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Farscape: That Old Black Magic

An evil wizard pits Crichton against Crais in a challenge to the death, and Zhaan embraces her submerged dark side to save her friends.

Episode Info

Episode number: 1x8
Production Number: #10108
Airdate: Friday June 11th, 1999

  • Currently 8.3/10
8.3/10 (4 Votes cast)
Guest Stars
Christine Stephen-Daly
As Lt. Teeg
Errol Henderson
As PK Doctor
Gerry Day
As Crais' father
Jake Blundell
As Lt. Om
Leilani Johnson (1)
As Young Girl
Vic Rooney
As Admiral Josbek
Wadih Dona (1)
As Tauvo Crais
Episode Notes
Chris Haywood who played Maldis is a very experienced British stage and TV actor who has worked extensively in Australia.

Christine Stephen-Daly returns for her second and final appearance as Lieutenant Teeg. She subsequently moved to Britain where she is a regular on top medical soap Casualty.

According to this episode, John loses his virginity to Karen Shaw in the back of a 4x4. In fact, as was revealed in episode 4x12 "Kansas", it was to Chiana.

The character of Haloth speaks using a specific form of verse, iambic pentameter, which appears in most of Shakespeare's plays.

John refers to Maldis as "a regular Laurence Olivier", referring to the famous British stage and screen actor who starrted in classic film versions of Wuthering Heights, Hamlet, and many others.

Virginia Hey counts this episode among her favorites, as it marked the first time viewers saw Zhaan's dark side start to come to the fore, foreshadowing the revelations in "Rhapsody in Blue".

Stunt coordinator Brian Norris spent two hours choreographing the fight between Chrichton and Crais before the cameras were allowed to roll.

Production designer Ricky Eyres paid homage to James Bond film set designer Ken Adam in the grand size of the sets in Maldis' realm.

Before working on Farscape, production designer Ricky Eyres had worked on the globespanning series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.

At one stage, there were discussions that instead of Crais dying at the end of Season 3, he would have been transported away at last moment and gone back to his life as a farmer.

Episode Quotes
Zhaan: (to Rygel) You have a touch of Klendian flu. It's not fatal.
D'Argo: We only wish it were.

Crais: I am here, Crichton.
John: To talk to?
Crais: To kill you.

John: My module, the one I was piloting? How does it compare to your Prowlers?
Crais: Primitive. No weapons, no defense shield.
John: A wind-up toy, right? Yeah, my species is so primitive we all live on one planet.

Zhaan: Before I became a priest, I was a savage.
John: Yeah, I think I remember you saying that. I don't know that I ever believed it.

Warning: Farscape season 1 episode 8 guide may contain spoilers
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