Farscape episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 19
Guest star(s) Kent McCord ("Jack" the Ancient); Lani Tupu (Cpt. Bialar Crais); Wayne Pygram (Scorpius); Alyssa-Jane Cook (Gilina Renaez); Paul Goddard (Stark); Stephen Leeder (Cmdr. Javio); Imogen Annesley (Niem); Anthony Kierann (Lt. Heskon)
Writer(s) Richard Manning
Director Rowan Woods
Production no. 10119
Original airdate January 7, 2000 (US), May 8, 2000 (UK)
Episode chronology
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"A Bug's Life" "The Hidden Memory"

To save Aeryn's life, John and Chiana must infiltrate a Peacekeeper base. There they find an old friend and a powerful, deadly new enemy.


Aeryn Sun has discovered that the wound she suffered following the stabbing by Larraq was worse than originally thought - the knife pierced her paraphoral nerve. Since, when damaged, it does not regenerate, within fifty or sixty arns she will be dead. The only method of healing is a tissue graft from a compatible donor, so John Crichton comes up with a plan. Posing as Larraq, he plans to infiltrate the Gammak Base that Larraq and his team were headed to, using the coordinates that Moya was given. Reluctantly (with a bit of force from Crichton) the rest of the crew agree to try and save Aeryn. Chiana volunteers her services as a distraction, and away they go!

Crichton manages to talk his way on to the base, but when they dock they are met by guards. Using Larraq's ident chip, he passes the security verification, and he and Chiana proceed to the bar to acquire information. Chiana is acting like a tralk, propositioning every man in sight, while John talks to Commander Javio. When an unnamed ominous figure appears, Javio leaves and Crichton calls over Chiana. She reveals that she is behaving in this manner as a distraction, to draw attention away from John. As the two proceed to quarters, Crichton is required to give more id verification, as well as the ident chip he must submit to genetic verification.

Amazingly, Crichton passes the verification, and on the way to quarters, John is called aside by a female Peacekeeper. It's Gilina, the tech, and she's been reassigned from Crais' command carrier to the Gammak Base to work on a top secret project (along with others from Crais' ship), which she assumes is weapons development. It turns out she is the one who overrode security and she agrees to help John in his quest to save Aeryn.

Back on Moya, Rygel is pestering Aeryn until Ka D'Argo interrupts, and she tells D'Argo that if she cannot die in battle then she wishes to die alone. Zhaan tells D'Argo later that she can do nothing to save Aeryn, merely ease her through her pain. The toxins and poisons that have built up in Aeryn's body will kill her and Zhaan does not have the means to filter them out, but D'Argo reveals Moya has that ability.

On the Base, Javio is now propositioning Chiana, and he offers her the chance to stay with him for double what "Larraq" is paying her, and she says she'll think it over. Meanwhile, Gilina tells John that there is a new way of healing the paraphoral nerve, and she has got the medics to synthesize paraphoral tissue that can save Aeryn. John and Gilina share a heart-warming goodbye, and she remarks that all they ever do is say goodbye. As John is leaving, he passes the ominous figure - a Peacekeeper named Scorpius - who is able to tell just by looking at him that he's an impostor and orders the guards to seize him. Crichton cannot overcome the guards but manages to leave the dose of tissue in a small gap in the wall.

Scorpius puts Crichton in the Aurora Chair, a device that can extract memories from people and display them on a screen. Scorpius wants to know who John really is and whom he is working for. Crichton attempts to continue the charade so Scorpius begins memory extraction, causing Crichton extreme pain.

Meanwhile, Zhaan and D'Argo have joined Aeryn to Moya, so she can filter out the toxins in Aeryn's blood to slow her death.

Back on the surface, Chiana and Gilina discover that Crichton's been captured, and they attempt to locate him. Javio has done some checks on the missing Leviathan, and relays the information on Moya and the escaped prisoners to Scorpius. Scorpius finds memories of Crichton's encounters with Crais. Javio recognises him, telling Scorpius that Moya escaped from his convoy. Seeing that he holds Crichton responsible for the death of his brother and swore revenge, Scorpius realizes that Crais ignored orders to abandon the search and broadcasts a message to the Command Center telling of their prisoner, knowing Crais will turn up to collect his prey. More memories are ripped, revealing John's recent encounter with the Ancients. They see the encounter between Crichton and the Ancient masquerading as his father, however the scene being displayed is not one Crichton remembers. Jack had decided to give Crichton wormhole technology, however believed that if Crichton wasn't smart enough to use it properly then he doesn't deserve it. As well ensuring that Crichton didn't remember that part of their encounter, the Ancients implanted the knowledge in his unconscious, and they say that he must discover it himself, but what they have done will be enough to help him continue on the right path to do it. This makes Scorpius happy, since the secret project of the Gammak Base is just that - to research wormhole technology causing Crichton to laugh at the irony. So that his brain does not melt, Scorpius lets John recuperate before the next session.

He is placed in a cell, where he meets Stark, who has been in the Chair so much that it has driven him insane (this episode originates the "My side, your side" line), so much so that he calls the Chair his own.

On Moya, the treatment is stopping Aeryn from deteriorating further, but she is not getting any better. When asked, Zhaan tells Aeryn it was Pilot's idea for the treatment, as D'Argo doesn't want Zhaan to tell her it was his. He tells Zhaan he respects Aeryn's words that she wants to die alone, although he does not believe them. Zhaan tells him she does not believe Aeryn either, but he did the right thing. Suddenly Moya trembles as she starts to have contractions, indicating she is close to giving birth. Due to the harm they're causing to Aeryn, the treatment has to be stopped.

On the Gammak Base, as Gilina and Chiana hook in to main control, Captain Crais arrives. Stark is in the Chair, when Crais enters demanding Crichton. Scorpius says that he can have him once he has finished with him, even though the Chair may kill him. Crais cannot argue, as Scorpius knows that he has gone renegade from PK command.

Gilina discovers that John is in a cell, and patches through a communication. John reveals the location of the tissue sample, and tells Chiana to fetch it, and he will die if necessary. When Crais enters, communication is severed, and Gilina asks Chiana why John won't save himself, and asks if it's because he loves Aeryn. Chiana says no, he loves Gilina and that Moya's crew will come back for John and Gilina.

In the cell, Crais tells Crichton that he's captured Moya and her crew, and that he will let them go if John stops resisting the Chair and gives himself up. John suspects he's lying, so he asks if the crew are all OK. When Crais says they're all at full health, Crichton knows he's lying.

Gilina covers up Chiana's escape by rigging a reactor overload, which means immediate evacuation. Chiana gets the sample but on the way to the prowler, she meets Javio, but manages to torch him to death and escape. She returns to Moya and Aeryn is injected. She asks to see Crichton, but the others don't reveal his capture and say she will soon, and leave whilst D'Argo watches over her.

Back on the base, John is put back in the Chair, when Scorpius is told of the missing prowler. He realises it's a diversion and wants to know who triggered it. When they say they don't know, Scorpius turns and says that John will tell them...

Memorable quotesEdit

Aeryn: I'm not going to die?
D'Argo: As you once said to me, you will die, but not today.

Background informationEdit

  • This episode marks Wayne Pygram's first appearance as Scorpius and Paul Goddard's first appearance as Stark. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.3)
  • Kent McCord shot his scenes for this episode while filming "A Human Reaction". ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.3)
  • The original concept of Scorpius was as an insectoid who would have appeared earlier in the first season. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.3)
  • Crichton's comparison of Scorpius to Nosferatu is referenced again in "We're So Screwed - Fetal Attraction". ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.3)
  • The title for this episode is taken from British racing author Template:Dick Francis' first thriller. Ricky Manning's wife was a fan of Francis, and Manning thought the title appropriate. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.3)
  • Paul Goddard researched Jack Nicholson's performance in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Brad Pitt's performance in Twelve Monkeys to play Stark's madness. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.3)
  • "Nerve" is the first episode of Farscape to end with "To Be Continued." ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.3)
  • Rockne S. O'Bannon felt that "these two episodes together were our first Farscape feature, I would say – just for the scale of the production and the introduction of the uber-villain for the series." He was pleased with the final result, stating, "the episodes had a terrific twist, in that suddenly Crais, the person we set up at the beginning of the series and the person we thought was going to be the main villain, was cast into a position of great uncertainty." ("Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.3)
  • O'Bannon noted that "the line about the comfy chair was definitely scripted. The original plan was to use the Aurora Chair a lot to show clips from the past, so we could get a lot of mileage out of old episodes, so Ricky Manning would inevitably refer to it as the 'clip chair,' and I would refer to it as the 'comfy chair.' Calling it the Clip Chair was too much of an inside joke, so we couldn't do that, but we all knew the reference to the comfy chair from Monty Python. When Ricky turned in the script, I said Crichton should say 'Fetch the comfy chair,' and do that joke." ("Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.3)
  • When Crichton is being interrogated by Scorpius, Scorpius comments on the vast array of races Crichton has seen. However, one of the races shown was not directly seen by Crichton, but by Rygel – the alien Rygel conversed with in the first episode of Farscape on the commerce planet.
  • Chiana's killing of Javio marks the first time she is shown unambiguously taking a life.

Links and referencesEdit


Guest starsEdit


Gigi Edgley as Chiana

Guest castEdit



Voice artistsEdit

Uncredited co-starsEdit


arn; Ancient; Aurora Chair; battery; Berra, Yogi; centerfold of the year; Command; command carrier; comms; Cool Hand Luke; Crais, Tauvo; Delvian; Diamonds Are Forever; Fahrbot; froonium drive; Gammak Base; genetic verification; Guido; Human; Hynerian; ident chip; Immelmann turn; Larraq; lerg; Leviathan; Lost In Space; Luxan; Magra; Marauder; memory extraction; metra; microt; mivonks; Monty Python; Monty Python's Flying Circus; Moya; neural block; neural pattern; Nosferatu; paraphoral nerve; paraphoral tissue; Peacekeeper; Peacekeeper First Command; Peacekeeper High Council; Peacekeeper Tech; Pip; prowler; raslak; reactor core; Robinson, Will; sakmar; Sebacean; Spanish Inquisition sketch; Sparky; Swiss Army knife; Uncharted Territories; velka; wormhole technology

External linkEdit