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Farscape episode
“I, E.T.”
10102-059
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 02
Guest star(s) Mary Mara (Lyneea); Cayde Tasker (Fostro); Boris Brkic (Cmdr. Ryymax); Mark Shaw (Alien Soldier #1); Dominic Bianco (Alien Hunter #1); Heath Wilder (Alien Hunter #2); Cameron Smith (Unspecified (Voice))
Writer(s) Sally Lapiduss
Director Pino Amenta
Production no. 10102
Original airdate May 8, 1999 (US), December 20, 1999 (UK)
Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"Premiere" "Exodus From Genesis"

John Crichton has a twitch. Moya gets a mudbath and Ka D'Argo and Aeryn Sun play hide-and-seek with the locals.

SynopsisEdit

A loud, wailing siren wakes John Crichton, making his left eye twitch. Pilot neutralizes the noise but John keeps twitching. Aeryn identifies the disturbance as a "Paddac beacon", hastily installed on Moya during captivity. But even with the siren off, the beacon continues to broadcast Moya's location to any Peacekeeper ship within a quarter light cycle. John's twitch bugs Aeryn. He suggests they insulate Moya's hull with water, by landing on a planet they just passed. Pilot says that landing a Leviathan has never been tried but Moya is willing to try. The landing is rough and Moya begins sinking in a swamp.

Moya sinks deep enough to smother the beacon but it still needs to be removed from Moya's primary neural nexus, a highly sensitive and cramped area in a Leviathan, Rygel is the only one small enough to help. But removal will cause Moya great pain. Zhaan asks about an anaesthetic and Pilot suggests clorium, one of the Leviathans' forbidden cargoes. As the crew prepare to search outside for clorium, John reminds a moody Aeryn that he too has lost his home but if they don't fix the beacon problem then they'll all end up as a permanent tourist attraction on this planet. John, Aeryn and D'Argo exit Moya by an upper hatchway into a quiet, alien night and John says the planet reminds him of Louisiana or Dagobah. Aeryn gives him a wary sidelong glance.

They detect a weak trace of clorium but vehicles suddenly appear with trackers. D'Argo says that he and Aeryn will distract the locals so that John can use a particle analyzer to search for a concentrated source. He waits till he hears the locals firing at the others then runs, discovering a barn like building next to a huge antenna array as daylight dawns.

Pilot tells Zhaan he has finished tracing the complex links between the beacon and Moya's primary neural nexus. Zhaan wonders how the beacon came to be onboard without Pilot knowing about it. He confesses that a captured Leviathan is always dosed with a sleeping agent whilst Peacekeepers attach the control collar and make adjustments to propulsion and guidance controls. There was nothing he could have done to prevent it.

In the barn Crichton discovers fertilizer that gives off a strong clorium signature. He contacts his shipmates but is disturbed by approaching footsteps and drops his comm badge. John hides and a young humanoid boy enters the barn. The boy spots John and asks what he is doing? Crichton tries to placate the boy by introducing himself. The boy says his name is Fostro then flees when he guesses John is from outer space. Crichton pursues Fostro, into the boy's house where Fostro panics and zaps John with a "wand" device, which leaves John temporarily paralyzed. Fostro calls his mother who appears from a back room, about to tell Fostro off for disturbing her "phone" call, until she sees Crichton and drops her phone in surprise, breaking it.

Slowly Crichton regains movement and explains who he is. The mother is scared but secretly delighted to be "talking to an alien, in my kitchen!" She is still wary and determined to contact the authorities. Only some fast-talking from John saves his hide and gradually both mother and son begin to relax.

Moya's pain worsens. Zhaan knows they can't wait for the others so uses diplomacy to persuade Rygel to help, as the beacon will not allow anything metallic near it. In return Zhaan says she will share Moya's pain. Rygel is doubtful. Moya is a very big ship.

Aeryn and D'Argo disagree over strategies whilst hiding up a tree. D'Argo advises caution as there are too many locals around but Aeryn wants action. Meanwhile John explains to the wary but excited Woman, Lyneea that he is looking for something for his ship. She guesses where Moya landed and Fostro wants to tell the authorities. John sympathizes, assuring Lyneea that he really does understand the impact his arrival will have on her people's beliefs. But Lyneea is disappointed that their species are so similar. She expected aliens to be radically different. John asks for star charts, to get a fix on the Milky Way and Fostro guesses that John is lost.

Rygel prepares to cut the beacon free with a bone knife from D'Argo's quarters and Zhaan links with Moya. Meanwhile Aeryn and D'Argo share a joke at Crichton's expense. D'Argo derides the locals' retrograde technology and says they're savages and Aeryn gets tired of waiting. She heads back to Moya whilst D'Argo goes looking for John.

Lyneea prepares breakfast for Fostro and John. She says her work is military funded and John would be a real coup for her but she is concerned about how he would be treated. She gets a shock when John's particle analyzer detects clorium in the food and with a slight misunderstanding, John grabs the "wand" thinking they are going to attack him. He tracks the clorium signal to what looks like a large saltshaker and demands to know what it is? Lyneea and Fostro look terrified. To calm the situation, John apologies and gives the "wand" to Lyneea, who warily keeps her distance. John asks again what is in the saltshaker but they hear vehicles draw up outside and Lyneea quickly tells Fostro to hide John in the back room.

Rygel's cutting causes Moya intense pain and as a power loss leaves him in the dark, Zhaan passes out. Rygel gets scared. He comms Pilot but gets no answer so tries to revive Zhaan. Shortly the power comes on again and Rygel hears Pilot asking if anyone can hear him. Moya is succumbing to the pressure. Zhaan comes round, much to Rygel's relief as the power fluctuates again.

Lyneea has a visitor. Commander Ryymax and he wants to know why Lyneea's phone isn't working? Why is she nervous? She covers by saying she has doubts and wants to recheck her data but Ryymax is ready to congratulate her. John waits in the backroom and Lyneea appears, asking Fostro to go and see Ryymax but act normally. Lyneea explains to Crichton that the military have made her home their Center of Operations and John fears he will be captured. He must contact his ship to let Pilot know he has found the clorium.

Aeryn returns to Moya where an exhausted Zhaan is lying down. Rygel says they have to take off immediately but Pilot is refusing to listen to him. Zhaan is weak but manages to get up, saying they have to continue removing the beacon. Rygel says he won't do it. Aeryn makes a grab for him and he bites a chunk out of her arm. She recoils in horror then makes a lunge at Rygel but is restrained by Zhaan who tells Aeryn to leave this to her. She realizes that Rygel hides his fears behind violence. He confesses that he doesn't know what he is doing. Zhaan consoles Rygel, saying they will face the pain together. Outside the room she offers to bandage Aeryn's wound but Aeryn is more concerned about Moya and how Zhaan will handle the pain. Zhaan admits that she can only take some of Moya's pain and momentarily mistakes Aeryn's concern for a genuine concern for her wellbeing.

Outside Lyneea's home, Commander Ryymax is preparing for containment. He is sure that this time the sightings are real. Meanwhile, Crichton explains about wormholes. Lyneea understands the theory but refers to the phenomena as "ribbon holes." She helps John to establish a visual comms link with Pilot, through the antennas outside and is surprised when Pilot's image looks so different from Crichton. Suddenly Fostro bursts in. The Military have caught another alien! Through the window John sees D'Argo fighting a few soldiers before getting zapped by Ryymax.

A little later and D'Argo is restrained in Lyneea's barn. Ryymax warns Lyneea and Fostro that they have to leave the area. It is no longer safe for them. Lyneea returns to her house and rails against John, demanding to know what kind of ship he was on. She thought he was a scientist. John states he is a scientist but confesses that Moya's crew was prisoners. Still furious with him, Lyneea reaches for a large sack of the clorium spice, onlux, thrusts it at John and tells him to leave but John won't go without D'Argo.

Back on Moya Rygel works his way along the nexus. The pain is so great that Zhaan needs Aeryn's help to keep her physical link with Moya. Aeryn calls for Rygel to hurry up.

Lyneea sets up a diversion for John by showing Ryymax a recording of Pilot then gives false co-ordinates to send Ryymax in the opposite direction from where Moya is. The ruse works. In the barn, Crichton sees Ryymax enter and order a team to follow him, leaving only two soldiers guarding D'Argo. Fostro discovers John's comm badge on the ground and approaches D'Argo, distracting the guards' attention. John sees his moment and grabs a large spade then knocks out both guards and releases D'Argo.

Outside Lyneea's house once more, John thanks Lyneea. She thanks him for altering the perspective of a whole planet. John kisses Lyneea on the cheek and she blushes. Fostro shakes D'Argo's hand and says goodbye and as he and Crichton leave, Lyneea tells Fostro that one-day he will have a very special story to tell but not yet.

On Moya, Rygel has nearly finished cutting. Zhaan is in a bad way, even with Aeryn's help. As John comms to say he and D'Argo are back, Aeryn calls for Pilot to take off. Pilot cannot activate Moya's propulsion because the pain through the nexus is blocking the signals. John appears just in time as Rygel finishes. He passes Rygel a bag of the onlux and says to spread it wherever he cut. Rygel does so but can't resist eating a little of the spice himself. The clorium spice works and Pilot calls for everyone to prepare for lift off.

As evening falls Lyneea sits on the stairs outside her home. Fostro is asleep with his head in her lap, so only Lyneea witnesses Moya rising from the swamp and sweeping up into space. Aeryn finds a wistful John watching the departing planet through Moya's forward viewer and asks if he is going to miss that "rock." "No, not that rock," John answers cryptically. Aeryn leaves him to his musing.

Memorable quotesEdit

Rygel: "We're in mud! Under the mud!"
Aeryn: "You're Hynerian. You're aquatic – what's your problem?"
Rygel: "Aquatic – that's water, not mud! Mud is... mud! You can't breathe in it, you can't move in it. It holds you, it grabs you, it sucks you down! You wanna know about mud? I know about mud!"
John: "The guy knows mud."

Background informationEdit

  • This episode was broadcast out of order during Farscape's first run – it is actually the second episode of the season, hence the odd conflicts in character continuity during this episode if watched at a later stage – references to the control collar from "Premiere", Aeryn yearning for Peacekeepers, and little functionality between the crew. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.1) O'Bannon explained that "there were those at the Sci Fi Channel who were not confident about airing it that early, and the network was very cautious about what order they would show it in." David Kemper noted that "it plays better to go from a ship-based episode to a planet-based one, as opposed to having ship, ship, planet, planet." (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion)
  • Ricky Eyres, costume designer Terry Ryan, make-up supervisor Lesley Vanderwalt, and creature-effects supervisor Dave Elsey worked closely together, often working on episodes without finished scripts for the early part of the first season. (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion)
  • Aeryn says "crap" instead of dren, one of the only times "Earth words" were unintentionally spoken by non-human characters within the series. On set, the actors would often use "real" words when rehearsing a scene. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.1)
  • Like most episode titles in the first season "I, E.T." was only an indication to the production crew as to the contents of the story. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.1)
  • The water in the swamp was completely CGI by Paul Butterworth and his team at Garner MacLennan Design. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.1)
  • Creator Rockne S. O'Bannon liked this episode because the air of melancholy set John Crichton apart as a hero outside the standard mold. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.1)
  • The makeup for the Deneans to differentiate them from Human and Sebaceans was designed by Dave Elsey. ("Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.1)
  • This episode was part of the second batch of back-to-back filmed episodes – which is how they filmed the first six. (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion)
  • O'Bannon admits that while the episode suffered in execution because it was filmed so early in the series, he stands by the script since it keeps John down-to-earth and serves as a touchstone for all the episodes that follow. (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion)
  • Despite not having translator microbes in their body the native population of the planet in this episode can understand Crichton and the rest of the Moya crew. When the series was airing on the Sci-Fi Channel, a Pilot's log would be posted with Pilot narrating certain information. According to Pilot the planet must have had contact with other worlds because the soil contained translator microbes enabling the natives to understand the crew of Moya

Links and referencesEdit

StarringEdit

Guest starsEdit

Guest castEdit

PuppeteersEdit

with

Voice artistsEdit

ReferencesEdit

Akon's Field; arn; Clorium; comm; control collar; Dagobah; Denea; Denean; Denean stun wand; DRD; Earth; forbidden cargo; Grisoldian; hezmana; Hynerian; Kazda's Swamp; Leviathan; Louisiana; Luxan; metra; Milky Way; milon; Mount Versant; Mount Versant Observatory; neural nexus; onlux; Pa'u; Paddac beacon; particle analyzer; Peacekeeper; ribbon hole; shaltan; star chart; telescope; tier seven; Tokaar knife; Tronkan shrill singer; twinium; UEO; VCR; wheeler; Yoda; Zeta Team

External linkEdit

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