|“Thank God It's Friday... Again.”|
|Episode no.|| Season 1|
|Guest star(s)||Angie Milliken (Volmae); Tina Thomsen (Tanga); Ken Blackburn (Hybin); Selina Muller (D'Argo's Girlfriend); Mark Slocum (Sykaran Male); Peter Baroch (Sykaran Male)|
|Original airdate||April 23, 1999 (US); January 17, 2000 (UK)|
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|"Back and Back and Back to the Future"||"PK Tech Girl"|
D'Argo is yelling in a fit of Luxan hyper-rage. Directing his anger at the nearest male, D'Argo goes after Crichton, but John has hidden himself safely out of D'Argo's sight, taking refuge in his spacesuit on Moya's exterior hull & observing D'Argo through a porthole as D'Argo vents his anger on the DRDs instead.
A few days later, John finally comes out of hiding and is briefed by Zhaan, Aeryn, and Rygel about what he has missed. D'Argo has been gone for three days but the crew could not find John to tell him because of his hiding ability, which Aeryn attributes to much practice. They mention that D'Argo has taken Aeryn's Prowler to surface of the nearby planet.
Hoping that the hyper-rage has finally dissipated, the rest of the crew (Zhaan, John, Aeryn, and Rygel) take a transport pod to find D'Argo. They look for D'Argo in a club-like venue. Although the locals look Sebacean to John, Aeryn informs him that they are common laborers and a distant cousin species at best. As John waits at the bar, he looks up and spots D'Argo who immediately proceeds to approach John. John tries to get away but D'Argo catches John and ends up hugging the confused human.
D'Argo's behaviour is abnormal; not only is the hyper-rage absent, D'Argo is cheerful, relaxed & content- a stark contrast from his normally gruff demeanor. He informs the crew that he has been a laborer during his time on the planet and is very content and filled with a new purpose. Before John and the others can figure out what purpose that may be, D'Argo wanders off with a beautiful local woman.
A woman dressed in white then approaches the baffled crew. She introduces herself as Volmae, the leader of the people on the planet Sykar. She encourages the crew to stay as long as they desire. After the albino leader leaves, Aeryn is a bit unsettled and announces that Volmae gives her a woody.... err she means the willies. Aeryn hasn't gotten a hang of those pesky human expressions, quite yet.
A voice over a loud speaker announces that the day is over and it is time to rest. Everyone obeys and begin to head home. Rygel has been eating all day and wanders off to relieve himself. D'Argo leaves with his girlfriend from the bar and tells the others he will show them around tomorrow because it is a rest day. John is stopped alone and discretely told by a woman to that he must stay on planet, but before John can ask any questions, she abruptly leaves. Aeryn wants to leave D'Argo behind but John thinks something is clouding D'Argo's thinking. Their argument is interrupted by explosions and Rygel's cry for help. The crew runs to Rygel and find him cursing unseen assassins. As he was relieving himself, something exploded very close to the royal Hynerian... close enough to scorch several royal parts.
Because of the extreme heat of day Sykaran day, Aeryn returns to Moya. Although she is unconvinced that there was an assassination attempt, Aeryn takes Rygel back with her to the ship. Zhaan and John stay on the planet and find D'Argo's apartment. Zhaan and John are invited to stay the night and they discuss their misgivings about D'Argo's out-of-character behavior but he dismisses their concerns.
John and Zhaan are left to share a mattress in the living room as D'Argo heads back to the bedroom where his very limber girlfriend is waiting.
Back on Moya, several explosions bring Aeryn running to Rygel's quarters. Aeryn finds Rygel wimpering with flames and small explosions coming from his body. Aeryn calls John on the planet and informs him that the “assassination attempt” was caused by Rygel's own bodily fluids becoming explosive. John tells Aeryn to run some tests on Rygel. Aeryn balks and claims that she is no scientist, but John insists and tells Aeryn to ask Pilot for help with the tests.
The next day D'Argo heads out to the fields for work with the Sykarans. But John remembers D'Argo claiming that today would be a rest day. While the constant drone from the loudspeaker urges them to work, the workers take some root to eat in the fields. In the fields, John spots the woman who stopped him the other night and follows her. He asks her to talk but is grabbed from behind before he can get any answers. As John is restrained, an old man produces a worm which burrows into John's stomach through his belly button. The old man tells John not to mention the worm and that he must eat and the pain will go away. The people quickly leave before they are discovered and John passes out.
Zhaan and D'Argo return from the fields to find John sick as a dog in the apartment. He has spent the whole day eating and throwing up. After spending a day in the fields with D'Argo, Zhaan has also found “supreme contentment” working in the fields. With Zhaan behaving strangely, John has no one to turn to for help with the implanted worm in him, but with Zhaan now displaying behavior similar to D'Argo's his suspicions about something affecting D'Argo are now reinforced.
Zhaan and D'Argo bring John to another after work celebration. John wanders by himself and is met by Hybin and his daughter Tanga. They explain to him that the worm is protecting John from the mind control by filtering out the toxins in the Tannot root that everyone is eating. It is the root that causes the strange blissful behavior and extreme susceptibility to commands. Some of the locals like Hybin and Tanga have a natural immunity to the roots effects but their numbers are few. They gave the worm to John to get his help. They leave John with a piece of advice. He must act like everyone else. If his immunity to the root is discovered, he will be executed.
Back on Moya, Aeryn and Pilot are working to cure Rygel. To prevent any sweating or other bodily secretions, Rygel has been frozen in cryostasis. Aeryn is running tests on Rygel but she is quickly becoming frustrated with the tedious scientific procedures and analysis. Pilot confides with Aeryn that he too has troubles with complex sciences but he studies constantly to improve his knowledge and proficiency. With Pilot's encouragement, Aeryn eventually finds the cause and a cure, much to her surprise. The tannot root Rygel ate reacted with his Hynerian body chemistry to make his fluids explosive. Once the compounds from the tannot root are removed from his system, he returns to normal.
Back on the planet, John learns from Tanga that the tannot root has been brought to Sykar by another race and they forced the native population to grow it. Volmae was chosen to be the ruler and was given the worm. She obeys the orders of the Others. The narcotic root is destroying the native culture and turning the once lush planet into a wasteland. Hybin and Tanga hope John can bring help and weapons to her people so they can reclaim Sykar.
Volmae takes John aside to a warehouse of tannot root and asks him to bring the rest of the crew of Moya back down to the planet. She wishes to take control of the ship and use it to transport the stored tannot root before the Others arrive. Volmae realizes that if tannot root has value to the Others then it must have value elsewhere. As John stares at the shipping containers full of tannot root, he observes that several have Peacekeeper symbols.
John calls Aeryn and Rygel down to the planet to confront Volmae, Zhaan, and D'Argo. Rygel demonstrates the secret of the tannot root by threatening the assembled crowd with a stream of explosive urine. Aeryn informs Volmae that the tannot root is processed, in a chemical reaction similar to what happens in Rygel's body, by the Peacekeepers to produce Chakan oil, the fuel for Peacekeeper Pulse weapons. Volmae cannot take the tannot root and run without incurring the wrath of the Peacekeepers. John and Aeryn offer the knowledge to produce Chakan oil and weapons to use against the Peacekeepers to free the Sykarans. With D'Argo and Hybin's persuasion, Volmae is finally convinced that it is possible to free her people and reclaim the planet.
On the ship, Aeryn removes the worm from John while D'Argo and Zhaan converse in another room. D'Argo worries that he may not be destined for genuine happiness. He reveals to Zhaan his two very different dreams for life. One was to be a magnificent warrior, fearless and immortalized in Shintock sonnets. The other was the simple life, a family, children and his own frotash garden. He thought he had that simple life on Sykar. Zhaan reassures D'Argo that he still can build such a dream for himself.
- John: This is the end of hyper rage? I get hugged to death?
- John: My boy D'Argo, into the Promised Land...
- Aeryn: Yes, and he's left his brain behind.
- Aeryn: She gives me a woody... [strange look from John]... 'Woody', it's a human saying. I've heard you say it often. When you don't trust someone or they make you nervous, they give you -
- John: Willies! She gives you the willies!
- Rygel: Peacekeepers are trained only to kill.
- Aeryn: Mmmm... so, don't forget that this Peacekeeper just saved your life.
- Rygel: If I were warmer, I would have an appropriately venomous reply. Be warned: I owe you one.
- Zhaan: There are no guarantees, D'Argo. We take each breath as if it is our last, and hope that the air is sweet.
- This episode introduces Luxan hyper-rage. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.1)
- The interiors for this episode, like most of Season 1's episodes, were filmed at Fox Studios in downtown Sydney, rather than a Homebush Bay to the west. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.1)
- Jonathan Hardy refers to Rygel's urination scene as one of his favorite in Farscape's run. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.1)
- Crichton's reference to the "Mel Gibson, Tina Turner cage match" is a reference to the third Mad Max film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. One of Virginia Hey's earliest roles was in the second Mad Max film. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.1)
- Lesley Vanderwalt remembers Angie Milliken's role, noting that "we had red contact lenses in her eyes, and in the first shot as she walked towards the camera, her eyes started flickering. I thought that her contacts had dried out and they were going to slip out, but she ended up just using it as part of her performance." (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion)
- Terry Ryan stated that decided on the costumes should always look like a logical decision. "If you think of farmers, they're always out working in the fields, so you'd give them all bleached hair and sun-tanned skin, and add a sort of cracking effect, because you're in this hot environment," he explained. Because Volmae never went out in the sun, they pushed the colours, making "the Sykarans a bit browner than they should be, and made Volmae very pale." (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion)
- The episode initially had a lot of railway-type themes, but once the episode was edited, there was less footage of trains and more of an emphasis on the Balinese influence. (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion)
- Rockne S. O'Bannon was surprised at how Claudia Black played the scenes when Aeryn worked with Pilot on the cure for Rygel, and stated "I was really aghast and I was thinking, 'Well, she really missed that!' Then, when it cut together, it was exactly what it should have been." (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion)
- O'Bannon did a final pass on the script by David Wilks and talks about the early episodes with affection, and while discussing the scene with Aeryn and Pilot trying to figure out Rygel's problem, he said, "even though they're pretty rough, they're ones that really helped define the show and helped us find the show. There was no plan early on for Aeryn and Pilot to have any sort of sympathy for each other. [...] Aeryn was quickly becoming one of the most interesting characters, because she had the most at stake and had given up the most onscreen. Here it just seemed nice to give her that vulnerability, because she didn't know what she was doing. Pilot was developing at that point too, and that scene showed that although he seemed like he knew everything, he actually didn't." ("Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.1)
Links and referencesEdit
- Ben Browder as John Crichton
- Claudia Black as Aeryn Sun
- Virginia Hey as Zotoh Zhaan
- Anthony Simcoe as Ka D'Argo
Altex; Blenirian grain; Chakan oil; coldivara; cryostasis; Curie, Marie; Delvian Seek; Dominar; DRD; dren; Farscape-1; frotash; Galarion frost point; Galarion scale; Gibson, Mel; Grateful Dead; henta; Hynerian; hyper-rage; junior chemistry kit; Leviathan; Luxan; Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome; maintenance bay; maldique; Moya; Pa'u; Palmolian meat hound; Peacekeeper; Promised land; Prowler; pulse rifle; pulse weapon; Sebacean; Sebaceanoid; Shintock sonnet; Snow White; Spanky; Sykar; Sykaran; Sykaran worm; Tannot root; Transport pod; Turner, Tina; turnip; Woodstock; woody; willies; yotz
- Farscape World Synopsis by Dani Moure