Farscape Encyclopedia Project
Farscape episode
“The Way We Weren't”
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 05
Guest star(s) Lani Tupu (Captain Bialar Crais), Alex Dimitriades (Velorek)
Writer(s) Naren Shankar
Director Tony Tilse
Production no. 10207
Original airdate April 14, 2000 (US); July 24, 2000 (UK)
Episode chronology
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"Crackers Don't Matter" "Picture If You Will"

A revelation about Aeryn's past brings up old feelings of animosity and shame, particularly from one unexpected place...


A squadron of Peacekeepers march through Moya, led by Lieutenant Velorek who enter the Pilot's den where a female Pilot is controlling the ship. He has arrived to give her one final chance to cooperate with a secret project being implemented by the Peacekeepers. Pilot refuses, stating that she has been bonded to Moya for twenty-one cycles and tells him he'll never understand the connection between them. Suddenly Velorek tells Pilot that another Pilot has been found, much to her shock. Regardless, she refuses to cooperate and insists on the removal of the control collar, at which time Captain Crais enters, asking Velorek what is taking so long. Once he has confirmed there is a new Pilot he orders the Peacekeeper troops to fire, and they brutally kill the female Pilot. Crais then furiously orders Velorek to get on with it before leaving. The troops start talking about the messy details of the job, prompting Velorek to order them to keep their opinions to themselves. They all comply with a "Yes sir!", and take off their helmets. Amongst them, Officer Aeryn Sun...

It's revealed that this is a recording being watched by a shocked Crichton. Chiana found it while searching through the top-tier. Neither can believe that Aeryn was on Moya before and that she helped kill the previous pilot.

The rest of the crew, Aeryn included, watch in disgust. They ask why she never told them she'd been on Moya before, but she says she'd been on hundreds of Leviathans; she didn't know it was Moya. Zhaan, Rygel, and D'Argo were all aboard three cycles ago, and say that maybe she tortured them. She denies this, and Crichton tries to calm things down. After some comments from Rygel, she goes for him, but Crichton holds her back. Chiana stands up for Aeryn, reminding everyone that she was a Peacekeeper, and wonders what they all thought she used to do. She says that she was a Peacekeeper then, and her life, relationships and priorities were very different.

Flashback to a Prowler arriving on Moya. Velorek greets Aeryn in the hangar, and says that she could have asked what the cargo was, but she says that her only question would be why she was pulled from Prowler duty, and when can she go back. The cargo? A replacement pilot.

Crichton says that she saw Pilot, their Pilot, when he was brought aboard. She says that had she known it was him, she would have said. Everyone leaves her, not knowing what to say; upset but all agreeing that Pilot must not be allowed to see the recording. Crichton asks about Velorek, and she says his job was to bond the new pilot to the Leviathan.

Flashback to Velorek, speaking with Pilot and trying to control him. Crais enters and Velorek stuns Pilot. Crais asks if Velorek's already running into problems. Aeryn tells Crichton what's done is done, she can't talk about it. She leaves, but remembers Crais telling Velorek that his job is to install the new pilot and teach him how to use her. Velorek says that he is young, and it will take too long. Crais says that Velorek, like a Pilot, can be replaced. Aeryn steps up to ask to be reinstated for Prowler duty, but Crais ignores her and leaves.

Aeryn is in her training room at the punching bag, knuckles bleeding from hitting it so hard. She breaks down in tears, and Crichton comes along asking what happened back then. She tells him that there's a reason that she kept him at a distance at times; Peacekeepers are bred for one purpose. Relationships do not involve connecting with anyone, particularly for any long amount of time. Her relationships back then were somewhat painful. Crichton realises it's to do with Velorek...

Flashback to Aeryn and Velorek getting it on, as Aeryn tells Crichton that they were lovers. He's never heard her use that word before, but she says she felt something unique with Velorek, and guesses it was love. Pilot appears on the clamshell, recording in hand, telling Aeryn that they must talk. Crichton is shocked that he got the tape, but Aeryn says that she must go alone.

Aeryn silently enters Pilot's den, as he watches her approach. Aeryn apologizes to him and begs for forgiveness, telling him that no other two on the ship are as close as they are and she still has some of his DNA inside her. He tells her that it is because of these facts why betrayal cuts deep. Aeryn reminds him that the DNA is also the same as the Pilot that was killed and how she felt when she watched the recording, however this causes Pilot to lose control and, in a blind fury, lifts her up by the throat and tries to strangle her.

Flashback to Pilot being lifted into place. Velorek removes his gag, and says that the ship's name is Moya. Pilot is strangling Aeryn, and she calls for Crichton. D'Argo joins him as they run to his den. In the flashback, Velorek tells Pilot that they won't bond him naturally because it would take over a cycle. Crichton and D'Argo try to stop Pilot, but he knocks them away and vents the chamber. In the flashback, Pilot says that his presence will surprise Moya, but Velorek says that he has no more time to adjust to his new surroundings. Pilot throws Aeryn down, and says that she killed the Pilot who belongs on Moya, and that she is defiling Moya now with her mere presence. He then shuts down power, telling the crew that until Aeryn leaves Moya will move no further.

Chiana has a go at Rygel for showing Pilot the tape, and D'Argo tries to restore systems himself but fails. Crichton realizes there's more to Pilot's anger than what's on the recording, and begins to realize just how bad life on Moya was under the Peacekeepers. Zhaan heals Aeryn, but is angry with her. Aeryn says that Pilot's right, she defies Moya with her presence and she will leave. Zhaan, seeing Aeryn is truly sorry and regretting being so harsh, apologizes saying that Aeryn had no choice back then. In that world, that was the only kind of Peacekeeper she could be.

Flashback to Aeryn and Velorek in bed. Aeryn goes to leave, but Velorek keeps her there, and asks her to stay with him, saying that he could make it happen. He says that there's something special about her, and asks if all she wants is to fly Prowlers and serve a madman like Crais. Aeryn says that is insubordination, but he says that Crais is a maniac, and that he will not let Crais' project kill this Leviathan. He again asks Aeryn to come with him, as she can be so much more.

Crichton asks what Aeryn is doing, and Zhaan says she is going to leave. Crichton goes to Pilot, and says that they will hash it out here and now.

Flashback to Pilot being bonded, saying he is in great pain. Velorek says that a permanent side effect of the grafting process is the great pain. He tells Pilot not to be afraid, and brings Moya back to consciousness. Moya recognises that he is not her original pilot and starts to violently buckle, however Velorek forces her to accept the change by hurting her through the control collar.

Crichton is horrified by the revelation that Moya didn't choose to accept Pilot but was tortured into it, when Pilot suddenly rips out his bond to her. As systems fail everywhere, Crichton asks Pilot what he's done and tries to assess the damage. Pilot simply says that the pain is finally gone.

Aeryn tells Crichton that Pilot has likely been in pain the whole time, and that they need Pilot's help to fix things. Flashback to Velorek giving Pilot control of the DRDs, and as Aeryn watches, he whispers to some of his team. Pilot then asks him what secret project he means, but Velorek says that it's nothing for him to concern himself with.

Aeryn says that she has to talk to Pilot, but he has isolated himself. Aeryn says it's all her fault, so Crichton asks what else happened, but she just says that she has to talk to him. She and Crichton make their way to Pilot, and Crichton again asks what happened.

Flashback to Aeryn massaging Velorek, saying she wants to go with him. She asks where they'll go, and he says he doesn't know. Aeryn tells him to change his mind, whatever he did with Crais' plan to put it back. As Velorek questions her, Crais enters and arrests him, and asks if she is the informant. She says yes, and he rewards her by allowing her to return to Prowler duty. Velorek says that he told her she was special, and is taken away.

Crichton asks what happened to Velorek, but Aeryn's silence implies he was executed. She tells Crichton that Velorek never revealed what he did, so it would have been assumed that he'd been caught before he carried out his sabotage... but now she knows the full truth; Crais' project was to breed a Leviathan warship. Velorek's act of sabotage was to install the contraceptive shield, which D'Argo shattered and led to the creation of Talyn.

Aeryn and Crichton get in to Pilot's den, and fend off a DRD attack. Pilot doesn't want to talk, but Crichton says he wants to help Pilot because otherwise everyone will die; Pilot will starve to death due to the lack of nutrients, and without Pilot life support for the crew will stop working. Pilot says that Moya will be better off without him. Aeryn says that she deserves to die, and won't stop him from killing her, but asks him to spare the others and himself. He says that it's not her who deserves death, it's him; he didn't just replace the old pilot...

Flashback to Pilot's home world, as Pilot tells Velorek that he so badly wants to see the stars. He is very young, and although he asked the Elders to be bonded to a Leviathan, they turned him down, saying he wasn't ready yet - and they weren't sure he would ever be worthy. Velorek offers him a Leviathan, saying that the old pilot will die no matter what he does; Velorek will find someone else if he disagrees. Velorek tells him this is his chance, he just has to be brave enough to take it.

In the present Pilot tells Aeryn that that was the moment the old pilot's fate was sealed, as soon as he agreed, so he is responsible for her death, not Aeryn. Velorek might never have found someone else to agree, but he was so desperate to see the stars. Aeryn strokes Pilot's cheek in the same way Velorek did when he came aboard, saying that now she couldn't fathom not doing such a thing. She says that they've come a long way since then, and have a long way to go, and asks him to take the journey with her. Pilot strokes her face back, and says that he knows a way to get temporary control of Moya's systems.

Later D'Argo works to restore Pilot's basic controls over Moya, and the crew have agreed that Pilot should be allowed to bond naturally with her. Pilot warns that the bonding could take a cycle and it may mean hard times ahead for the crew since he won't have as much control, but D'Argo assures him that doesn't matter and he deserves it. Pilot promises to prove he's worthy of Moya and them. D'Argo completes the process and Pilot says, surprised, that there's no longer any pain.

Crichton tells Aeryn that Velorek was right; in a new place she will thrive. She says that Velorek told her she could be so much more, and it's exactly what Crichton said the first day he was here. Crichton asks if she thinks she loves this man, and after a long look they smile...

Memorable quotes[]

John: Kinda makes ya wonder how bad things were back then...
D'Argo: I wouldn’t know. I spent the whole time with my collar bones chained to the walls of my cell.
Aeryn: You know, that time when he asked me to go with him, he said, "You can be so much more." That's exactly what you said to me on the first day I was here.
Crichton: And you say you think you love this man?
Pilot: If I hadn't agreed to come, Velorek may never have found a replacement pilot. But... but I just wanted so desperately to see the stars.
Aeryn: Do you remember when you first came aboard Moya? Velorek stroked your cheek like this to calm you. Back then I couldn't fathom why he'd do a thing like that, and now I couldn't fathom not doing it. We’ve come a long way since then Pilot, and we have still got a long way to go. Take the journey with me.

Background information[]

  • The flashback scenes were processed using a technique known as "bleach bypass" to give them a unique look. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
  • For the scenes with a younger version of Pilot, Dave Elsey and Jim Henson's Creature Shop adapted the usual model, but gave him a smaller carapace. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
  • Lani Tupu decided that Velorek's arrest was the first time Crais met Aeryn when preparing for the scene. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
  • Lani Tupu considers the scene where Velorek visits Pilot's planet to entice him to come to Moya as one of his favorites in the series. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
  • The scene in which Pilot grabs Aeryn was done with detached arms. The puppet's arms were not that long. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
  • Tony Tilse and Claudia Black chose to move the scene of Crichton confronting Aeryn to an area where she could be constantly punching. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
  • This episode marks composer Guy Gross' first contribution to the series. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
  • Rockne S. O'Bannon did the staff pass on the script and liked it for its new perspective on the characters. "That's the fun of doing a series. You take characters that you think you know, but there's something in their past that changes your perception of them but informs why they've done things that they have," he said. ("Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
  • Claudia Black liked the visual style of the episode saying, "There were some beautiful shots that Tony did which we hadn't really seen before. He used a crane coming down to reveal Aeryn in the maintenance bay when Velorek comes up to speak to her, and she's in the PK combat outfit. There were some beautiful shots of sets below Pilot that don't exist that Tony managed to join together. [...] It was an experimental but very creative episode that I think really changed the way Farscape was shot. Tony is the master of this. He'll try things that will end up revolutionizing in some way the way we shoot the show, and everyone always responds so enthusiastically to what he does." ("Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v2.1)
  • The use of a digital camera for recording the murder of the first Pilot was also a first for the series. (citation needededit)

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Guest stars[]


Voice artists[]


arn; command carrier; control collar; cycle; datacam; Doien; DRD; Dominar; dren; frell; gunship; hamburger; Hynerian; Icarion Company; internal gravity bladder; Leviathan; life support system; Lucy; metra; microt; Moya; nerve fiber; Peacekeeper; Peacekeeper High Command; Peacekeeper Military Tech; Pilot; Pilot's den; Pilot Elders; Pleisar Regiment; power conduit; prowler; pulse rifle; Rauliss bud; rock, paper, scissors; Sebacean; solar day; Teeg, Fenra; translator microbe; transport bay; transport pod


Etch-a-Sketch; instant replay; Leviathan for Dummies; Mother Goose; Peanuts; "Three Men in a Tub"

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