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Meltdown

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Farscape episode
“Meltdown”
Meltdown
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 12
Guest star(s) Susan Lyons (Sierjna), Mark Mitchell (Mu-Quillus), Linda Cropper (Xhalax Sun)
Writer(s) Matt Ford
Director Ian Barry
Production no. 10312
Original airdate July 14, 2001 (US); November 19, 2001 (UK)
Episode chronology
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"Incubator" "Scratch 'N' Sniff"

While Talyn flying headlong into a star would normally be cause for concern, the crew's irrational behavior prevents them from doing anything about it. It's up to Stark to save them all before a malevolent being can take the Leviathan to its grave.

SynopsisEdit

Crais prepares to shoot Xhalax Sun, but instead he tries to bargain with her, saying that he will exchange Talyn, the escaped prisoners, and even John Crichton for Aeryn Sun and his reinstatement as a Peacekeeper. He then turns to the camera, asking, "Is that what you think happened Crichton?" and on Talyn he tells Crichton that he knows he will never be a Peacekeeper again. Aeryn joins them on command and mentions that another Peacekeeper Retrieval Squad will be sent after them, prompting Crichton to tell Crais that he should be noble and jump ship. As Crais reminds Crichton that they're chasing Talyn too, he suddenly feels pain in his head and says that Talyn is out of control... they're flying directly into a sun!

Crais tells everyone that the sun is emitting radiation that is compelling him to fly into the sun, but he cannot get control. Talyn does manage to change the course himself just in time. Everyone goes to assess the damage, leaving Crais on command. As Crichton and Aeryn assess a damaged conduit, some mist starts to vent through the walls, although neither see it. Crichton gets a shock from the conduit, prompting Aeryn to suck his finger to make it better.

Stark finds some mist and hears a voice, which he thinks is Talyn. Aeryn and Crichton continue repairs, when Aeryn tells Crichton to pay attention to his work. He places his hand on her leg, prompting banter about how easily distracted Crichton is by her. To prove her point she purposely drops a spanner and bends over in front of him. As they start to make out up against the wall, Crichton notices the mist. On command, Crais tells Crichton that the mist is Drexim, which is Talyn's equivalent of human adrenalin. Crais says that it may have an effect on them all, but it should be manageable. Aeryn enters and says that it's too late for any kind of mask to prevent any effects, as they would already be affected. When Crais leaves, Aeryn and Crichton start gazing at each other.

Stark hears the voice in a room that he has never seen before. A woman manifests herself from the mist, calling herself Sierjna. She says that she seeks the Pilot, but realizes that this Leviathan is different to others. Apparently, the room is a pilot's den. She proceeds to tell Stark that she's trapped; after an accident on her Leviathan, everyone but her was killed and she floats around but remains unseen by all on other Leviathans until now. She then proclaims that only Stark can save her.

The only way for Talyn to filter out the radiation pulses would also cause the loss of sensors, effectively blinding him. As Aeryn finds some faulty systems, an intruder enters command, saying that he wants to help them. He says his name is Mu-Quillus, and if this ship is a Leviathan then they must leave immediately – they are in grave danger. He says that 83 Leviathans have already died here – Talyn will succumb. Crais, Crichton, and Aeryn all remain cagey and as they question his origins, Crichton and Aeryn get close and start touching each other. Mu-Quillus says that he tries to warn Leviathans, but they always perish. Crais doesn't buy it, and orders him to leave the ship. When he doesn't, Crais and Talyn fire on him.

Sierjna tells Stark that he must get her away from the sun quickly – Mu-Quillus found her and kept her from dying and now keeps her here. Apparently, he murdered her ship and all its passengers. He is luring Leviathans to their doom with this siren star, under contract from other builders whose sales are diminished by the sale of Leviathans. Sierjna tells Stark that she wants her life back, but he says that she has already passed beyond life. She perished with her shipmates – Mu-Quillus trapped her soul between realms. She doesn't believe that she is dead, but he offers to help her cross over, saying that he can only release her.

Aeryn and Crichton continue repairs and realize that they can't be near each other and concentrate; they must focus on repairs or they will get distracted. Rygel is eating in his quarters, when Stark brings Sierjna to see him, but Rygel can't see her. He thinks that Stark is going crazy, and Stark explains that only he can see her. He takes her out of the room, when Mu-Quillus comes to take her home. He says that she can't stay here because the ship is doomed and tells her that Stark can't help her. Sierjna tells him that she will stay on the ship, after which Stark says that he can free her.

Aeryn rushes to finish her repairs so that she and Crichton can make out. As he props her up against the wall, Talyn starts to rumble. Apparently, the pulses have changed and Sierjna tells Stark that Mu-Quillus is luring the ship back in. Crais can't change the course and Aeryn can't block the pulses out. When Stark goes to the pilot's station to try and guide Talyn away, he is caught by tendrils. Crais' neural transponder dies and all systems go down. Stark has bonded with Talyn and guides him away, then tells everyone that they're saved. He soon notices that Sierjna has vanished because they've gone too far away and so he goes back to get her. He tells everyone that he is now Talyn's pilot. Crais tells Crichton and Aeryn that Talyn must have developed a rudimentary pilot's den, saying that Leviathan physiology is complex and some genes must not have been filtered out. Crichton goes and shoots Talyn's guidance system, so Stark can't maneuver. Stark gets a DRD to shoot at Crichton and Aeryn, but she manages to take it out first. Crais goes to the den, but finds the door locked and so he tries to persuade Talyn that he's trying to help. Crichton and Aeryn are guarding the conduit and decide that they have time to make out.

Sierjna comes back, telling Stark that he's risking everything by returning. He tries to cross her over but it doesn't work. Rygel continues to eat, when Crais comes to him. Rygel begs Crais to shoot him because he can't stop eating. Crais says that he needs Rygel's help; Stark is a mutineer and has taken Talyn. He needs Rygel to try and slip through a ventilation duct. Rygel says that he's not slipping through anything when his stomachs are that size, but Crais tells him that he is captain and is giving Rygel a direct order. Rygel tells him to get close and bites his ear.

Mu-Quillus appears and tells Stark that he is stopping Sierjna from crossing over. Sierjna says that if she goes back then Mu-Quillus can let Talyn go, but Mu-Quillus says that it's out of his hands. She then leaves with him against Stark's wishes. Talyn has apparently gotten too close and Stark tells everyone that he can't fight it and apologizes for failing them.

Aeryn and Crichton realize that they never give up and separate after proclaiming their love for each other. Aeryn goes to the den, where Crais starts giving her orders. He pulls his gun on her when she refuses to help and she laughs and runs off. Crichton is on command and tries to get Stark to give him control of Talyn's cannon to destroy the "lure". Stark starts going over all of his failures, when Crichton calls Aeryn his Zhaan and says that he would do anything for her, even die for her, but Stark is killing his Zhaan. Stark gets emotional and returns some controls. Aeryn arrives on command and says that they only have one chance and she will prime the cannon. She convinces Stark to fire the cannon by saying that Zhaan is speaking through her and it is her wish.

Sierjna appears to stop Stark and Mu-Quillus arrives on command to strike a deal to release them. They refuse his demands and Talyn fires. Mu-Quillus turns to dust and Stark crosses Sierjna over.

Crais is cutting Stark free from Talyn, and says that Talyn is now off limits to him. Stark says that he knows how Talyn feels and what he thinks about everything, including Crais. Crais tells him that he knows nothing and threatens him with a knife. Meanwhile, Crichton joins Aeryn on command, where she tells him that Talyn is better. Since everyone else is busy, he says that they have about an arn and they close the door...

Memorable quotesEdit

John: God-like aliens...man, do I hate god-like aliens! I'll trade a critter for a god-like alien, any day.
John: Good old Stark, count on him to jump right in and wig right out.
Stark: Would Zhaan approve of this use of violence?"
Aeryn: She's speaking through me now. It is her wish."
Crais: (After mocking Crighton's fears that he cut a deal to rejoin the Peacekeepers) You know the truth. You know I'll never again be a Peacekeeper.
Crichton: Never say never again, Double-Oh-Seven, that's all I know.

Background informationEdit

  • Anthony Simcoe (Ka D'Argo), Gigi Edgley (Chiana), and Wayne Pygram (Scorpius) do not appear in this episode. 
  • Director Ian Barry stated that when Dave Elsey was creating Mu-Quillus' costume, he created "a pair of wonderful gloves which were knobbly and lava like with fantastic fingernails that had little LEDs in them which were like glowing embers." The costume also had lights in the head to simulate gas fires and give off a glowing effect. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v3.2)
  • Mark Mitchell would fall deeply asleep in the make up chair each morning while his make up was being applied. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v3.2)
  • The scenes in Talyn's vestigial Pilot's den were shot on the sets of Moya's Pilot's den with the Pilot puppet removed. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v3.2)
  • For the scene where Stark joins Talyn, the tendrils going into Stark were actually pulled off of Paul Goddard and the film was later reversed. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v3.2)
  • Claudia Black joked that the crew had become so accustomed to her making out with Ben Browder during rehearsals that they would go for coffee breaks rather than watch. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v3.2)
  • When Crais informs Crichton that the gas leaking from Talyn has the potential to affect behavior, Crichton remarks "We won't go all crackers, will we?" He is referring to the episode "Crackers Don't Matter".

Links and referencesEdit

StarringEdit

Guest starsEdit

PuppeteersEdit

Voice artistsEdit

ReferencesEdit

007; arn; Astroboy; Aurora Chair; Banik; beamed; blue blockers; boom box; Bond, James; commerce planet; cycle; Delfarion; DRD; drexim; fahrbot; frell; gletch; gunship; hybrid; kanish; Leviathan; metra; microt; Moya; neural transponder; neurochip; Never Say Never Again; nitmik; Patriqu-ro; Peacekeepers; Peacekeeper High Command; Peacekeeper Retrieval Squad; Pilot; Pilot's den; secondary control node; siren star; Smokey Bear; sonic ascendency cannon; Star Trek; Stykera; sunglasses; Talyn; The Phantom of the Opera; The Pied Piper of Hamelin; Zhaan, Zotoh; Zy-limbron;

External linkEdit

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