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Farscape - Season 1 - Episode 14

Farscape - 1x14 - Jeremiah Crichton - Originally Aired: 1999-7-30

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 4.52

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Synopsis
After apparent abandonment by Moya, Crichton retreats to an Eden-like planet and ekes out a simple existence in a community of humanoid aliens. He becomes attached to a native girl, Lishala, but others have designs on Lishala that endanger Crichton's life. When D'Argo and Rygel come to the rescue unexpectedly, the locals treat Rygel as a God, but even this apparent blessing has dire consequences for the trio. [DVD]

Filler Quotient: 2, filler, but an enjoyable episode nevertheless. You can skip this one, but you'd miss out on some fun.
- Despite the extreme amount of time that passes in this episode, there are no significant events or consequences. It is however a fun character piece for Crichton.

Problems
- At the beginning of the celebration a camera can be seen in the bottom left corner of the screen in one shot.
- Shortly after Kato-Re says "seize him!" ordering Rygel captured, a shot on the camera is blocked by some kind of obstruction in the top right corner.
- There is a great deal of evidence that Crichton's beard is fake in this episode. The color doesn't quite match his hair and it shifts positions a few times throughout the episode.
- I'm told one of Rygel's puppeteers is visible in a shot where he's deposed, but I was unable to confirm this independently.

Factoids
- This episode establishes that Luxans have multiple hearts.

Remarkable Scenes
- Moya starbursting away while John was off the ship in his module.
- John eking out a living many weeks later hunting seafood on a primitive planet.
- D'Argo saving Crichton.
- D'Argo: "You smell like dren. You look like dren."
- D'Argo revealing they've been searching for Crichton for the last three months.
- John: "Look around D'Argo, there's a lot worse places. Since I left my home, I've been hunted, beaten, locked up, shanghaied, shot at, I've had alien creatures in my face, up my nose, inside my brain, down my pants... This is the first time, the first place where I've found peace."
- The people of the planet worshiping Rygel.
- Rygel discovering the history of his ancestor Rygel the 10th and the fact that he condemned the people of the planet to live without powered technology.
- Moya's thermal storage casing message arriving just meters from Crichton and D'Argo.
- John discovering how Rygel can deactivate the device, then Rygel accidentally fulfilling the prophecy.

My Review
This is a charming story not unlike Star Trek DS9: Paradise. This story is actually somewhat more enjoyable than the Star Trek episode and could have earned a well above average rating but unfortunately the episode filled with flaws that drag down the quality. The premise of this story is lots of fun. What happens to Crichton when he's left behind on an alien planet for three months; left to fend for himself? Indeed, the idea is explored well. But the execution has several issues. First is the basic substantiation for how John ended up on that planet.

His bickering with the rest of the crew in the teaser was painfully immature. As D'Argo said, he left Moya during a time of crisis. I had little sympathy for him at first because of this. But what's worse is he just so happened to be luckily near a habitable planet when Moya disappeared. It would have been nice if the story substantiated this better by saying Moya was in this region for a reason, but instead it expects us to believe Crichton got lucky by finding such a planet in range, which stretches realism.

Still worse, on the planet is a species which looks exactly like humans. For all we know they could be Sebaceans that were subjects of the Hynerian Empire for some reason, but the audience shouldn't have to fill in these blanks themselves. Finally, as noted in the problems section, there are numerous production gaffes in this episode which if you notice them could take you out of the moment in the story.

That said, otherwise the story is a great deal of fun. This is one of the best character stories for Crichton so far and I distinctly enjoyed the bold move the writers took in allowing Crichton to be down on that planet for three whole months. It allowed Crichton a vacation of sorts and proved to us how dedicated his friends up on Moya were to retrieving him. I also enjoyed Crichton's surprise at the fact that they were willing to search for him at all. Now he's learned what he means to them.

Rygel too was a good deal of fun in this episode. It's nice to see him in his element, in a sense, and I also enjoyed how he wasn't instantly blinded by his royal treatment. He was mindful of its potentially tenuous nature and naturally curious of its origin; being willing to read the ancient texts of these people and being able to correlate it with his own knowledge of his ancestry. With a little more polish, this episode could have been worth perhaps a rating of 7.

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