Season 1 Episode 16

Durka Returns

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Aug 13, 1999 on Syfy
out of 10
User Rating
266 votes

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Episode Summary

When a Starburst goes badly wrong, Moya collides with a Nebari ship. On board is Durka, Rygel's former torturer, who has been mind cleansed and now serves the Nebari. Chiana, an attractive young rebel faces the same fate. Rygel takes it upon himself to take revenge on Durka and ends up undoing the cleansing and restoring him to his former, tyrannic incarnation.moreless

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  • Farscape is doing really well

    I really enjoyed this episode, not only becuase we were introduced to a new major charactor (Chiana) the main story was also very good. We find out that she is a Nebari, and a rebel. This episode really gave a Rygel story for once and a purpose. Rygel had run into Durka before he was brinwashed by the Nabari's many years ago. Aeryn has also heard of Durka but thought he was dead. It turns out that he is still evil, deep down, and in the end takes control of Moya and tries to kill her offspring so they can starburst away but John makes sure this does not happen. I enjoyed this episode a lot. Rygel's revenge story kept a smile on my face but the undoing of Durka's mental cleansing was supprising, who knows if we will ever see Durka in the future...moreless
  • Chiana's introduced, as are the Nebari, and Durka returns.

    "Even now, if you kill me, I'll be laughing at you..."

    Durka is a wonderfully malicious villain, although how he manages to cut all his hair with a blunt looking knife is anyone’s guess. Rygel gets some great dialogue and more of the story than usual, which is good seeing as he’s quite an underused character. The Nebari are introduced, and prove to be an interesting race, especially Chiana, who later on becomes an integral part of the Moya crew. Also, the slightly strange direction of the episode with lots of slow motion and the eerie music adds effectively to building up the tension.moreless
  • Enter the Chiana

    ‘Durka Returns’ is another example of a perfectly written episode

    It features a ship that comes into Moya, including Durka who was the old peacekeeper that faked his death when Rygell found his body. But he has been reformed and doesn’t hurt anymore but Rygell doesn’t believe it.

    The kind that brought him brain washes people and they also have a prisoner with them called Chiana who they see as a bad person just because she doesn’t want them to brainwash her. John feels compassion for her and even brings food and tries to have a conversation with the gal.

    But as always things turn up for the worse after Rygell tried to kill Durka by throwing a bomb that apparently changed him back. When Chiana escapes they find the man who captured her dead and Durka is very sad.

    Out of nowhere he grabs Aeryn’s gun and knocks her out together with Rygell and begins to disconnect everything in Moya, he wants to jump with the ship but can’t and before he hurts Aeryn Rygell sort of saves her.

    Anyway, eventually he goes out and Chinia teams up with John to distract the man, but they aren’t fast enough and he shoots Chiana.

    Eventually he tries to go on a ship and John used the bomb to open the backdoors where Durka is sucked out into space with his broken ship.

    After the spacers escape they let Chiana stay but they don’t trust her, John tells her to step off whenever she wants.

    This episode was very well written and mostly very exciting.moreless
David Wheeler

David Wheeler

Selto Durka

Guest Star

Tiriel Mora

Tiriel Mora


Guest Star

Gigi Edgley

Gigi Edgley


Recurring Role

Lani Tupu

Lani Tupu

Voice of Pilot

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Salis: (to Crichton) You crippled our ship. Endangered our lives. Disrupted our plans. Are you now the arbiter of our justice system, as well?

    • Salis: (when Rygel insists that Durka will never change) Your friend will soon understand that he's wrong.
      Crichton: It might take awhile. Being tortured has that effect.

    • Salis: (as Crichton stares at the imprisoned Chiana) Have you ever been stung by the watricor plant?
      Crichton: Not yet.
      Salis: They, too, present an intriguing exterior.

    • Chiana: (starting to untie Rygel) I apologize for calling you a toad.
      Rygel: Huh, I make allowances for stress on this ship.
      Chiana: Oh no, no, this isn't stress, old man. 'Stress' is if you don't come through for me!

    • Durka: (preparing to torture Rygel) It's the simple things we miss.

    • Rygel: Crichton threw a bomb, too!
      Aeryn: But the one he threw stimulated her to expel Durka's transport.
      Rygel: I didn't know she could do that. Did you know she could do that?
      Aeryn: Moya didn't even know she could do it.

    • Chiana: Stupid plan!
      Crichton: In the room, I said to get him IN the room!
      Chiana: You said TO the room!

    • Crichton: Hey! Try not to fall out of the ship again!
      D'Argo: I'll do my best!

    • Crichton: (about Chiana) How's the patient?
      Zhaan: She is a brat!
      Crichton: Think we should kick her off the boat?
      Zhaan: (sighing) Ask me tomorrow.

  • NOTES (8)

    • Gigi Edgley has stated that she wishes that she could redub her early episodes to maintain a continuity of accent rather than switching between Australian and British.

    • The idea for this episode came while filming "PK Tech Girl" when the producers realized how effective a rematch between Rygel and his interrogator could be.

    • Gigi Edgley says this is one of her favorite episodes from the first season, partly because she plenty of chances to play, even though she was still developing her character.

    • International Airdates:

      -This episode aired in Canada on January 5, 2000 on YTV.
      -This episode aired in the UK on March 27, 2000 on BBC-2.
      -This episode aired in the Australia on December 2, 2000 on Nine.

    • There is an easter egg in the DVD of this episode, with interview footage accessible through the episode itself. At the start of Chapter 3 you will suddenly see a symbol at the bottom of the screen. If you press ENTER on your remote control while the symbol is visible, you will see a short clip of Gigi Edgley talking about the action figure for her character Chiana.

    • Tiriel Mora (Salis) appeared with Claudia Black in the 2001 movie Queen of the Damned.

    • The bullet that grazes Chiana was originally supposed to kill her. However, when David Kemper saw how great she was he realized her potential, so the script was changed accordingly.

    • The bomb that Rygel sets off really did burn Ben Browder. Because of the way the shot happened, he was totally obscured by the flame and was smoking from his behind, but he says it was worth it because at least he could give the real John Crichton look of fear. Also, Gigi Edgley was sent home early on her first day, despite being in full make-up because the set for her scenes blew up.


    • Crichton: He's a psychopath, legendary, and nobody knows what a 100 years of eating Happy Meals have done to him.

      "Happy Meals" are a menu item at the McDonald's fast food chain.

    • Crichton: (stopping Salis from "correcting" Chiana) I don't care if she's an axe murderer, Elvis.
      Crichton calls Salis "Elvis" because like the iconic rock star, Salis has a pompador and long sideburns.

    • Crichton: Durka's gone Hannibal Lecter on us!
      Hannibal Lecter is the infamous "Hannibal the Cannibal" from the novel trilogy by Thomas Harris entitled Red Dragon, The Silence of the Lambs, and Hannibal, and the films which were created from them.