Summary and analysis by Dallascaper

Moya's "crew" is really a collection of aliens thrown together under conditions not of their choosing. With the noted exception of Aeryn, all aboard Moya are bent on getting home, but they don't know where their homes are. The promise of information as to the whereabouts of their home worlds is more than enough reason to meet with anyone who might help.

A noted genetic scientist, Namtar claimed to possess the ability to pinpoint the home world of virtually any species based solely on their genetic code. Of course, there would be a fee for such information. Namtar wasn't interested in currency, weapons, or services. His price was one of Pilot's arms. Namtar's database, vast as it is, didn't hold information helpful to John. However, D'Argo, Rygel, and Zhaan were quick to accept the terms of the arrangement and promptly chopped off one of Pilot's arms as payment. John was incredulous, not only that his crew mates would do such a thing, but also of Pilot's acceptance of his fate. Pilot reminded John that his arm would grow back soon enough. Whether Pilot really forgives the others is not entirely clear.

Namtar is paid the fee and provides the crystal containing all the information needed to return to the crew's home worlds. However, the data is so vast that Moya isn't capable of interpreting it all. The only hope of deciphering the data is to destroy two of the three records stored inside the crystal. That means only one crew member will go home. Rygel steals the crystal, forcing D'Argo and Zhaan to join forces against the Hynerian.

The crew is so busy fighting over the crystal, they are oblivious to what is happening to Aeryn. Since she no longer has a home to return to, Aeryn didn't participate in the genetic mapping process. Watching the others get excited at going home, and left with the prospect of living on Moya with only John as company, must have had an impact on Aeryn. She secretly returns to Namtar's laboratory with the intention of donating genetic material in exchange for a map to a Sebacean colony where she would settle down. Namtar has other plans for Aeryn.

Namtar is a being that collects the genetic code of thousands of species from around the galaxy. He then encodes the finest qualities of those creatures into his genetic makeup. The result is that he is evolving at a highly accelerated rate, exactly according to his plan. Intrigued by Pilot's multitasking abilities, Namtar injects some of Pilot's DNA into Aeryn. His plan is to extract the parts of Aeryn's genetic code that that will allow him to possess Pilot's special abilities and discard the rest.

It doesn't take long for Aeryn to notice changes in her perception of reality. At first, it's sounds that she has never heard before. She realizes the noises she hears are DRDs moving about the ship, just as Pilot would hear them. Shortly thereafter, Aeryn takes on physical manifestations of Pilot's DNA. She stuns Pilot by revealing an arm, just like one of Pilot's, growing from her abdomen. For the first time in the series, she admits to John that she is afraid. John insists they return to Namtar's laboratory and confront the treacherous scientist.

Namtar is not impressed by John's arguments or Aeryn's weaponry. He is pleased to see the physical changes in Aeryn and takes her to his laboratory to complete the experiment. It is up to John and Namtar's disfigured assistant, Kornata, to save Aeryn from a terrible death. Time is not on their side and it is learned that Aeryn isn't the only one in jeopardy. The crystal the others on Moya are fighting over is designed to destroy Moya's memory. John is in a race against time to prevent the crystal from being activated while working with Kornata to save Aeryn from Namtar's evil plan.


DNA Mad Scientist is a very Farscape-type of episode. Much can be made of how the crew is becoming a family, but when it comes to going home, all pretense of family is stripped away. Their own selfish agendas laid bare, the crew must battle each other for the right to return home. The fact their actions play into the hand of Namtar only serves to make this a memorable episode.

Not even Zhaan, normally a peace-loving priestess, is immune from the desires to go home. Her willingness to hurt Pilot by chopping off his arm shows where her trues desires lay. After John destroys the crystal, Zhaan didn't seem to possess her usual patience with the human. If looks could kill, the story of John's adventures in the UT would have been over.

This episode is filled with dark imagery, a memorable villain, and fun interaction between the characters. DNAMS is Farscape's first truly great episode.



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Originally aired in the US June 18, 1999

Written by Richard Manning

Directed By Brendan Maher

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