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Incubator

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Farscape episode
“Incubator”
Incubator
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 11
Guest star(s) Tammy MacIntosh (Jool), David Franklin (Braca), Amy Salas (Tauza), Evan Sheaves (Young Scorpius), Stephanie Jacobsen (Nurse Froy), Paul Shedlowich (Officer Plint), Danny Adcock (Co-Kura Strappa), Jo Kerrigan (Linfer), Thomas Holesgrove (Wolesh), Sam Healy (Rylani Jeema Dellos), Nicholas Bishop (Ghebb Dellos), William Zappa (Captain Molayne)
Writer(s) Richard Manning
Director Ian Watson
Production no. 10311
Original airdate July 13, 2001 (US); November 12, 2001 (UK)
Episode chronology
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"Relativity" "Meltdown"

With the future of the Peacekeepers at stake, Scorpius gives his life story to a clone of John Crichton in hopes of getting the human's precious wormhole information.

SynopsisEdit

As the Peacekeepers continue wormhole tests, another Prowler pilot returns from a test flight liquefied. Linfer blames the pilot, but Lt. Braca is having none of it. Co-Kura Strappa indicates that the equations she decoded from the neural chip are incomplete – there is an encrypted section. Scorpius believes that this section may hold the key to wormhole technology, but Linfer is certain that she's cracked it. So certain in fact, that she offers to pilot a test flight herself. Scorpius decides that it is necessary to access the neural chip in an attempt to unlock the encoded section, under the supervision of Braca and Nurse Froy. On accessing the chip, Scorpius finds John Crichton and explains that he is not the real Crichton, but rather the result of a neural spillover of the real Crichton's personality into the chip, but for Scorpius' purposes, he will do...

Scorpius tells Crichton that they're in his head, and he plans on persuading Crichton to help him by showing him his past. He begins by showing Crichton his first twelve cycles of life and his earliest memories of pain. Then we see a Scarran female, Tauza, and how she forced a young Scorpius to sit up, even though he was suffering from the heat. He believed his father was Sebacean and forced his Scarran mother to birth him which is the story the Scarrans told him.

On Moya, Crichton continues to make Moya fly around looking for wormholes, as they have been doing for 15 solar days. Ka D'Argo is getting agitated and feels that Crichton is indulging himself. He tells Crichton that Jool and Chiana need to get off the ship because they're driving each other mad. Crichton says that after this one they will stop and leaves to get some rest.

Back to Scorpius' memories, we learn that Scorpius was born with Sebacean heat delirium. Tauza had convinced Scorpius that his loyalties lie with the Scarrans and that he would have to learn to be strong. Scorpius explains that he was also taught endurance and we see Tauza taunting the young Scorpius with water before pouring it over the floor after he asks for it.

A Prowler emerges near Moya, sending a distress signal. D'Argo and Chiana believe it may be a trap, but Pilot says that the Prowler is occupied by a Relgarian, a species that he and Moya trust. It's Linfer and she requests to come aboard. Despite D'Argo's objections, Pilot welcomes her. D'Argo, Chiana, and Jool greet her with guns and DRDs in attack posture. Linfer steps out of the Prowler and says that she has solved the shielding problem and asks D'Argo to tell Crichton that she has come to offer him the secret to wormhole travel.

Froy tells Braca that Scorpius' readings will soon be at critical levels, but Braca tells her to continue. Scorpius tells Crichton that Tauza's attempts to teach him control weren't entirely unsuccessful; he learned that his hybrid body has the ability to perceive energy readings, different for each species, and the change when the subject is being dishonest. Scorpius explains that her lies made him even more determined to find the truth about his parentage and says that he feigned obedience and over time she grew careless, but he did not. He managed to escape what turned out to be a Scarran dreadnought, and jumped ship on an escape pod before hiding on a commerce planet. Crichton, however, remains unconvinced by his story.

On Moya, Linfer tells Pilot and Crichton that Scorpius is still alive and says that she came on her own. She managed to find one of the wormhole's exit nodes which she believed Crichton would have been attempting to study. She is convinced that Scorpius would have killed her, and tells Crichton that since his original craft did not employ phase shielding, he is lucky to be alive (see log Premiere). Had the wormhole been unstable, as most are, he would not have survived. She explains that she has developed a unique band of negative phase shielding, which allows any vessel to travel through any wormhole. She offers it to Crichton, in exchange for Moya. Whilst Crichton is against this, Pilot seems ready to accept such an offer.

Scorpius tells Crichton that in desperation, he travelled the Uncharted Territories for many cycles, before he eventually flew in to Peacekeeper space and surrendered to the first command carrier he found. We see his conversation with its Captain, Molayne. Scorpius proposed an exchange of information: some of his tactical knowledge of Scarrans in exchange for the truth about his parentage, so he could find out who he should be. Molayne told him that they knew what happened, and the Scarran did indeed lie to him. Scorpius was told of a Leviathan that was full of civilians attempting to find a colonisable planet in the Uncharted Territories, which was attacked by Scarrans. One transport pod survived and we see a reconstruction based on the log files that Molayne showed him. A Sebacean female and a Sebacean male argued over what had happened, with the woman particularly upset, saying that if there was a risk then they shouldn't have come at all. Both were upset and scared. During the night, they were confronted by a Scarran, who killed the male and took the female. Scorpius explains that the woman, Rylani Jeema Dellos, was 22 cycles, and that the transport was never salvaged. Scorpius went to find it, thinking that no-one had touched it in 10 cycles. Before he entered, he noticed a type of plant, which looked unique. Inside, he discovered that the transport was actually rigged with a trap and he was recaptured by Tauza.

We see Tauza trying to get information on his Peacekeeper encounters, after she told him that he was too weak to overcome his flaws alone, referring to his new the cooling system. He was tortured and the memory of this causes Scorpius to awake and stop for a while. Strappa tells him that he believes Linfer may have intended to defect, so Scorpius tells him to find out whether this was the case, a sentiment that Braca mirrors.

On Moya, the crew discuss Linfer's offer and Crichton says that Pilot and Moya are warming to the offer. Jool, Chiana, and D'Argo are all against it for various reasons, none believing every aspect of Linfer's story. Jool and Chiana start arguing, but Crichton seems to want to accept Linfer's offer. D'Argo proceeds to remind him that that is exactly the attitude that got Zhaan killed and walks out. Jool takes some food to Linfer to get away from the bickering, but Linfer says she was wrong – her tissue has begun to liquefy and her shielding only delayed its onset. The Prowler leaves Moya, as Crichton runs on to command and tells Pilot to get her back. She thanks Pilot for granting her request and then her prowler explodes. Crichton is angry that they let her go, but Jool mentions that it's funny how Crichton supports Pilot only when they want the same thing. He tells her that's crap, but she says that the truth is never crap.

Scorpius accesses the chip again and tells Crichton that he showed him his memories to show what the Scarrans are like. He asks Crichton to help him, as Scarrans far outnumber Peacekeepers and without a superior weapon they will be destroyed. Crichton says that they want to kill Scarrans, Scarrans want to kill them, he doesn't see the difference, so Scorpius says that he'll show him.

We see Tauza telling Scorpius that she lied about his parentage to make him hate Sebaceans. She shows him his parents – Rylani, tied up, and a Scarran male, who raped her. Tauza told him that the mating process fractured her fragile psyche, and during the gestation period she pleaded for death. But because his birth was difficult, it was actually Scorpius that caused her death. In 90 other such matings, both the female and her offspring perished, but they saved only Scorpius to see if Sebacean genetics could serve them, but they now realize that they are useless, even as breeding stock; the Sebacean race will eradicated. Scorpius managed to trick Tauza and kill her. He managed to escape again and sent a locator signal that allowed a Carrier to overtake and destroy the dreadnought. We see Scorpius' memory of a conversation with Molayne, in which he was made exempt from all purity regulations and accepted as a Peacekeeper. He tells Crichton that he quickly advanced in rank, and created a special task force to develop wormhole technology. He doesn't want it so that he can betray the Peacekeepers and use it for personal reasons, he doesn't want power, he wants revenge – to wipe out Scarrans before they wipe out other races. He appeals for Crichton's help, saying that eventually Scarrans will reach Earth. Scorpius asks him to unlock the remaining calculations, but Crichton says that it's not his to give away. The Ancients told him, "If you're not smart enough to discover it for yourself, you're not smart enough to use it wisely." He refuses, and after Scorpius tries to force him, he disperses himself. Scorpius begins to overheat at the confrontation with Crichton and awakes to Braca who removes the frazzled chip and replaces the cooling rod.

D'Argo visits Crichton and Crichton asks if D'Argo's ever wondered if they've been on Moya too long and the toast to that changing. But Crichton reminds him that Scorpius is still alive, and says that Linfer found them, and if she can, Scorpius can.

Scorpius recites equations to Strappa - he actually received some of the locked equations. It's incomplete, but should put them on track. Braca enters and confirms that the chip was destroyed by the heat. He says that it doesn't matter – they may now have the data they need. He tells Braca that his performance has been exemplary and once he leaves, Scorpius steps up and looks pleasantly at a plant, the same type that was outside his mother's transport.

Memorable quotesEdit

Scorpius:You know so little of me. Let's remedy that.
Chip-John: Let's not and say we did.
Scorpius: My earliest memory-
Chip-John: Oh, god...
Scorpius: -is pain.
Lt. Braca (About Scorpius): He survived. He always survives.
Jool: There was nothing we could do.
John: So, you just let her fly away and blow herself to bits.
Pilot: Correct again.
John: That's a beautiful decision, man.
Jool: It's funny how you support Pilot only when you both want the same thing.
John: That's crap, Jool.
Jool: Truth is never crap.
Linfer: Thank you Pilot for granting my request. I'm sorry we won't travel together. Taka Hi, Taka Ho!
Chip-John: Sweet move. Join the army, get them to pay for your pet project."
Scorpius: You think I want wormholes to betray Peacekeepers and to conquer the universe myself? I don't want power. I want revenge!"

Background informationEdit

  • Claudia Black (Aeryn) and Paul Goddard (Stark) do not appear in this episode.
  • This episode has another example of what Ricky Manning called "eye pummeling" after the events of "DNA Mad Scientist" and "A Clockwork Nebari". ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v3.2)
  • Director Ian Watson compared Scorpius' story to the legend of Tarzan, except that Scorpius is trying to escape his captors. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v3.2)
  • Evan Sheaves, who played the young Scorpius, was described by Watson as a "nicely spoken, gentle boy." ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v3.2)
  • Fiona Gentle acted as the lead puppeteer for the first time in this episode, doing the work with the female Scarran. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v3.2)
  • A new set was built for this episode that was used in the episodes "Into the Lion's Den - Lambs to the Slaughter" and "Into the Lion's Den - Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" at the end of the season. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v3.2)
  • Ben Browder chose to play the neural clone as if the events of season 3 had not occurred and he had been suspended in time when the neurochip was removed from Crichton's head at the end of season 2. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v3.2)
  • This is the only episode in the entire series that is centered around Scorpius.
  • Jool and Chiana have an exchange in which Jool notes "Didn't you come on board as a guest?" Indeed, for her first few episodes, Gigi Edgley was credited as a "guest star", much as Tammy Macintosh (Jool) is in this episode, even though she has become a regular.

Links and referencesEdit

StarringEdit

Guest starsEdit

Guest castEdit

PuppeteersEdit

Voice artistsEdit

ReferencesEdit

Ancient; arn; Banik; bootleg; brathmatic; captain; Command; command carrier; commerce planet; coolant rod; Crais, Bialar; Crystherium Utilia; cycle; Delvian; devera; Diagnosan; docking web; DRD; dreadnought; dren; Earth; evacuation pod; flibisk; frell; heat delirium; Holodeck; Human; Jedman; Ka Jothee; lerg; Leviathan; Living Death; Luxan; Marauder; microt; Motak 4; Moya; neural chip; neural spillover; New Heather; nurse; palonic; Peacekeepers; Peacekeeper First Command; Peacekeeper Retrieval Squad; phase progression; phase shielding; prowler; pulse pistol; purity regulations; rantath flux; Relgarian; Sebacean; Scarran; solar day; Star Trek; starburst; Talyn; transport pod; Uncharted Territories; voken; volker; wormhole; wormhole technology; Zhaan, Zotoh;

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