Farscape: Durka Returns   Rewatch 
August 22, 2015 2:18 AM - Season 1, Episode 15 - Subscribe

A collision with a Nebari ship brings a Nebari criminal named Chiana to Moya, along with a mentally cleansed Captain Durka much to the surprise of Rygel.
posted by along came the crocodile (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Moving rapidly along from "Jeremiah Crichton"...

I love Salis as a character. The ostentatious deliberation and slowness of everything he does make him so incredibly menacing once you start seeing what the Nebari are and what they do. Because aside from representing calm, untroubled willingness to do horrible things to others, he represents what they do to themselves. When he talks down to Chiana about being focused on 'what I could do to fit in' at her age, it suggests to me that Chiana is not necessarily unusual mentally or physically, just that she's chosen not to toe the line. It's fairly terrifying to imagine a society where Salis is the ruthlessly enforced social norm.

Then there's Chiana. Chiana shouldn't work on paper. There's so many ways for her to be an offensive fanservice character, and there's so many ways for her to be grating or annoying. It's a small miracle how well Gigi Edgley pulls off the vocal and physical tics. The way she's handled by the show also helps. It never looses sight of the fact that Chiana is carrying around serious damage or of the fact that Chiana is a survivor, and is very much capable of taking care of herself. More on Chiana as the character develops, for now, the core cast is almost all here. With one very very big presence looming in future episodes.

Minor thoughts: No-one else but Rygel knows why Durka goes 'Hannibal Lecter'; Aeryn is unconscious when he tells Rygel. He doesn't bother sharing that information.

The interaction between Aeryn and Rygel at the end is as perfect a thumbnail sketch of both characters as you could hope for.
posted by Grimgrin at 9:15 AM on August 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

Ah, only 60' of Moya corridor but they used it well.

This is a decent episode - tense, claustrophobic, picking up the threads of Rygel's traumatic past with a great performance from both him and the guy who played Durka - really creepy. The other thing I liked about Durka is that he highlighted Aeryn's continuing confrontation between her PK values/beliefs, PK 'honour' and the actual truth. The scene where Durka decides to torture Aeryn and Rygel confronts him is very well done - threatening a puppet could have been ridiculous but Rygel's totally believable.

Crichton feels like he's totally out of his depth even though he improvises like a pro. For some reason his lack of a gun really stood out to me. The weird trippiness of the corridor shots as was mentioned previously highlights his sense being through the looking glass.

As for the Nebari, I think this is an excellent introduction to both the race (and its threat), and Chiana. You just know she's going to fit in with all the dysfunction. The ambiguity over who killed Salis adds a nice edge. Salis reminded me a bit of a ST:TNG character. I wish they had done a whole lot more with the Nebari than they actually did.

The ending was a bit chaotic after all the contained tension, but the episode worked. I hope they retrieved the spaced DRD. :(
posted by along came the crocodile at 7:35 AM on August 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

So I'm watching Farscape for the very first time and just got to this episode, and, oh man, it sounds like Chiana is part of the main cast? I'm hoping her line readings even out over time, because grating fanservice character is indeed the impression I got here. (Please be kind if I've said something offensive. I'm going into this show totally cold.)
posted by thetortoise at 12:14 AM on August 24, 2015

thetortoise: No, not at all, at least for me one of the joys of these is the mix between reactions from people who've seen the show already and the people who have never seen it. In this case, I'm looking at Chiana with the benefit of knowing what she's going to do. So my context for the character's actions is different. As I said, whenever I think of how to describe Chiana, I realize I'm describing a character type I normally hate. I'll be analyzing Chiana more as she comes up, because I can't exactly put into words why she works on the show.
posted by Grimgrin at 6:06 AM on August 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'm hoping her line readings even out over time, because grating fanservice character is indeed the impression I got here.

I haaated Chiana at first. She gets better.
posted by Mavri at 1:27 PM on August 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Chiana definitely grows on you. Well, on me anyway.
posted by Coaticass at 4:05 AM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

I have to confess, I've ever only at my best tolerated Chiana's character, be it her personality, her character design, and even the way she handles herself physically. The dark eyes and lipstick (which aren't the actress' fault) come across like the wrong coordination of complimentary colors, and arggh....I think I only appreciate her until Jewel shows up later in the series, because then they manage to best themselves in introducing characters that annoy me. As such, her presence in this episode kind of sours it for me, as Durka goes full on Hannibal Lecter, one evil presence picking up after another is killed off.


On the positive side, more characterization of Rygel. I continually grow to love his character.
posted by Atreides at 12:49 PM on August 25, 2015

Chiana was originally supposed to be killed off at the end of this episode. I'm glad they changed their minds! Her accent takes awhile to settle down because she was getting conflicting directions on whether to use an Australian or American accent.
posted by cshenk at 3:54 PM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

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