A Snurcher's Guide to Farscape


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Production No. 312

Best Viewed As 3.12

Aired As
3.12 (US & UK)

Original Airdates
14 Jul 2001 (US)
19 Nov 2001 (UK)

1.1 (US)
1.86 (UK)

Abbreviations: (none)
Alternate Titles: (none)

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

Writer: Matt Ford
Director: Ian Barry
Linda Cropper..............Xhalax Sun
Susan Lyons................Sierjna
Mark Mitchell..............Mu-Quillus
Complete Credits


"...jump right in and wig right out..."

Aeryn's rejection of a neural implant doesn't stop Talyn from selecting an alternate candidate, when a siren song lures him too close to a star. Torn between saving a lost soul, and saving their ship, members of the crew find their efforts further complicated by the odd mist seeping from Talyn's systems -- and its rather unusal effects.


Farscape World


Terra Firma


Farscape Fantasy


Crichton suspects that Crais, rather than executing Xhalax Sun, may have cut a deal with her to betray Moya, Talyn, and their crews, in exchange for Aeryn and reinstatement to the Peacekeepers.

Crais claims that there is no possibility of his returning to the ranks of Peacekeepers.

Talyn's crew believes that another Retrieval Squad will be sent after them, as soon as High Command realizes that Xhalax and her team are dead. Nonetheless, they are attempting (so far without success) to reunite with Moya.

A siren star's "unusual pulses of radiation" will attract Leviathans, compelling them to dive into its corona and perish (akin to a flame drawing a moth). The inhibiting of a crew member's neural implant may possibly be a side effect; Crais stated that there were parts of Talyn he could no longer see or feel.

Talyn's electrical system seems unusally sensitive, given his powerplant and design as a warship.

According to Aeryn, Talyn is not yet fully healed.

According to Crais, Talyn will grow to be Moya's size.

Stark hears Sierjna for the first time after touching the mist.

Aeryn has become skilled at tech work.

Drexim enhances Talyn's reaction speed during times of crisis; however, it can become over-acidic, eroding the seams of the conduits which carry it, and seeping into Talyn's general living quarters as a mist. Talyn was exuding the mist from a dozen points on three tiers.

The drexim mist dissolved the seals on all of the spacesuits aboard Talyn.

Drexim heightens the basic emotions of organic species: John and Aeryn went into mating overdrive, Crais became dictatorial, and Stark's Stykera abilities ran amok.

Talyn's shields are linked to his sensors, to inform him of ambient conditions. Cutting the link would blind him. However, overrides can enable the recalibration of his shields to block out a specific pulse spectrum.

The damage to the secondary control node on tier two was sufficient to deactivate the shield overrides.

Eighty three Leviathans had already perished at this siren star.

Mu-Quillus is able to live in the star's corona because he is (by his own description) a hybrid being, able to switch between matter and energy states. He refers to this as transmuting, and uses it as a means of travel.

While blasts from a pulse pistol seemed to drive Mu-Quillus away, they evidently had no real or lasting effect on him.

According to Sierjna, Mu-Quillus was hired by the Prahtikrah, a race of shipbuilders who see Leviathans as competition; the more Leviathans that disappear, the more ships they can sell.

Sierjna says that Mu-Quillus is her savior and captor both: he saved her when her ship died and claims that he loves her, and now holds her, against her will.

Stark senses that Sierjna has already passed beyond life but not fully crossed over to the other side ("I told you: you are zy-limbron, not alive!"); Mu-Quillus has trapped her soul between realms. Stark's Stykera abilities enable him to see and hear Sierjna, while his crewmates think he is merely hallucinating.

Evidently, even though he can hold her prisoner in the star itself, Mu-Quillus cannot compel Sierjna to return there with him against her will.

Mu-Quillus can alter the radiation pulse frequency and intensity at will. His power source is located in, but not part of, the star itself; Crichton is able to locate it on scan.

Talyn has the ability (or perhaps an involuntary instinct) to choose his own pilot. He imbeds wires and connections in Stark without warning, severing Crais' contact through the neural implant and deactivating all manual controls up in Command.

Talyn evidently maintains his pilot in a levitating state.

In designing Talyn, Crais tried to breed out the need for a pilot, but Leviathan biology is complex, and enough link[ed] genes must have remained for Talyn to grow a vestigial pilot facility (John likens it to an appendix). Stark discovered the Den by following Sierjna's voice; she was searching for the ship's pilot. The Den is most likely located below Tier Three.

Talyn's guidance connection can be shot out at the secondary guidance node.

As Talyn's pilot, Stark's loyalty to the crew is completely overriden: he sends a DRD to shoot John and Aeryn as part of his attempts to regain full control. It is only by invoking Zhaan's memory that Crichton is able to reach him.

Working together, Stark and Talyn are able to bypass the primary guidance system.

Rygel is not above biting Crais' ear to demonstrate that Crais is not his captain.

John considers Aeryn to be his equivalent to Stark's Zhaan: he loves her, and he would die for her.

Aeryn can manually prime Talyn's cannon.

Mu-Quillus does not appear to have any actual weapons or personal destructive capability. He attempts to bargain with John and Aeryn, but is ultimately powerless to stop them from destroying him.

Stark is only able to release Sierjna to death after Mu-Quillus dies.

Talyn's pilot facility was not designed for any species other than Pilot's.

Crais has to cut Stark free from the pilot implants; Talyn either cannot or will not remove them himself. The process is projected to take about an arn.

Stark claims to know what Talyn thinks and feels about everything, including his captain, Crais.

Rygel apparently ate everything in the galley during his gorge.



  1. Why did Mu-Quillus really save Sierjna? Apparently he saved no one else from the 83 leviathans he lured to their deaths. Did he actually love her?
  2. Stark again compares Aeryn to Zhaan; is this solely because John already drew the parallel, or does he have some personal fixation on the subject?
  3. Why did Mu-Quillus die when the power source for the siren signals was destroyed? Was his ability to transmute between matter and energy an artificial one, sustained by the same source?
  4. What is it that Stark now thinks he knows, regarding Talyn's knowledge of Crais? Why does Crais hold a knife to his throat at the mention?


  1. John and Aeryn's loving interplay throughout the episode was delightful. Their semi-orgasmic conversation while finishing the repair job was hysterical.
  2. Aeryn's facial expressions were delicious throughout this episode, from her flirting with John, to her laughing at Crais outside the Den, to her claiming to speak for Zhaan in Command.
  3. Aeryn has made a personal transition from "stay alive" to "remember the big picture". It's not enough for her that Talyn escapes the star; she wants to ensure that no other Leviathans are ever threatened by it again.

Bloopers (none)


Farscape World
Tourist's Guide


Farscape World
Terra Firma


Crais: "You know the truth. You know I'll never again be a Peacekeeper."
John: "Never say never again, double-oh-seven, that's all I know."

"007" is James Bond's Secret Service designation that gives him "licence to kill". NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN is a Bond movie (a remake of the earlier Bond film THUNDERBALL) in which Sean Connery came back to the role after 12 years. The title was a joke based on the fact that after 1971's DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, Connery announced that he would "never again" play the character.

John: "How 'bout you tell us first. How'd you get here? You just beamed in."

Another Star Trek reference, this time to the transporters used by the Federation's Starfleet ships.

John: "The Pied Piper's found a new tune."
Crais: "Explain."

A reference to the protagonist of the fairy tale "The Pied Piper of Hamelin", in which a piper is hired to rid Hameln Town of rats, which he does by playing a tune on his pipe that mesmerizes the rats and causes them to follow him out of the town. Afterward, when the Mayor refuses to pay him (whence comes the expression "to pay the piper"), the Piper lures the children of the town away as he had done the rats. It's based on a legend of the disappearance of the children in the German town of Hamelin in the late 13th Century.

John: "All right, Phantom, new tune for the opera!"

John speaks the above line to Stark, whose face is half covered by a mask, much like the title character in the multimedia classic THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.

Gaston Leroux's original novel, LE FANTÔME DE L'OPÉRA, was first published in 1911. Several film versions followed, the most notable being the 1925 Lon Chaney silent, and a 1943 version starring Claude Rains. The most recent popular version of the story is the musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, which first opened in London in 1986.

Mu-Quillus: "Power down your weapons. I can offer you better terms."
John: "Damn, Smokey, you can't argue with a woman!"

Crichton is probably making an ironic reference to Smokey Bear, the fire prevention icon used by the US Department of Agriculture's Forest Service since 1944. His motto was "Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires".

A real bear cub, injured in a fire in Capitan, New Mexico in 1950, was dubbed Smokey Bear. He died in 1976, and was buried in the Smokey Bear Historical Park in Capitan.

Translator Microbe Report

Astro Crichton's nickname for Stark
Dad Crichton's nickname for Crais
Dall-fer-yon Sierjna's point of origin
Drexim a synaptic fluid equivalent to adrenaline, naturally occurring in Talyn's conduits
Gletch heck: "what the gletch is happening?"
Kanished how Sierjna boarded Talyn: "I kanished. You were in my zone."
Lava Boy Crichton's nickname for Mu-Quillus
Mr. Sun Crichton's nickname for Mu-Quillus
Nah vahajma, nah vaheerma, beker del rais Stark's litany when releasing Stierjna into death
Nik-nik loon: "You crazy nik-nik."
Phantom Crichton's nickname for Stark
Pop-top Crichton's nickname for Stark
Prahtikrah race of shipbuilders who consider Leviathans a threat to their business
Pulse spectrum frequency: "Perhaps we could calibrate his shields to block out that one pulse spectrum."
Secondary Control Node located on Talyn's second tier, it permits access to his guidance control system
Shield Overrides mechanism allowing a crew member to block certain signals from Talyn's sensors
Siren Star star which (either naturally or artificially) emits unusual pulses of radiation highly attractive to Leviathans, sometimes compelling them to make suicidal dives into the star's surface
Slug Crais's nickname for Rygel
Smokey Crichton's nickname for Mu-Quillus
Transmuting switching between a matter and an energy state; the ability allows Mu-Quillus to exist in a star's corona
Vabaseena! Sierjna's exclamation upon realizing Stark can see and touch her
Yahznek shakrow aeilo... beginning of Stark's chant or prayer, as Talyn first dives toward the Siren Star
Zy-limbron in limbo, a state of existence between life and death: "You are zy-limbron, not alive!"


"You know the truth. You know I'll never again be a Peacekeeper."
"Never say never again, double-oh-seven, that's all I know."
- Bialar Crais, John Crichton

"Yahznek shakrow aeilo [unintelligible]..."
"Knock it off, pop-top!"
- Stark, John Crichton

"You know, Talyn has got a hog of a power plant, but he's got a piss-poor electrical system: he sneezes, and half of his circuits fry."
- John Crichton

"You know, for someone who used to look down her nose at tech work, you're pretty damn good at this."
"Well, perhaps people can change."
"Well, at least some people are smiling around here these days."
"Yeah, I know. It suits your face."
"I was talking about you."
"Me? I'm not smiling."
"Yes, you are."
- John Crichton, Aeryn Sun

"You are always distracting me."
"Well, then, you are easily distracted."
"No, I'm not."
"Yes, you are."
"I'm not."
"Oh, really."
"Okay, that's a little distracting."
- John Crichton, Aeryn Sun

"Look, Crais, before we all go crackers -- hey, baby, how you doin'? -- maybe we should get some spacesuits? Masks, or something?"
"Already thought of that. We're too late. The drexim has reached the suits and it's made all the seals dissolve."
- John Crichton, Aeryn Sun

"Cat lives in the corona of a star, Crais. You think you're gonna take him out with a couple of pulse blasts?"
"He's gone for the moment. We've bought some time. Let's use it. Get back to the conduits."
"Yes, Dad."
- John Crichton, Bialar Crais

"God-like aliens...man, do I hate god-like aliens! I'll trade a critter for a god-like alien, any day."
- John Crichton

"We're gonna...we're gonna die...die die die die die die die, if we don't get the conduits fixed..."
- Aeryn Sun

"Remember the mist. The mist is not your friend."
"Right, bad mist."
"Naughty mist."
- John Crichton, Aeryn Sun

"The mist, the mist, resist the mist. Resist the mist. Are you done?"
"I'm almost done. I'm really close."
"Nearly there."
"God, I love you."
"I love you, too."
"Tell me when you're done."
"I'm nearly done."
"Tell me when you're finishing."
"Yeah? Yes?"
"Last one-- Finished! ... Frell!"
"No, no, no, I mean BAD frell!"
- John Crichton, Aeryn Sun

"The Pied Piper's found a new tune."
"Natural phenomenon, my ass. Mu-Quillus is generating these pulses."
"Uh...orbiting boom box...he's, uh, whistling out his butt...how the hell should I know? The point is, we gotta find the source, and we, we gotta squish it. I'm on scan."
- John Crichton, Bialar Crais

"Yo, Astro. Calm down and tell me, what the hell is going on!"
"It's very, very simple. I am now Talyn's pilot, and we are flying back into the sun!"
- John Crichton, Stark

"Good old Stark, count on him to jump right in and wig right out."
- John Crichton

"Yo, Astro. Talk to me. We can work it out. Lava boy is not your friend. I am."
"You okay?"
"Yeah...yeah, I'm, uh, I'm all right. Thanks for watching my backside."
"Couldn't help myself. Stark, you listen to me now! You try anything like that again, and I will personally take you to the other side!"
- John Crichton, Aeryn Sun

"Aeryn, this is the mist talking."
"I like what it's saying."
- John Crichton, Aeryn Sun

"You press that into me, and I'm going to vomit all over you."
- Rygel

"Crais, come here."
"Closer, it's a secret."
"If you try anything..."
"Closer... [bites ear]"
- Rygel, Bialar Crais

"All we can do now is wait."
"I'm not letting you go."
"I'm never letting you go. ...Wait a microt."
"This is wrong."
"Ohh...god, the mist! The damn mist is messing with our heads!"
- Aeryn Sun, John Crichton

"You tear 'em apart, baby!"
"All right, listen, I don't want to lose you, either. Can we definitely get back to that later?"
"Oh God, I love you."
"I love you too."
- John Crichton, Aeryn Sun

"All right, Phantom, new tune for the opera!"
- John Crichton

"You are going to give me control, or i am gonna rip off the other side of your damn face!"
- John Crichton

"You remember when we met?"
"You want to take a trip down memory lane??? Stark! My side, your side, my side, your side, my side, your side!"
- Stark, John Crichton

"Remember Zhaan, Stark? Let's talk about Zhaan."
"I tried to help her but I couldn't..."
"She would piss on your grave right now, you wanna know why?"
"My soulmate..."
"Because Aeryn is my Zhaan. She's my Zhaan in every way; I love her, and I would die for her, and you know what, Stark? You're killing her!"
"What? Me?"
"You're killing her, you freakazoid psycho bastard, you are killing my Zhaan!"
- John Crichton, Stark

"I got some control back, lemme show you."
"I love it when you take control."
"That's the drexim talking."
"No, it isn't. I can manually prime the cannon."
"I'd love to see that."
"Talyn's cannon."
"I'm stoked, not stupid. Do it."
- John Crichton, Aeryn Sun

"You're just like Zhaan in so many ways."
"If you say so."
- Aeryn Sun, Stark

"Would Zhaan approve of this use of violence?"
"She's speaking through me now. It is her wish."
- Aeryn Sun, Stark

"Stop what you're doing!"
"Is there some kind of stupid alien quotation book you guys use?"
"A deal between us can be brokered."
"Lava boy, you are losing."
"A compromise assures your survival."
"Again with the quote book. Hey, quote me on this: we're gonna blow up your fuse box!"
- Mu-Quillus, John Crichton

"What about other Leviathans you'll encounter?"
"Why should that concern you?"
"That was the wrong answer."
- Aeryn Sun, Mu-Quillus, John Crichton

"Power down your weapons. I can offer you better terms."
"Damn, Smoky, you can't argue with a woman!"
- Mu-Quillus, John Crichton

"Talyn is now off-limits to you. All functions, all programs, all controls."
"I know."
"You know nothing."
"I know how he feels, what he thinks, about everything, about you."
"Talyn was not of his right mind. Anything you think you experienced must take that into consideration."
"I know. Even if you slit my throat, I will still know."
- Bialar Crais, Stark

"Must go to chambers. Need sleep. Vomit...outa my way!"
- Rygel

"He's a remarkable vessel."
"Speaking of...remarkable vessels..."
- Aeryn Sun, John Crichton

"We were very lucky."
"Well, I think that...Fates, would have brought us together, anyway. Crais is gonna be cutting Stark free for about an arn. Rygel's gonna take at least that long, he's got three stomachs..."
- Aeryn Sun, John Crichton

Comments from Cast & Crew

Paul Goddard, May 10, 2001

  • Moderator: More mask questions (we're on a roll):
    Moderator: <Summerhush> to <Moderator>: Paul, this may sound stupid, but I've always wondered... Do you keep the eye under the mask open or closed?
    Moderator: <Tolfin> to <Moderator>: does you face hurt after whering it for so long

    PaulGoddard: Initially, we had trouble with it, every time my left eye blinked my right eye would follow suit and the eyelid/lash scraped itself against the chamois lining of the mask.
    PaulGoddard: We then dug out the chamois around the eye and tried putting an eye patch over the eye to hold the lid down.
    PaulGoddard: But now I am able to wear the mask and forget about such questions all together. Some how its taken care of itself. I can't tell you now whether my eye opens and closes naturally in tandem with other eye.
    PaulGoddard: Tolfin, my face doesn't hurt, I remove it after every take. It's just strap on, strap off.

  • Moderator: <ShipperShan> to <Moderator>: We have had a ton of dark episodes so far... at least one person has died in each one!! Are we gonna be getting any episodes like Crackers Don't Matter, or Beware of Dog anytime soon?

    PaulGoddard: Yes.
    PaulGoddard: There are zany times ahead
    PaulGoddard: I just watched Crackers Don't Matter for the first time a couple of nights ago and loved it!
    PaulGoddard: I was just talking to Ben yesterday about how much I loved his craziness in the show. He said that they really had a lot of fun playing around with that one.
    PaulGoddard: It was Ben that showed me how far I could go initially with the madness of Stark.
    PaulGoddard: Watching that episode gave me a little boost in terms of letting Stark's craziness rip a bit more in the episode we are shooting now.

  • Moderator: Going back to the "letting Stark's craziness rip," which ep are you working on now, so that we can look forward to it?

    PaulGoddard: Episode 12 Season 3

  • 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.
    PaulGoddard: Of the ones you have seen which was the hardest???
    PaulGoddard: hrm....
    PaulGoddard: I guess the ones that are hard are the ones where there is some degree of emotion other than anger or fear that has to be explored.
    PaulGoddard: The early episodes of this Season where Stark is dealing with Zhaan's death were tricky in regards to emotional placement.
    PaulGoddard: You don't want to get too sentimental in the playing of it, you want the audience to feel the emotion more than you displaying it as an actor.
    PaulGoddard: I hope you understand what I mean.
    PaulGoddard: There is nothing worse, for me, than watching an actor indulge in some emotional acting to the degree where they don't let you in.
    PaulGoddard: So many times I've watched documentaries where people have talked about the most horrific and tragic things without turning into a blubbering mess. Yet you know, that underneath they are experiencing deep pain.

  • Moderator: <dik-dik> to <Moderator>: Greetings from the UK, Paul! Farscape has a wonderful history of startling its audience with its audacity and unpredictability. Are you jaded to that element of surprise now, or do the writers still find ways to shock you?

    PaulGoddard: Every moment.
    PaulGoddard: I am still shocked by the scripts.
    PaulGoddard: I mean that in a good way.
    PaulGoddard: I love it when you get a script and you realise that they have provided you with an opportunity to go left field.
    PaulGoddard: On a day to day basis because of the culture of left fieldism on the Farscape set I am always trying to find new and slightly odd ways of dealing with moments. Sometimes you resort to the familiar but it is always a joy to discover a way that you think will be unexpected.
    PaulGoddard: It's something I love about the show.

Dave Elsey, July 19, 2001

  • Moderator: <PhantomComputer> to <Moderator>: Dave, was it my imagination or was Rygel actually much bigger after his eating binge in "Meltdown"? If so, how did you manage it? More foam rubber?

    DaveE: No, he's exactly the same size although, it's funny, I know exactly what you mean, I had thought the same thing, it's just good puppet acting!

Farscape Wrap Day Extravaganza, July 26, 2001

  • Moderator: <LobsterOfTruth> to <Moderator>: For Claudia: Greetings from the German fans to the whole team ! My question: How was it like playing the scenes with Ben for "Meltdown". I guess you had some fun with them...

    ChickWithGun: I felt like i had rented a boyfriend for week on meltdown.

  • Moderator: <unohoo> to <Moderator>: Tim: I just love the look and feel of Talyn. Who designed Talyn? Was that a group effort? And is more going to be done with Talyn's nascent Pilot's chamber?

    TimFerrier: Ricky Eyres designed the Talyn bridge and all the new sets this year were designed by myself and my team.
    TimFerrier: The nascent Pilot's Chamber is currently in limbo...

  • Moderator: <AnnieBW> to <Moderator>: Hey, Froon! Between "Meltdown" and "Scratch 'n SNiff", we've all been wondering if the writers have been visiting Aaron Sorkin's mushroom farm. What gives? Are you guys all on laughing gas lately?

    FrooniumRicky: "Lately"?
    FrooniumRicky: Haven't you been watching?
    FrooniumRicky: We try to mix things up
    FrooniumRicky: pharmaceutical-wise and otherwise