Video exploring the Delvian species; click to view.
We return to our series on the species of Farscape with the third species that Commander Crichton meets. She is a Delvian—Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan. The most notable thing about Delvians is that they are flora, not fauna [ Zhaan explains clip ]. Yes, plants, not animals or at least [ D’Argo clip ]. D’Argo’s wording is interesting. “Flora evolved.” Delvians aren’t like any other plants. They are bipedal. They are vertebrates. They consume food like animals and are carnivorous They are capable of photosynthesis though we don’t see Zhaan seeking out light for sustenance, only for other reasons. [ Zhaan in the light ] Uh, yeah. [ I’ll get a mop and bucket ]
Zhaan only behaves more like flora than fauna after she’s damaged. The first time is in “Home On the Remains,” when near starvation sets off a biological response. [ I need meat clip ] That free lesson on evolutionary biology has some interesting ideas, not sure it explains the spores but I’m a philosopher not a damn scientist so not sure how realistic any of it is.
The second time Zhaan is distinctly flora is when she is damaged from rescuing Aeryn. She is so weakened from that incident that the only way to save her life is to literally plant her in the soil. That makes a lot of sense, literally back to one’s roots to replenish.
In the original series, we meet other Delvians in only one episode, “Rhapsody in Blue.” The rag-tag gaggle of political exiles don’t at all behave like plants, more like hot-blooded primates as their plan their coup. We learn that Delvians, despite having an advanced spiritual tradition, don’t always live up to spiritual values. Delvians are not without deceit, avarice, vanity, jealousy, and political ambition. Zhaan was caught up in a political power struggle as discussed in detail in my video on Zhaan.
The Delvians are widely known throughout this region of the galaxy, but they keep to themselves on their homeworld, Delvia, forming no alliances with other species. They won’t even trade with other species. Bitaal broke with tradition and hired the Peacekeepers to serve as “external security” which quickly turned into internal oppression. In the comics, we learn much more about the Delvians, but I don’t want to reveal a major plot element. I will share only that the comics confirm what Zhaan said about Bitaal and that Delvians are isolationists highly suspicious of outsiders. It also shows us the Delvian Seek is really powerful and that they have pretty drad spaceships. The rest about the Delvians is very interesting so you really should read the comics.
Farscape could do so much more with the Delvians, which is true of other species that I will get to each in turn. Here’s looking forward for Farscape to continue.