A Space Monster to Hang Your Hat In

When people are hungry on Farscape, they can always visit a giant corpse floating in space and the mining colony within. Anyway, Chiana thinks its a good idea. Relatively good.


Season 2, Episode 7: Home on the Remains

There’s no food left on Moya so Chiana (Gigi Edgley) leads our heroes to a dead budong, a giant animal that dwells in the vastness of space and whose corpse evidently makes a suitable habitation if you don’t mind forests of mould and rivers of bile. We get another glimpse into Chiana’s past, from the period when she and her brother, Nery, were on the run from Nebari authorities.

Lodged in the flesh of this corpse are precious crystals around which a mining colony sprang up some time ago. Like Han’s dubious reliance on his friend Lando in Empire Strikes Back when he and his companions are desperate for aid, Chiana has a similarly murky past with a miner she hopes to appeal to for assistance. Fortunately or unfortunately, he’s on the verge of succumbing to fatal wounds when Chiana, Crichton (Ben Browder), Rygel (Jonathan Hardy), and D’Argo (Anthony Simcoe) arrive.


There’s a creature loose in the mines, an ape-like being made from a pretty effective combination of fur suit and puppet face. The shadows of the mine shafts help a lot but its the convincingly disgusting jaws that raise the tension in scenes where Crichton combats the thing or clings to Rygel’s hoverchair for dear life.


Even more effective, though, is a subplot in which, back on Moya, Zhaan (Virginia Hey) starts to exhibit signs of starvation unique to her species. She is a plant and somehow being deprived of meat causes her to sprout buds like a potato that’s sat on a shelf too long.


These buds release fluff into the air giving everyone hay fever and, of course, Zhaan’s reason is diminished and her murderous impulses are increased. Aeryn (Claudia Black) and Pilot (Lani Tupi) are forced to contend with this problem alone in a story that’s the right mixture of absurd and dramatically effective.


It’s an episode that has less to do with Chiana than it seems to at first but her budding relationship with D’Argo is advanced further when he finds himself angry that she’s willing to trade sex for food. She also has some good scenes with a mother figure (Justine Saunders), a crystal miner who hopes to make a big score. Chiana also has an important dramatic climax in the episode where we see again, as we saw in “Durka Returns” and “Nerve”, that she can be pretty ruthless if the need arises.


. . .

This entry is part of a series I’m writing on Farscape for the show’s 20th anniversary. My previous reviews can be found here (episodes are in the order intended by the show’s creators rather than the broadcast order):

Season One:

Episode 1: Pilot
Episode 2: I, E.T.
Episode 3: Exodus from Genesis
Episode 4: Throne for a Loss
Episode 5: Back and Back and Back to the Future
Episode 6: Thank God It’s Friday Again
Episode 7: PK Tech Girl
Episode 8: That Old Black Magic
Episode 9: DNA Mad Scientist
Episode 10: They’ve Got a Secret
Episode 11: Till the Blood Runs Clear
Episode 12: Rhapsody in Blue
Episode 13: The Flax
Episode 14: Jeremiah Crichton
Episode 15: Durka Returns
Episode 16: A Human Reaction
Episode 17: Through the Looking Glass
Episode 18: A Bug’s Life
Episode 19: Nerve
Episode 20: The Hidden Memory
Episode 21: Bone to be Wild
Episode 22: Family Ties


Season Two:

Episode 1: Mind the Baby
Episode 2: Vitas Mortis
Episode 3: Taking the Stone
Episode 4: Crackers Don’t Matter
Episode 5: Picture If You Will
Episode 6: The Way We Weren’t

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