|Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan|
|First appearance||(1.1 "Premiere")|
|Last appearance||(3.4 "Self-Inflicted Wounds - Wait for the Wheel")
(4.11 "Unrealized Reality")
|Nickname(s)||Blue, Blue Bitch, Blue Bush|
|Affiliation||Delvian Seek, Moya's crew|
|Romantic Associations||John Crichton, Stark, Liko|
|Weapon of Choice||Diplomacy, Pa'u powers, flammable or explosive chemicals|
|Portrayed by||Virginia Hey|
Rowan Woods ("John Quixote")
- "Well, even among my people, I was something of an anarchist. Actually, I was the leading anarchist."
- ― Zhaan
Bio[edit | edit source]
Some people go crazy in prison, others turn to religion. Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan was one of the few people who has done both.
Pre-Show[edit | edit source]
Life was peaceful on Delvia. The planet was ruled by a theocracy led by Pa'us (priests) who were members of the Delvian Seek, the dominant religion of the planet. Pa'u Bitaal, a powerful member of the ruling conservative faction, was Zotoh Zhaan's spiritual counselor and lover. The Delvian governmental system included procedures for the orderly transfer of power. However, when Bitaal's tenure was up, instead of yielding control, he and the other conservative Pa'us hired the Peacekeepers for "external security," and Delvia changed forever. Peacekeepers rounded up all liberal thinkers and voices of protest. The theocracy turned into a police state.
Zhaan's own father was captured during the coup and sent to an asteroid camp. Zhaan was devastated by what she considered to be Bitaal's betrayal of their people, their planet, and her own family. She murdered Bitaal while they shared "Unity" shattering her own mind in the process.
Zhaan was arrested for murder and imprisoned by the Peacekeepers. She spent three cycles on Mekkar VII, a maximum labor planet. For nearly 17 cycles after the murder, she was tortured by her own dark impulses. When she arrived on Moya less than eight cycles before the Leviathan's escape from the Peacekeepers, she still considered herself wild and murderous. The decision to join the Delvian Seek came to her in a flash while in her cell on Moya. She slowly brought her violence-induced madness under control, meditating and using the mental techniques of the Seek to defeat the savage emotions within her. Her efforts eventually allowed her to become a Pa'u of the ninth level.
Season 1[edit | edit source]
After Moya's escape from Peacekeeper custody, 812-cycle-old Zhaan found a new task placed before her: helping her new companions adjust to their circumstances. She happily aided the human John Crichton in making sense of his new surroundings, counseling "time and patience," and shared her compassion and wisdom with the rest of the crew. She became a valued friend to Pilot and Moya, and her patience with the arrogant Rygel and hostile Officer Aeryn Sun earned her their respect. Her occasional flirtatiousness with Ka D'Argo was less important than the trust that built between them, and Zhaan's medical and biological expertise with alien species proved invaluable during their subsequent adventures in the Uncharted Territories.
But Zhaan's grasp on the peaceful teachings of the Seek did not always remain firm. In order to defeat a malevolent being named Maldis, Zhaan was forced to tap into her darker side and cause pain to innocent beings, which shook the foundations of her hard-won control. She participated with Rygel and D'Argo in the decision to remove one of Pilot's arms in exchange for star charts. She knew the pain Pilot would suffer and understood what a cataclysmic betrayal such a violation would constitute, yet chose to go ahead anyway. Her struggles were further exacerbated during the crew's encounter with the followers of Pa'u Tuzak on the New Moon of Delvia. Tuzak's daughter, Pa'u Tahleen, sought Unity with Zhaan to learn how to remain sane after calling upon her darker impulses to do violence, but Tahleen was greedy and ravaged Zhaan's mind in an effort to seize the Pa'u's self-control. The violation released Zhaan's inner fury, and it took a hazardous Unity with John to regain her inner calm by allowing her to draw on Crichton's perception of her trained self, the restoration of her sanity also allowed her to reach the tenth level of the Seek.
Season 2[edit | edit source]
These events disturbed Zhaan greatly, and she decided to set aside her priest's robes - and her interest in the Seek - until she came to terms with everything that had happened. It took nearly a cycle of struggle before she could take up her role as a priest again. She continued to walk the line between the violent and compassionate sides of her personality, though most of the time, her better angels prevailed. The weakened Maldis sold a painting to new Nebari crew member Chiana through an extension of himself and the painting depicted of Moya's crew "deaths." Zhaan again confronted Maldis and was able to defeat him again.
Like most mature Delvians, Zhaan had no self-consciousness about her body or sexuality, and was considered quite beautiful by the standards of many humanoid species. She usually dressed in shimmering aquatic colors when not attired in her Pa'u robes, but was often nude while meditating in her quarters. Though not overly sexual, she had a very sensual side, which came out at odd moments. She was especially sensitive to ionic radiation from solar flares and pulsars, which would trigger intense feelings of sexual pleasure she referred to as "photogasms." Though her last romantic relationship had ended very badly, she was open to advances from a number of different aliens, including the Banik slave Stark, whom the crew rescued from Scorpius's Gammak Base.
Zhaan took her religion very seriously, and regularly invoked her goddess's support with prayers for strength, protection, mercy, and good fortune for Moya and the crew. She was tolerant of and curious about others' beliefs and, with the exception of the Peacekeepers, usually had no prejudices against other species. Her religion stressed peace and diplomacy, but she was capable of defending herself against physical attack when pushed. As she said on one such occasion she is soft, not weak.
As a Delvian, Zhaan's blood was considered a rare pharmacological substance, and she was placed in jeopardy at least once because of this reputation.
When Chiana joined the crew, Zhaan served as a surrogate mother to the young Nebari runaway, teaching her the rules of the ship and restraining her when necessary. She saw the value and goodness in each of her fellow crewmembers even when they infuriated her. An encounter with Kahaynu, one of Moya's Builders, allowed her to actually hear the Leviathan speak, an experience she regarded as one of the most profound of her life. She assumed a great deal of responsibility for Pilot and Moya, and rededicated herself to protecting them.
Like D'Argo, Rygel, and Moya, Zhaan was still considered a fugitive by Peacekeeper High Command, and a reward was offered for her return. Despite the dangers that she would face, Zhaan intended to return to Delvia and help her people someday.
Season 3[edit | edit source]
Unfortunately, this future did not come to pass. Zhaan chose to expend nearly all her hard-won spiritual energy in a quest to restore Aeryn Sun to life. She succeeded in raising Aeryn, but Zhaan was greatly weakened in the process and contracted a fatal, though curable, disease. While Stark and the rest of the crew searched for a planet where Zhaan's plant physiology could heal, she herself grew resigned to a peaceful death. When disaster struck Moya once more, Zhaan seized the chance to save the ship and crew she loved by sacrificing herself. Her final selfless act exemplified the values she strove to embody. The situation that brought about her second and final sacrifice was completely preventable; a fact that made it all the more painful, particularly for Stark and John.
Her passing shattered Moya and her crew; it was a loss from which none of them ever fully recovered. Especially Stark, whom, in particular, became far more difficult to deal with for all around him due to this.
Afterward[edit | edit source]
Months after her death, Stark claimed that he had made contact with her while tending to an injured Rygel, at one point reviving him from death. Later, on the planet Valdun, Stark heard her voice calling to him. He left Talyn to begin a search for her. Whether he found her during this search is not specified.
During the next cycle, Crichton came across a mental game device that had been created by unknown people. Here, he encountered an image of Stark who blamed Crichton for everything that he had lost and hoped to trap Crichton inside the simulation forever. He failed, however since Crichton realized that Zhaan was the princess he sought and he sliced the male Zhaan in half, liberating her true and familiar image. It's possible the Scarrans were responsible for the game, due to the Stark bioloid having a resemblance to the game Stark.
Zhaan reappeared for the first time as a main character since her death early in Season 3 for the Season 5 comic mini series Gone And Back, in an alternate dimension where Aeryn Sun was never part of the crew, and probably not Stark either, for that matter. She is the main character of that mini series aside from John Crichton.
Quotes[edit | edit source]
- (After hurting Rygel) "Part of me enjoyed that.".
- The gentle are stricken, the kind are helpless, the silent - uncounted.
- Sensitive D'Argo, Exuberant Chiana, Wise Rygel, Selfless Aeryn, Innocent Crichton, my children, my teachers, my loves, there is no blame, only what is meant to be. Grow through your mistakes and know if patient redemption will find you.
- Then I suggest you find out, before anyone else dies for the love of you.
- Amidst our misfortune, I'm pleased for you, John.
- She is BURNED, Rygel! BURNED because of OUR DESIRES!
- You may yet find a solution if you try.
- I will spare you, if you will spare Moya!
- Stark....... Stark........
- Then perhaps a warrior and a priest can learn how to help each other.
- I will be a Pa'u again, but I am not today......
- Hardly wasted. They were the best cycles of my life.
- In the time that is left, child, use your mind to satisfy your soul that it is correct.
- My dear, I've kicked more arse than you've sat on.
- John Crichton, remember, there's a part of me inside you.
Involving Others[edit | edit source]
- Zhaan: If these visions are truly happening as you say, John, perhaps you could alter events and change the future. *CRASH!*
- John: I'm sorry!
- Zhaan: It's alright, John.
- Zhaan: "I'm not wearing a scrap! I'm as nude as a NEWBORN BABY!"
- Rygel: Help, somebody help! A mad Delvian exhibitionist is forcing herself on me... visually! VERY FUNNY!"
- D'Argo: Well for a priest you certainly have a very flexible morality
- Zhaan: I'm sorry.
- John: That was your plan?
- Zhaan: Yes (pant)..... Like it?
- John: What's not to like?
- Aeryn: "Why are you doing this?"
- Zhaan: "Because I love you."
- D'Argo: Zhaan, you're needed here.
- Zhaan: At one time I believe I was, but then a family was born.
- D'Argo: You birthed it.
- Chiana: We love you Zhaan.
Background information[edit | edit source]
- Make-up supervisor Lesley Vanderwalt said that Zhaan's original designs did not have her all blue. "Conceptual artist Kevin Harper suggested that her skin colour would change according to her emotions, or like a plant that would change colour in different lights. But with the time we had to shoot, that was impossible to do." (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion)
- Virginia Hey's departure from the series was not planned, and neither the cast nor the crew actually wanted it to happen. Hey was suffering kidney damage from the copious amounts of makeup required for the role (hence the more conservative costumes in the character's later appearances), and was forced to withdraw from the role. In addition to that, she wanted to grow her hair back. Rather than replace her with a new actress and risk tarnishing Zhaan's character, the writers decided to provide her with a graceful withdrawal by sacrificing herself.
- On a bonus disc of the Peacekeeper Wars DVD release, it was confirmed that the production team were eager to have Zhaan brought back to life for the miniseries. Hey was approached about the possibility, but declined as she was unwilling to risk her health for the makeup again.
- Hey originally wanted to still be in 6-8 episodes a season despite her health. Her agent was supposed to give the Farscape Crew this message but there was a mixup, and the creators decided to place her into the first four episodes before writing her out of the show.
- Zhaan showed an ability to move at super-speed in a couple of early episodes, however this useful skill was quickly forgotten.
Alternate Versions[edit | edit source]
Doctor Jean Kaminski[edit | edit source]
Dr. Jean Kaminski was a human representation of Zhaan presented to Crichton in the Scarran virtual reality device used in an effort to torture and break his mind. She was a psychiatrist who Crichton was ordered to see after the crash of Farscape-1. Though she started out as expected, like the rest of the characters created by the Scarran device, she began acting stranger as time went on.
Male Zhaan[edit | edit source]
This version of Zhaan was encountered by Crichton and Chiana in a mental video game created from Crichton's memories taken from Stark. He had a van parked in a parking garage and seemed to want to help the ailing Crichton when they first encountered him. Like many of the device's aspects, however, this Zhaan would prove to be more of a hindrance than help, especially where the Ogrewas concerned. His biggest secret would prove to be vital to Crichton and Chiana.
Unrealized Surviving Zhaan[edit | edit source]
Crichton encountered this Zhaan on an alternate version of Moya when he was pulled into an unrealized reality. She was very much like his Zhaan except that she had never met Aeryn Sun and had not sacrificed herself cycles earlier.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Season 1
- "I, E.T."
- "Exodus From Genesis"
- "Throne For a Loss"
- "Back and Back and Back to the Future"
- "Thank God It's Friday... Again"
- "PK Tech Girl"
- "That Old Black Magic"
- "DNA Mad Scientist"
- "They've Got a Secret"
- "Till the Blood Runs Clear"
- "Rhapsody in Blue"
- "The Flax"
- "Jeremiah Crichton"
- "Durka Returns"
- "A Human Reaction"
- "Through the Looking Glass"
- "A Bug's Life"
- "The Hidden Memory"
- "Bone To Be Wild"
- "Family Ties"
- Season 2
- "Mind the Baby"
- "Vitas Mortis"
- "Taking the Stone"
- "Crackers Don't Matter"
- "The Way We Weren't"
- "Picture If You Will"
- "Home on the Remains"
- "Dream a Little Dream"
- "Out of Their Minds"
- "Look at the Princess - A Kiss is but a Kiss"
- "Look at the Princess - I Do, I Think"
- "Look at the Princess - The Maltese Crichton"
- "My Three Crichtons"
- "Beware of Dog"
- "Won't Get Fooled Again" (image only)
- "The Locket"
- "The Ugly Truth"
- "A Clockwork Nebari"
- "Liars, Guns and Money - A Not So Simple Plan"
- "Liars, Guns and Money - With Friends Like These..."
- "Liars, Guns and Money - Plan B"
- "Die Me, Dichotomy"
- Season 3
- Farscape: D'Argo's Trial: "Error and Trial" (flashback)
- Season 4
- Farscape: Gone and Back (unrealized reality)
- Farscape: The War for the Uncharted Territories: "Crawling From the Wreckage" (flashback)