Farscape Encyclopedia Project
Farscape episode
“Picture If You Will”
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 06
Guest star(s) Chris Haywood (Maldis/Kyvan)
Writer(s) Peter Neale
Director Andrew Prowse
Production no. 10206
Original airdate April 21, 2000 (US); July 31, 2000 (UK)
Episode chronology
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"The Way We Weren't" "Home on the Remains"

Chiana receives a painting that portrays the future, falling prey to Maldis' plan for vengeance against Zotoh Zhaan.


Chiana is browsing a small commerce station along with Rygel XVI and Aeryn Sun. The shopkeeper, Kyvan, offers Chiana a painting, and Rygel a Hynerian tiara. He takes it in exchange for one food cube, and as they leave, Kyvan gives Chiana the painting, which is of her wearing her favourite necklace, for free, saying that it is a window in time.

On Moya, John Crichton and Ka D'Argo are trying to fix the defense screen, and Pilot tells them that they're experiencing anomalies. Chiana, Rygel and Aeryn return, and Chiana sees a DRD with her necklace. She takes it back, and the painting changes to her with a broken leg. When she gets up, she trips on the DRD and a snapping sound is heard...

Chiana thinks that the painting can predict the future, but Crichton doesn't buy it. Zotoh Zhaan wonders if it's one of the others playing tricks. Since Pilot assigned the DRD to find the necklace a while ago, Crichton thinks it's just a coincidence. Zhaan wants to perform test on the painting, and despite Chiana's initial objections Zhaan gets a piece. Meanwhile, Rygel discovers that the tiara is actually authentic.

D'Argo asks Chiana if she really wants to know the future, and wants her to get rid of the painting, because he is concerned. She asks if he really cares what happens to her, and he does, and she says she is glad he does. D'Argo says that he wants her to be sensible and get rid of it, but she gets annoyed and forces him to leave.

Aeryn and Crichton discuss the situation, with both of them in a lousy mood. Aeryn suggests that Kyvan set it all up because Chiana insulted her art. Crichton half-jokes that if it was up to him, every door on Moya would be locked up so nothing that can be a danger can get in, and Aeryn tells him that if she had her way Rygel would be thrown off the ship, and possibly Chiana too since they both cause trouble. Crichton takes offense at this, and asks if she would feel better if everyone (including Pilot) was gone so she could have the ship to herself. When Aeryn asks if he's offering, Crichton storms out.

Zhaan is doing some analysis, and hears a voice. Crichton enters and startles her, and she says that everything is not OK. He asks her to tell him, but she can't find anything in the painting. Crichton says that it must have been all in Chiana's mind, but Zhaan says no – Chiana is in danger. She can't tell Crichton what, because she only has suspicions, but she says that soon she may need everyone to do exactly as she says, quickly and without questions, and asks if he'll obey. Crichton says that when the time comes he will back her up, and she wants the portrait, so she can destroy it.

Chiana screams, as the painting has turned into her burning in flames. Crichton runs the portrait to Zhaan, while the others go to the cargo bay. D'Argo puts her in the freezer, and as Pilot can regulate the temperature and keep the air flowing he and Crichton decide to leave her in there to play it safe. However, despite the fact that nothing in the freezer is combustible, Chiana suddenly catches fire. As she screams, the others try desperately to get the doors open but nothing works and the door controls don't respond for Pilot. Eventually it opens, but by then Chiana has seemingly burned to death and left only ashes.

Pilot manages to get the door open, but all that is left are the remnants of Chiana's clothes. Rygel goes to Zhaan and asks why she couldn't have saved Chiana. Zhaan blames herself, but Crichton says they should dispose of the painting, so she burns it.

Pilot tells Aeryn that there was nothing wrong with the freezer, and nothing he or Moya did caused it. D'Argo calls Crichton to the central chamber – the painting has repaired itself and shows D'Argo, so they smash it on the floor before it finishes changing. D'Argo wants to flush it out of the airlock, and Aeryn decides to go to Kyvan for answers (taking Crichton's module, much to her displeasure, as her Prowler is in the middle of maintenance). They flush it out and move away from the fragments, and Zhaan again hears a voice in the corridor.

Aeryn flies away in the module, and discovers Rygel hiding in the back. Rygel wants to make a profit and settle the score with Kyvan at the same time, admitting he will miss Chiana.

The painting reconstitutes and shows D'Argo impaled. Zhaan freaks out, and D'Argo says it symbolises a Qualta Blade so he gives it to Zhaan to lock away. D'Argo tells Crichton that he's been a good friend, when Aeryn's Prowler, which he is standing in front of, suddenly activates and lurches forward skewering D'Argo. Crichton is horrified, however D'Argo then shatters.

D'Argo is transported to a strange place, where he hears Chiana. She thinks that they're in the portrait. Meanwhile, Aeryn and Rygel arrive on the station to confront Kyvan, and threaten to shoot her. She says that she was forced to paint the portrait by Maldis. Meanwhile, the portrait has changed yet again and shows Crichton being electrocuted.

Aeryn tells Crichton and Zhaan over the comms, and she says that they only dispersed him and she knew he'd coalesce again one day. Zhaan starts praying, and Crichton tells Aeryn to get some information. Zhaan grabs Crichton and tells him via their bond of Unity (1.12 "Rhapsody in Blue") that she has a plan. She says that he must focus Maldis' attention on him for as long as possible, and says to ignore what she says next. She breaks the bond, and Zhaan says they can't beat Maldis; she is giving up, and pushes him into an exposed circuit.

Crichton is transported inside the picture, and hears D'Argo. The archways apparently take you somewhere else, so D'Argo tells Crichton not to go through. Crichton calls Maldis, who appears behind him. Maldis says that he is saving his revenge for Zhaan, and wanted her to see her shipmates die first. He then starts calling Zhaan again. The portrait changes now to display Zhaan's broken body.

Zhaan goes to Pilot, and he says that he'll do exactly as she asked. Maldis tells Crichton that Zhaan is afraid because she is alone. Zhaan tries to leave the den, but slips off the walk way and falls into the abyss below causing her to appear in the painting, where Crichton tells her not to give up. He tells everyone to stay calm so that Maldis can't feed on their fear. Maldis threatens Earth, D'Argo's son Jothee and the prospect of sending Chiana back to Nebari Prime in an attempt to push their buttons. He turns to Zhaan, and starts walking over her, saying that in 100 microts he will finish them.

Pilot sends a priority message to Aeryn to kill Kyvan and leave fast. Aeryn shoots Kyvan, and she and Rygel just manage to escape in the module before the commerce station shatters like glass. Maldis is weakened, and Zhaan jumps up and suddenly gives him a good hiding, throwing him into an archway. They all leave quickly through the portal in the wall, and a giant hand appears. The DRDs shoot the hand and the wall, and it all smashes.

Chiana is eating with Rygel, and asks why her leg is still hurt. She explains to Rygel the whole Maldis/Kyvan thing, but he doesn't get it.

Crichton asks Zhaan if Maldis is gone for good, but she says she doesn't know. She adds that her fear wasn't an act – she's never been more scared in her life.

Memorable quotes[]

Rygel (speaking of Chiana): She had spirit, ambition, and large appetites. She would have made an excellent Hynerian.
John (in reference to Chiana's portrait): I don't know art but I know what I don't like.
John (in reference to the portrait): What do we have to do to ditch this thing, drop it into a black hole?!
John: I say we lock all of Moya's doors, we don't let anybody in, we don't let anybody out. That way we get no alien critters, no shape-shifting bugs, no mind-altering viruses, no freaky-deaky artifacts.
John: Maldis, come on down you old ba***rd!
John: Haven't you ever read the supervillains handbook? This is the part where your supposed to twirl your moustache and gloat.
Maldis: I don't have a moustache, John.
Maldis: Have you forgotten? Fear makes me stronger. Fear and the terror of helplessness. These are a few of my favorite things.
John: Oh, could you do that farewell, good-bye song the kids sing? It's one of my favorites.
Maldis: I don't do requests!
John: (Having blown Maldis Away) That was your plan?
Zhaan: Yes, John. Did you like it?
John: What's not to like?
John: So, what do you think, Zhaan? Is that son of a bitch gone for good this time?
Zhaan: With a being like Maldis, we can never be entirely certain.
John: Zhaan, this would have been a really good opportunity to lie to me, you know. Yeah, "Sure, John! He's toast, strike him off your Christmas list, stick a fork in him, he's done, he's over, the fat lady is singing." It does not have to be true, Zhaan, but I certainly would have slept better.
Zhaan: I'm sorry John, I'm not a very good liar.
John: Yeah, right. Now, I know you couldn't tell me the truth about your plan. Maldis would have picked it out of my brain. But you had us all fooled with that "scared Nelly" routine.
Zhaan: My fear wasn't an act, John.
John: You were really that scared?
Zhaan: I've never been more scared in my life.

Background information[]

  • The inspiration for this episode came from an 1985 article titled Slow Glass that David Kemper had read. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
  • Zhaan's bond with Crichton is a reference to "Rhapsody in Blue". ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
  • Virginia Hey stated in a web chat that "kicking Maldis' a** gave me great joy. Every moment is heaven playing Zhaan, I really do love being her." ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
  • This episode was Tim Ferrier's first as the new production designer, and he got great praise from the production team for his work. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
  • Rockne S. O'Bannon commented about the return of Maldis saying, "We liked Maldis as a villain, so whenever you've got someone like that, you want to bring them back if you can and see if you can do more. [...] The episodes with him become less concrete because the ground rules of what he's capable of are less certain." ("Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
  • Andrew Prowse remembered the difficulties on the set because of the amount of effects required, "It was a conceptually ambitious story and considering what we had, we nearly pulled it off. The biggest problem Chris Haywood had was remembering what was going on. 'Okay, I'm standing on this set. Now just remind me – who's in that hole? What am I looking at?' [...] You can't get all the actors in that scene to interact with each other. You just can't do it. You're interacting with a stationary image, and in that sense it's really hard to judge performance and getting that dynamic going on." ("Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
  • This episode normally airs after "The Way We Weren't", but it was produced first and contains a few scenes, most notably the discussion between Crichton and Aeryn in the mess hall, that break some character development continuity.
  • The title is reminiscent of the opening of The Twilight Zone where Rod Serling often stated "Imagine if you will..."

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Guest stars[]


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baseball; black hole; Camon stone; cargo bay; center chamber; commerce station; comms; cracker; cycle; defense screen; Delvian; DRD; dren; Earth; Elboth oil; food cube; Goddess of the Delvian Seek; hamman; hetch; Hynerian; Hynerian royal tiara; Ka Jothee; life force; Luxan; microt; Moya; Nebari; Neltoth era; Pa'u; Pip; prowler; Qualta Blade; radar; Ruth; starburst; tea leaves;Uncharted Territories; Unity; vampire; yotz


The Beatles; Christmas; "the fat lady sings"; Magical Mystery Tour; My Favorite Things; The Price is Right; So Long, Farewell; The Sound of Music; "stick a fork in it"; supervillain;

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