Space Opera Main

Star Wars

Star Trek

The Last Starfighter



The Fifth Element

More Space Opera

Farscape features a diverse ensemble of characters who are initially escaping from corrupt authorities in the form of a militaristic organisation called the Peacekeepers. The protagonists live inside a giant space-dwelling creature named Moya, which serves as their ship.

In the first episode, they are joined by the main character, John Crichton, a modern-day American astronaut who accidentally flew into the entrance of a wormhole near Earth during an experimental test flight.

On the same day, another stranger is picked up by Moya: a stranded Peacekeeper named Aeryn Sun. Despite his best intentions, John does make a few major enemies; the primary of these is known as Scorpius.

There are a few stand-alone plots, but the show gradually unfolds progressive arcs beginning with their recapture by the Peacekeepers, followed by John’s search to find another wormhole back to Earth, and an eventual arms race for weaponized wormhole technology.

Farscape first ran on Australian TV Channel Nine Network and the Canadian YTV channel, then in the US on the Sci-Fi Channel and on BBC2 in the United Kingdom. The series was originally conceived in the early 1990s by Rockne S. O'Bannon and Brian Henson under the title Space Chase.

The series is told in a serialized format, with each episode involving a self-contained story while contributing to a larger storyline. Nearly the entire cast originates from Australia and New Zealand, with the exception of Ben Browder, who is an American actor.

Farscape’s characters frequently make use of suggestive slang such as "frell", "dren" and "hezmana" as a substitute for English expletives. The series’ original broadcast on Sci-Fi was noted for its erratic scheduling, with hiatuses lasting months often occurring mid-season.

For example, the final four episodes of Season 1 aired beginning in January 2000, nearly four months after the broadcast of the preceding episode; the final four episodes of Season 3 were separated from the rest of the season/arc by a gap of more than six months.

Main Characters

John Crichton (Ben Browder) – An astronaut from present-day Earth. At the start of the series, a test flight involving an experimental spacecraft of his own design dubbed Farscape I goes awry, propelling Crichton through a wormhole to a distant part of the universe.

He quickly runs afoul of the Peacekeepers and is recovered by the crew of Moya, a living ship which is the main setting for Farscape.

Aeryn Sun (Claudia Black) – A renegade Peacekeeper officer. At the start of the series, she is stripped of her rank and marked for death for spending too much time near a contaminated being.

This decision is further backed later after protecting Crichton. Trained as a soldier since birth, she initially lacks any emotions or empathy. Her severance from the Peacekeepers allows Aeryn to discover her compassionate nature.

Ka D'Argo (Anthony Simcoe) – An ill-tempered Luxan warrior of impressive stature. He was imprisoned by the Peacekeepers for killing his wife, a crime for which he was falsely convicted. He carries a weapon called a Qualta Blade, a broadsword capable of transforming into a rifle.

Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan (Virginia Hey) – A bald, blue-skinned female who belongs to a plant species, named Delvians. Once a Priestess of her religious order, Zhaan murdered her lover after discovering he was a Peacekeeper collaborator.

Regarded as an anarchist by her captors, she was jailed along with D'Argo and Rygel. Like other members of her species, Zhaan is an empath; she can share "unity" with other beings (two minds in one body, they can share thoughts, sensations…) and also, as a Pa'u, she is able to share pain with another being.

Dominar Rygel XVI (operated by John Eccleston, Dave Collins, Sean Masterson, Graeme Haddon and Tim Mieville, voiced by Jonathan Hardy) – A diminutive creature who was once ruler of the Hynerian Empire. He was deposed by his treacherous cousin and handed over to the Peacekeepers.

Rygel is one of two puppet characters who regularly appear on Farscape. When nervous, Rygel expels helium – often causing his annoyed crew mates to complain in high-pitched voices.

Chiana (Gigi Edgley) – A mercurial thief and con artist. She is a Nebari, a grey-skinned species whose society is heavily-regimented by a governmental body called "The Establishment". Chiana’s rebellious nature made her a leading candidate for reprogramming (euphemistically known as "cleansing").

Pilot (operated by John Eccleston, Dave Collins, Sean Masterson, Graeme Haddon and Tim Mieville, voiced by Lani Tupu) – A multi-limbed creature who acts as the ship’s pilot. He is biologically connected to Moya’s nervous system and also serves as her voice to the crew. Pilot is portrayed by an animatronic puppet.

Stark (Paul Goddard) – A Stykera, a specialized subrace of the Banik, who was first encountered by Crichton at the end of the first season. Stark wears a half-mask – strapped to his head by two separate buckles – of an unidentified metal.

It covers an incorporeal area that glows dark orange when uncovered, on the right side of his face that he reveals only when he is taking away someone’s pain or "crossing over" a soul – aiding or comforting a person in the moments prior to their death. He is also mentally unbalanced, a trait that gets on the nerves of many on Moya.

Bialar Crais (Lani Tupu) – The initial antagonist of the series, a Peacekeeper Captain who relentlessly hunts Moya and its crew. He is driven by the death of his brother, a prowler pilot who accidentally collided with Crichton’s ship when it exited the wormhole.

At the end of the first season, Crais is usurped by Scorpius. Crais mentally bonds with Moya’s offspring Talyn, and becomes something of an ally to the crew in later seasons.

Scorpius (Wayne Pygram) – A commander of the Peacekeeper forces. Scorpius is a hybrid created from the DNA of a human-like Sebacean and a reptilian Scarran. He is obsessed with extracting the secret of wormhole technology from Crichton, believing it to be crucial to an unavoidable war between the Peacekeeper and Scarran races.

Moya – Moya is a Leviathan, the fifth generation of these living ships. She was born in freedom, captured by Leviathan Hunters and sold to the Peacekeepers for them to use as a prison transport. She is a great and powerful ship, with no weapons.

In communication with and taken care of by Pilot, the enormous living entity that is symbiotically fused to her, Moya has adjusted to her new inhabitants and has been able to trust them enough to become their home.

Like Pilot, she is anxious to serve her crew, but not at the expense of her own agenda. Her natural instincts to protect all life, however, do override her personal fear of pain and suffering.

Recurring Characters

Captain Meeklo Braca (David Franklin) – Captain Meeklo Braca usually serves as a subordinate to most of the series' villains, acting as second-in-command for both Scorpius and Grayza.

As once described by Crais (although it was clearly intended as an insult), Braca is "a consummate Peacekeeper", performing his duties to the very best of his abilities for whomever is his commanding officer, although his loyalties remain with Scorpius due to a shared view of relations with the Scarrans and contempt for Grayza’s misplaced hopes for peace with them.

Commandant Grayza (Rebecca Riggs) – A new antagonist that debuts in Season 3. She is a manipulative Peacekeeper who aims to put an end to Scorpius' wormhole research. Ruthless and ambitious, she has a gland implanted in her chest that secretes a substance which bends men to her will.

Jool (Tammy MacIntosh) – Jool is an orange-haired academic who appears sporadically throughout seasons three and four. When frightened or enraged, her hair becomes red and her screams can melt metal.

Sikozu (Raelee Hill) – Sikozu is a brilliant Kalish who joins the crew at the beginning of the fourth season. Hard-edged and dangerous, she gradually allies herself with Scorpius. In "The Peacekeeper Wars" she is discovered to be collaborating with the Scarrans.

Noranti (played by Melissa Jaffer) – The Noranti (Utu Noranti Pralatong) debuts in "Dogs with Two Bones". where it suddenly appears amongst the crew as a mysterious and eccentric refugee that escaped to Moya along with an unidentified group of others as a Peacekeeper Command Carrier was being destroyed.

The "Old Woman", as she is called, is a Traskan, and little is known of her past before she joined the crew. Initially appearing to Crichton and Chiana as a grateful cook, she later describes herself as a "doctor, instructor, and among many other disciplines … negotiator".

She is basically portrayed as an accomplished herbalist. Although her skills are sometimes not quite as successful as she would like, she does manage to come to the crew’s rescue with odd potions and powders on many occasions. At times, she seems to have her own agenda, although what that agenda may be is never quite made clear.

At 293 cycles (years) old, she sometimes appears to the others as being slightly senile, and is often referred to as "Grandma" by Crichton. She was featured throughout Season 4 of Farscape, as well as being in "The Peacekeeper Wars", where she realizes the existence of more Eidolons and convinces Crichton to seek to reawaken their powers to help end the war.

An alternate reality version of Noranti appeared in the Season 4 episode, "Unrealized Reality", and was portrayed by Gigi Edgley.


Farscape (1999–2003) - Season One

Earth astronaut John Crichton is unexpectedly hurled to a distant part of the galaxy via a wormhole. He is dropped into the middle of an escape attempt by Moya, a living spaceship, from the militaristic Peacekeepers, who had been using it as a prison transport.

In the chaos he has an accidental collision with a Peacekeeper fighter, resulting in the death of its pilot. Although the escape is successful, the Peacekeeper Captain, Crais, fixates on Crichton as the murderer of the pilot – his brother – and begins a campaign to chase Crichton down.

The various crew have no common goal, each only wishing to go home. Unfortunately to avoid Crais’s pursuit they have to travel into the Uncharted Territories, and thus have no idea how to get home. The other crew also have little respect for Crichton, seeing him only as a "primitive hoo-man" who does not understand even the basic tenets of life in space.

Various episodes explore the characters’ back stories. Aeryn begins to learn that the Peacekeepers are not always as correct as she had believed. Zhaan is forced to bring up the dark side she had worked to suppress. D’Argo admits he was framed for his wife’s murder and has no idea where his child is. Rygel confronts his former jail keeper and torturer.

A new character joins the crew – Chiana, a teenage thief on the run from her own repressive culture. And Moya herself becomes pregnant after a Peacekeeper experiment is accidentally activated. Meanwhile, Crichton continues to research the wormhole that brought him here. He is forced to sell what little progress he has made to an alien mechanic as payment for repairs on the Farscape module.

He is also lured into a wormhole that seems to lead directly back to Earth, only to find the entire situation is a construct created by mysterious aliens called the Ancients who are testing to see if Earth is suitable for colonization. Towards the end of the season, Aeryn is injured and the crew is forced to go to a Peacekeeper base to seek medical help.

Crichton disguises himself as a Peacekeeper to gain access, but the base’s commander, Scorpius, instantly sees through the ruse and imprisons Crichton, calling Crais to come and get him. Under torture Crichton discovers that the Ancients placed specialized knowledge of wormholes in his subconscious mind – knowledge that Scorpius is particularly eager to access. The other Moya crew launch a rescue attempt.

Meanwhile Moya gives birth to her baby, discovering that the child – named Talyn – is a volatile hybrid warship designed by the Peacekeepers instead of the usual peaceful Leviathan. Upon Crais’s arrival, Scorpius takes over his command. Crais defects to Moya to save himself, accepting along the way that Crichton had not meant to kill his brother.

But this is only a cover to steal Talyn and escape on his own. Having grown much closer over the course of the season, the crew work together to escape Scorpius – a plan which ends with Crichton and D'Argo floating in space, running out of air.

Season Two

The crew of Moya are now on the run from Scorpius, who wants the wormhole knowledge locked in Crichton’s brain for his own purposes. To avoid him the crew are forced into some unwise decisions and alliances, which often result in wacky, mind-altering hijinks for the crew.

Moya encounters a non-military Sebacean colony (Sebaceans being the race of which Peacekeepers are made), where the princess has been genetically poisoned so that she cannot procreate with any Sebacean male. Recognising Crichton as a possible substitute, the Queen insists he marry the Princess, or else she will hand him over to Scorpius. Terrified of Scorpius after his experiences on the base, Crichton is forced to agree.

Aeryn, who has been growing attached to Crichton, finds herself jealous. Despite various plots by Peacekeepers and an agent of their enemies the Scarrens, the Moya crew manage to wheedle their way out once again, although the Princess is indeed left pregnant. Meanwhile, D’Argo and Chiana begin a relationship based mostly on sex, and Zhaan is tasked with protecting Moya by the Leviathian’s creator-gods.

Crichton has a chance to kill Scorpius, but finds himself unable to do it, blocked by some unknown cause. That cause is revealed when Crichton is kidnapped by Scarrens – during his torture on the base, Scorpius had implanted Crichton with a neural chip that contains a clone of his personality, designed to track down the wormhole knowledge and protect Crichton and Scorpius both until that knowledge is found.

Crichton nicknames the clone Harvey. The half-crazed mystic Stark – whom Crichton had met while jailed at the base – returns with information about D’Argo’s son, Jothee. The boy is one of a lot of slaves, and they can rescue him by buying the entire lot. To afford to do that they will need to rob a bank. The crew put a plan into action, which is complicated when Scorpius arrives.

Scorpius has captured the slaves, but promises to give them Jothee if Crichton will turn himself in. Under intense pressure from the neural clone, Crichton does so. D’Argo is reunited with his son, and the crew move into action to save Crichton. Even Crais and Talyn return to assist. The rescue is successful, although Moya is severely damaged and Crichton is nearly insane from the effects of the neural clone.

At the medical colony to fix them both, the clone takes control of Crichton, seemingly killing Aeryn just as she admits her love for him. With Aeryn dead, Crichton wants the chip removed once and for all. At the same time, Scorpius catches up with them again, killing the doctor and announcing that the chip has completed its work and found the wormhole knowledge. He removes the chip and leaves Crichton incapacitated at the hospital.

Season Three

Having survived Scorpius’ attack, the doctor saves Crichton using biological material from a suitable donor – an alien called an Interon. Scorpius fools Crais into thinking he is dead to cover his escape with the neural chip, and Zhaan revives Aeryn, but at the cost of her own life. Feeling guilty over the death of the Interon, Crichton has his still living relative brought aboard – an arrogant scientist called Jool.

Investigating another wormhole, Moya crashes into a ship belonging to a race called Pathfinders, experts in wormholes. Zhaan sacrifices the last of her life to separate the ships, adding more guilt to Crichton’s conscience. He also discovers that despite the chip’s removal, the personality clone Harvey remains in his mind.

Due to an encounter with another escaped prisoner, Crichton ends up twinned – a duplicate created so that there are two Crichtons, both equal and original. Talyn is attacked by the new Peacekeeper Commando chasing the crew – Xhalax Sun, Aeryn’s mother. To escape her, Moya and Talyn starburst in opposite directions, splitting the crew, with one Crichton on each ship.

On Moya, tensions rise over D’Argo’s breakup with Chiana, Jool’s grating personality, and Crichton’s increasing obsession with wormholes. An encounter with an alien Energy Rider also instils precognitive abilities in Chiana (or possibly only activates already present abilities). Meanwhile Scorpius tries to access the wormhole data, but finds that the chip now contains a neural clone of Crichton, who refuses to allow Scorpius access.

On Talyn, Crais explains that Xhalax wants to recapture him as a renegade Peacekeeper, and to recapture Talyn as a powerful warship. After a vicious battle, Aeryn allows Crais to kill her mother. Crichton discovers that the mechanic, Furlow, has been working on the wormhole data he gave her in the first season, and intends to sell it to the Scarrens.

With the help of the Ancients, Crichton unlocks the wormhole knowledge just enough to destroy the Scarren ship, but suffers radiation exposure and dies in Aeryn’s arms. When the two crews finally reunite, Aeryn cannot face the remaining Crichton, and Talyn is becoming increasingly violent and uncontrollable. Crichton resolves to destroy the wormhole information that Scorpius has by pretending to help him and then crippling the project from within.

In return for his help, Scorpius grants the Moya crew leniency for their crimes. But high-ranking Peacekeeper Commandant Grayza interferes, claiming that the Moya crew’s continued freedom is an embarrassment and Scorpius’ own obsession with wormhole tech does not outweigh their criminal record. Crichton finally decides that the only way to end Scorpius’ project is to destroy the ship.

Crais orders Talyn to starburst inside the ship, killing them both and destroying the entire Command Carrier. Believing they are finally free from pursuit, the crew buries Talyn’s remains and splits up to go their own ways. But at the last second, a strange old woman informs Crichton that Aeryn is pregnant, and Moya is sucked into a wormhole, leaving Crichton once again alone in space.

Season Four

Alone for months, Crichton has had nothing to do but obsess over Aeryn and wormholes. He finally makes a breakthrough on the latter when he meets a supposed Leviathan specialist, Sikozu, on the run from her employers. When Chiana and Rygel also return, they go together to Arnessk, where Jool, D’Argo, and the old woman – Noranti – have joined an Interon archaeological dig.

They find artifacts that suggest a connection between humans, Sebaceans and Interons. Commandant Grayza interrupts, having taken Scorpius prisoner, and "kills" him to show good faith to Crichton. Crichton, however wants nothing to do with her, and escapes. Crichton finds that Aeryn has made a deal with Scorpius to let him on Moya after he saved her life.

Crichton keeps Scorpius imprisoned, but remains paranoid that his former enemy is planning something. Despite Aeryn’s desire to reconcile, he pushes her away, even going so far as to suppress his feelings with drugs. A Scarren agent invades Moya, since the Scarrens and Peacekeepers are in an arms race to acquire Crichton’s wormhole knowledge.

Crichton is instead kidnapped by an Ancient whom he nicknames Einstein, who explains to him the catastrophic danger if wormhole tech falls into the wrong hands. Returning from that meeting, the entire Moya crew accidentally ends up on Earth, providing humans with their first confirmed contact with extraterrestrials. Crichton is finally home, but finds that the world is too paranoid and distrustful to accept his alien friends.

He has also been so affected by his experiences that he cannot relax there – a situation not helped when an agent of Grayza attacks and kills several of Crichton’s friends. He decides the only thing he can do is leave again. The crew comes across a secret meeting between Grayza and a Scarren minister, at which Grayza sells out D’Argo’s people in return for peace. In disrupting the meeting Aeryn is captured.

Desperate to rescue her, Crichton promises to give Scorpius the wormhole tech in return for his help. They successfully infiltrate a Scarren base and rescue Aeryn, but Scorpius is captured in the attempt. Crichton is happy to leave him there, but the neural clone Harvey informs them that Scorpius already has the wormhole tech, and may reveal it to the Scarrens under torture.

The crew of Moya are forced to launch yet another attempt to either rescue or kill Scorpius. To do so, they walk into another meeting at the Scarrens’ most important base, claiming to want to sell the tech to the highest bidder. Instead they start a riot between the Scarrens’ various servant races, blow up the base using a nuclear bomb and escape again.

In revenge, the Scarrens launch an attack against Earth. Crichton’s only option to save his home world is to destroy the wormhole that leads there, leaving him stranded in space forever. That done, Scorpius returns to the Peacekeepers and the Moya crew go to the ocean planet Qujaga to recover.

While there, Aeryn reveals that the pregnancy – formerly kept in stasis – has now been released and they are going to have a baby. Crichton proposes to her, and she agrees. However, at the last second they are attacked by random aliens, who appear to kill them both.

The Peacekeeper Wars

Thinking that Crichton is dead and the wormhole tech gone with him, Scorpius deliberately starts a war with the Scarrens in the hope that the element of surprise will be on their side. The tactic is unsuccessful, and the Scarrens are on the verge of overwhelming the Peacekeepers. When the Peacekeeper Grand Chancellor considers surrender, Grayza kills him and takes over to make sure the war continues.

On Qujaga the aliens, called Eidolons, realize that killing Crichton and Aeryn was a mistake and reanimate them. Scorpius instantly realizes this and abandons the war to track him down, hoping to acquire the wormhole tech once and for all as the only way of stopping the Scarrens. Crichton again refuses. Meanwhile the crew discover that the Eidolons are in fact a lost colony of the people of Arnessk, and have an innate ability to bring peace to others.

If they can find more of their people, they will be able to stop the war. Moya, with Scorpius and Sikozu in tow, heads back to Arnessk, where the ancient people have been revived and are working with Jool. They agree to help, but Scarren Emperor Staleek attacks, destroying the base and killing Jool. Staleek doesn’t want peace – he wants victory.

Only one Eidolon remains, who is able to transmit the ability to Stark, and the crew escape the Scarrens with the help of D’Argo’s son Jothee. They return to Qujaga to find that the Peacekeeper-Scarren war has reached the planet. Crichton and the others must get through the battle to reach the remaining Eidolons on the planet and pass the techniques of peace to them, all while both sides are still after him for wormhole technology.

Once there, Crichton and Aeryn are finally able to marry and Aeryn gives birth, but D’Argo is killed offscreen in the escape. Realising that neither side will take no for an answer, Crichton returns to Einstein and convinces him to unlock the knowledge, which Crichton then uses to launch a wormhole weapon – a black hole that will grow and grow until it destroys everything in the universe.

Both Grayza and Staleek finally realise that this weapon is too dangerous for anyone to possess, and they agree to a ceasefire. Crichton is able to stop the black hole, but falls into a coma as a result. With the war finally over, the Eidolons help to broker a peace treaty between the two sides, but Crichton is still in a coma.

He is finally brought out of it when Aeryn places his new baby in his arms. The new family looks out onto the now peaceful galaxy, naming the baby D’Argo in honour of their friend, and promising the universe belongs to him.

Space Opera Main

Star Wars

Star Trek

The Last Starfighter



The Fifth Element

More Space Opera

Home | More Sci-Fi | Site design by SFMZone. Copyright 2010 - 2024 All Rights Reserved. | Site Info | TOP^