Farscape episode
“Throne For a Loss”
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 4
Guest star(s) John Adam (Bekhesh), Jeremiah Tickell (Kyr), Zoe Dimakis (Hontovek), Api Bavadra (Nonk), Tim Mieville (Voice of Jotheb)
Writer(s) Richard Manning
Director Pino Amenta
Production no. 10104
Original airdate April 9, 1999 (US); December 6, 1999 (UK)
Episode chronology
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"Exodus From Genesis" "Back and Back and Back to the Future"

Rygel gets kidnapped. Zhaan gets a patient and Moya's crew gets tough with each other!


A band of Tavleks approaches Moya. Aeryn Sun is distrustful and won't meet them unarmed. In Moya's main hanger the others set the scene, making it appear that Rygel is their Monarch. The Tavleks arrive, armed with powerful gauntlet weapons, make a grab for Rygel and a firefight ensues. Zhaan is knocked out, as is a Tavlek whose gauntlet falls off. In the chaos that follows Ka D'Argo grabs the gauntlet, puts it on but can't make it work and the Tavleks escape with Rygel in a bag. D'Argo fumes!

Pilot can't stop the escaping shuttle. It is already out of range. D'Argo rages, saying to forget Rygel, it's his own fault he was taken, and orders Pilot to leave orbit. He throws a large barrel across the bay, shocking the others. Zhaan notices the gauntlet is injecting something into D'Argo, who continues to fume and states that the ship needs a leader. Him!

The others try to grab D'Argo but he easily throws them all across the bay then storms out. John Crichton and Aeryn follow D'Argo into a corridor as Zhaan tries to revive the unconscious Tavlek, but D'Argo fires an energy blast at them. The gauntlet is active! Aeryn's return shot is absorbed by the gauntlet and D'Argo fires again, making John and Aeryn dive for cover.

Zhaan discovers the Tavlek is a young adult. When John and Aeryn return, demanding to know what the gauntlet does, he sneers at them and says it injects a stimulant, increasing strength but that they are too weak to handle it. He admits the only way it can be removed is when the wearer is unconscious. John wonders what they have on board to knock out a Luxan Warrior? Zhaan suggests a "sleep-mist."

In Command, D'Argo demands navigation but Pilot says they can't leave orbit. D'Argo rages, saying he's had enough of voting so he is now in command. A message is received from Bekhesh, the Tavlek leader, who sets a ransom fee for Rygel and gives the crew one day or Rygel dies. Crichton tries to mediate with no luck. Pilot asks for help with D'Argo. Zhaan makes a sleep mist 'water balloon' and John and Aeryn try it out on D'Argo who rallies as the gauntlet increases the stimulant. They wisely egress and John has an idea. Pilot closes Moya's coolant vents, raising pressure within the ship and as D'Argo tracks John and Aeryn to the central chamber, Pilot releases the pressure, shaking Moya and causing D'Argo to fall and knock himself out. The gauntlet comes off. The young Tavlek tries to escape but Zhaan quickly overpowers him and locks him in a cell.

In another cell, on the planet below, Rygel, in dried mud up to his waist, makes empty threats to his captors. He wakes another captive in the adjacent cell, Jotheb, next in line of succession in the Consortium of Trao and the two trade boasts but Rygel isn't impressed.

Moya's orbit is decaying because a control crystal is missing. A shiny, red crystal just like the one Rygel had on his scepter. Aeryn says she'll kill him. Zhaan can't wake D'Argo. Aeryn asks Pilot to prepare her Prowler and when John refuses to go with her, she punches him, knocking him out, and takes him with her anyway. John wakes up annoyed but Aeryn shrugs off his complaints.

Zhaan offers the young Tavlek food and clothing, since Aeryn needed his armored outfit but the boy thinks Zhaan wants to see him naked. He tries to shock her with his nudity. Zhaan calmly shows him her elegant, naked blue body and the boy falls silent. She asks again if he wants food but he declines.

Rygel, meanwhile, rants at his captors and is disgusted when a Tavlek brings him food in a skull! Aeryn cajoles John to follow her to a nearby Tavlek camp. Back on Moya, D'Argo is helped into command by Zhaan. Despite being exhausted he wants to help, if only to cover the shame he feels, though he won't admit as much to Zhaan.

John and Aeryn locate a Tavlek hunting party and Aeryn needs the gauntlet to overpower them. John says she's 'nuts' after what the gauntlet did to D'Argo but she goes after the hunting party, blasting two and grabbing a third to demand where Bekhesh is. John tries to cover Aeryn with her pulse rifle, accidentally overloading the weapon, which explodes, panicking the Tavleks who flee. Moya's sensors detect the explosion and weapons fire on the planet, prompting D'Argo to go and help John and Aeryn.

Aeryn is annoyed at John for destroying the pulse rifle but wants to fight the Tavleks anyway. Meanwhile, Rygel complains about his treatment and is taunted by a Tavlek. Zhaan's patient develops withdrawal symptoms. He attacks her, drawing blood, when she enters the cell but is easily overpowered. Zhaan mixes a few drops of her blood into a potion, anoints her lips and kisses the boy gently, temporarily relieving his symptoms. He seems surprised.

Aeryn wants blood and Bekhesh dead but John says the gauntlet is messing with her head. She won't remove it and when John tries to stop her, Aeryn throws him aside easily. Rygel meanwhile is trying to loosen the soil around him. D'Argo finds Aeryn just as she is about to blast John with the gauntlet. He distracts her. She goes for him and D'Argo knocks her unconscious with his tongue.

With Jotheb's help, Rygel wriggles free but is caught and choked to death by Bekhesh. Jotheb revives Rygel, telling Bekhesh that his people will pay Rygel's ransom. Aeryn comes round in a bad mood and snipes at D'Argo until John points out their behavior under the gauntlet's influence. He suggests they 'play nice' whilst he checks things out. Zhaan's patient is calmer now but hungry without the gauntlet. Back on the planet, Jotheb welcomes Rygel into the Consortium of Trao, adding that all Rygel's subjects are now part of the Consortium but Rygel laughs at Jotheb. He tells Jotheb that although he is a Dominar, he was deposed and imprisoned and is now worth nothing. Jotheb is angry at the deceit.

Crichton locates the Tavlek camp with several sleeping guards. He tells Aeryn and D'Argo, who chose to attack but Aeryn is still weak. She wants to cover them but 'someone blew up their only weapon' so D'Argo demonstrates how his 'Qualta Blade' converts to a powerful pulse rifle and Aeryn prepares. Onboard Moya Zhaan feeds the young Tavlek and tries to help him but the boy boasts that the gauntlet supplies everything he needs. She wonders what he himself is capable of?

John and D'Argo locate Rygel's cell but it is empty except for his scepter and the crystal is missing. Jotheb tells them Rygel is to be moved, via shuttle, to a secure location and as they leave, John and D'Argo are confronted by Tavleks. Aeryn opens fire making the Tavleks run for cover but as John and D'Argo make their escape. D'Argo is wounded in the back by Tavlek pulse fire.

They make it to where Aeryn is waiting and D'Argo collapses, leaving John to carry him to safety. When they stop again, D'Argo asks what color the blood from his wound is? Dark red, John says and is shocked when Aeryn suddenly starts pounding D'Argo's back with her fists. But Aeryn quickly explains that D'Argo's blood must run clear if he is to recover.

Onboard Moya, Pilot tells Zhaan that Crichton needs her to scan for the Tavlek shuttle. She mistakenly allows the Tavlek boy to find his own way back to his cell but the boy goes to a maintenance bay instead and attacks a DRD, removing one of its tools. Zhaan locates the shuttle and warns John that it is priming to take off just as Pilot alerts her to the Tavlek boy's actions. She goes in search of him.

Aeryn draws a diagram in the dirt, demonstrating dimensional vectors to John so he knows where to find the shuttle, but he doesn't have enough time to get there, unless he uses the gauntlet. Reluctantly, John puts it on and at first doesn't feel any different. But then he feels quite good; in fact he feels great and tears off into the jungle to rescue Rygel. Zhaan, meanwhile, finds the Tavlek boy preparing a stimulant injection and stops him. He attacks her and Zhaan angers, pinning the boy against a workbench and threatening his life. The boy looks terrified.

John reaches the shuttle and quickly dispatches three Tavleks. He and Bekhesh exchange fire before John starts to feel weak. The stimulant has run out, the gauntlet is useless but John bluffs Bekhesh into listening to him. Rygel isn't a Dominar, he says but Bekhesh doesn't believe him. Rygel is an escaped mental patient. Bekhesh doesn't believe that either. Rygel has a contagious disease. Bekhesh is not convinced. Finally a wearying Crichton gambles all and lets the empty gauntlet fall from his arm. He says that Rygel is an obnoxious gasbag and admits that no one will pay anything for him. Moya's crew has nothing to offer. Crichton swears the truth.

Bekhesh says that it's been so long since anyone told him the truth that he doesn't recognize it anymore. He contacts Moya and demands to speak to the Tavlek boy who confirms that Moya's crew has nothing of value and he has been treated well. Bekhesh begrudgingly releases Rygel to Crichton who grills Rygel about the crystal. Rygel admits that he swallowed it because he knew they would never come back just for him. An exhausted Crichton makes it back to a recovering D'Argo and Aeryn and collapses. At least he rescued Rygel.

Back onboard Moya at last, Aeryn and D'Argo wait patiently for Rygel to expel the crystal. He gives the crystal to Aeryn, promising that he washed it but as she walks away he adds, "at least I think I did" just to wind her up. Zhaan receives a transmission from the Tavlek boy, now back with his kind and is disappointed to see he is wearing a gauntlet again. 'My choice' he says. Zhaan promises no sermons.

Memorable quotesEdit

Aeryn: This is my turn. My plan. Now let's go.
John: No! Absolutely not! There are other things that we can do. We can try negotiating with the Tavloids, we can....
(Aeryn hits John and knocks him out).
Aeryn: Tavleks!
John: You shanghai my ass down here and now you want me to lead? Give me one good reason?
Aeryn: Lots of reasons. Land mines, fire snakes, razor grass, night vision snipers, Mollian death spiders....
Aeryn: Imagine, somewhere out there there's a whole world of Crichton’s. How useless that must be!
D'Argo: It's amazing he could actually provide us with some common ground.
Aeryn: Who'd have thought there'd be a race more clumsy and pathetic than the Luxans?
(D'Argo drops Aeryn, letting her fall back onto the ground).
Aeryn: Ouch.
D'Argo: I'm sorry. You know how clumsy we Luxans can be.
Rygel: I'm unloved, unwanted, unpopular...
(Bekhesh kicks him).

Background informationEdit

  • This episode was a challenge for Dave Elsey, whose department had to create two new species – Tavleks and Trao. Costume designer Terry Ryan worked closely with Elsey on the Tavlek design and concept. He stated "They're a nomadic species going from one place to another, just looting and getting anything they can. They had this fantastic armour, and we tried to make it look as if it were make from some kind of stone or other foreign material." (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion, "Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.1)
  • Jotheb was operated by putting a false floor in the cell next to Rygel's, and the puppeteer, Tim Mieville, was up to his waist inside the complicated rig. "All of the tentacles were on wires and cables – really low-tech stuff, but the suit was actually very complicated," according to Dave Elsey. (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion, "Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.1)
  • The director, Pino Amenta suggested a number of the comic items that were not in the script, especially the Wile E. Coyote references. The references to Warner Brothers cartoons eventually led to the "Revenging Angel" episode. (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion, "Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.1)
  • Crichton makes two mistakes with his pop culture references. The first is the movie in which John Wayne plays Genghis Khan is actually called The Conqueror rather than Genghis Khan. The second is calling the main character in Kung Fu "Kung Fu" rather than "Caine." ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.1)
  • "Good night, sweet prince" is a quote from Shakespeare's Hamlet and continues "And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest." ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.1)
  • Anthony Simcoe suffered from make-up removal chemicals in his eyes during the episode, but fortunately, they had no lasting effects. Simcoe remembers the incident, saying, "One day we were taking the make-up off, and I mistakenly opened my eyes, and all this alcohol went into them, and actually burned the corneas. It was completely my fault – we have wonderful, very responsible make-up people – but I was rushed to hospital, and blindfolded for two days, with friends leading me round the house." (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion, "Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.1)
  • The scene between Zhaan and the young Tavlek gave David Kemper the idea to explore Zhaan's physical and darker sides. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.1, Farscape: The Illustrated Companion)
  • This episode features one of the first nicknames Crichton gives Rygel, "Fluffy". According to Ben Browder, it was unscripted and was based on Rygel's eyebrows. (Farscape Minisodes)
  • Visual effects director Paul Butterworth took the chance to show Moya from different angles stating "Every time you came back to Moya and every time you came back to another planet, I liked to try and turn the camera a different angle, because one thing that really bored me with a lot of the other sci-fi shows was the fact that they always approach the camera shots from a flat plane. Space is all about three dimensionality, so we actually opened up with Moya 90-degrees to us really, really tight. It was good to keep on showing different aspects and trying to get the sense of size across. When you've got a 3-kilometer ship in the middle of space, it's hard to give reference to its size each time." ("Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.1)
  • Rockne S. O'Bannon was thrilled with the background CG work on the episode saying, "look at the CG that was done to change the leaves on the plants to make them blue and give them an electric sheen. It's just an amazingly creative piece of work, and it really made it look like you were in an alien environment." ("Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.1)
  • Originally, Crichton was still conscious after Aeryn punched him. But Ben Browder protested, saying there's no way his character would voluntarily get on the prowler with Aeryn, after she had assaulted him. So they rewrote it so that Crichton would be knocked out cold.

Links and referencesEdit


Guest castEdit



Voice artistsEdit


Bishan; Caine, Kwai Chang; cappuccino; chicken pox; chloroferric; Consortium of Trao; control crystal; coolant vent; Corvinium; creosh; Delvian; docking web; Dominar; DRD; fire snake; Fluffy; food cube; garanta's brax; Genghis Khan; Green Lantern; Hamlet; Hynerian; Hynerian Empire; Hynerian Navy; Kung Fu; land mine; lerg; Luxan tongue sting; maintenance bay; Maxzillian Pilater Day Parade; Mollian death spider; oculars; Pa'u; Pantak jab; Peacekeeper; pemno; plok; Porzin II; propulsion control; prowler; pulse chamber; pulse rifle; Qualta Blade; razor grass; Sebacean; sleep-mist; superglue; synaptic processor; Tavlek; Tavlek gauntlet; Tavlek shuttle; Tavlek stimulant; The Conqueror; The Cowboys; The Searchers; tractor beam; True Grit; Wayne, John; water balloon; Wile E. Coyote; zelta

External linkEdit

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