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Till the Blood Runs Clear

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Farscape episode
“Till the Blood Runs Clear”
10111
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 11
Guest star(s) Magda Szubanski (Furlow), Jeremy Sims (Rorf), Jo Kerrigan (Rorg), Lani Tupu (Captain Bialar Crais Uncredited)
Writer(s) Doug Heyes, Jr.
Director Tony Tilse
Production no. 10111
Original airdate July 9, 1999 (US); February 28, 2000 (UK)
Episode chronology
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"They've Got a Secret" "The Flax"

A forced landing on an arid world has the crew discover bounty hunters after Moya, and Crichton can't help but test his luck with a little con...

SynopsisEdit

John Crichton tries to recreate a wormhole, but it goes wrong and the crew find themselves with a bounty on their heads, and Ka D'Argo's rather mad...

Crichton and Aeryn Sun are testing out some newly installed Moya components on Farscape-1. The planet below is projecting solar flares, so Crichton is investigating the conditions under which the wormhole that brought him here was created (1.01 "Premiere"). One of the flares reaches Moya, and Zhaan seems somewhat aroused by the light. Crichton manages to create the conditions for a wormhole, and he and Aeryn find themselves being pulled in by one, but it's unstable. Aeryn tells him to reverse thrusters, but he is mesmerised by it.

He pulls them out just in time, but Moya loses them from sensors. Zhaan wants to find them, but D'Argo and Rygel want to leave. Another flare reaches Moya and Zhaan's turned on again. Crichton contacts them, saying they just started a wormhole, but they have a plasma leak. They can't be brought on Moya in case it compromises her child's safety, so Pilot tells them to eject. Crichton won't leave his module, and decides to land and have it fixed by a mechanic named Furlow that Rygel had spoke to, even though D'Argo forbids it. Aeryn is angry that Crichton would have flown in to the wormhole had it been stable, regardless that she was there too.

Down on the planet, Furlow says she should be able to fix the module by nightfall, and offers to buy it, but Crichton won’t sell. She says the flares stop, and only return every five cycles. Whilst she begins her work, Aeryn and Crichton go for a walk outside, when a Peacekeeper wanted beacon appears offering a reward for the capture of the three escaped prisoners – Zhaan, D'Argo and Rygel. Aeryn thinks she knows why she is not on it, and goes to take it when two aliens object. Aeryn tries to explain but the female attacks her since she said she was not Crichton's female. He does some quick thinking and tells them to back off, saying she is in fact one of his females. He asks who they are and what they want from the fugitives. They say they are Vorcarian blood trackers, he is Rorf and the female his mate, Rorg. Crichton says he is Butch and his female is Sundance, and the reward belongs to him. Zhaan is soaking up the flares on Moya's terrace, naked too. D'Argo says he will go down to the planet and drag Crichton and Aeryn back himself.

The four of them are eating some sort of meat, and Rorf says the wanted beacons are on many planets, and he and Rorg believe this planet will be the fugitives' next stop. Crichton says that they won't be taken without a lot of bloodshed, and asks how good they are – he may be willing to cut them in. If they bring them in, he'll split the bounty seventy-thirty, but Rorf insists seventy-forty. So Crichton retorts eighty-forty.

Aeryn asks Crichton how long he thinks his rouse will work, and he says it only needs to until the module is repaired. He got his Aeryn patches in to a personal encoded message in the wanted beacon. Crais says she will be captured and face trial unless she accepts his conditional amnesty. If she abandons Crichton, returns Moya and surrenders D'Argo, Zhaan and Rygel then she will be honourably retired with her commission fully restored, on his oath. Meanwhile D'Argo lands on the planet, but Rorg picks up his Luxan scent. She and Rorf ambush him and stun him.

Furlow again offers to buy Farscape-1, because it shows signs of being close to a wormhole. Crichton won't sell, so she says she could trade – she's just come by a second-hand prowler. Crichton thinks something's up and goes outside to see Rorf and Rorg bringing D'Argo in, all tied up. He accompanies them while they torture D'Argo to find out where the other two fugitives are. Rorf cuts him, so Crichton steps in saying that they must make the blood run clear or else D'Argo will die, but Crais wants him alive. Rorf asks why Crichton is protecting him, so he says he doesn't care but D'Argo's worthless to them dead, and they're wasting time. Crichton squeezes his cut tentacle, and punches him, causing the blood to run clear, but looking painful.

Aeryn finds one of Furlow's men trying to access Farscape-1's flight recorder. He has glowing eyes, and the rest of Furlow's men run, and he knocks Furlow down. He and Aeryn fight, but she gets caught by a solar flare, and when she gets up she can't see! Furlow strikes the man with an instrument, killing him. Furlow says Aeryn has a 60 to 80% chance of regaining her sight. Zhaan meanwhile goes down to the planet, and Rorg picks up her scent. She notices the Trackers, and protects her scent so throwing them off. She gets caught in a flare, and once again gets excited.

D'Argo has broken free and attacks Crichton, so he says he saved D'Argo's ass today, and he's no idea what goes on in his head. D'Argo says every time he lets his guard down Crichton disappoints him. Crichton calls him childish; to which he says Crichton is selfish. Crichton says he can be and asks what about him? D'Argo says he can be. Crichton asks if he ever goes up to him with a weapon, and says it won't work – they'll never be friends. D'Argo says friendship is a lot to ask, so Crichton says how about respect – they can be allies, and they shake hands.

Aeryn tells Furlow she knows she's not going to fix the module any time soon, and Furlow says there's not usually a load of bounty hunters. Aeryn says they can make a deal. Rorf and Rorg attack D'Argo and Crichton as they leave. Gunfire ensues, and Aeryn walks out with the beacon in the midst of it. Crichton grabs her but she turns on the beacon, where Crais says the command carrier in the area has been re-assigned, so the reward was withdrawn. Rorf and Rorg leave Aeryn and D'Argo to Crichton. Aeryn is pleased with her idea, and Zhaan arrives saying the flares have stopped, which upsets Crichton.

Back at Furlow's, Aeryn's sight is returning, and she listened to Crais' idea because it was nice for one moment to believe she could go back to her old life. She says she has a debt with Furlow that she can't repay, and asks Crichton to settle it. He tells Furlow that they can't pay her, so she says the ability to create a wormhole could be valuable. He says he'll give her a copy of his data, but she wants exclusive rights. He reluctantly agrees and says that five years from now he'll be waiting for her at the other end of the wormhole.

Memorable quotesEdit

Rorf: I am Rorf.
John: Worf?
Rorf: RORF!!
Aeryn: How much longer is this going to take?
Furlow: Twice as long as if you weren't here. Why don't you go outside, take in some of the sights?
Aeryn: What sights?
Furlow: Well, if you go straight out that way, there's a truly outstanding expanse of sand...
John: D'Argo, sometimes you can be a real pain in the ass!
D'Argo: What is a pain in the ass?
Zhaan: Human speak, I believe, for someone irritating, stubborn, obnoxious.
Rygel: A simpleton, a dolt, idiot...
D'Argo: I get the idea.
Rygel: Moron....

Background informationEdit

  • Paul Butterfield and his effects team were unable to reuse wormhole footage and had to develop the look almost from scratch again. "We took the internal, liquidy-tunnel idea from the premiere and developed it so that we had a better entrance to the wormhole," he said. "A lot of energy was spent on discussing what everything looked like – things were redesigned time and time again until everyone was happy." (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion, "Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.2)
  • Part of the episode was filmed at Stockton Sands in Newcastle, two hours north of Sydney. Pete Coogan recalled, "you look out one way to the Pacific, and you look back inland, and there's vegetation in the far distance. It was like the Sahara with all those sand dunes." Moving the filming here gave the desert feel, without having to take the production too far away from the Fox Studios home base. (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion, "Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.2)
  • Matt Carroll recalls that it was difficult to execute this location shoot, "because we had gone on location before but never for anything as big and dramatic as that. We were taking the puppets and everybody in the prosthetics out into the middle of the desert. Everything had to be taken in four wheel drive." ("Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.2)
  • Rockne S. O'Bannon really liked the "lived in" look and feel in the episode commenting "Australians are just wildly different thinking people in terms of design. Look at films like The Road Warrior – a lot of aspects of the same stream of imagination that went into that one went into our show." He continued his comments discussing the props, especially the goggles, saying "They weren't just props off the shelf. The crew really got into what they were doing and make some really cool stuff." ("Farscape Chronicles" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.2)
  • Furlow was originally scripted as a male character. (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion)
  • Terry Ryan really liked the Vorcarians and remembers starting off "with that American western explorer sort of style, and I thought of a costume with a lot of fringes, so that when they walked everything swung and hung from their bodies. Their fringes were made out of human hair, which worked a treat." (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion)
  • Anthony Simcoe recalled that after "cut!" was yelled on set, Crichton and D'Argo embraced and gave each other a big fake kiss after shaking hands. (Farscape: The Illustrated Companion, "Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.2)
  • David Kemper noted that the Luxan blood needing to run clear or turn toxic "is an apt metaphor for this crew. While each carries their own wounds, the question is, will they become toxic, or will they each find the emotional trust and psychological pressure allowing the blood to run clear?" (Farscape Minisodes)
  • The set for Farscape-1 was originally built for Ben Browder to sit in alone and the crew had to break out a wall and jerry-rig it. In the end, Kemper stated that Claudia Black and Browder "were squatting together on top of a board in the most uncomfortable way to shoot what became a really good scene." (Farscape Minisodes)
  • The set at Dam-Ba-Da was hit by hailstones during filming. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v3.2)
  • In the space of 20 seconds, Crichton refers to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Jesse James' Hole in the Wall Gang, and Star Trek's Klingon security chief Worf. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.2)
  • Furlow's reference to the "kindness of strangers" was an intentional reference to A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.2)
  • The photogasms experienced by Zhaan in this episode are one of the early clues of her true nature later revealed in "Bone To Be Wild". Virginia Hey was not initially happy about the idea of photogasms, but realized that they added an important clue to Zhaan's nature as a plant. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.2)
  • Dave Elsey hoped that "Fish Girl" would get a story written about her in the same way as the Sheyang did after "Premiere", but it didn't happen in the end. ("Cool Farscape Facts" - Starburst Edition DVD v1.2)

Links and referencesEdit

StarringEdit

Guest starsEdit

PuppeteersEdit

with

Voice artistsEdit

Uncredited co-starsEdit

ReferencesEdit

arn; blotching; bonosphere; Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; Cassidy, Butch; Command; command carrier; comms; Dam-Ba-Da; Dam-Ba-Da Depot; Delvian; Delvian Seek; Doberman; docking web; dog; Earth; fahrbot; flight recorder; food cube; frangle; frell; gravity wave; grezz conductor; hetch drive; Hole in the Sky gang; Human; Hynerian; Icarian Company; ionic radiation; ionosphere; Leviathan; Living Death; Luxan; maintenance bay; Moya; Moya's terrace; Pa'u; Peacekeeper; Peacekeeper wanted beacon; photogasm; plasma injector; pleebing; Pleisar Regiment; Pluto; Prowler; solar flare; Star Trek; Sundance Kid; Vorcarian blood tracker; welnitz; Worf; wormhole

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