Farscape episode
“Family Ties”
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 22
Guest star(s) Lani Tupu (Capt. Bialar Crais); Wayne Pygram (Scorpius); David Franklin (Lt. Braca)
Writer(s) Rockne S. O'Bannon and David Kemper
Director Tony Tilse
Production no. 10122
Original airdate January 28, 2000 (US); June 5, 2000 (UK)
Episode chronology
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"Bone To Be Wild" "Mind the Baby"

An unexpected betrayal leaves the crew scrambling for a plan of escape. But the day's surprises have just begun...


Moya is still trapped in the asteroid field, (continuing "Bone To Be Wild"), but there is now a bigger problem. Rygel has taken a transport pod and is headed towards Crais' command carrier. The rest of Moya's crew aren't happy, apparently his eminence is out to strike a deal with Scorpius and Crais...

Crais, meanwhile, wonders why Rygel is on his way to them alone, and Scorpius remarks that perhaps he wants to become part of Crais' collection (referring to the Hynerian trophies in Crais' quarters). Crais thinks it's all just a game to Scorpius, however he denies it saying he cares a great deal about one thing – the wormhole technology that Crichton holds. Lt. Braca brings in Rygel, who says they want the Leviathan, its gunship offspring, the defector Aeryn Sun and especially John Crichton. Are they interested?

Pilot has plotted a course out of the asteroid field using the charts from Br'Nee, but Moya refuses to leave her offspring who cannot Starburst. It can't use its weaponry effectively until it's fully grown. John tells Aeryn and Ka D'Argo he will not be taken alive by the Peacekeepers – he's been in the Aurora Chair, and he will not go back. He asks what would happen if one of them pretends to dock at the command carrier but at the last second drives the transport pod straight into the bridge. Aeryn says it won't cripple their operations, but Crichton asks what would happen if it is loaded with explosives.

Rygel is now having a full on meal on the Carrier, when Scorpius says he could easily put Rygel in the Chair, but he says it will not work, and Crais agrees that a Hynerian would die instantly. Scorpius agrees that he will exchange Rygel's freedom for Crichton, saying the rest is insignificant, however Rygel wants a ship, crew and more. Scorpius says he's lying about why he's here, but Rygel denies it. Scorpius tells the guards to lock him up, but he says no – Crichton will not be taken alive. Scorpius asks him if he will help them capture Crichton...

D'Argo tries to convince Chiana to wear chains when the Peacekeepers come, so they think she's a prisoner, but she rejects that with a vengeance. Meanwhile, Zhaan is whipping up a substance that becomes explosive when mixed with certain items, and she says that she has made a family on Moya but feels it's all coming to an end. John replies that for what it's worth, she is family.

Aeryn is with Pilot, trying to comfort him, since he is sharing Moya's pain. He says that they have grown close in their time together, and her prowler is still on board so she can leave and not be captured. She tells him she is not going anywhere, and when she finally has a name for Moya's son, she will give him one that it will bear proudly, it's her honour, and she will do it in freedom. John is trying to record a message to his father, but cannot find the right words for it, when Aeryn walks in on him and tells him how lucky he is, because she knows little about her mother, and even less about her father.

Crais walks in on Rygel having a bath, and says he must discuss Rygel's future. Scorpius has ordered his execution, and asks if he really thought he could strike a bargain with a Scarran half-breed. Rygel asks why Crais tells him this, and he says they are in similar situations, but he wants to survive.

Rygel returns to Moya, and the others fear it is a trap, even though he was not followed. D'Argo, Zhaan, Crichton and Aeryn all point their guns at the door, as Rygel hovers in saying not to shoot. He tells them not to let their reaction to what they will see next include weapons fire, as Crais follows behind! He says he asked Rygel for asylum, and had it granted! He asks to be placed in a cell so he won't be harmed. D'Argo takes exception to his presence, and beats on him until he reveals that D'Argo was wrongfully imprisoned – Crais knew thay D'Argo was not guilty of the murder of his wife (with Aeryn telling him it was actually her brother, a Peacekeeper, who committed the crime) but could not reverse his conviction. Crichton considers this an easy answer, but Crais counters that as they are all proof of, life isn't fair.

Rygel tells Zhaan and Chiana what he saw – it was no act, Scorpius was in control on the Carrier. Rygel recognises Crais' value, but Zhaan says he went to sell them out. Rygel replies, "You bet I did... but I didn't!" D'Argo and Aeryn are preparing the explosives, when they say they have come to rely on each other, and she wishes she'd seen his son. He tells her he misses him more every day, and she says he has his father's blood, so he's probably just like him.

John is watching over Crais, saying he wants a male-to-male conversation. Crais says he understands now that John didn't purposely kill his brother. He says he thought at first it was about his brother, but somewhere along the line it became about him.

Later, Crais tells the crew that Scorpius will attack as soon as he detects the transport pod, destroying it once they detect explosives before it hits. D'Argo mentions there's one thing he values more than anything – the Gammak Base. They can ignite the moon's oil surface and destroy it as a distraction allowing their escape, but someone will have to fly the pod. Crais says it won't work because there's one thing Scorpius values more than anything – Crichton.

D'Argo volunteers, then Chiana sees John saying she knows he will go too. He says that he is what Scorpy wants, and she thanks John for saving her life, giving him a goodbye kiss. He says one day she can return the favour.

Lt. Braca tells Scorpius that Crais has been deemed irreversibly contaminated; Scorpius is now in full control. Scorpius' orders are to cripple the Leviathan, if the offspring responds to their signal bring it in, or else destroy it. He says everyone but Crichton is dispensable.

Crais and Aeryn are on the offspring, and he says it's amazing. All other attempts have failed, and it must be because they were in captivity. The offspring can have a Pilot, but doesn't require one as it responds to direct voice commands. Aeryn and Crais agree that it should be left out of their conflicts.

John says he allows Rygel to have is possessions if he doesn't make it; Rygel says he can be selfish but please don't hold it against him. Chiana has cooked everyone's favourite meals as appreciation for all they've done for her. In the meantime John leaves the message to his father, saying he thinks his time has come, but he's not afraid, his Dad did good.

Zhaan blesses John and D'Argo, and they all say their goodbyes. D'Argo gives the holo-image of his wife and son (1.10 "They've Got a Secret") to Zhaan, so she can give it to him. Aeryn tells them if they get it right, the Peacekeepers won't notice them, and she'll be there.

The Peacekeepers detect the transport pod, but Scorpius won't change course until they know more information. D'Argo and John are on the pod, and Pilot wishes them luck. Initial Peacekeeper scans reveal a Luxan and Human on board, so Scorpius changes course, and says he wants the prisoners alive. John arms the explosives, whilst Pilot tells Aeryn, who's in her prowler, that the offspring is not responding to Moya. She tells him to call it by its name – Talyn, which was her father's name. Braca reveals there are explosives on the pod, and Scorpius says if they ignite the oil surface of the moon, the Base will have to be evacuated. D'Argo says it's time to go, and John says he loves hanging with him, giving him his Dad's good luck charm. They exit the pod, leaving them drifting in space! Aeryn has to get them, as D'Argo can only survive for one quarter of an arn. The transport hits the moon, and the surface ignites behind them!

Crais has boarded Talyn, and Aeryn can't get to John and D'Argo, as there are too many prowlers around. Aeryn orders Crais to leave, telling him its wrong to remove a child from his mother. Crais reminds her however that's exactly what happened to both of them, and tells Aeryn that he'll be interested to see how their relationship develops away from the Peacekeepers, on the off-chance she manages to survive her current situation and they ever meet again. With that, Talyn flies off with Crais back into the asteroid field. The command carrier is moving in on Moya, but no one including Rygel wants to leave the others. Moya refuses to go without Talyn, so John speaks to her, saying her only chance to rescue her son is to save herself first, and thanks Moya for everything. Watched by D'Argo, John and Aeryn, Moya Starbursts away, as D'Argo falls unconscious. With Aeryn unable to rescue them, John and D'Argo remain floating in space.

Memorable quotesEdit

D'Argo: Rygel, listen to me. And listen very, very carefully. (He says something very guttural in Luxan)
John: What the hell did you just say?
Chiana: Something about his corpse and a - body function.
John: Oh that'll help.
Crais: One unarmed transport flying straight towards us. Makes no sense.
Scorpius: A pity we can't follow its trail back to the Leviathan. Any other vessels in motion out there?
Crais: Just our own outbound Marauder with the alien girl you adopted.
Scorpius: Have you found my security officer assigned to watch her?
Aeryn: You're lucky, you know. When I was young, one night a soldier appeared over my bunk, battle-hardened, scarred...
John: Cool. Your father
Aeryn: My mother. She told me that I wasn't merely an accident or a genetic birthing to fill the ranks, that she and a male that she had cared about had chosen to yield a life. Mine
John: And what about your father?
Aeryn: I know even less
John: Well, leave him a message. You don't know. He might get it
Rygel (Face to face with the guns of Moya's crew): Please don't shoot. Of course, I would have demanded the same precautions myself, but -
Aeryn: Off the throne sled, Rygel, and face-down on the ground.
Rygel: Well hardly. Then I'd miss your reactions for what is about to happen. And please, whatever your reaction, don't let it include weapons fire. (Crais appears behind Rygel)
Crais: Clearly an awkward situation.
Crais: There is much in life that is unfair - we are all proof of that.
John: If life was fair, you'd be dead.
Aeryn: So. Is there anything you want to say to me?
Crais: I think we covered it all when you left me for dead in the Aurora Chair.
D'Argo: I thought I would live much longer.
Aeryn: I never thought I'd live this long.
John: How are you doing?
Crais: Why would you ask?
John: I look at you, and I get homesick. I'm desperate for human male-to-male conversation, and I figure cars, football, they're out of the question.
Crais: Do you think it's an accident our species are so much alike?
John: You know the answer to that?
Crais: It's one of the mysteries I will miss solving.
John: Yeah. Kinda makes you feel your mortality, doesn't it? Being in there. That's what it's like for us, every day, every hour, every minute, every second with you riding our asses.
Crais: I understand you didn't mean to kill my brother. It was an accident. I realize that now, as I look back and try to understand it all.
John: You have any idea what you put me through? All of us through?
Crais: I thought it was about my brother. It should have been about my brother. Somewhere along the way my priorities decayed. I realized I'd become more concerned with my own image and career.
John: If you mean to help, now's the time.
D'Argo: It is not open for discussion!
Aeryn: You're being ridiculous! We were going to draw lots!
D'Argo: I did draw lots! I lost! Matter closed!
Aeryn: You are not the captain here!
D'Argo: No one is! It is anarchy! And today is my day to rule!
Chiana: You saved my life.
John: Pass it on.
Chiana: What?
John: When someone else needs it, return the favor. You pass it on.
Aeryn (About Talyn): Are you aware of other attempts to breed a ship such as this?
Crais: Numerous. All ending disastrously. Killing both mother and child. But now I know why.
Aeryn: Well, the other Leviathans were in captivity wearing control collars, whereas this one was free when she gave birth.
Crais: Your intelligence would qualify significantly for promotion.
Aeryn: Pity, I don't think a referral from you would mean anything now.
Rygel: Look I-I know I can be selfish, but given a chance I can usually -
John: Do what? Do the right thing?
Rygel: Yes.
John: Rygel, I figure the right thing starts at the beginning of the day. Not after you've been caught.
John: One other thing Dad. You remember the day I left? You told me that every man has a chance to become his own kind of hero. Well, I don't think I'm ever coming home, so I won't get that ticker tape parade, and I doubt that I'm ever gonna have kids, so I won't get the chance to be a hero to them. But I think I know what you meant. I've got - a strange life here Dad. It's different, but it's my own. I have people who rely on me. People I care about… People who - mystify me and people who have become allies. Friends. And people who teach me patience. And people who teach me... other things. Well, you said the time would come, and I think it has. I have a job to do and I am unafraid. That's what you said when they asked you what it was like to walk on the moon. You did good Dad. You taught me well. This is John Crichton, somewhere in the Universe.
D'Argo: Zhaan said to inject the lutra oil into the largest container and that will start the chain reaction.
John: How much time do we have after it starts?
D'Argo: She was vague to the point that I suspect that she doesn't have a clue.
John: How you doing?
D'Argo: I have to pee.
John: Hey D'Argo. How come I'm not afraid?
D'Argo: Fear accompanies the possibility of death. Calm shepherds its certainty.
John: (smiling) I love hanging with you, man.
John: Hey you bastards. John Crichton was here.

Background informationEdit

  • The final shot of the season with the burning planet was something David Kemper had in his mind. "I wanted to do an episode at the end of the season with Crichton and D'Argo floating in space while a planet is burning behind them. I had to fight for it, but we ended up doing it!" The extended time allowed the visual effects house enough time to figure out how to achieve the shot. (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion, "Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.3)
  • Anthony Simcoe remembers the final moments of the season being filmed, especially the last shot of D'Argo's hand letting go of Crichton's good luck charm. "They brought down the whole crew – the Creature Shop, construction, and all of admin and production – so there were hundreds of people standing around watching us do this last simple shot. There was big applause and champagne, and it was a touching moment." (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion, "Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.3)
  • Ben Browder noted that the final line Crichton recorded for his father was written for "Premiere", but not used. "That last address to Dad is the final evolution of season one, I reinserted that line Rockne had written – 'This is John Crichton, somewhere in the universe' – and go to hear it in an entirely different way," he recollects. (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion, "Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.3)
  • Rockne S. O'Bannon said that "what fascinates me and pleases me the most about [this episode] is it's not a very action packed episode at all. It takes place largely on Moya; it's a lot of character stuff, and the reason it plays as well as it does is you have come to know these characters. [...] It's something that early in the season wouldn't necessarily have come about. But we've lived through all that. It's well earned." ("Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.3)
  • In a big curve ball, Crais asked for asylum aboard Moya. O'Bannon proudly stated, "that's again something that you would never have seen coming. There were shocks and surprises that were incredibly delicious. [...] It's tough to do, and things like the Crais reversal are why the audience seemed to really appreciate Farscape." ("Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.3)
  • When the episode was being filmed, Farscape had not yet been renewed for a second season. O'Bannon recalled, "we didn't know we had the second season, but we had been well received, so even if the numbers weren't real high, we were higher than other stuff on the Sci-Fi Channel, so the word was that we would be back." He continued to point out, "obviously the cost factor every season was an issue, so that was always a potential stumbling block, but we did not leave the season knowing we would be back. If nothing else, we felt that we'd done really good work, and we were really proud of what had come out of a lot of time and effort." ("Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.3)
  • This episode was given a special profile in TV Guide in the United States. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.3)
  • This was the final episode shot at Fox Studios in Sydney. The stage was required for shooting the new Star Wars movie. As such, the production moved to an old customs warehouse at Homebush Bay. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.3)
  • This episode is the last time Garner MacLennan Design did the visual effects. They were replaced by Animal Logic. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.3)
  • This episode was John Eccleston's final work as Rygel's puppeteer. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.3)
  • Moya and her transport pods are usually brown, and the command carrier is usually black, but in this episode they all have an ominous shade of blue.
  • Ben Browder and Claudia Black later appeared in a Stargate SG-1 episode of the same name.

Links and referencesEdit


Guest starsEdit



Voice artistsEdit


Abbott and Costello; arn; Aurora Chair; baseball; Buckwheat; center chamber; Command; command carrier; comms; control collar; Crais, Tauvo; Crichton, Jack; crispy grolack; Dominar; DRD; eema; first base; Fluffy; frell; Gammak Base; Goddess of the Delvian Seek; gunship; Hepatian minced stew; Human; Hyneria; Hynerian; irrevocably contaminated; Kal tanega, chivoko; Kirk, James T.; Ka Jothee; Krawdlar; kronite; Leviathan; Lutra oil; Luxan; Lyczac, Talyn; Marauder; microt; mivonks; Moya; Peacekeepers; Peacekeeper High Command; prowler; puzzle ring; Rastifarian; Scarran; silka; smoked pronga sinew; Spanky; Sparky; Spock; Springer, Jerry; Star Trek; starburst; Sun, Xhalax; Tal, Lo'Laan; Tal, Macton; Talyn; terleum mollusk; ThroneSled; transport pod; Tribunal Order; Trojan Horse; veen; wormhole technology; yotz

External linkEdit