A Snurcher's Guide to Farscape

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Production No. 115

Best Viewed As 1.15

Aired As
1.15 (US & UK)

Original Airdates
13 Aug 1999 (US)
27 Mar 2000 (UK)

1.4 (US)
2.44 (UK)

Durka Returns
Abbreviations: DR
Alternate Titles: (none)

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

Writer: Grant McAloon
Director: Tony Tilse
Gigi Edgley................Chiana
David Wheeler..............Capt. Selto Durka
Tiriel Mora................Salis
Complete Credits


Another Snurcher joins the crew!

Moya damages another ship while exiting starburst; when Pilot brings them onboard to effect repairs, Rygel is horrifed to discover that one of the passengers is Capt. Durka. Also aboard: Salis, a Nebari authority, and his young female prisoner, Chiana. With Salis' murder, Durka reverts to his former personality -- and crew find themselves fighting for control of Moya.


Farscape World


Terra Firma


Farscape Fantasy
Farscape World




Questions (none)

Observations (none)

Bloopers (none)


Farscape World
Farscape Fantasy
AV Club
Tourist's Guide


Farscape World
Terra Firma


John: "I guess we can turn off the 'fasten-seatbelt' sign now."

Reference to the turbulent nature of Moya's movement. Federal regulations in the United States require that seatbelts be worn by all aircraft passengers during takeoff and landing, when the Fasten Seatbelt sign is illuminated. (The sign may be switched off at the pilot's discretion, indicating that passengers may safely leave their seats, but is generally switched back on if the aircraft encounters turbulence.)

John: "I don't give a damn if she's an ax-murderer, Elvis. She was just talking to me."

Elvis Presley. The King. John probably thought that Salis's funky sideburns made him look like Elvis.

In the "inside joke" department, the make-up for Salis was reportedly based on Craig Barden (the Director of Photography for season one), who resembled Elvis.

John: "Nebari mental cleansing doesn't get the tough stains out."

A reference to various American television commercials for laundry detergents.

John: "He's a psychopath -- legendary -- and nobody knows what a 100 years of eating Happy Meals have done to him."

"Happy Meals" are a menu item at the McDonald's fast food chain. Intended for kids, they come in fun boxes, and include a toy of some sort, typically a licensed product that promotes something (like, say, a Disney movie). Here's an interesting site -- it's commercial (they're trying to sell these items), but it shows some of the toys that have been included with Happy Meals over the years.

John: "Look, I don't have time to play this game. Durka's gone Hannibal Lecter on us."
Chiana: "I don't know what that means."

It means that he's turned into a psycho killer, a la "Hannibal the Cannibal", the popular character created by Thomas Harris for his novel RED DRAGON (filmed as MANHUNTER and to be remade under the original title). Hannibal then appeared in two sequels: THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and HANNIBAL. For the books: http://www.randomhouse.com/features/thomasharris/home.html

Translator Microbe Report

Atmosphere ducts portion of Moya's infrastructure
Birthing Chamber equivalent of a uterus on Moya
Cenobian rebellion uprising that Durka was credited with quelling
Cryonic suspension method of extending lifespan
Draz heck or hell: "we can Starburst the draz out of here"
Elvis Crichton's nickname for Salis
Froth-mouth a crazy person: "some froth-mouth with a metal eye shut off all the lights"
Glendian pleasure vessel presumably, the equivalent of a cruise ship
Greebol derogatory term: "Why do I always get stuck with the greebols that don't have any plan?"
Jelifan fire paste component of bomb Rygel made
Mental cleansing Nebari sociopolitical reeducation, akin to brain-washing
Mintaka 3 a planet that Durka was credited with liberating
Nebari Salis and Chiana's species
Neural realignment a Nebari process of mental cleansing, which takes over 100 cycles under cryonic suspension in order to be completed
Phase cannon weapon aboard the Nebari ship
Standard host vessel the type of Nebari ship which destroyed the Zelbinion
Stevva crystals component of bomb Rygel made
Synaptic bypass portion of Moya's nervous system
Toad Chiana's nickname for Rygel
Watruka plant "Have you ever been stung by the watruka plant? […] They, too, present an intriguing exterior."



Comments from Cast & Crew

Claudia Black ("ChickwithGun") & Anthony Simcoe ("Ploppy"), July 28, 1999

  • Moderator: : Can you guys tell us any hints about things to come in the series?

    Ploppy: I guess you already know that their is a new character coming - can't say anything else but the newie is AWSOME

Ben Browder, July 29, 1999

  • rusty_98_98: Can you give us a lil bitty hint as to who the new character will be? Or at least how soon it will be here?

    Browder: And the answer here is... No! But very soon.

Virginia Hey, August 19, 1999

  • Moderator: <RichardVaughan> to <Moderator>: My question is. Is Chiana a new cast member?

    VirginiaHey: Yes, she's a new character and she's an absolute delight to work with. I'm not going to give away much more -- you'll just have to wait and see what her participation is.

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

  • Moderator: <GrandLady> to <Moderator> What prompted you to add Chiana?
    Moderator: <ScaperZen> to <Moderator> I have heard that the character of Chiana was based on Prissy from "Blade Runner" Is this true and is she truly here to stay? Please say yes!

    DavidKemper: Star Trek and other series have set venues, with stable environments (for the most part) and cast, however, we are a moving ship of disparate prisoners traveling through
    DavidKemper: what amounts to the badlands. We have always felt that people would come and go, seeking refuge with us, helping us, battling us. It only seemed natural
    DavidKemper: that one of the people -- also a prisoner -- would stick around for awhile.
    DavidKemper: And to answer the second question, Chiana is with us.

Gigi Edgley (Interview Published December 10, 1999)

  • Though Gigi appears blue onscreen, her make-up is actually black and white. [...]

    Though Edgley's transformation into Chiana might seem a simple matter of make-up (about three and a half layers are involved), she notes that she actually has a whole ritual of preparation that can involve "breath work," mood music, and "having a play in front of the mirror." "The more and more I get into it, (the more) I realize how much courage you need," she says. "Even in the simple stuff, like preparing before a scene, if I do just a bit of physical work...I'll look around and be sussing out the scene, and finding my objective and whatever else, and then I'll see a crew member going, 'what the **** is she doing?' Like with breath work and weird hand movements and stuff like that, and your little critic inside goes, 'Oh, I'm acting really stupidly right now,' and (I go) 'No, no, just use it, use it, find her.' But more often than not, she finds me."

    Edgley may have to work a bit harder to find Chiana in episodes to come -- it's been hinted that the character will be going through some changes in both the four-part first season finale, which airs in January, and the second season, which begins in March.

    [...] Edgley loves nothing more than getting feedback from those who watch Farscape with a devotion that's slowly building to near Star Trek proportions. "I went and had a look at the (online) b-board, and there was a really beautiful comment from one of the guys: 'Did you see in Chiana's first look, there was vulnerability, sexy and dangerous, all in one,' and I just went, 'Yes! Aww, it worked!' And comments like that are fantastic, just to see if you're on the right track. And (there's) interesting stuff, (like) 'She better not come in on Aeryn and Crichton (or) I'll get my gun out!' and I'm thinking, 'death threats on the first day, that's impressive!' And Dad's going, 'Now, you do have secure locking at your house, right?' and I'm going, 'Look, Dad, it's in the States.'"

Richard Manning & Andrew Prowse, January 6, 2000

  • Moderator: <OboeCrazy> to <Moderator>: My question is for Mr. Prowse...are there any technical considerations when it comes to choosing what color and alien will be? I know there's been some confusion with Chiana's color...any colors you have to avoid?

    Andrew: we avoid black aliens and digital green and are working on invisible ones
    Andrew: chiana is grey G-R-E-Y

    Ricky: Chiana's GRAY! Not GREY! Not BLUE!

    Andrew: not blue

  • 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...

  • Moderator: <Casila> to <Moderator>: Hi!! Glad youre here!! :) Just wanted to know...what do you say about all the critism Chiana recieves?--i personally love the character, i think shes great! :)

    Ricky: I think she's great, too.
    Ricky: The character definitely takes a little getting used to.
    Ricky: But you'll see some of her more outrageous traits changing as she spends more time with our Moya crew.
    Ricky: (One of our Moya crew in particular...)
    Ricky: (Note I said "changing", not "improving"...)

Rockne S. O'Bannon, January 13, 2000

  • Moderator: <Ooshati> to <Moderator>: Is Durka coming back?

    Rockne: Re Durka: love the character, love the actor. Plus... Chiana definitely has some unfinished business (and some unanswered questions) with our Mr. Durka...

  • Moderator: <valleyofstags> to <Moderator>: We have seen the Nebari destroy a Sebaceon ship with little effort. They seem quite formidable. We have also inherited a Nebari crew member. Will we be seeing more of them?

    Rockne: Any race who can so casually destroy a full Peacekeeper carrier can't be kept off stage for very long. Nebari will return. Be afraid, be very afraid...

Gigi Edgley, January 20, 2000

  • Moderator: <DanteX> to <Moderator> Is Chiana going to be added to the ranks of permanent cast members for the second season?

    GigiEdgley: Oooh...you'll have to ask Mr. Kemper about that one.
    * GigiEdgley smiles. *
    GigiEdgley: Chiana gets down in prayer position and prays!

  • Moderator: <Sylvester> to <Moderator> GiGi....when your character was introduced, there was some uestion of weither or not she was a murderer......do you play Chiana with this in mind?...How DO you see Chiana?

    GigiEdgley: Episodes coming up will explain it.
    GigiEdgley: But I can never really tell with that girl.
    GigiEdgley: She's pretty sneaky.
    GigiEdgley: Creeps up on you.
    GigiEdgley: Chiana would never think of herself as a murder...she always does the necessary thing at the necessary time.

  • Moderator: <SM28> to <Moderator> So, Gigi, of all of the episodes that have aired so far, which was your favorite to shoot?

    GigiEdgley: 15 and 19. My first one, and the one you guys saw a couple of weeks ago.
    GigiEdgley: Because when I initially came in at 15, I had a really strong idea of the character I wanted her to be, which in some ways is a good thing and others a bad thing.
    GigiEdgley: But I trusted my choices a lot. And now I'm starting to replace the nervousness with just excited enthusiastic vibes, and just to bring back the playfullness in it.
    GigiEdgley: Sometimes you can forget about the playfullness when everything is so crazy.
    GigiEdgley: But the guys here tell me I'm young and exhuberant -- so I'm giving it my best shot.
    * GigiEdgley laughs. *

  • GigiEdgley: The whole Farscape experience has been a surreal dream.
    GigiEdgley: There's just one lesson after the next, and the more I realize I know, the more I realize I DON'T know.
    GigiEdgley: On my 2nd day of work, I got called up to the office and I thought "maybe maybe Chiana's gonna stick around, be a part of the crew for good,"
    GigiEdgley: and instead it was a note on the accent.
    GigiEdgley: originally I was a mid-atlantic american alien.
    GigiEdgley: and the australian producers wanted an australian alien.
    GigiEdgley: so there have been good technical lessons in that form as well.
    GigiEdgley: to learn who to listen to, because after ep 15, Chiana changed her accent back to australian for the austrailan producers.
    GigiEdgley: you may pick up some of it in the eps.
    GigiEdgley: by the end of series one, they decided they wanted her back in american, so we dubbed over as many scenes as we could to try to meet their needs.
    GigiEdgley: but there are still a few australian bits coming out here and there.
    GigiEdgley: so, sorry! I don't mean to offend your beautiful accent.
    GigiEdgley: that was a little overwhelming.
    GigiEdgley: but in series 2, miss cheeky mid-atlantic american alien is returning. :)
    GigiEdgley: and HAPPY about it.
    * GigiEdgley laughs. *

Gigi Edgley, January 24, 2000

  • Question: What is your favorite episode of Farscape so far?

    Gigi Edgley: 15 and 19 are my favorites. I really relaxed into them. It's sometimes difficult to know whether you pulled it off successfully until you actually see it. Sometimes I go "Ah, in that scene I didn't do a great job", and then see the rushed and go "Wow". Other times, I go "What was that?"

Dominar Rygel XVI, February 17, 2000

  • Moderator: <valleyofstags> to <Moderator>: Dominar without peer or equal, how did it feel to at last get the better of Durka?

    Rygel: i fear that i will meet him again
    Rygel: i choose not to be joyous until he is dead
    Rygel: in front of my own eyes

  • Moderator: <Breearg2000> to <Moderator>: Lord Soverign Ruler Leader Master Lord Eminence Cool Dude of the Universe, do you think Durka looks better with short hair or long? Eye patch or glass eye?

    Rygel: you insult me by mocking
    Rygel: me with my pain
    Rygel: let someone torture you
    Rygel: and then let me ask you such a question

Gigi Edgley, June 29, 2000

  • Moderator: <Nahla> to <Moderator>: How would you describe your first day of shooting on the set?

    fweakn-Gi: ahhhhhh......hehehhee...BWAHHHHH.....eeeekkkkk
    fweakn-Gi: something like that
    fweakn-Gi: nerve racking, exciting, scary, sweaty
    fweakn-Gi: hehehehee
    fweakn-Gi: the first day of work on farscape I did my voice warm up before I left home at three in the morning...sat in the chair for three and a half hours...waitied around till lunch then got told to go home
    fweakn-Gi: said what did I do I haven't even acted yet
    fweakn-Gi: the ad told me the set you are working on today has been blown up so we don't need you till monday
    fweakn-Gi: I was reassured I had truley entered the uncharted territories
    fweakn-Gi: hehehee

  • Moderator: <wombat> to <Moderator>: okay...so who came up with the delightful head movements and sultry voice that chiana uses so well? was that all given to you, or did you invent some (all?) of it?

    fweakn-Gi: Initially I went into the audition and said..."I know she's an alien...how much do you want me to endow her with alien characteristic"...they replied..."we just wanna see if you can act"...then I was nervous
    fweakn-Gi: initially I played her very human like in auditions and recalls
    fweakn-Gi: it wasn't untill the make up test that I realised the extent of the look
    fweakn-Gi: it was on the first day that they didn't use me...I asked to go and play in my room in the make up and cosi
    fweakn-Gi: slowly..I started with breath work..the movements came from there....
    fweakn-Gi: the contact lenses additionally helped cause they are tunnel vision, causing my head to turn more than what it would usually
    fweakn-Gi: the first scene I shot was the one with Ben and Salis...where they locked her up so alot of the character grew from there...from the crew glances, from the cuffs from, being locked in a cell

  • Moderator: <riddley> to <Moderator>: who involved with Farscape (actor, writer, producer, director, puppeteer, whatever) have you felt you've learned the most from, and what have you learned?

    fweakn-Gi: It's fantastic because there are four directors to play with
    fweakn-Gi: Their experience and craftmanship is great to tap into and they are constantly challenging you and seeing how far you can take your character and justify it at the same time.
    fweakn-Gi: Right from the beginning Ben has been a huge help
    fweakn-Gi: I had most of my scenes in the first ep. with him so he was probably the cast member that introduced me into the technical side.
    fweakn-Gi: He is a *very* patient actor and a talented on at that!
    fweakn-Gi: All the actors are really supportive with the long hours of the prostetics make up and the extensive time it takes on checks between a scene
    fweakn-Gi: we constantly help each other out on set if barriers arrive within a scene or within a character's emotional journeys
    fweakn-Gi: All the writers are unbelievable and very welcoming, you can always go up to their hang out and chat over scenes and what they want you to do with them

  • Moderator: <Qarc> to <Moderator>: If there is a balance between GOOD and Evil, then perhaps Chiana walks a very fine line. That she's a killer, we know. Just how dark would you like to carry this character?

    fweakn-Gi: Gigi wants to tell...... but Chi won't let her.
    fweakn-Gi: A quiet warning....keep an eye on her
    fweakn-Gi: The calm before the storm

  • Moderator: <Dalequan> to <Moderator>: Welcome Aboard. Your characters depth has increased every episode. Are you pleased that Chiana's weaknesses are being examined as well as her strengths. She has proven to be more than "Bonnie to Rygel's Clyde" in her complexity. How difficult has it been to demonstrate these changes and maintain Chiana's "norm"?

    fweakn-Gi: Very
    fweakn-Gi: initially...you get an idea of your character and you try and fulfill it to every possible degree
    fweakn-Gi: the writers are constantly challenging us with various scenes to give us a chance to show all solours of the character
    fweakn-Gi: I think she has definitly changed from Durka Returns...some good some bad
    fweakn-Gi: I want to make sure each emotional choice is justified
    fweakn-Gi: I also want to attempt to translate certain chi choices as alien ones....though I must remember the viewers must know what I'm on about...give them something solid to connect to

Gigi Edgley, May 3, 2001

  • LyingBastardSean: What is your favorite quote from Chiana so far?

    Gigi_Edgley: That have or havent made the cut?? LOL
    Gigi_Edgley: Let me think on that one....
    Gigi_Edgley: When Salis said "Have you ever been stung by Watruka plant?" they to present an intriguing exterior

  • Gigi_Edgley: Originally there was no direction with character movement or alient characteristics after I saw the time and energy that was being put into the look of Chiana,
    Gigi_Edgley: I figured she would be a fun character to explore experiment at movements and breathwork.
    Gigi_Edgley: After episode 15, Durka Returns, David kemper gave me a phonecall and said "I dont know what the hell you are going out there but we love it!"
    Gigi_Edgley: I figured I was heading into the right direction.