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"Each man gets a chance of being his own kind of hero. Your time will come and when it does, watch out. Chances are it'll be the last thing you ever expected."
Jack Crichton
"Premiere"
Series Farscape
Season 1, Episode 1
Moya 002
Air date March 19th, 1999
Writers Rockne S. O'Bannon
Director Andrew Prowse
Producers Rockne S. O'Bannon; Kris Noble; Matt Carroll; Richard Clendinnen; Naren Shankar
Starring Ben Browder; Claudia Black; Virginia Hey; Anthony Simcoe
Episode guide
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"Exodus from Genesis"

"Premiere" is the first episode of the science-fiction television series Farscape. Directed by Andrew Prowse, the episode first aired in the US on the Sci-Fi Channel on March 19th, 1999. When his experimental spacecraft is thrust through a wormhole, astronaut John Crichton finds himself transported to a strange, alien galaxy light years from Earth and directly into an interstellar battle! On the run from a totalitarian regime, Crichton's only hope of survival is a band of escaped prisoners - a renegade Peacekeeper soldier, a raging Luxan warrior, an anarchist priestess and a deposed despot - all on board a living starship the fugitives have used for their escape! [1]

Synopsis Edit

Act One Edit

John Crichton 001

John Crichton

John Crichton is a scientist and astronaut employed by the International Aeronautics and Space Administration. He is preparing to embark upon a mission to prove his own hypothesis to see if a manned spacecraft could overcome atmospheric friction and exponentially increase its speed using only a planet's natural gravitational pull. His childhood friend and co-worker DK expresses great excitement over the mission, but John has reservations. Complicating matters is the arrival of John's father Jack Crichton, himself a retired astronaut of some repute. Jack pulls his son aside and tells him how proud he is of him. John feels it will be difficult to step out from under his father's shadow. As a memento, Jack gives him a puzzle ring that was given to him by cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.

John boards the Farscape-1 space module - a craft of his own design. The shuttlecraft carying the module launches out of Cape Canaveral in Florida. The initial phase of his flight proves successful as the module slingshots around the Earth's atmosphere. Suddenly however, John finds himself pulled into an electromagnetic cloud. The cloud pulls the Farscape-1 into a wormhole that shunts him through space-time into another galaxy.

Act Two Edit

Ka D'Argo 002

D'Argo tries to take control of Moya.

John emerges in this new galaxy in the middle of a meteor storm. To make matters worse, he is caught in the middle of a skirmish involving Prowler ships belonging to an intergalactic enforcement agency known as the Peacekeepers and a living biomechanoid Leviathan ship. A Prowler swoops around a meteor towards the Leviathan, but does not see John's ship until it is too late. The pilot clips the wing of the Farscape and bounces off, smashing into a meteor where it explodes. The Farscape approaches the Leviathan and finds itself pulled into the ship's docking web. Although the ship is secure, it begins to catch fire. John ejects himself from the cockpit and quickly puts the flames out with a fire extinguisher. Looking about he sees several small robots rolling towards him on the floor of the ship. Using a variety of tools housed within their frame, they begin poking and prodding at him.

John begins walking away from these diagnostic repair drones (DRDs) and eventually makes his way to the bridge of the ship. He sees two aliens manning control stations and staring out the viewport of the ship. The larger of the two is a Luxan warrior named Ka D'Argo and the female is a Delvian priest named Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan. As he looks on in utter amazement, one of the DRDs manages to catch up to him and injects him in the foot with translator microbes. D'Argo rushes John and grabs him by the throat. Since Zhaan and he do not recognize the technology that comprises Crichton's ship, they want to know if it can help them escape from the Peacekeepers who are even now firing upon the ship. When John fails to yield any satisfactory answers, D'Argo tosses him aside and opens a communications channel to the ship's pilot (who is only ever referred to by the proper name "Pilot"). D'Argo commands Pilot to give him greater maneuverability, but Pilot is unable to comply since the ship is still bound by a control collar encircling its hull. The angry Luxan begins tearing wires out of a systems panel hoping to find some way to gain greater control of the vessel. While John sits on the floor gaping in awe, a third alien enters the room. He is a diminutive frog-like being named Rygel XVI. Floating on a personal hover-throne, he tells D'Argo and Zhaan that there are no other captives located on the ship. John begins to realize that these three are escaped prisoners. D'Argo continues to savagely tear away at a mass of wires and cables and unwittingly disengages the ship's control collar. The components that comprise the collar fall away and drift off into space. D'Argo orders Pilot to initiate a starburst - a type of hyperdrive propulsion common to all Leviathans. An energy trail grows around the ship and it instantly whisks off towards another part of the galaxy. A crippled Prowler, caught within the starburst's energy trail is taken along with them.

Peacekeeper Command Carrier Bridge

Captain Crais examines the situation.

A Peacekeeper Command Carrier comes upon the scene of the battle. It's commanding officer, Captain Bialar Crais orders all Prowlers back to the Carrier. His second-in-command, Lieutenant Teeg informs the Captain that the Prowlers have reported in and that the Leviathan has escaped. She states that the Hynerian royal (Rygel) somehow secured the key codes to the prisoners cell, which is what enabled them to hijack the ship. Reluctantly, she also gives Crais the casualty list. Watching a satellite feed of what took place, Crais watches the Prowler that belonged to his brother collide with the Farscape-1 then smash into an asteroid. He orders Teeg to peel back the image so he can identify the pilot.

Meanwhile, the Leviathan ship, Moya, comes out of starburst in an unidentified area of space. D'Argo and Zhaan receive word from Pilot of the Prowler ship caught in their docking web. John is still trying to take everything in. For reasons unknown, Rygel spits a wad of phlegm at him and John shouts, "What is the matter with you people?!" In response, D'Argo shoots his tongue out, injecting John with a neuro-toxin that knocks him out. He is then taken to a holding cell.

As things quiet down, Zhaan and D'Argo take a moment to get to know one another. Having only recently escaped from the Peacekeepers, they aren't even aware of each other's names yet. Zhaan introduces herself as a Pa'u, a Delvian priest. D'Argo knows a little something of Delvians and grows uncomfortable as he recalls their various "appetites". Zhaan tells him that she was imprisoned for being an anarchist. D'Argo in turn tells her that he was imprisoned for killing his commanding officer.

Elsewhere in the ship, John Crichton awakens naked in a cell. The Hynerian Rygel approaches and observes him. He allows John to put his clothes back on and John finds that he is not alone in the cell. Next to him is the pilot of the Prowler ship that was caught in the ship's starburst trail. The pilot removes her helmet revealing a raven-haired woman named Aeryn Sun. John is surprised and somewhat pleased to see that she looks human. He approaches her and tries to introduce himself, but Aeryn attacks him, flipping John onto his back. Pinning him to the floor, she demands to know his rank and regiment and why he is out of uniform.

Act Three Edit

Commerce Planet 001

Traveling to the Commerce planet.

Aeryn stands up and introduces herself by her rank and title. John tells her that while he is a commander, he is not aligned with any military. He is a scientist. While Aeryn and he continue to bicker, Rygel looks on with interest. He then unlocks a compartment containing the personal possessions of D'Argo, Zhaan and himself. D'Argo and Zhaan promptly arrive at John and Aeryn's cell to question them. They are convinced now that John is not of the same race as Aeryn and he clarifies that he is a human from a planet called Earth. They let him out of the cell and D'Argo sneers at him.

Back on the Peacekeeper Command Carrier, Captain Crais watches the satellite footage of his brother's Prowler smashing into Crichton's ship. Unwilling to accept his brother's death as a mere accident, Crais swears that the pilot of this ship will pay dearly. Lieutenant Teeg shows Crais an enhanced image of the ship's pilot. They are surprised to see that the pilot appears to be a Sebacean. Crais orders a change in course and they are now to resume their pursuit of the Leviathan.

Meanwhile, Aeryn and John are brought to Command in handcuffs and provided with a meal. Pilot informs the crew that Moya has hemorrhaged integral bio-systems fluid due to D'Argo's rash actions during the escape and can only move at a fraction of her regular speed. They know that they are nearing a Commerce planet and Zhaan asks Aeryn if they can expect to find any Peacekeepers in this star system. Aeryn says nothing and continues to chew her food. John, still looking confused, admits to knowing nothing. Rygel grows nervous and passes gas, the helium content of which causes everyone's voices to rise in pitch. In disbelief, John rhetorically asks the Hynerian, "You fart helium?" While the others are distracted by Rygel's crude behavior, D'Argo catches Aeryn trying to slip a fork into her sleeve. He wrestles it away from her, but in the confusion, John manages to steal a fork himself. Aeryn and he are taken back to their cell. D'Argo, Zhaan and Rygel go to the Commerce planet.

As Aeryn tries to literally break out of the cell, John theorizes how he came to be in this galaxy to begin with. After watching her struggle for a bit, John produces the fork and uses it to pick the lock on the cell door. Aeryn expresses an interest in destroying the ship, but John encourages her to show a little compassion - an emotion that Aeryn admittedly despises.

Aeryn and John go down to the docking web where the Farscape-1 and Aeryn's Prowler are being held. They get into the Prowler and leave Moya. They touch down on the Commerce planet to catch up with the others. Without revealing anything to John, Aeryn sends a transmission back to the Peacekeeper Command Carrier, telling them their location.

Crais meets Crichton

Captain Crais meets John Crichton.

While Rygel tries to barter some Hurlian stones with a large, toothy alien, Zhaan and D'Argo learn from Pilot that Aeryn and John have escaped Moya aboard the Prowler. They are certain that Aeryn will try to alert the Peacekeepers. D'Argo finds Rygel and tells him that trouble is coming. Zhaan and Rygel return to Moya on the Leviathan transport pod while D'Argo stays behind.

Aeryn tells John that they are to meet up with Peacekeepers at a specified rendezvous point. John continues his effort to convince her to let the others go, but she is duty-bound to do whatever she can to recapture the escaped prisoners. D'Argo emerges in the center of the market place and Aeryn turns, ready to fight him. Just then, Captain Crais arrives on the scene. Aeryn snaps to attention and a squad of Peacekeeper commandos apprehends D'Argo. Crais steps forward and accuses John of murdering his brother. John has no idea what he is talking about. Crais expresses how eager he is to pull John apart to see what he is made of then orders the commandos to arrest him. To John's surprise, Aeryn stands up in defense of him. She tells Crais that she believes John when he says that he did not intend on hitting his brother's Prowler. Crais refuses to entertain such a notion. He determines that Aeryn has spent too much time around this "unclassified alien" and may have contaminated herself. He orders them all to be taken away, including Aeryn Sun.

The commandos take D'Argo, John and Aeryn into an alley where they begin patting them down. One of them confiscates the puzzle ring that John's father had given him. The commando believes that it is actually some strange weapon. While he fidgets with the ring, John manages to grab the commando's pulse pistol and holds them at bay.

Act Four Edit

Crichton holds off Peacekeepers

"Don't move... or I'll fill you full of... little, yellow bolts of light!"

John forces the commandos to surrender the keys to their handcuffs. Aeryn and D'Argo argue as to which of them John should free first. John hands D'Argo the key and has him unlock his cuffs. Before unlocking D'Argo's bonds however, John makes him first promise that he will agree to get both Aeryn and he "off this rock". D'Argo reluctantly concedes to John's wishes. They take Aeryn's Prowler back to Moya.

Pilot informs the crew that a Peacekeeper Command Carrier is converging on their position. The ship cannot get out of range of the Carrier's frag cannons and she does not have enough energy built up yet to attempt another starburst. John wants to put his own scientific theory to the test and asks Pilot to turn about back towards the commerce planet. He calculates the math so that they can use the planet's atmospheric friction to get out of range of the carrier. They all think John is crazy, but have no other alternative than to rely upon his theory. Moya banks hard and accelerates towards the Command Carrier. Entering the planet's atmosphere, they use the gravity to slingshot Moya across space - well out of range of the Command Carrier's weapons.

Having safely eluded the Peacekeepers, the crew takes some time to relax. Rygel eats, D'Argo cleans his weapons and Zhaan engages in prayer. Moya journeys into a region of space known as the Uncharted Territories. D'Argo, still unwilling to trust Crichton, threatens to kill him should he do anything to jeopardize his freedom. John later speaks with Aeryn. She tells him that Crais will stop at nothing to avenge his brother's death. She warns him to choose his allegiances carefully.

Once he is alone, John begins recording a message for his father. He is amazed at the strange, crazy world that he has now become a part of. Moya continues on into the Uncharted Territories.

Cast Edit

Principal cast Edit

Actor Role
Ben Browder John Crichton
Claudia Black Officer Aeryn Sun
Virginia Hey Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan
Anthony Simcoe Ka D'Argo

Guest cast Edit

Actor Role
Jonathan Hardy Dominar Rygel XVI (voice)
Lani Tupu Bialar Crais / Pilot (voice)
Kent McCord John "Jack" Robert Crichton, Sr.
Murray Bartlet Douglas "D.K." Knox
Greg Blandy Peacekeeper guard #1
Colin Borgonon Peacekeeper weapons officer
Christine Stephen-Daly Lieutenant Teeg
Sandi Finlay Escort alien (uncredited)
Damen Stephensen Bio Isolation Man #1
Lawrence Woodward Bio Isolation Man #2

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • Director Andrew Prowse will go on to direct sixteen more episodes of the series.
  • Reference is made to a penal colony known as Terran Raa. This was where Moya was scheduled to take D'Argo, Rygel and Zhaan prior to their escape.
  • The specifics behind Zhaan and D'Argo's "crimes" are revealed in later episodes.
  • As is ostensibly revealed throughout the course of the episode, humans and Sebaceans are very similar in appearance.
  • Aeryn Sun mistakenly refers to Earth as "Earp". Normally, the translator microbes would correct the misspoken word for those who hear it, but since nobody in that region of space has ever heard of Earth before, there is no equivalent phrase within the microbes' database.
  • A trademark character trait of John Crichton shown throughout the series is his tendency towards making pop culture Earth references. Naturally, the rest of the crew has no idea what he is talking about. In this episode John ruminates to himself, "Boy was Spielberg ever wrong. Close Encounters my ass." This is a reference to Academy Award winning director Steven Spielberg, whose first major science-fiction vehicle was the 1977 film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

See also Edit

Media

The World of Farscape

Farscape miscellaneous

External Links Edit

Series links

Episode links

References Edit

  1. Taken from the back cover of disc one of Farscape: The Complete Season One. The text is copyrighted and used under fair use laws.


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