactions · Annotations · Microbes · Quotes · Cast & Crew

Writer: Rockne S. O'Bannon
Director: Andrew Prowse
Kent McCord................Jack Crichton
Murray Bartlett............DK
Lani Tupu..................Capt. Bialar Crais
Christine Stephen-Daly.....Lt. Teeg
Damen Stephenson...........Bio Isolation Man #1
Colin Borgonon.............PK Weapons Officer
Greg Blandy................PK Guard #1
Lawrence Woodward..........PK Guard #2
Complete Credits


Canaveral, we are free and flying!

Scientist John Crichton is pulled through a wormhole while testing a space module of his own design for IASA. On the other side of the wormhole: the Delvian Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan, Luxan warrior Ka D'Argo, and deposed Hynerian Dominar Rygel XVI have just succeeded in liberating themselves -- and Moya, their Leviathan biomechanoid prison transport ship, helmed by Pilot -- from the control of the Peacekeepers, a merciless race of mercenaries. Crichton finds himself involuntarily added to the crew roster, along with Peacekeeper Officer Aeryn Sun, who's (equally involuntarily) been deemed "irreversibly contaminated" by her former commanding officer, Captain Bialar Crais. Crais, whose brother was killed accidently during Crichton's unscheduled arrival via the wormhole, is now determined not only to recapture Moya and her prisoner crew, but to exact vengeance on Crichton, as well.


Farscape World


Terra Firma


Farscape Fantasy
Farscape World


The original mission of Farscape 1 was to test John Crichton's (and his best friend DK's) theory that a manned spacecraft can overcome atmospheric friction, and exponentially increase its speed, using only a planet's natural gravitational pull.

The main characters are each of a different species/race:

Aeryn Sun : Sebacean/Peacekeeper
Ka D'Argo : Luxan
John Crichton : Human
Moya : Leviathan
Pilot : [name of race unknown]
Dominar Rygel XVI : Hynerian
Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan : Delvian

John Crichton's father (also an astronaut) knew Yuri Gagarin, and carries the puzzle ring Gagarin gave him as a good luck charm.

NASA has apparently evolved into an international agency.

Prior to being liberated, Moya was headed for Terran Raa, a lifers' prison.

D'Argo can knock people unconscious using his extraordinarily long tongue as a weapon.

Zhaan is a Delvian priest, has experienced something called the Fourth Sensation, and was imprisoned for being an anarchist.

D'Argo is 30 cycles old, has seen two battle campaigns, and was imprisoned for killing his commanding officer.

Before his throne was usurped by his cousin Bishan, Rygel ruled an empire of over 600 billion subjects.

Leviathans are a sentient biomechanoid species.

Rygel passes helium when under stress.

Moya can reach speeds of at least Hetch 9 without using Starburst.

Zhaan meditates in the nude.

D'Argo spent eight cycles as a prisoner aboard Moya.

Aeryn has been declared irreversibly contaminated by her former commanding officer.



  1. If John had been successful in completing Farscape 1's original mission, how the heck would he have gotten back to Earth? Moya slingshotted out of the PK Command Carrier's scanning range; would the Space Shuttle have been able to retrieve John's module at such a distance?

Observations (none)

Bloopers (none)


Farscape World
Farscape Fantasy
AV Club
Tourist's Guide


Farscape World
Terra Firma


D.K.: "Uh, oh -- one small step, bud."

D.K. is using the famous line, spoken by Neil Armstrong as he made the first human step out onto the Moon's surface, "That's one small step for man...one giant leap for mankind," to indicate that John's astronaut-hero father (who also walked on the moon) has entered the room.

John: "Oh, no, that's your good luck charm. Yuri Gagarin gave you that."

Yuri Gagarin (see also http://www.allstar.fiu.edu/aerojava/gagarin.htm) was the Soviet Cosmonaut who, aboard Vostok 1 in 1961, became the first human being to reach outer space.

John: "Boy, was Spielberg ever wrong. Close Encounters, my ass."

Refers to Steven Spielberg's 1977 film CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND.

Translator Microbe Report

Coding Wall a form of computer security; Zhaan refers to it "dimming" when it fails, allowing her to release Moya's control collar
Commerce Planet the planetary equivalent of shopping malls in the Uncharted Territories
Control Collar device installed on the exterior of Leviathans enabling Peacekeepers to control them as transport ships
Cycle a measure of time (analogous to an Earth year)
Delvian Zhaan's species
DRD mechanical maintenance staff on Leviathans; short for Diagnostic Repair Droid/Darter/Drone (the definition for the final "D" has evolved over time)
Erp Aeryn's mispronounciation of "Earth"
Field Resourcefulness Exercise what the guard calls Crichton's puzzle ring
Food Cube standard food ration on Moya
Fourth Sensation an experience related to Delvian religious rituals
Frag Cannon ship weapon with a range of 45 metras (Peacekeeper)
Genetic Sieving Process D'Argo wonders how John escaped it, considering him "higher brain deficient"
Hetch a measure of speed (in reference to spaceships); the scale goes at least as high as 9
Hurlian Stone stone adorning a ring Rygel uses to barter for iriscentant fluid
Hynerian Rygel's species
Hynerian Cream Soap high on Rygel's shopping list for the commerce planet
IASA presumably, an acronym for "International Aeronautics & Space Administration"
Icarion Company company of which the Pleisar Regiment was a component
Iriscentant Fluid fuel of sorts, required to run Moya's drive
Irreversible Contamination condition caused by prolonged contact with non-Sebaceans, beyond established Peacekeeper parameters; the punishment is death
Janeray Syrup Rygel hopes it will get rid of the taste of food cubes
Kemlac mines deadly mine on Mekkar 7 where D'Argo worked
Khalaan a being or spirit to whom Zhaan offers thanks
Lashlan Spade Rygel threatens to disembowel a merchant with a dull one of these
Leviathan Moya's species, a living, biomechanoid spaceship
Luxan D'Argo's species
Mekkar 7 maximum labor planet where Zhaan spent three cycles; D'Argo was also imprisoned there, on the 93rd level, in the Kemlac mines
Metra a measure of distance
Peacekeeper (PK) Sebacean military force, hired as mercenaries
Peacekeeper Intellilan Interface computer-related assignment Zhaan had on Mekkar 7
Pleisar Regiment Aeryn's regiment as a Peacekeeper
Prowler single-pilot attack fighter (Peacekeeper)
Pulse Rifle personal energy weapon (Peacekeeper)
Qualta Blade combination sword/energy weapon (Luxan)
Rat cage astronauts' nickname for IASA quarantine
Sebacean Aeryn's species
Starburst the sole native defensive capability of a Leviathan; a type of fast, inter-dimensional travel not available to other forms of transport
Terran Raa A penal colony for those sentenced to life imprisonment
Translator Microbes microbes injected into all space faring species, which colonize at the base of the brain, and act as interpreters for spoken language
Uncharted Territories an area outside of Peacekeeper jurisdiction that has not been accurately mapped
Wellan Glow Crystals Rygel asks the price of these on the commerce planet


"Son, I can't help being who I am. Who I was..."
"It's not who you are, Dad. I love who you are. It's being son of who you are... Look, I...can't be your kind of hero."
"No, you can't be. But each man gets a chance to be his own kind of hero. Your time'll come, and when it does, watch out. Chances are it'll be the last thing you ever expected."
- Jack Crichton, John Crichton

"Pilot, does Moya know where we are?"
"Yes, of course! We're someplace else. I'll...get back to you on the specifics."
- Zhaan, Pilot

"What is the MATTER with you...people!?" - John Crichton

"I'm a damn scientist." - John Crichton

"You fart HELIUM?" - John Crichton

"Boy, was Spielberg ever wrong. Close Encounters, my ass." - John Crichton

"Sir, he claims to be a Human, from a planet called Erp..."- Aeryn Sun

"Don't move! Or, I'll fill you full of...little yellow bolts of light!" - John Crichton

"On the ground, now!" - John Crichton

"It is my duty, my breeding, since birth...it's what I am!"
"You can be more."
- Aeryn Sun, John Crichton

"See, you're fixed. Go play." - John Crichton

"And, there's life out here, Dad. Weird, amazing...psychotic life. And, uh...in Technicolor." - John Crichton

Comments from Cast & Crew

Rockne O'Bannon, June 24, 1999

  • Moderator: <SFAN> to <Moderator>: Wich FS character do you think you can most relate with?

    Rockne: Remember the DRD who got his eyelight snapped off in the Premiere.....?

David Kemper (& Ben Browder), September 23, 1999

  • Moderator: <Megatronnoj> to <Moderator> Are the hoops in Dargo's collar bones decorative or are they used for restraining purposes?

    DavidKemper: They were inserted -- without anesthetic -- by the Peacekeepers after he was captured. Arm restraints weren't enough. And watch that tongue!

  • Moderator: <Dalequan> to <Moderator> are we to assume that translator microbes are the native flora and fauna of some of the species they come in contact with or that some time in history planets were seeded with these microbes by an advanced species
    * Moderator thinks of the babel fish from hitchhiker's... *

    DavidKemper: T-microbes are individual lifeforms, who happen to perform a function that larger lifeforms can take advantage of.

Richard Manning & Andrew Prowse, January 6, 2000

  • Moderator: <Korban> to <Moderator>: What are your favorite FarScape episodes you did *not* direct/write?

    Ricky: I'm still pondering...
    Ricky: Durka Returns was fun 'cause it brought us Chiana...
    Ricky: ...Premiere, of course, 'cause that's where it all started...

Rockne S. O'Bannon, January 13, 2000

  • Moderator: <TracicarT> to <Moderator>: I know this is nit-picky, but in the (self-serving) interest of keeping my Farscape Lexicon as accurate as possible - when D'argo referred to Moya's baby as being well over a "Sakmar", did he mean size? Weight? Or other?

    Rockne: Sakmar is a weight measurement -- it's from the Premiere script (again, dropped from the final edit due to time contraints)...

David Kemper, January 27, 2000

  • Moderator: <Gmmas>: David: is Crichtons friend , DK , based on you? or your name?

    DK: Rock and I always try to put some reference to each other (usually buried and comic) in our works.
    DK: So, this time, the reference surfaced and floated.

Dominar Rygel XVI, February 17, 2000

  • Moderator: <Sojushisan> to <Moderator>: You Eminence - the Friends and Defenders of Pilot extends to you (cautiously) the Spare Arm Of Goodwill. Will you deign to enlighten us as to how you and Pilot plotted to make the escape from the Peacekeepers? Pilot - being the modest soul he is, has asked us to let YOU tell the story!

    Rygel: care to guess why
    Rygel: wait
    Rygel: let me reach to the shift key
    Rygel: but it worked out fine
    Rygel: i snuck out of the cell
    Rygel: overheard a shift detail passing
    Rygel: a clearance code
    Rygel: then came up with the plan
    Rygel: pilot helped a bit

  • Moderator: <Gmmas> to <Moderator>: Rygel: do you blame Crichton for the fact that Moya is being pursued by all those madmen?

    Rygel: yes
    Rygel: but to be honest
    Rygel: if he hadnt arrived when he did
    Rygel: we probably would not have gotten away
    Rygel: so i bury the grudge
    Rygel: but you are not to tell
    Rygel: him that
    Rygel: i have enough trouble with him listening to me as it is

David Kemper, with Richard Manning & Ben Browder ("Bruno"), August 17, 2000

  • Moderator: <LittleLeviathan> to <Moderator>: To the wonderful David Kemper: Which was the most difficult show to produce?Costly?Time consuming?

    Kemper: The Premiere.
    Kemper: We had to make it right.
    Kemper: We took our time.
    Kemper: We made it right.

Ben Browder, Mat McCoy (w/Fiona Gentle and Tim Mieville), Lily Taylor, & Richard Manning, July 12, 2001

  • Moderator: <xengland> to <Moderator>: my friend adam in the uk would like to know if there will be any more appearances of the mambo shirts in future eps

    FrooniumRicky: Boy, I hope so
    FrooniumRicky: hm, but so far, nary a Mambo in sight
    FrooniumRicky: oh, btw, for those who don't know
    FrooniumRicky: the very FIRST frame of John Crichton
    FrooniumRicky: in the Premiere --
    FrooniumRicky: That was a Mambo shirt as well

Dave Elsey, July 19, 2001

  • Moderator: <GrumpyGrrl> to <Moderator>: In episodes like "Premiere" and "Til The Blood Runs Clear", there have been some interesting looking characters lurking in the background - do you have names for them?

    DaveE: Yes.
    DaveE: Most of those characters were thrown together in Season 1 in about 2 or 3 days which was at the hight of my 'how the hell am I going to do this show' panic.
    DaveE: I actually woke up, I remember, at about 4am with a plan. I said I'm going to make 10 aliens today. And I did.
    DaveE: However, I never want to have to do that again, ever!!
    DaveE: One of the characters we see again and again 'cause she's kind of cool looking is one that we call "fish-girl".
    DaveE: And one day, I want to do the ultimate fish-girl version as a character on Farscape. Are you reading this David???