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Whatever life holds in store for me, I will never forget these words: "With great power comes great responsibility."

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For the eighty-ninth time... Once upon a time, there was a boy named John. And John was an astronaut. He lived in a faraway place called Earth, which is so far away, you've never heard of it. One day when John was out doing astronaut things, a big blue wormhole gobbled him up and spat him out at the far end of the universe. Things were looking grim in Mudville, til our hero met an amazing living ship, made some nice new friends and he hooked up with his dream girl. We could've lived happily ever after, but the Peacekeepers raped, chased and tortured us for years on end. Then two months ago, we got our asses shot off again. This time it was the Scarrans, big reptiles. Oooh! And Moya, our living ship, limped her way to your happy planet for a little R&R because we figure, it's empty! Hey, no one is gonna bother us. Next thing, me and the future Mrs. Crichton are having a private moment when you guys fly by. Boom bada-bing, squiggly line, squiggly line, crystallized! And it's two months later!
~ John Crichton, explaining himself to the Eidolons

John Crichton is the hero and main character of the sci-fi series Farscape

A human scientist and astronaut experimenting with a new theory of space propulsion, his first test of his theory accidentally opens a wormhole leading to a distant part of the universe, leaving him stranded millions of light years from home. Falling in with a group of escaped prisoners, he soon becomes a fugitive from the dominant power in the galaxy and is forced to wander alongside the ex-convicts - at first only in pursuit of a way home, but eventually setting out to save the universe at large from the threats encountered along the way.

He is played by Ben Browder, who also played Cameron Mitchel in the later seasons of Stargate SG-1.

History

Prior To The Series

John Crichton was born in the late 1960s to Jack and Leslie Crichton. Though born in Memphis Tennessee, he spent most of his childhood in Florida, where he also met his longtime friend Douglas "D.K." Knox (who he eventually helped cheat on his SATs). He enjoyed a mostly happy childhood, though his relationship with his father was often quite turbulent: Jack was an astronaut and spent a lot of time away from home, something the young John often resented, though his father did his best to make amends. In one instance, Jack missed his son's tenth birthday, only to wake him up at four o'clock the following morning to go fishing at Sawyer's Mill, where John caught the biggest trout they'd ever seen.

In 1986, John's attitude towards Jack soured dramatically: by this time, his parents' marriage was going through a rocky period and he had begun to suspect - incorrectly - that Leslie Crichton was being abused. This came to a head when Jack was selected to be the captain of the Challenger space shuttle, prompting the seventeen-year-old to lose his temper at yet another disruption to family life and storm off. That same day, however, John was caught in a fire at a neighbor's house and had to be rescued by his father; soon after, the shuttle captain resigned from the Challenger mission in favor of caring for the now-comatose John while he recovered. It wasn't until well after the two-day-long coma ended that the two of them discovered just how close Jack had gotten to dying aboard the doomed space shuttle, prompting father and son to reconcile.

Also around this time, John lost his virginity in the back of his four-wheel drive to a girl named Karen Shaw, though John has precious little to say about her in the present, not knowing much about her.

Eventually, John went to university, where he studied cosmology and astrophysics, ultimately achieving a Ph.D.; despite his tumultuous relationship with Jack, he decided to follow in his father's footsteps and become an astronaut. He also considered marrying his long-time girlfriend Alex, only to be told she was taking a full grant scholarship at Stanford Medical School in California; with his mind set on pursuing a place at IASA in Florida, John decided against proposing and the two of them broke up on fairly amicable terms. Afterwards, he joined IASA, flying two missions aboard the space shuttle as science officer and achieving the rank of commander.

Despite his many successes, this period of time was not without personal tragedy: four years prior to the events of the series, John's mother died of cancer, the initial symptoms having gone ignored until it was too late to be successfully treated. Either due to work, bad timing or emotional turmoil, John wasn't there for her when she died, a failing that haunted him for many years afterwards.

Back at IASA, he began formulating a new scientific theorem of gravitational propulsion in which a spacecraft could use the gravity of a planet to dramatically enhance its speed. With the help of D.K. (now a fellow scientist), he was able to build a prototype module custom-designed to use this gravitational slingshot; then in 1999, he received approval from IASA to serve as the pilot in a spaceflight test of his propulsion theory.

Premiere

The show begins with John preparing for his flight, successfully launching from Cape Canaveral following an emotional farewell to Jack. Once spaceborn and launched from the orbiting shuttle, he is ready to begin the test the Farscape module, with D.K. and his father monitoring him from Cape Canaveral. The experiment appears to be going well for the most part right up until an electromagnetic wave disrupts communications and leaves John unable to recognize that his flight path is converging with an as-yet unrecognized phenomena: a wormhole. Helpless to escape the gravitational pull, John is dragged inside and vanishes.

After a brief but harrowing journey across space, he emerges from the opposite end of the wormhole to find himself in an unknown region of space, right in the middle of a space battle between Peacekeeper forces and an escaped Leviathan transport named Moya. Worse still, his sudden arrival leaves him directly in the path of a squadron of Peacekeeper Prowlers, one of which is unable to move in time and clips the Farscape module as it passes, sending the fighter on a collision course with an asteroid and killing the pilot (Tauvo Crais) instantly.

John is then drawn aboard Moya by her docking web and roughly interrogated by the now escaped prisoners, Ka D'Argo, Pau Zhaan and Rygel XVI; for good measure, he's given an injection of translator microbes once it becomes clear to the crew that their prisoner can't actually understand them. Given that he has no idea of what's going on even once the microbes take effect, John spends most of his first few minutes aboard the ship utterly bamboozled as D'Argo violently unplugs Moya's control collar, allowing Pilot to Starbust the Leviathan safety. Then, after being sneezed on by Rygel, he's promptly knocked out by D'Argo and hauled away.

Awakening in one of Moya's cells following a improvised medical examination, he soon finds himself sharing space with Aeryn Sun, a Prowler pilot accidentally dragged off-course by Moya's starburst. To John's exasperation, he is almost immediately mistaken for a fellow Peacekeeper and beaten up for being out of uniform. The two of them are allowed out for a meal with the rest of the crew, during which John is largely ignored or dismissed as a mental deficient, and Aeryn's attempt to steal a fork only gets them sent back to their cell while D'Argo, Rygel and Zhaan head down to the nearby commerce planet for supplies. Thanks to the crew's inattention, John is able to stash a fork of his own up his sleeve, allowing Aeryn to pick the lock on their door and escape Moya.

Unfortunately for everyone, Aeryn's attempt to call for help backfires horribly: though Peacekeeper troops arrive quickly and arrest D'Argo, the commanding officer turns out to be one Captain Bialar Crais, brother to the Prowler pilot killed in the collision. Though John tries to point out that this was an accident, Crais isn't willing to listen and has him arrested as well, with the stated intention of having him fatally vivisected. Aeryn attempts to intercede on John's behalf, but this only gets her accused of being "Irreversibly Contaminated" following extended contact with aliens, resulting in her being arrested too and scheduled for summary execution.

John is able to break all three of them out by distracting one of the commandos with his puzzle ring and stealing a gun from him. Their escape seems short-lived at first even after they manage to escape to Moya, as the Leviathan isn't fit enough to starburst in time to escape from Crais' command carrier. However, John is able to quickly calculate a means of using the commerce planet's gravity to slingshot Moya out of the carrier's reach, and once Aeryn assumes manual control of the ship, they are able to escape the system entirely. Now officially a part of the crew, John has no choice but to tag along with the fugitives as they leave Peacekeeper Space for the lawless Uncharted Territories, hoping to find a way home.

Early Days Aboard Moya

The first few months are fraught with tension, partly due to John's status as a clueless newcomer to interstellar travel but mostly due to the simple fact that none of the crew trust each other at first. As all of them are fugitives with wildly-differing backgrounds and disparate goals, cohesion as a group is limited at best, and even John is trusted only moderately more than anyone else aboard: even after his first proper adventure in the episode "I, ET," he's still regarded as a bit of an idiot for his lack of experience, not to mention his inability to operate Leviathan technology; even Moya's doors prove a bit of a hurdle. For good measure, he also gets into habit of making references to Earth pop culture in casual conversation, making him seem even more eccentric.

When Moya becomes host to a swarm of Draks in "Exodus From Genesis," however, Crichton manages to take control of the situation: after spending most of the episode struggling to fight off the Draks or the clones they've made of the crew, he is able to negotiate with the Drak Monarch with Rygel's help and save Aeryn from Sebacean Heat Delirium. Then, when a Peacekeeper Marauder sent by Captain Crais takes advantage of the confusion to board Moya, John then has the Monarch ambush the intruding squad with a small army of clones generated by the Monarch, tricking the squad into thinking that humans can duplicate themselves and forcing them to retreat - hoping that it'll be enough to dissuade Crais. It doesn't work, but his actions are enough to gain the grudging respect of both Aeryn and D'Argo.

Over the course of the next few episodes, John continues to distinguish himself in his own awkward fashion, saving Rygel from Bekhesh in "Throne For A Loss" and exposing the Peacekeeper conspiracy on Skykar in "Thank God It's Friday Again." In "PK Tech Girl," a visit to the abandoned Peacekeeper warship Zelbinion even sees him developing a relationship with the sole survivor of the squadron sent to salvage it - Gilina Renaez, a Peacekeeper technician. Despite her nervousness (not to mention Aeryn's irritation), John and Gilina quickly bond over a shared interest in science and engineering, even fall in love. However, they don't remain together long: though D'Argo is able to save them from an attack by Sheeyang pirates and Aeryn rescues the two engineers when the pirate Lomus manages to sneak aboard, Gilina can't remain among Moya's crew. She still has a career among the Peacekeepers, and as Aeryn points out, she can't be forced to give it up in favor of the difficult life of a fugitive. As such, she remains behind, promising not to mention anything of her encounter with Moya when Crais arrives to retrieve her.

Crais's hunt for Moya comes to a head in "That Old Black Magic," when he and John are both approached by the being known as Maldis: initially styling himself as a benevolent wizard, he offers John the opportunity to make peace with Crais and end the vendetta, only to turn around and offer Crais a chance at killing his brother's "murderer" in person. John spends most of the episode on the ropes, trying to reason with Crais by pointing out all the logical reasons why he couldn't be responsible for Tauvo's death, but whenever he seems on the verge of getting through to him, Maldis reappears and a finds a way of getting the captain angry all over again. Even the realization that their "host" is feeding off the anger and hatred of the two combatants isn't enough to end the battle, and after getting his right arm brutally dislocated, John decides to stop holding back. He doesn't get the chance to land a killing strike, as the defeated Crais is teleported back to his command carrier at the very last second, now sufficiently motivated to continue his search across the Uncharted Territories - this time on Maldis' behalf. With no further need for the human, Maldis prepares to devour his life-force entirely, only for Zhaan to arrive on the scene and use her powers to render the evil sorcerer tangible, allowing John to kill him with a single punch. Despite this victory, John is left downhearted by his failure to get through to Crais, and even more so when it's discovered that Zhaan is now dangerously close to succumbing to her darker impulses.

Over the next few months, John continues to adjust to life in deep space, studying wormhole physics and endearing himself to his increasingly friendly shipmates along the way. In "DNA Mad Scientist," he saves Aeryn from experimentation at the hands of Namtar, earning her trust; in "Rhapsody In Blue," he manages to arrest Zhaan's descent into madness, despite the best efforts of the Delvians to distract him with illusions of being married to Alex; in "They've Got A Secret," he successfully defuses the tension between Moya and her crew after discovering that the Leviathan is pregnant. He even develops a degree of intimacy with Aeryn in "The Flax" after nearly dying together aboard a malfunctioning transport pod (before being rescued by D'Argo). Most impressively of all, in "Til The Blood Runs Clear," he gains D'Argo's loyalty after rescuing him from a pair of Vorcarian Blood Trackers - at the cost of an opportunity to find a wormhole that could lead him home. For good measure, this last escapade also requires him to hand over his flight recorder to the engineer Furlow as payment for fixing the Farscape module, sacrificing months of research in the process.

A Human Reaction

Not long after Chiana joins the crew following a run in with Captain Durka and the Nebari, John unexpectedly discovers a wormhole leading to a planet instantly recognizable as Earth. With nobody willing to go with him, John takes his module through the wormhole, returning home for the first time in almost a year - where he is promptly tranquilized and captured. Awakening to find himself in a research facility in Sydney, Australia, he is interrogated at length by disbelieving scientists until his father arrives and confirms that the "alien" is indeed John Crichton. After this reunion, John barely has enough time to adjust to being back on Earth before one of Moya's transport pods suddenly arrives through the wormhole, carrying D'Argo, Rygel and Aeryn.

After narrowly avoiding an incoming squadron of F-16s, the three of them are captured and imprisoned at the base as well, where Rygel immediately begins experiencing allergic reactions to the tranquilizers; soon after, he is found dead on an operating table, supposedly having died of a fatal allergic reaction, though John immediately suspects that he was murdered. Despite John's furious protests, he cannot save D'Argo from being taken as well, and after begging Jack to call in every favor he has at the Pentagon to stop the deaths, he joins Aeryn in breaking out of the facility. The two of them spend the night at a safe house arranged by Jack, hidden somewhere in Sydney; once again finding themselves intimate in a crisis, the two kiss and it's heavily implied that they have sex.

The next morning, John begins noticing unusual things as they leave the safe house: locations seem eerily familiar; passers-by are identical to acquaintances from John's past; magazines at newsagents are all seven months old. However, it's not until the increasingly-panicky John barges into the nearest ladies room in search of a place he's never seen before that the illusion finally falls apart. As "Jack" reveals, they're not on Earth at all, but on an physical recreation based on John's memories, and all the people are simply aliens playing the role of familiar figures. The exceptions to this are John's shipmates, who are not only real but entirely unharmed: Rygel has spent the day since his "death" happily eating marjools while D'Argo grouches irritably to himself.

The alien playing the part of Jack soon reveals that he is part of an itinerant race of beings known only as the Ancients: though possessing mastery of wormhole physics, they have only enough stored power to take them to one other planet, where they hope to settle and cohabit with the native species. To that end, they have been testing members of selected races to learn of their reaction to the arrival of aliens, and with the memories they extracted from John, they have learned that Earth would not be safe for them: based on John's perception of his own species, they would be regarded with fear, suspicion, even hatred, and would ultimately be exploited for humanity's own advancement.

With another planet having failed the test, John and "Jack" sadly part ways in the knowledge that the Ancients can only continue looking for a place to call home.

The New Nemesis

In "A Bug's Life," Moya finds itself in the path of yet another Marauder, but due to her pregnancy she is unable to run or hide in time. John decides to trick their way through the encounter instead: dressing up in an officer's uniform and donning a Sebacean accent, he has Aeryn pose as his second-in-command, gives Chiana the role of servant, and returns D'Argo, Rygel and Zhaan to their quarters so they can pretend to be prisoners again. The Marauder crew are taken in by the ruse, much to the surprise of Aeryn. With their ship leaking fuel, they request a lift to a top-secret Gammak base nearby, though Marauder captain Larraq refuses to reveal the cargo they're supposed to be delivering.

This quickly causes problems when Rygel and Chiana break into the cargo while looking for valuables to steal - only to end up releasing a sapient virus on the crew. It immediately begins possessing individuals across the ship, and in the confusion that follows, all but one of the Peacekeeper commandos are eliminated (John beating one of them to death while under the virus's influence). Finally, Captain Larraq is then possessed, and in the virus's attempts to buy some time to escape Moya, he stabs Aeryn in the belly. As the possessed captain leaves aboard the Marauder, John orders Moya to ignite the fuel leaking from the departing ship, making the conscious decision to kill another sentient being for the first time in the show; while he isn't happy at the result, he does seem satisfied.

At the start of the following episode, "Nerve," Aeryn's attempts to return to work go awry when it's discovered that the stab wound damaged her paraphoral nerve. Once this organ fails, Aeryn will die a very slow and painful death, and no genetically compatible donors exist aboard. In desperation, John decides that the only option is to infiltrate the Gammak base where Larraq was headed and steal medical supplies before Aeryn succumbs to her condition; for good measure, he is armed with Larraq's stolen ident chip and assisted by Chiana. John actually makes it into the base and past security, but only with the help of Gilina, who is also working at the base. With her help, they are able to secure a paraphoral tissue graft that can be easily implanted, though the relationship between her and John proves a sensitive issue.

Unfortunately, just as he is about to leave the base, he is abruptly stopped in the corridor by Scorpius, the chief researcher at the base. A Sebacean-Scarran hybrid with unique abilities, he is able to recognize that John is not Sebacean, and orders him placed under arrest. Though Chiana is able to find a hiding place with Gilina, John is captured and summarily interrogated with the aid of the Aurora Chair, a memory-scanning torture device of Scorpius' own devising, and within a few agonizing scans, his true identity is revealed. Furthermore, the Chair uncovers the memory of John's encounter with the Ancients... including a memory of a conversation that John himself doesn't recall.

As it turns out, the Ancients naturally sympathized with Crichton's search for a way home, and decided to give him some small assistance by implanting him with the equations that could be used to create a wormhole. However, their code of ethics forbade them from giving him access to such powerful knowledge undiluted, and they ensured that John would not be able to use the data consciously. As "Jack" told him in this final conversation, "if you're not smart enough to discover it on your own, you're not smart enough to use it wisely," though he assured John that the unconscious knowledge would eventually point him in the right direction. For good measure, the Ancients erased all memory of this final discussion.

Now fully aware that his newest prisoner is carrying the knowledge of how to create a wormhole (the entire purpose of the Gammak base), Scorpius wastes no time in studying every last inch of John's brain for the wormhole data. After several torturous scans, John is given a break to prevent his mind from liquefying under the strain and taken to a holding cell; between being pestered by Stark, Scorpius' other favorite prisoner, he manages to get word to Chiana and tells her to bring the paraphoral tissue back to Aeryn as soon as possible. Unfortunately, Captain Crais then arrives on the scene, having been summoned to scene by Scorpius to assist in the interrogation.

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