A Snurcher's Guide to Farscape

Green Eyed Monster

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Production No. 308

Best Viewed As 3.8

Aired As
3.08 (US & UK)

Original Airdates
22 Jun 2001 (US)
22 Oct 2001 (UK)

1.0 (US)
1.78 (UK)

Green Eyed Monster
Abbreviations: GEM
Alternate Titles: "Das Budong", "All About Aeryn", "Haven't Got a Clue", "I'm So Vain"

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

Writer: Ben Browder
Director: Tony Tilse
Complete Credits


"That's no moon...that's a budong!"

While Rygel and Stark are away on a recon mission, Talyn is swallowed by a live budong. Trapped in its gullet, the remaining crew's ability to work as a team is tested by jealousy from an unlikely source. But even more unlikely is the plan to get them back out of the creature -- which may not be surprising, since it was suggested by Stark...


Farscape World


Terra Firma


Farscape Fantasy


Just as Moya's DRDs "have ears", so do Talyn's; if you speak to one, you are essentially speaking to Crais as well as Talyn.

Taking propulsion offline helps to optimize Talyn's energy transfer rates, speeding his recovery and easing his pain. Aeryn grasps this intuitively, in a way which Crais cannot.

Talyn's DRDs are working around the clock on repairs...at least, in John's quarters.

Talyn is equipped with water showers.

Rygel and Stark have been away on recon for more than a day.

Crichton does not want Crais to call him by his first name.

Talyn's scans may miss registering a moon that is below a planet's ring plane. Budongs may "graze" in this area, or use it for concealment.

It takes approximately 20 microts to bring Talyn's propulsion systems online.

Talyn can block manual overrides under some circumstances (although not all -- he cannot release his moorings, for example). He blows out his main gun attempting to fight off the budong, despite Aeryn and Crais trying to stop him from firing.

Talyn does not have the multitasking abilities of Pilot. In the heat of the moment, Aeryn has to remind him to choose a focus point, align himself with it, and block out all other distractions.

Live budongs are exceedingly rare.

There are electromagnetic currents within a budong's digestive tract; moving at 1.2 metras per microt, they are strong enough to counter Talyn's non-starburst propulsion systems.

It is possible to "drop anchor" on a Leviathan, using a harpoon approach. Talyn has mooring points located on his external hull, outside the hammond-side access chamber. The anchors must be set into bone, rather than soft tissue, in order to hold.

Talyn and the transport pod have both been maintaining radio silence, in their effort to hide from the Retrieval Squad.

Budongs are attracted by energy fields; the pod's energy fields makes it a sort of "electromagnetic candy".

John has been led to believe that Aeryn and Crais "recreated".

Crais has been concealing something about his physical self, which he reveals to Aeryn in order to convince her to accept the neural link.

Talyn was moored in a passway above the stomach; the budong had too much mass to scan its entire length.

Crais and Aeryn believe it is possible for Talyn to successfully navigate the entire length of a budong's digestive system. However, they believe it will be necessary for Aeryn to accept a neural link, in order to keep Talyn from panicking during this trip.

John fears that Aeryn has wanted to return to the Peacekeepers during the entire past two cycles.

Stark once spent five cycles on a budong mining operation, where "no one came out alive".

Rygel can apparently produce projectile puke at will; he considers it a "trick".

There is a waste funnel in the back of the transport pod.

The insertion of a neural transponder causes intense pain, but it passes quickly.

The DRDs are watching John.

Aeryn has a natural aptitude for the neural link, almost immediately learning how to open Talyn's doors and how to use his long range comms.

A budong's stomach is an inferno; burning at 5000 klances, it reduces everything to ash and molten ore.

Crais tells her not to let Talyn release, at which point Talyn attacks him with feedback.

Talyn can use the neural link to force Crais into actions against his will.

Aeryn knocks Talyn out after he starts to train one of the internal guns on her, in Command.

Talyn is able to attack Crais using cybernetic bleedback, which causes intense pain, with sores and lesions as physical symptoms. At times of stress, Talyn's and Crais' emotions can merge; under these circumstances, Talyn is able to gain a certain level of control over his "captain", and punishes resistance with pain.

Aeryn's transponder is limited, so that she cannot be hurt by cybernetic bleedback.

Overloading Talyn's beta channel puts him into sleep mode; aftereffects may include the Leviathan equivalent of a headache.

Objects swallowed by Rygel can be retrieved by sticking your hand down his throat.

Rygel knows how to pull the comms relay circuit in a transport pod.

Rygel considers Sebaceans to be ugly, but not stupid.

When an ignition source is present, water and cesium react violently.

Once disarmed, Tak-Five warheads cannot be re-armed remotely; it must be done manually.

Rygel's mother always said he'd die of incompentance.

Baniks were apparently kept as chained slaves on Hyneria.

The soft tissue inside a budong's gullet reminds John of his aunt's jello.

The key for mooring cable release is blue; the key for arming Tak-Five warheads is green.

There is a 500 microt countdown from the time a warhead is armed, until it detonates.

According to Crais, Talyn never trusted Crichton; he found him offensive, and saw him as a threat to Aeryn. Aeryn blames Crais for instilling this attitude. She thinks John is only dangerous to himself.

Even with the neural transponder, Aeryn can be mislead by Talyn; he is able to make it appear as if John is gone, and she must force her way through this deception to "see" John waiting outside the access chamber hatch.

Crais is increasingly fighting with Talyn, rather than being able to function as his captain.

Aeryn is able to use the neural link to give Talyn a sense of what truly needing someone is like; she apparently feels this way about John. She does not believe Talyn can ever learn about this emotion from a Peacekeeper, nor that he truly needs her.

A Budong can outrun a transport pod.

Talyn has his own docking web.

The ignition of water and cesium inside a budong causes it to vomit.

Aeryn believes her life was filled with doing what others thought was right. Relinquishing the neural link is an act of independence for her.

Talyn can manipulate security recordings to show events which never occurred.

A DRD had Wynonna.

John did not feel he had the right to restrict Aeryn from recreating with Crais if that's what she chose to do, despite his feelings of betrayal. While never feeling in the past that such actions should matter, Aeryn apparently assigns a different value to them now.

Aeryn was happy in her Peacekeeper life. She blames John for ruining that life, but nonetheless feels a connection to him from which she cannot walk away.

John seems to have concocted some sort of notebook for himself.

John has been drawing star charts, and making up names for them. He always names the brightest, central reference point star, "Aeryn"; she is his guide and constant in the constantly changing equation of the Uncharted Territories.



  1. Why does Aeryn at one point call Crais "sir"?
  2. When the first torpedo doesn't anchor successfully, what is it that comes flying back into the access chamber? It does not appear to be just the torpedo -- did it pull some soft tissue free when it broke loose? If it was the torpedo, why couldn't they use it as the ignition source for the cesium/water explosion?
  3. When did Crais first broach the subject of accepting a neural implant to Aeryn?
  4. Talyn has evidently been subjecting Crais to cybernetic bleed-back for some time; why, then, were his sores and lesions not discovered during his medical treatment aboard Moya?


  1. Talyn seems to have an awfully keen grasp on how to mess with Crichton's head and heart. He lures John to Crais' quarters, then pulses a light under the vid chip waiting on the table. He knows exactly what to put on the vid chip, despite the fact that Peacekeepers attach an entirely different context to "recreating" than humans do. When John returns to the bridge, Talyn opens the door before he can even reach for the controls -- revealing Aeryn with her collar open (because it was warm on the bridge -- also Talyn's doing?) and Crais closing the fasteners on his jacket (after showing Aeryn how Talyn controlled him).
  2. Despite his feelings of anger, hurt, and betrayal, John in general behaved honorably, conferring dispassionately with Crais, not interrogating Aeryn, and focusing on the task at hand.
  3. Crais, despite having spent his early childhood in a normal family environment, does not seem to have much in the way of parenting skills. Talyn has graduated from headstrong child to bratty teenager, and Crais seems to keep winding up in the position of fighting with him, rather than working together as a team.
  4. John refers, in the final scene, to the name 'Mintaka Three'. Mintaka Three was the setting for a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode ("Who Watches the Watchers") written by Farscape writer Richard Manning.
  5. The little twinkle, accompanied by a Tinkerbell chime in the score, was considered a little over the top, by some folks.

Bloopers (none)


Farscape World
Farscape Fantasy
Tourist's Guide


Farscape World
Terra Firma


The specific metaphor used as the title is from a quote by Iago in Shakespeare's OTHELLO, Act III, Scene 3:

O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on; that cuckold lives in bliss
Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger;
But, O, what damned minutes tells he o'er
Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves!

However, Portia makes a similar description of jealousy in an earlier play of Shakespeare's THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, Act III, Scene 2:

How all the other passions fleet to air,
As doubtful thoughts, and rash-embraced despair,
And shuddering fear, and green-eyed jealousy! O love,
Be moderate; allay thy ecstasy,
In measure rein thy joy; scant this excess.
I feel too much thy blessing: make it less,
For fear I surfeit.

John: "That's no moon [...] That's a budong!"

A paraphrase of Obi-Wan Kenobi's line in STAR WARS, after spotting the Death Star: "That's no moon...that's a space station."

John: "Yo, Jonah! We have been swallowed, that is down, and I for one do not want to be budong chow!"

John's first reference is to the Old Testament story of Jonah, who was swallowed by a "great fish".

Purina Mills is an American company known for making the "Chow" line of animal feeds: Dog Chow, Goat Chow, Monkey Chow, Gerbil Chow, Rabbit Chow, Woodchuck Chow (we kid you not, these guys probably make Chow for species you've never heard of). As a result, it has become fairly common in the U.S. to refer to any species-specific food as "(Species) Chow". See this commercial site for some examples, as well as Purina's "Show Chow" site.

[Personal anecdote: the parent company for Chow products was founded by the Danforth family of Missouri. When a later member of the family served as Chancellor of a private university in St. Louis, the student body commonly referred to the campus food service as "People Chow". -- ed.]

Aeryn: "Still nothing. Pitch Black."

Not a reference in the usual sense, but likely an in-jokey nod to Claudia Black's first feature film, PITCH BLACK.

John: "Yeah, it's new, it's improved, it's the Finger of Friendship, $19.95. But wait, kids, there's more!"

A play on TV ads that offer more and more "extras" to the item being offered, all for the same low price.

Aeryn: "He's not responding."
John: "Houston, we have a problem. Didn't you take the transponder?"

A (slight mis-)quote from the Apollo 13 lunar mission, after the loss of two of the three fuel cells powering the spacecraft. This famous understatement was actually "Houston, we've had a problem here", and is usually attributed to Mission Commander Jim Lovell, when in fact Lovell's own account of the mission states that it was Jack Swigert who said it.

Crais: "I see you found a weapon. What do you intend to do with it? Shoot me?"
John: "That's one option."
Crais: "Of course it is. We've come full circle, John Crichton. Now you want to kill me."
John: "Then don't make my day."

John's last line above comes from the 1983 "Dirty Harry" film, SUDDEN IMPACT, as Harry Callahan dares a perp holding a hostage to shoot, with "Go ahead, make my day."

John: "Man, you guys should see this ugly sticky flesh. Kind of like my Aunt Ruth's special jello."
John: "Hey, Stark, you ready yet? I'm stuck out here in Spam land!"

Two references to American foodstuffs, both likely stemming from John's observations of the budong's internal tissues:

Jello is flavored gelatin; a popular brand in the U.S. is named Jell-O, which gave rise to the word as a generic term.

Spam is a "luncheon meat" created in 1937 by Hormel and distributed in small blue rectangular cans; the name is a a shortened form of the original product name, "Spiced Ham". It has a pink, slightly gelatinous appearance.

John: "Lemme show you something. ...Come here, I'm not gonna bite... This is a star chart. These are the names I gave the stars."
Aeryn: "They've already got names."
John: "Yeah, I know, but Mintaka Three sounds boring to me, anyway. That's Huey, Louie, Dewey...you see that one? That's that star right there. The bright one. [...]"

Mintaka, in addition to being an actual star in the constellation Orion, was the setting for a STAR TREK: TNG episode ("Who Watches the Watchers") written by Farscape writer Richard Manning.

Huey, Louie, and Dewey are the three nephews of the popular Walt Disney character Donald Duck.

An alternate suggestion is that this was also a nod to the film SILENT RUNNING (1971), in which the lead character named his robotic drone assistants for the same cartoon characters.

Translator Microbe Report

Access chamber airlock (Leviathan)
Beta channel part of Leviathan physiology; overloading it induces sleep mode
Comms relay circuit component of transport pod
Cybernetic bleed-back reversed energy flow through a neural transponder; causes intense pain, sores, and dermal lesions
Drannit unknown: "I want you to stop acting like a drannit."
Fekkik pejorative: "Answer if you can hear, fekkiks!"
Frelnik unknown: "Right, let's call the frelniks." (secondary definition)
Fusion-bonded rhenium claws the mechanism which anchors a Tak-Five Torpedo in its target
Iridium alloy cables thin, strong line, capable of anchoring a Leviathan
Maneuvering jets propulsion subsystem which allows for fine positioning; attitude controls (Leviathan)
Neural interface mental connection with Talyn via neural transponder
Tak-five torpedo shoulder projectile weapon (Peacekeeper)
Taks Crais's nickname for tak-five torpedoes
Toeska pejorative: "If those toeskas have left us, after all I've done for them..."
Trankass pejorative: "You've killed us all, you trankass!"
Vid chip storage medium for video recordings (Peacekeeper)


"Hey, you wanna mess with me?"
"What seems to be the problem?"
"Keeping the DRDs over my head working, 24/7, so I can't sleep."
"Repairs to Talyn."
"All the doors, locked. The shower, ice-cold, so I'm freezing the boys off."
"John, what are you talking about?"
"It's not really a problem, but you do NOT mess with my stuff! Where's Winona?"
"His pulse pistol."
"My gun."
- John Crichton, Bialar Crais, Aeryn Sun

"Don't call me John!"
"Crichton, then. Are you accusing me of theft?"
"Talyn, you've seen them both naked. Perhaps you can tell us who's bigger."
- Bialar Crais, John Crichton

"That's no moon...that's a budong!" - John Crichton

"It's totally black out there, this big guppy just locked us in!" - John Crichton

"No, Talyn, no, do not panic! You're costing us vital time!"
"Talyn, listen to me! Focus on a single point with your senses, align yourself with that point and block out all other distractions!"
- Bialar Crais, Aeryn Sun

"We're still moving. We're caught in some kind of electromagnetic current, and we're moving--"
"Down, we're going down, we're being swallowed, we're moving down!"
"The main cannon is dead, we are flying in the dark, and we are still losing ground to this current."
"Down, do we want to be going down?"
"We have no notion of which way is up and which way is down."
"Yo, Jonah! We have been swallowed, that is DOWN, and I for one do NOT want to be budong chow!"
- Aeryn Sun, John Crichton, Bialar Crais, Talyn

"Drop anchor."
"Yes, anchor!"
[burbles and squawks]
"No, Talyn, but only slightly stupid. It might buy us time."
- John Crichton, Aeryn Sun, Talyn, Bialar Crais

"Outside? Yes, sir, I have it. Dropping anchor."
- Aeryn Sun

"So, we're going to use this highgrade hardware like a mooring harpoon."
"Unless you have a better idea."
"It was my idea. But it'll work?"
- John Crichton, Aeryn Sun

"Good, I must be smarter than I look."
"That would be easy."
- John Crichton, Aeryn Sun

"You know, I'd be happy to swap jobs, come back in and work the mooring control panel."
"Forget about it, you can't even work door controls."
"There's a reason for that. Do it. Damn."
"Your twin got the brains?"
"No, Crais...he's trying to make a point."
"If I may interrupt--"
"Damn. Open channel."
- John Crichton, Aeryn Sun, Bialar Crais

"Still nothing, pitch black."
"Coulda woulda shoulda brought a flashlight."
- Aeryn Sun, John Crichton

"Whose stupid idea was this, anyway?"
- John Crichton, Aeryn Sun

"Our ship's energy fields make us electromagnetic candy."
"I've never heard anyone say that."
"That's because they're all dead!"
"Dead?! We're flying out of here!"
"No, no, no no, the power stays off! Off! Off! Off! Off! Off! Off!"
"I am the eater, not the eatee! [passes helium] Can we please restart the pod now?"
- Stark, Rygel

"Crais? No, of course, not here. Tell me he's got some pumps in the closet...or inflatable Scorvian, or Winona. ...PK vid chip...home movies? Oh, I really shouldn't..." - John Crichton

"Perhaps it is best for you to see me as I am." - Bialar Crais

"...assuming this budong is not constipated, you...you want to fly out the ass?" - John Crichton

"So, you two...three, you three are, uh, going to be one? And, uh, anything I can do to help?"
"At the moment, no, nothing."
"Exactly. It's a good plan."
"Where are you going?"
"You heard the man, nothing for me to do."
"John, wait."
"Aeryn, you do not want me there."
"I, I do want you there."
"Why, to throw rice? Forget about it, I've seen my share of hardware insertion, I'm not watchin'."
"It's been modified."
"Yeah, I heard that."
"Less invasive. It's, it's safer!"
"Yeah, it's new, it's improved, it's the Finger of Friendship, $19.95...but wait, kids, there's more!"
"What's the matter with you? This is the right thing to do."
"For who?"
"For all of us. He needs my help to control Talyn to get us out."
"Aeryn, do what you have to do."
"I will."
"Fine, but do not sugarcoat it for me. Right thing to do, my ass."
"And what's that supposed to mean?"
"It means that you do things the way you want to, when you want to, with who you want to do them."
"It's got nothing to do with what I want."
"It's ALWAYS about what you want. So, yes, walk back in there, and let Crais stick a spike in the back of your neck."
"Listen to me--"
"It's a brave new universe, Aeryn. You and Crais, you can finally rejoin that Peacekeeper family you've been pining for from the moment we met."
"You've got this so--"
"Just don't pretend to me that it wasn't what you've always wanted!"
"You finished? ...You're right. I don't want you there."
- John Crichton, Bialar Crais, Aeryn Sun

"Talyn, open the door? Please! Talyn, open the door! Please. ...Damn...idiot..." - John Crichton

"Accept him for what he is, and he will welcome you."
"He is beyond beautiful!"
"Welcome to our world, Officer Sun."
- Bialar Crais, Aeryn Sun

"We're somewhat inconveniently tethered inside a budong."
"Inconvenient...kiss my mivonks..."
- Bialar Crais, Rygel

"What? Oh, you're loose..."
"Not half as loose as Chiana."
- Stark, Rygel

"Crais has released a cable."
"One more and we're budong manure."
- Aeryn Sun, John Crichton

"You see, Crais, I don't have to kill you."
"I wish you had. Talyn! [screams] Kill me!"
- John Crichton, Bialar Crais

"Wake up, Bialar." - John Crichton

"I keep hearing that you've changed. I think...weather changes...and we just keep making the same mistake. Remember why you're alive." - John Crichton

"Why doesn't anyone ever listen to me?" - Aeryn Sun

"I'm gonna check the cables. Don't shoot him unless you have to." - John Crichton

"I am doing everything I can to get us out of this absurdly large space monster. I am doing the good little soldier bit. What else do you want from me?"
"I want you to stop acting like a drannit."
"You know what? I have no idea what a drannit is."
"No, don't play dumb with me. That hasn't worked in over two cycles, John."
"Aeryn, I am dumb, I don't understand you half the time, and I have no idea what a drannit is."
"Fine, forget the drannit."
"Fine, screw the drannit. ...What?"
"You really have no idea what a drannit is, do you?"
"What's a drannit?"
"Vomit! ... Come in, please! ... Vomit!"
- John Crichton, Aeryn Sun, Stark

"I know how we're going to get you out of there. Vomit."
- Stark, John Crichton & Aeryn Sun

"Sebaceans are ugly, not stupid." - Rygel

"Oh. They had warheads."
"Oh. I disarmed them."
"You really should tell me these things."
- John Crichton, Aeryn Sun

"Electromagnetic candy!" - Stark

"We just want it to eat 'cause we're candy."
"Candy? You've killed us all, you trankass! Mother always said I'd die from incompetence. I finally know what she meant! That's why we kept people like you chained in the first place, your entire race--"
"Shut up! We're candy..."
- Stark, Rygel

"Man, you guys should see this ugly sticky flesh. Kind of like my Aunt Ruth's special jello." - John Crichton

"I'm stuck out here in Spam land!" - John Crichton

"Talyn just spaced John!" - Aeryn Sun

"John is only dangerous to himself!"
"I tried to persuade Talyn maybe he was wrong about Crichton."
"Well, then, persuade him now to go back and get him."
"He cannot be coerced. He will do as he wants. I can do nothing."
"Don't you lie to me, Crais, this isn't about what Talyn wants! You have taught him everything he knows. This is about you, me and John."
- Aeryn Sun, Bialar Crais

"Talyn, I've been reviewing the situation. Aeryn's pretty pissed at me, but she kinda likes me. Crais? Well, he hates me, but he's not stupid. He knows if he kills me, that Aeryn would do the math and his shot at domestic bliss would be cut off along with his balls. That leaves one suspect. Open the door, you soulless pinheaded adolescent prick!"
- John Crichton

"Peacekeeper lies."
"So you should be."
- Aeryn Sun, Bialar Crais

"Talyn, I want you to share something with me, before he dies. You can taste something that is denied to Peacekeepers, something that you will never know..."
"Can you feel that? Good. Talyn, that is what it is to need someone. You don't need me. You never will."
- Aeryn Sun, John Crichton

"My life has been filled with doing what others think is right. For me, for now, this is right." - Aeryn Sun

"Have you seen...this?"
"When did you see it?"
"Aeryn, I'm not your boyfriend, I'm not your husband, I'm not your anything, you can do what you want." [sighs]
"It's not real. You know that, don't you? The, um...the last part, Talyn altered the image. I never recreated with Crais. Not that it should matter."
"It does."
"It never did before, you see. I had this life. I liked it. It had rules. I followed the rules and that made everything right. And then you come along and you frell everything up...strange human, with arrogance, stubbornness--"
"Let me finish. You saw the recording, and you didn't say a word. You are like a plague, John Crichton, and you have ruined my life. And yet, I just...keep coming back. ...You could talk now."
"Lemme show you something. ...Come here, I'm not gonna bite... This is a star chart. These are the names I gave the stars."
"They've already got names."
"Yeah, I know, but Mintaka Three sounds boring to me, anyway. That's Huey, Louie, Dewey...you see that one? That's that star right there. The bright one. It's my point of reference, my guide, and it always becomes the center of my chart. I always name it 'Aeryn'."
"You say it's your guide."
"It's my one constant. ...Would you like to name some stars?"
"There's a lot of them."
"Then we could take our time."
- Aeryn Sun, John Crichton

Comments from Cast & Crew

Farscape Season Two Wrap, June 15, 2000

  • Moderator2: <BigNoseBob> to <Moderator2>: Ben, do you think you will ever get revenge for all the punishment dealt to you (Crichton)?

    Ben: I will have my revenge.
    Ben: I'm plotting as we type.
    Ben: Kemper better look out.

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

  • Moderator: <KikiTGUT> to <Moderator>: Woo-hoo! Thanks for showing up, Ben! Hey, what's the ep you wrote for next year called?

    Kemper: Right now, I think it's working title is "Haven't Got a Clue."
    Kemper: What do you think, Ben?

    Bruno: We are still hammering out the episode... everything I do is being overlorded by the Lord of Farscape David Kemper
    Bruno: How about "Vainity made me do it."
    Bruno: or Just "I'm so Vain"
    Bruno: BTW David... I can't believe you "outed" me.

    Kemper: You belong "out." You're a good writer.
    Kemper: "I'm so Vain" is not a real title --
    Kemper: so don't everyone go and get crazy when his ep is titled something else.

  • Moderator: <valleyofstags> to <Moderator>: The SACC wants to see Crichton live an easier life in the Uncharted Territories, however physical danger is one of the quickest ways to create conflict in an ep. Ben, will SACC be angry with you after "I'm So Vain"?

    Kemper: And as for SACC--

    Bruno: I adore the SACC... long live the need for it.

    Kemper: Danger comes with the territory. If you can't take it, flip channels
    Kemper: when the really dangerous parts come up.

    Bruno: But the day Kemper and co. stop beating John up is the day he is truely dead.

Justin Monjo, February 08, 2001

  • JustinMonjo: Hi everyone, I'm here with two other writers, Ben Browder and Lil Taylor.....yes Ladies and Gentlemen, Ben Browder! Commander John Crichton is writing episode 308 called Green Eyed Monster.

Paul Goddard, May 10, 2001

  • Moderator: <stargatetravler> to <Moderator>: Hey Paul, which ep of the ones you have been in did you have the most fun doing, which one was the hardiest and which one was your favorite?

    PaulGoddard: Episode 8 coming up has been my all time favourite. Green Eyed Monster.
    PaulGoddard: You'll understand why when you see it.

  • Moderator: <RygelEstrogenBrigade> to <Moderator>: Paul, you didn't have much chance to work with the puppets before "Liars, Guns, and Money". How did you find working with them as opposed to a live actor?

    PaulGoddard: When I first came on the show and me Rygel I said to myself, "He is an actor, I would *love* to develop and onscreen relationship with....I don't mean that romantically.
    PaulGoddard: When I was a kid I used to rush home, aged 14, to watch Seasame Street just for the Muppet moments.
    PaulGoddard: I wanted to be a Muppet! Failing that to be a Muppetier.
    PaulGoddard: So working on a Henson show was a dream come true
    PaulGoddard: I have had more to do with Rygel of late, in particular an ep. coming up Rygel and I spend a great deal of time in a little power struggle.
    PaulGoddard: It was fantastic doing this episode because in a way it was like a little road movie for me and Rygel.
    PaulGoddard: He may appear rude and selfish on screen but off he's always a gentleman and a joy to work opposite.

Ben Browder, June 08, 2001

    ...Browder, who stars as displaced astronaut Cmdr. John Crichton, banged out the teleplay for "Green Eyed Monster"...about a third of the way into Farscape's third season.

    "It was really just an opportunity for the writing staff to torture me the way I've tortured them for two years," Browder said.

    "The process of writing a Farscape episode is a collaborative one," he said, "in that the story is broken with all the other writers and then the script is subject to notes from all of the key staff. So you go through a process of writing, then rewrites and then more rewrites. It then goes through production, which says, 'This and that can or can't be done,' for money or time reasons, meaning I have to go back and restructure an act or two.

    "By the time you finish a Farscape script," he said, "you've rewritten every word at least three or four times. It's an exhausting and time-consuming process that our writers go through every day, every script, to make the episodes as good as they can be." ...

    "My alternative working title for the episode was 'All About Aeryn,'" Browder said with a laugh. "The challenge was to contain the A-story and focus on three human characters and also on this fourth character, Talyn. He doesn't move, he has no face at all and he has essentially no voice, but he's the pivotal character to the story in many, many ways.

    "Another challenge was walking onto the set the first day of production on the episode and hearing the scripted words come out of people's mouths," Browder said.

    "It was exciting to watch people take the words, turn them around and put it all together with a performance, so that the words live and work and really mean something," he said. "Tony Tilse, who directed the show, did a great job."

    "I knew Tony was going to direct it," Browder said, "and I actually wrote it with Tony in mind, knowing that he'd do certain things, technical things, or at least hoping that he'd do them. He found exciting ways to fill in the openings, to tell the story in his unique and exciting fashion."

Ben Browder, June 11, 2001

    BEN: ...I wrote one script this year, which meant that I was in meetings with the writers here in Australia and back in the States. Probably the same will be true of the fourth season as well.

    ET: Was that the first script that you have written?

    BEN: The first produced script, yeah.

    ET: Is that an area that you would like to pursue?

    BEN: I love doing it. I absolutely love sitting at a coffee shop writing. The thing that I love about writing is that you are alone with your thoughts and you are totally responsible for the story at that point, as oppose to being a part of it. You are creating something anew; you're creating something for the first time in total, whereas in acting you are doing part of a story and you are interpreting.

Claudia Black, June 16, 2001

    My main reason for dropping a line to you all today is to alert your attention to the episode Green Eyed Monster which will air next Friday. I am sure you know already that it was written by Ben Browder,directed by Tony Tilse.
    Killer combination.
    I believe it is one of the best episodes of the season.
    Congratulations Ben.
    This ep is proof for those who until now ,could only suspect that some actors contribute to the success of a show by doing more than just 'standing on their marks and getting their lines out in the right order'.
    David Kemper would have paid me good money to say just once on set...'Who wrote this *^%# ?' , but I couldn't. It was too good.

Ben Browder, June 17, 2001

    "David Kemper really wanted to get payback on me, is what happened," says the blue-eyed Southerner. "He and Rocket (series creator Rockne O'Bannon) actually talked about it at the end of season one. I'm just a fool, and I say, 'Yes! Sounds like fun.' Right? Yeah, it was fun.

    "Put fun in quotation marks, and then picture David Kemper with a hammer, hitting me. 'Just put your hand on the table, Ben, I'm not going to hit your fingers. It's just going to go between your fingers.' Bam! Bam! 'Oh sorry!'

    "Yeah, it was something that came up because I was constantly hanging around. I've got nowhere else to go between set-ups -- I've got a tiny, little trailer -- so I go hang out in the writing room, because there was some space, and talk about things. David thought it would be fun."

    Was it fun? "It was. It was a lot of fun. It was a lot of work. I didn't start writing until after we started shooting the season, because mine was number eight. We finished breaking the story -- after my fourth or fifth outline. 'Yeah, OK, that's great, Ben. Change this, change this, that doesn't work. OK, go away, come back.' I'd go, think about it. After four or five outlines, we sat at the office until about 1 o'clock in the morning, and I finished the story.

    "Then it's like, 'All right, go away and work.' Now it's the end of the first week of shooting, so I was writing in the middle of the night. I'd wake up at 3 in the morning, go, 'Oh, oh, yeah, that works,' creep to my computer and write half a page, go back to bed, get up in the morning and start on it again."

    ...Does Browder have a fascination with bodily functions? "The issue with bodily functions," says Browder, "is really an issue with, "OK, if you get in ... how do you get out?"

    "Basically you're using a whole Jonah-in-the-whale motif. There's nothing new in this universe, even in the Uncharted Territories, and I was vamping on a classic story. I love when we do that, whether it be a science-fiction standard or an old standard. And this an old standard. This is biblical.

    "I sort of swallowed that story and worked it into ours and got a chance to play on some relationships which I thought were interesting to explore."

    At one point, Crichton laments the fact that he's not Aeryn's boyfriend, although the two have shared the odd romantic interlude. "Well, you know," says Browder, "He had to say something! I mean, the man's gotta say something to answer the frustration, which he was experiencing at that particular juncture. It's interesting in that there's a couple of scenes in there which are truly domestic scenes.

    "You could take those scenes and put them in ER, you could put them in any sort of family drama, and they would exist without the science-fiction context."

    Are you rooting for these two kids? "It's exhausting, that relationship," says Browder. "It does have a marathon quality. But it has that sense of destiny about it without being pushed. You want to see them together because it seems they should be together in so many ways. At the same time, they've got a lot of issues that they've got to work through."

Ben Browder, June 22, 2001

    Who better to put words into the mouth of Farscape rocket man John Crichton than Ben Browder, who has spent two-and-a-half seasons uttering the outlandish, occasionally nonsensical dialogue of the lost-in-space astronaut?

    "I've got one of the best jobs in the world," marvels the vivacious actor, who tells TV Guide Online that he jumped at the opportunity to write the "Green-Eyed Monster" episode... "The show has such an eclectic nature, and is just a blast to be a part of."

    As tonight's journey takes fans into Browder's imagination, his alter ego's crew must deal with the fact that their living spaceship's offspring (don't ask!) has been swallowed by a giant Budong. Offbeat? Nah. It's just another day for the intergalactic misfits. "The bizarre places we go are, in some ways, the natural places to go," says the neophyte scribe. "To not go there would seem unnatural to me."

    It's also not in the actor's nature to spoon-feed viewers plot points. "Our fans are pretty bright," he insists. "I give the audience credit that they're going to make sense of what's happening, [so] I don't try to deliver stuff on a platter and say, 'Here's what I'm doing.' Instead, I try to give them what I think is interesting and real, and assume that they're smart enough to figure it out.

Ben Browder, June 22, 2001

    Ben Browder...told SCI FI Wire that he's on pins and needles awaiting the June 22 airing of the episode "Green-Eyed Monster"--the first episode written by the star himself.

    "As an actor on a television show, you can always hide behind the script department if an episode fails to work ... 'Hey, we tried but it just didn't work,'" Browder said in an interview. "As a writer, you could blame the actors for not understanding the deep intent behind the words. I'm so screwed. Acting and writing together leave no room for escape. If this thing sucks, It's my fault. If it works, thanks and credit belong to the director, Tony Tilse; the cast ... ; the crew, insert a hundred names; and the writers, who steered me through the arduous process of writing the script."

    ..."It's an old story--Jonah and the Whale," Browder said. "Underneath the escape is another old story, 'the monster which doth mock the meat it feeds upon.' (I admit it, I'm a Shakespeare junkie.) And that's the story that really captured my imagination."

    Series creators Rockne O'Bannon and David Kemper first approached Browder about writing an episode of Farscape two years ago, but it wasn't until the end of the second season that Browder's name was placed on the list of writers, he said. "Somehow, [Kemper] convinced the network and production company that it would be a 'good idea, to let Ben write an episode,'" Browder said. "I suspect David made some promises and called in some favors that we really don't want to know the details of."

    Browder worked out the basic storyline with the series' other writers. "We finished breaking the story at the end of our first week of shooting, Friday night, 12:30 a.m., to be exact. ... In the following weeks, I wrote on weekends, nights, between scenes on set, Christmas day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. I visited the other writers, seeking advice. I ran scenes past my fellow actors to see if they were happy with their dialogue.

    I talked with Tony (the director) to see if he liked the direction the story was going. I drove my wife to distraction with the phrase, 'Honey, can you read this? Does this work?'" The shooting script was finished after four outlines, three full drafts, a complete rewrite of the third and fourth acts--and a title change, from "Das Budong."

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

  • Moderator: <SunAeryn> to <Moderator>: Hey there Black-Tee! Great going on GEM! How much did you pay/beg Claudia to come push it for you? ;b

    Ben Browder: push what?
    Ben Browder: oh!
    Ben Browder: the ep!
    Ben Browder: She's too kind
    Ben Browder: but the flowers and chocolates I send her once a week don't hurt.
    Ben Browder: Claude was great in GEM!

  • Moderator: <Teena> to <Moderator>: Hey Ben! Thanks for coming! I'm wondering, how much does it help to be an actor first when approaching a script/story as a writer?

    Ben Browder: Don't know if it helps.
    Ben Browder: Just means my approach starts from the characters and the words
    Ben Browder: then I try not to screw up the plot too much

  • Moderator: <birthsister> to <Moderator>: btw, what's a drannit?

    Lily Taylor: drannit? Ep 308 - I don't know. Ask Ben. He wrote it.

  • Moderator: <mt6571> to <Moderator>: I observed that the costume/make-up characters are grouped in esp away from the non-costume characters. Is the reason - to reduce the affect of the appliances on the actors???? How long will the split eps will continue?

    FrooniumRicky: grouped in esp?
    FrooniumRicky: oh, eps
    FrooniumRicky: (suggests FrooniumCheryl, reading over my shoulder)
    FrooniumRicky: We don't consciously do that
    FrooniumRicky: Some eps call for more prosthetic or animatronic creations than others
    FrooniumRicky: Some weeks we do try to give the Creature Shop a break
    FrooniumRicky: But it depends more on the particular story than on production considerations
    FrooniumRicky: Re the split eps: They will continue until they cease
    FrooniumRicky: ;)

  • Moderator: <CrystalMoon> to <Moderator>: We asked Lily what is was like writing for two Crichtons. How has it been for you? Is it harder with two?

    FrooniumRicky: Well, only when we forget which one is real and which is the clone
    FrooniumRicky: oops
    FrooniumRicky: wait
    FrooniumRicky: That is NOT true
    FrooniumRicky: Equal and original
    FrooniumRicky: So we pretty much write 'em both just like we always have
    FrooniumRicky: except, of course, that their circumstances are now different
    FrooniumRicky: in some of the small details
    FrooniumRicky: i.e., Aeryn

  • Moderator: <talyn> to <Moderator>: hiya ricky, please don't tell moya i'm staying up so late :) my question is how are the writers going to handle talyn's development into an adult i mean his childhood isn't exactly what i would call a healthy one

    FrooniumRicky: Me neither
    FrooniumRicky: Talyn has been a brat lately, hasn't he?
    FrooniumRicky: Well, in true Farscape fashion...
    FrooniumRicky: I'm sure it'll all work out nicely and things will be fine soon

  • Moderator: <Jayce66> to <Moderator>: Froon, care to comment on Ben's episode (Green Eyed Monster)? How'd he do?

    FrooniumRicky: Ben did Terrific
    FrooniumRicky: I've stated before and will now state again for the record...
    FrooniumRicky: Nobody touched Ben's script but Ben
    FrooniumRicky: We gave him notes, we beat the dren out of him
    FrooniumRicky: and he did four hundred drafts
    FrooniumRicky: LIke all writers
    FrooniumRicky: But every word in there is his
    FrooniumRicky: And I think it's a fine piece of work

  • Moderator: <birthsister> to <Moderator>: what's with all the new words, and when do we get a dictionary...what is a pellish venker...and while you're at it, what the frell is a drannit?

    FrooniumRicky: We don't talk much about a drannit
    FrooniumRicky: It's not a pretty story
    FrooniumRicky: where's a pellish venker from? doesn't sound familiar

    Moderator: <Thinkum> to <Moderator>: last week's ep
    Moderator: 310
    Moderator: Did Rygel say it?

    FrooniumRicky: Beats me
    FrooniumRicky: Guess that'd be a Rockne question

    Moderator: (Moderator thinks a "drannit" is...the thing Ben Browder was refering to when he said in all those interviews that Farscape fans are smart enough to "get" stuff)

Dave Elsey, July 19, 2001

  • Moderator: <MissyKat> to <Moderator>: A small questions on DRDs. Moya's DRDs seem more stable than Talyn's... Were there any fundamental differences in the designs and when are RC DRDs going to be released for fan destruction?

    DaveE: Talyn's DRDs were designed to look much more war-like, every line on them is there to make them look more agressive. I'm not sure hwat you mean by more stable. I thik they're very similar in the way that they're made. However, the Talyn DRDs have a wider base whxih may mean that when they go over something on the floor that bumps them (Sorry Tim) they might appear to be less stable.
    DaveE: As for when they will be coming out as toys, I'm not sure. I certainly have talked to our friends at Toy Vault about the possibilty. I want them to do it as quickly as possible so that I can just buy them off the shelf and have one less headache.

Farscape Wrap Day Extravaganza, July 26, 2001

  • Moderator2: <Busco> to <Moderator2>: Hello Marusha, what's been the most challenging effect to pull off so far this season?

    MarushaKushnirukXeros: The Budong Episode was challenging for us in 3D given the intricacy of the shots and the volume within the timeframe.

  • Moderator: inquiring minds want to know:
    Moderator: <stargatetravler> to <Moderator>: Hey Claudia, loved you in the ep GEM! Could you PLEASE tell us what the Frell a drannit is??? <g>
    Moderator: <birthsister> to <Moderator>: claudia, btw, what's a drannit? or did ben never tell you?

    ChickWithGun: All i can tell you is it's a very funny visual for a sebacean imagining someone frelling it...

  • Moderator2: <stargatetravler> to <Moderator2>: Yo Gigi, what up? Looking forward to seeing you in Burbank again this year!! Out of the eps for S3 which one has been the hardest for you to do, which one the most fun, & which one your favorite?

    Gigi: Hmmmm........
    Gigi: the hardest ep of season three has probably been the cliffhanger.....
    Gigi: we got the script....after we shot about three days of it
    Gigi: So it is interesting...challenging and exciting...to try and figure out where your character is heading
    Gigi: My Fav.....the pleasure planet was funky to hang out on for a while...
    Gigi: always enjoy a good milking
    Gigi: Green eyed monster....is stunning.....
    Gigi: up there with my favs
    Gigi: The most fun
    Gigi: ......combinations of lotsa different eps....
    Gigi: BEing possessed...was good...and juicy....fun
    Gigi: Hate to admit it but play'n around with Jothee wasn't that bad either...heeehhhee.....Chi indulged though gi was fearful
    Gigi: :)

  • Moderator: <BigNoseBob> to <Moderator>: TONY! THE GREATEST DIRECTOR EVER! How did you accomplish the Talyn POV in GEM? Like the Evil Dead cam?

    FrooniumRicky: Tony:
    FrooniumRicky: "Luck"
    FrooniumRicky: He can't even remember
    FrooniumRicky: It was so long ago
    FrooniumRicky: Probably a better question for the DOP

  • Moderator: <Tanika> to <Moderator>: Tony: In GEM, was the little "winking star" at the end in the script, or was it your own idea?

    FrooniumRicky: Tony: "That was my idea, I'm afraid"

  • Moderator: <OzDebP> to <Moderator>: Tony, how pleased where you with Bens first effort in writing a script? Was it easy to direct?

    FrooniumRicky: Tony: "Yes and yes."
    FrooniumRicky: (Can you tell he's a director?)

  • Moderator: <ceallaig> to <Moderator>: Hello, Tony. Ben said he was excited to find that you'd be directing GEM and put in some stuff that he knew you could really do up well. Can you clue us into which items he was referring to?

    FrooniumRicky: Lil chimes in "Tilsevision"
    FrooniumRicky: tony: "which is the Talyn-cam"
    FrooniumRicky: We've actually started using the term in scripts now
    FrooniumRicky: "Tilsevision POV as the monster rips off Aeryn's arms" for instance.

  • Moderator: <Jayce66> to <Moderator>: 'Lo, Tony. Having done both, do you prefer shooting on the Talyn sets or the Moya sets?

    FrooniumRicky: Tony: "Moya sets"
    FrooniumRicky: Tony: "Not as hot. Talyn's a warm set"
    FrooniumRicky: (tighter quarters)