Farscape Encyclopedia Project
Farscape Encyclopedia Project
Farscape episode
“Jeremiah Crichton”
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 14
Guest star(s) Natalie Mendoza (Lishala); Kevin Copeland (Rokon); John O'Brien (Kato-Re); Deni Gordon (Neera); Tania Mustapic (Maid)
Writer(s) Doug Heyes, Jr.
Director Ian Watson
Production no. 10114
Original airdate July 30, 1999 (US); March 20, 2000 (UK)
Episode chronology
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"Rhapsody in Blue" "Durka Returns"

John gets stranded for 3 months, and when the others return he's rather bitter...


Ka D'Argo and John Crichton are attempting to unblock a vent on Moya that got clogged up when Crichton started his pod's engines. They start to bicker and Crichton is fed up, having used the last of his module's fuel leaving him entirely dependant on the others. He leaves D'Argo in the middle of the work, and when Zhaan tries to talk to him he snaps at her to leave him alone. He tells Aeryn Sun he's going for a drive, and that he's sick of everyone on Moya including her. He leaves on Farscape-1, and Moya senses that her foetus is at risk, and she tries to compensate, which means immediate starburst. Pilot says that there's no time to get Crichton back on board, and they starburst away, leaving him stranded...

Three months later, Crichton is lying on top of Farscape-1 down on a planet. He catches a crab-like creature, a shakloom. A woman, Lishala, comes to speak with him, and he asks if she wants some food. She says that offering food to a female on Acquara signals his affection for her. She has made him a map of the stars to help him get home. A man called Rokon comes and says her father demands she returns to the village. Alone, Rokon tells him he'll probably never leave Acquara, and Crichton says it's the first place that's made him feel like he can live with that.

Moya is still searching, and it's been a quarter of a cycle, and everyone's getting tired, but D'Argo feels guilty about them driving Crichton away, and Aeryn agrees that they should keep looking for him despite Zhaan wanting them to move on.

Crichton goes to see the Grondeer, Kato-Re, who wants to talk privately with him. He wants to discuss his daughter's heart. Crichton says that he chose to build his home away from the village so that he wouldn't interfere with their ways. Rokon is jealous that Crichton sits beside the Grondeer, and his mother, the high prieston Neera, says that he seems to have worked his way into Lishala's heart. She wants her son to marry her so he will become Grondeer.

Rygel and D'Argo land on the planet, but the pod lost all energy when it landed. They spotted Crichton's pod on their last pass. Rygel's sled loses power, and he falls to the ground. Zhaan wants either her or Aeryn to go down to the planet and find Rygel and D'Argo, but Aeryn says they can't go without more data. Aeryn says that Zhaan was more agreeable as a priest, but Zhaan tells her not to go there, there are some lines we should never cross.

Crichton is on his way home, when Rokon and some guards ambush him, but D'Argo appears and rescues him. Crichton tells him to get the hell away from him, and tells D'Argo to go back wherever he came from. Rokon returns to the village, but is injured, with Lishala healing him. Kato-Re says that they need to find out more about this other beasts, but Neera says Crichton just brings more evil to Acquara.

Rygel is shocked by Crichton's reaction, and says he's the one who practically sabotaged Moya. Crichton says that they abandoned him, but D'Argo says that he forced Moya to compensate and she starburst on her own. He asks Crichton if he really thinks they abandoned him when they've spent the last quarter of a cycle trying to find him. Crichton is surprised that they searched for him, and says Rygel and D'Argo are stuck here with no power.

Back on Moya, Pilot has produced a topographic bio print to try and locate the others on the planet. Crichton tells D'Argo that this is the first place where he's found peace. Lishala comes and asks why Crichton brought D'Argo here. She says that Crichton must go to her father and convince him that D'Argo is not a threat. On their way, Rokon and the guards ambush them again. They capture them and take Crichton's possessions, including Rygel who was hiding. Crichton and D'Argo are charged with assaulting The Grondeer's personal guards, and the crime carries the sentence of death, but since he believes that Crichton is not entirely to blame he will only banish them. Neera reminds him that the law is explicit, when suddenly Rygel comes out of the bag, and all the Acquarans start bowing and worshipping him, since he is similar in appearance to the statue of their god.

D'Argo tells Rygel that the are planning a celebration for him, where he will fulfil his part in the prophecy, only D'Argo and Rygel don't know what that is. Rygel says to Neera that he needs the sacred text to fulfil his part in the prophecy, but she says only priestans can read it. D'Argo asks Rygel if he can read it, and he says yes because it's written in ancient Hynerian.

Crichton finds Lishala, who is upset because he didn't tell her about Rygel being the Masata. She says he protected them through the priestons, and will take them off the planet whether they want to go or not. Crichton tells her that Rygel is not a spiritual being, and their Timbala is wrong. She says if he's the true Masata, he'll rise up and lead them to the light. If not, he will be tortured to death.

The Acquarans have started the celebration, and Rygel tells D'Argo and Crichton that the ancestors of the Acquarans were colonists, sent out during the reign of Rygel X to expand the influence of his people's monarchy. They were abandoned, and the power drain is intentional. They are kept here by it, to devotedly worship the family of Rygel. The priestons have made a lot of it up, elevated them to gods to elevate themselves. He says he will explain that to them, but D'Argo says they won't listen. Crichton leaves, but Rygel says it's a metaphor, and he can't lead them to the light, but Neera overhears.

Zhaan and Aeryn send down a projectile to try and let the others know the location of the power drain, but they lose contact with it, so all they can do is wait. Meanwhile, Rygel tries to explain that they have a lot to accomplish, but Neera confronts him. Rygel says that it's a metaphor that he'll rise up, but Neera says the Timbala does not require them to wait, and Rygel says he can't. Neera leads them to calling him a false god, and the seize him. D'Argo and Crichton get out of the way in time, and the projectile lands in a nearby lake. Crichton goes to get it, and finds the bio-map inside.

The Acquarans are planning Rygel's death, when Crichton interrupts. He says that they have been betrayed, and there's a power-draining device to keep their machinery from working. Rokon goes to attack Crichton, but D'Argo stops him. Crichton says that the machines functioned when their ancestors arrived, but they've been lied to, first by those who left them, and then by the priestons. Neera says attacking the priestons is the highest sacrilege. Rygel says no, that would be purposely keeping your own people ignorant and subjugated for your own glorification. Rygel says that he has proof – in the Timbala, which Koto-Re says only the priestons can read. Neera tells Rokon to kill Crichton, but Crichton notices some little handprints in the statue of their god. He grabs Rygel and places his hands in it, and it falls apart revealing a great light. His sled works and he rises up on it. They bow to him, but he stops them, saying he's only their sovereign; a worthy being like them.

Kato-Re wishes that Rygel could stay, and will tell the Peacekeepers nothing if they come asking after him. He gives Rygel some food as a gift, and says that they've given the Acquarans the greatest gift of all – their freedom. So Rygel won't forget them, they prepared him shakloom jerky. Crichton thanks Rokon and Lishala, and she says they'll miss him. Crichton tells D'Argo he's got some apologies to make, but D'Argo tells him to forget it, and they leave.

Memorable quotes[]

  • John: Why is it always my fault?
D'Argo: It is not always your fault, just almost always your fault.
  • Zhaan: What we need to do is isolate the most highly developed organisms.
Aeryn: Well, that rules out the three we're looking for.
  • D'Argo: Was it worth the trouble, human?
John: Huh? What trouble?

Background information[]

One of Rygel's Puppeteers visible in frame shortly after he and D'Argo land on the beach.

  • The title and inspiration for the episode came from one of Ben Browder's favourite movies, Jeremiah Johnson. David Kemper was at Browder's for dinner, and Browder's wife, Francesca Buller, mentioned the movie to Kemper. Kemper stated, "Instantly I had an idea for doing "Jeremiah Crichton" – Crichton goes native, lives among the people, and grows a beard. The next morning I had the story in my head." (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion, ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.2, Farscape Minisode)
  • Two of the last lines of dialogue, in which D'Argo asks Crichton "Was it worth the trouble, human?" and Crichton responds, "Huh. What trouble?" closely mirror the ending dialogue of Jeremiah Johnson.
  • The clothing had bold colors inspired by Earth tribes. Ricky Eyres remembers talking with costume designer Terry Ryan "a lot about the tribes I had seen while I was doing The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles in Kenya. When you see Earth colors, like umbers and sand colors, with bright, vibrant turquoise or purple colors in front, it's just stunning." (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion, "Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.2)
  • Chris Neal, half of SubVision, was inspired by the tribal feel, stating that the "episode required an almost Polynesian feel. It's an interesting thing, because you can have a slight influence, but you just can go there too closely, because then it sounds Polynesian, and you lose the idea that it's an alien world." (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion, "Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.2)
  • The production was hit with problems, including a hailstorm. Pete Coogan remembers the storm, "hailstones the size of cricket balls came down. They came through the Creature Shop roof and through the production office windows." (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion)
  • The episode marked the largest usage of the CG version of Rygel. This was due to the script by Doug Heyes, Jr.'s script not taking the puppet's limitations into account. (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion, "Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.2)
  • Rygel's original puppeteer John Eccleston can be seen on-screen as the native running with Rygel on his arm. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.2)
  • The location was found near Manley Dam. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.2)
  • Rockne S. O'Bannon admits that this episode was not a favorite for many people, "but there are still things that I find fun." He pointed out that this was a big episode for Rygel and "it was a good opportunity to show that as much as we try to avoid adversity and wish it never happened, it can change us for the better. Rygel is being treated with the deference he thinks he deserves, but not it doesn't sit right with him. Even he comes to realize that it's not right. That was an important adjustment for him." ("Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.2)
  • Ben Browder commented that "Crichton is the only one who loves Rygel. Crichton had a tendency to knock him back a peg. He wouldn't bother doing that unless he liked him. Rygel is frustrating, but he is who he is. He's a tragic figure at the same time as he's a comedic figure." ("Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.2)
  • This episode is considered one of the poorest and made light of by the cast and crew DVD commentary which carried the title "When Bad Things Happen To Good Shows" and which consisted mostly of self-criticisms over how the episode turned out. (DVD commentary)

Links and references[]


Guest stars[]

Guest cast[]



Voice artists[]


Acquara; Acquaran; Akuma; "Alloway, Masata"; Ammiox; Amnexus; Barken; Command; culleh; cycle; Delvian Seek; Dominar; dren; Farscape-1; food cube; frell; Grondeer; "hakuna matata"; hezmana; homing ident; Human; Hyneria; Hynerian; Leviathan; Lomata Kai; Masata; Moya; Napoleon XIV; Peacekeeper; Priestan; Qualta Blade; Rygel X; sanit; shai; shakloom; shakloom jerky; Sparky; starburst; Tally; The Lion King; The Man Who Would Be King; Timbala; topographic bio print; transport pod; Uncharted Territories; Wanta chant;

External link[]