Season 2 Episode 18

A Clockwork Nebari

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Sep 15, 2000 on Syfy
out of 10
User Rating
212 votes

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Episode Summary

A group of Nebari come on board Moya and attempt to mind cleanse everyone using a drug. Pilot and Rygel are the only two who can resist the effects. Crichton also remains unaffected due to Scorpius' neural clone.

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  • Chiana's peaceful people

    ‘A Clockwork Nebari’ is the ultimate Chiana episode, it brings her character in spotlight so perfectly.

    The episode begins with Chiana being upset because she send Aeryn and Rygel to some place and they got captured and now she thinks that they are upset. When they come onboard they are smiling and behaving very well, a woman is with them and she wants to bring Chiana with her and they knock out Crichton and Chiana.

    After they also clean Zhaan, they go for D’Argo. But Pilot cannot be and they put some belt around his neck that if he makes a mistake he’ll die.

    Crichton tries to get Chiana’s secret and she tells about her culture that they ‘infect’ people like Chiana and let them escape but when they mix with other cultures they capture them. Then she discover that her brother is still alive even though she thought he was dead.

    Crichton then is put on the chair but it doesn’t work on him because of Scorpy in his mind. Crichton also discovers that Rygel isn’t hurt by it either and that the guy who is with the woman actually works with Chiana’s brother and he shows her a tape were the brother talks but says that Chiana cannot see him again.

    Pilot has to starburst but if he does, he’ll die so they try to convince the woman by faking some images. Zhaan and D’Argo find about Crichton and Rygel but then get electrocuted and knocked out.

    When the B!tch tries to murder Chiana because she doesn’t want her to live after finding out that they are plotting behind them, the guy shoots her and kills her and then leaves, leaving Chiana behind.

    The episode was fantastic, so well written and acted. I only disliked how much they underused Zhaan, again an the fact that Stark is dead. But motherless, it was great to see Chiana and Crichton working together, they make a great team.

Skye Wansey

Skye Wansey


Guest Star

Simon Bossell

Simon Bossell


Guest Star

Malcolm Kennard

Malcolm Kennard


Guest Star

Lani Tupu

Lani Tupu

Captain Bialar Crais/Voice of Pilot

Recurring Role

Wayne Pygram

Wayne Pygram


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Goof: It's not physically possible to stretch a human's eyes as Crichton's was when the Nebari device was inserted on his optical nerve.

    • Chiana's brother Nerri, presumed dead since "Taking the Stone", is in fact alive and leading some sort of Nebari resistance movement.

    • The Nebari have spread a contagion that, at a specific time pre-ordained by The Establishment, will come out of dormancy and cause chaos within infected worlds. The idea is that this chaos will mean when the Nebari emissaries arrive, presumably to take over, they'll be met with minimal resistance.

    • Chiana and her brother Nerri always planned to leave Nebari Prime, however they were given exit permits by their government. They later found out that this was because The Establishment wanted to spread the contagion with which they had infected them.

    • Nebari mental cleansing takes 100 cycles, though for alien races they can do a drug-induced temporary cleanse which is just as effective, if only for a time. However, it does not work on those of Pilot's species, and Rygel can also counteract the drug thanks to his fast metabolism.

    • Crichton sees images of Scorpius in his mind, which counteract the effects of the mind cleansing.

  • QUOTES (6)

  • NOTES (2)

    • According to Claudia Black, one of the crew members, ADR engineer Angus Robertson, seriously questioned her whether she had really taken drugs, since she gave such a convincing performance as the "mind-cleansed" Aeryn.

    • This is the first episode where we see Crichton's favorite pulse pistol, Winona. The pistol is named after actress Winona Ryder.


    • Crichton: (getting Rygel) C'mon, Little Buddy. Up you go, Little Buddy.

      "Little Buddy" is likely a reference to the sitcom Gilligan's Island, in which Gilligan would often be called "Little Buddy" by the Skipper.

    • Crichton: Oh... munchies. Good idea, man. Don't eat so much, though. You'll Belushi-out, cat.

      A reference to the late comedian John Belushi who was often made fun of after a sudden weight gain.

    • Crichton: I don't know. They gave me the Full Monty, and it was working, and then I got this...this...this...this...flash! And...it was like it was soakin' up the drug. I snapped out of it.
      Most people are familiar with the term "the Full Monty" (meaning the whole deal) from the 1997 movie of that title, about some ordinary men who try to make money as strippers.

    • Title:
      The title "A Clockwork Nebari" is an reference to the 1962 Novel, A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess in which violent impulses were tortured out of the main character, Alex, through a process called Ludovico's Technique where the subject learns to associate violence with pain. It was later made in to a movie by Stanley Kubrick. The mind cleansing is almost identical visually to the procedure in the film.

    • Crichton: (singing) It's gonna getcha, getcha, getcha, getcha!

      This is a paraphrase of the Blondie song "One Way or Another", which is very appropriate, since his nickname for Varla is Deborah Harry.

    • Crichton: (when offered death as the only alternative to mind cleansing) Hey, isn't that against your Nebari Prime Directive?

      The phrase "Prime Directive" originated with the original series of Star Trek, where those in the Starfleet were forbidden to interfere with development of non warp capable civilizations.

    • Crichton: When you first came on board Elvis had you in cuffs dragging you back to Nebari Prime. Now we got Deborah Harry doing the same thing.

      Crichton nicknames the two Nebari after rock stars that they resemble, Elvis, because of his black pompadour and long sideburns, and Deborah (Debbie) Harry of the band Blondie because of her short, wild mop of hair.

    • Crichton: Well hell, you must be the top of the $100,000 Pyramid.

      $100,000 Pyramid is the name of a game show in the early 90s where the contestants were asked to guess words from clues given by their celebrity partner. The higher the box in the pyramid, the higher the value of each correct answer.

    • Crichton: Pilot, I'm bringing Miss Kitty back from the OK Corral. Any word yet from Aeryn or Doc Rygel?

      Crichton is mixing his western metaphors here, with "Miss Kitty" from the TV show Gunsmoke, and the OK Corral and "Doc Rygel" referring to the famous 1881 gunfight at the OK Corral between the Earps with their friend Doc Holliday, and the Clantons in Tombstone, Arizona.