Scorpius is a central character and primary antagonist in the space opera TV series, Farscape. He is a hybrid of the reptilian Scarran race and the humanoid Sebacean race and a commander in the Peacekeepers, a primarily Sebacean military organization. Abused in his childhood by his Scarran keeper, Scorpius has grown a deep hatred for all Scarrans and seeks their complete annihilation. He is also obsessed with acquiring wormhole weapon technology which he believes to be the key to his goal of destroying the Scarran forces.
Scorpius's goal throughout most of the series is to steal the secret wormhole knowledge locked away in the mind of series protagonist, John Crichton.
While he is portrayed as a straight villain in the first two seasons, over the course of seasons three and four he ends up evolving into more of an anti-hero, eventually joining the crew of Moya. However, even then, he has a mostly strained relationship with Crichton, who continues to view him as a nemesis.
He was portrayed by Wayne Pygram (except for flashbacks to his younger self, where he is played by Evan Sheaves) and appears in all seasons of the show and the post-cancellation TV miniseries The Peacekeeper Wars.
Scorpius was conceived as the result of a war rape. His mother, Rylani, was a prisoner captured by Scarran forces, and raped by one of the soldiers as part of a breeding experiment. The Scarrans wanted to test Scarran/Sebacean hybrids to see if they had any potential advantages in war. Out of ninety-one children born in this study, Scorpius was the only survivor.
Despite being able to survive, Scorpius was born with a high body temperature (a typical Scarran trait) and a severe weakness to heat (a typical Sebacean weakness), causing him immense pain at all times. He was raised by Tauza, a Scarran matron, who attempted to train this weakness out of him, but to no avail. After 12 cycles (years) of abuse and torture to "teach" him to overcome his weakness to heat, Scorpius escaped and fled to the Uncharted Territories. Scorpius defected to the Peacekeepers, offering them information on the Scarran Empire for protection and answers about his birth. He received both, and was given the location of his mother's escape pod (where she was captured) to learn of his mother's rape and death during his birth. However, once there, he was captured by Tauza, and taken back to the Dreadnaught he was raised in. There, he murdered Tauza and helped the Peacekeepers to locate and destroy the Dreadnaught. For this, he was immediately accepted into the Peacekeepers and used their resources to make a special suit which allowed him to maintain a cooler body temperature.
Rising quickly through the ranks, Scorpius eventually founded a special task force with in the Peacekeepers designed to learn about and develop wormhole technology. Scorpius, now determined to get revenge on his illegitimate father's race, believed wormholes could be made into immensely powerful weapons that could be used to obliterate the Scarrans. Scorpius also adapted his suit several times, eventually finding a way to insert cooling rods directly into his brain, to prevent heat delirium and fatigue.
It is implied that, sometime between his first escape and his defection, Scorpius also began a sexual off-again, on-again relationship with a Saltici woman named Natira. This relationship would continue until the end of Season 2 and possibly helped mold him into a colder, less volatile character. The actual details of the relationship are never fully explained.
Scorpius's first appearance in the show is the nineteenth episode of the first season, "Nerve", in which main protagonist Crichton and his friend Chiana sneak onto Scorpius's secret Gammak Base to steal medical supplies for Aeryn. Crichton managed to get aboard by impersonating a Sebacean Peacekeeper Officer. However, Scorpius, who can see other creatures' heat signatures as a result of his hybrid blood, is able to see that Crichton is human, and not Sebacean, and captures and interrogates him, thinking he's a spy.
Using a painful mind-reading tool called the Aurora Chair, Scorpius can see into Crichton's memories. He learns from this that Crichton is not a spy, but that he did have secret information on wormholes locked away, left there by the Ancient, a race Crichton and the crew of Moya had encountered before. Desperate to get at this hidden information, Scorpius pushed deeper into Crichton's mind but could not unlock the information. As a secondary attempt, Scorpius implanted a neurochip containing a program of his personality to search John's mind. While John and the crew would escape later (destroying the Gammak Base in the process), the neurochip would remain for more than a cycle later.
Despite being the primary threat for most of this season, Scorpius makes few appearances (aside from some hallucination from John, possibly as a result of the neurochip). He next appears, officially, during the "Look at the Princess" arc where he is one of several parties trying to capture or otherwise manipulate John during an excursion in the Breakaway Colonies. He is ultimately unsuccessful, and John even tries to murder him, but find he can't, as the neurochip won't allow him to do so.
Another attempt to capture John is made at the Shadow Depository, where Scorpius is keeping a small fortune in property. The crew of Moya pull a heist there while Scorpius is making an inspection, and Scorpius uses this opportunity to capture and detain John Crichton for torture. However, John is rescued by the crew and Scorpius's property is destroyed in the aftermath (although, Moya is gravely wounded).
Following the events at the Shadow Depository, Moya and the crew land on a planet and meet with a healer to heal Moya's wounds. However, while there, the clone personality in the neurochip (which Crichton has named Harvey after the imaginary rabbit in the James Stewart film) takes complete control of Crichton's mind. Harvey then uses this control to alert Scorpius to their location and kill Aeryn in a dogfight. Crichton regains control in time to hear Aeryn's final words, but not in time to save her before she dies. As a result of this, John has the chip removed, despite warnings from the Diagnosian that the procedure will leave him incapable of movement or coherent speech.
The procedure is completed, and the Diagnosian is about to attempt to restore Crichton's brain to full capacity, when Scorpius arrives, incapacitates the healer, and steals the chip containing the wormhole knowledge. He taunts John that he could easily kill him now, but prefers seeing him suffer on the table, unable to move or speak. Scorpius then leaves with the knowledge as Crichton yells incoherent babble at him.
While John is eventually returned to normal (although, Harvey is still lodged in his brain) and Aeryn is brought back to life (at the cost of Zhaan's life), Scorpius discovers too late that the wormhole knowledge he has taken is incomplete. He sends many Prowler pilots into wormholes to attempt to explore them, but they all return completely liquified. Scorpius makes several attempts to solve for the encrypted data, even pleading with the bit of Crichton's personality left in the neurochip, but to no avail.
Eventually, Crichton offers to help Scorpius finish the research in exchange for a number of concessions, protections and pardons for himself and the rest of Moya's crew. This is actually a plan by John to break into the base and destroy the wormhole research so weapons cannot be made from it. Do to his growing worry of a war with the Scarrans (which the Peacekeepers are woefully unprepared for), Scorpius agrees without much negotiating, even though he does not trust Crichton.
While the crew is allowed on his new Gammak Base and given few restrictions, tensions between the two groups rise quickly and John's continued stalling taxes Scorpius's trust. Scorpius finally loses his patience with John after a report comes from Commandant Grayza that the Peacekeepers are shutting down the wormhole research project as a sign of peace towards the Scarrans, a decision which infuriates Scorpius. Scorpius manages to buy some time and threatens Crichton that, should John not produce results on the wormhole research, he would personally lead an attack on Earth, wiping out all of John's people.
In the end, this leads to Moya's crew moving up their plans to destroy the base and the wormhole project contained in it, which they pull off. As the base is being destroyed, Crichton and Scorpius have a "final standoff", where Scorpius says he will not be going after Earth as "the only vengance I cared about is no longer within my grasp" but also tells John that, because of his actions, the Scarran empire will now destroy the other worlds.
Several months after the destruction of the second Gammak Base and the Wormhole Project, the crew of Moya find Scorpius an outcast amongst the Peacekeepers and an ally of Aeryn (who had separated from the crew at the end of the third season). It is revealed that he had saved Aeryn after she had been implanted with a disease, returning her to Moya and creating a suit similar to his own to keep her body stable (although, they eventually manage to cure her and revitalize her).
Because of this, the crew allows Scorpius to stay aboard the ship, although, under heavy incarceration and distrust. However, despite Scorpius's initial cold welcoming, in the following episodes, he slowly manages to build an uneasy trust amongst most of the crew, particularly its newest member Sikozu (who forms a close sexual and amorous relationship with him over the season). Scorpius even convinces John to let him remove Harvey from his mind, but instead, actually upgraded Harvey and made Harvey completely loyal to him.
Over half a cycle after his initial arrival on Moya, Aeryn is kidnapped by Scarrans and taken to a hidden base called Katratzi. Crichton, while never able to fully trust Scorpius, offers to give him all the wormhole knowledge he has if Scorpius will help him rescue Aeryn. Scorpius agrees.
During the rescue, Scorpius is captured. While the crew is initially willing to leave Scorpius behind, Harvey convinces John to go back for him, claiming that he revealed everything John knew about wormholes to Scorpius already, and that the Scarrans might be able to extract that knowledge from Scorpius.
The crew manage to re-enter Katratzi under the guise of being there to sell wormhole knowledge to the highest bidder while they rescue Scorpius. During the rescue, they learn that this base is also the main source of Crystherium Utilia, a plant that keeps the ruling Scarrans' brains functioning. Scorpius convinces John to help him destroy the base, which they do with a crudely main miniture nuclear bomb. During the destruction, Scorpius escapes with Sikozu to a Peacekeeper command carrier.
The Peacekeeper Wars
Many months after the destruction of Katratzi, the Peacekeepers and Scarrans have officially gone to war and Scorpius is reinstated as a Commander. However, as the war starts to go badly for the Peacekeepers, Scorpius tracks down Crichton (recently recovering from an attack on Qujaga) to try and persuade him to finally give the Peacekeepers wormhole weapons. Ironically, this leads to Scorpius being branded a traitor, stripped of his command and ordered to be killed on sight. Given this, Scorpius joins Moya's crew again as they attempt a mission for peace, all the while, trying to convince John to give in a build a wormhole weapon. After the crew fails in its mission, Crichton gives in and builds a wormhole weapon. However, instead of giving it to the Peacekeepers, he fires it before both armies creating a massive wormhole. Under the threat of both armies and Moya's crew being obliterated by it, the two sides declare peace and John deactivates the weapon. Scorpius is last seen overseeing the treaty signing, seemingly pleased at seeing the two sides forced into a peaceful agreement.
Season Five (BOOM Studio Comics)
Following the events of The Peacekeeper wars, it is revealed that Scorpius is not at all satisfied with the treaty. He has since wormed his way into becoming an advisor to the dominar of the Hynerian Empire and has been guiding them to building up their forces to attack the Scarrans. However, after the false dominar is dethroned by the crew and Rygel (an overthrown dominar who had been part of the crew since the beginning) is placed back on the throne, Scorpius is exiled as a traitor and banished to the Uncharted Territories once more.
While there, Scorpius continues to plan his revenge and comes across a highly advanced species known as the Kkore. He manages to befriend them and works his way into their ranks. In return, they seem to give him an army and a fleet of ships with which to crush the Scarran empire. However, once arriving at the Scarran homeworld, it is revealed that the army is merely a hologram and the ship possess no weapons. This is a test by the Kkore, to see if he can conquer the Scarrans on his own. While initially distraught, Scorpius manages to succeed in terrifying the Scarrans with the appearance of his massive fleet and legends of the Kkore throughout history. As a result, he convinces the Scarrans to surrender without a shot being fired.
Initially pleased with the conquering of the Scarrans, Scorpius has since found the victory unsatisfying, as the victory is really the Kkore's legend and resources, and not his cunning. That, and his fear of the growing Kkore has convinced him to stay amongst their ranks not as an ally but a double agent, plotting to take them down from within.
Scorpius' personality, at first glance, is cold, dangerous, and intimidating, especially to those who are either enemies or unfamiliar to him. But Scorpius has shown his softer, or less cold side several times. He seems to geniunely care about Sikozu and Braca, and to some extent Natira, although not nearly as much as the wormhole knowledge in John's brain. He will lie, cheat, steal, abandon allies or enemies (or even helpless civilians), tell the truth, kill in cold blood, risk his life, torture people, torture himself, risk the lives of others, use himself as a shield, desert his Peacekeeper post, and completely humiliate himself to achieve that end.
Yet he is extremely intelligent, so much so that Moya's crew find themselves willing to keep him alive or ally themselves with him when they absolutely have to, despite that he murdered Gilina and his mental clone Harvey killed Aeryn Sun who Zhaan later sacrifices herself to resurrect. On top of that he has pursued and tortured the crew of Moya for cycles. He is as tough as they come and manages to survive anything that's thrown at him, throughout the entire show.
Scorpius also appears to honestly loves his biological mother, who he never met, and is consumed by anger at what the Scarrans did to her, and to himself.
Scorpius is somewhat ashamed of his monstrous, half-Scarran heritage. As a result, he makes it a point to be very polite and precise when he talks, and particularly, to speak very softly and gently, not raising his voice even when angered. Only in rare moments of extreme rage will Scorpius raise his voice, revealing that he can speak using the inhuman guttural growl of a Scarran's voice. On these rare moments when he slips into speaking with a Scarran's growl, Scorpius will afterwards become very embarrassed with himself for giving in to his Scarran side.
- John Crichton: Scorpius's main nemesis and obsession throughout most of the series. Scorpius is interested in John for his knowledge of the wormholes and the potential for that knowledge to be used to destroy the Scarran empire. While Scorpius's pursuit of John is always antagonistic, Scorpius never seems to be truly hateful of John as he is towards others around him, particularly the Scarrans. After John destroys his Gammak Base and his wormhole research with it, he claims that he still has no desire for revenge, and in later seasons, Scorpius goes from trying to force John into giving him the knowledge into attempting to persuade John. Despite that, John is definitely spiteful towards Scorpius, particularly after his actions result in the deaths of Gilina and Aeryn. While the two eventually form an uneasy alliance, John is always bitter and distrustful towards Scorpius, even after eventually forming a more amicable relationship with Captain Crais, who had also previously tried to kill him. John also initially shows more fear towards Scorpius after the events in the Aurora Chair, and it is unclear if he ever fully recovered from that.
- Harvey: Harvey is a clone of his personality that was coded into a neurochip implanted in John's brain. Initially, Harvey's personality was very similar to Scorpius's, sharing his desire in stealing John's wormhole knowledge and in defeating the Scarrans. However, following the events in Season 2, Harvey's personality and priorities began to shift. Harvey adopted many of the pop culture references from John's mind, becoming much wackier and more energetic as he traded referential barbs with John. He also became more neutral in the conflict between John and Scorpius, with his main priority being to preserve John's mind and body (lest he die with John), but not caring for John's friends well-being or personal goals. However, he maintained a cautious fear of Scarrans and a respect for Scorpius. This was changed again in Season 4, when Scorpius altered the personality's programming to be completely loyal to him, having him manipulate John into listening to and sometimes protecting Scorpius.
- Sikozu Svala: Sikozu is a romatic interest for Scorpius, seeming to bond with him over a shared intellect, devious nature, and hatred of Scarrans. Initially befriending him on Moya, Sikozu and Scorpius run off together at the end of Season 4. Not much is known about their relationship beyond that, but it is implied that there was a BDSM element to it. However, during the Peacekeeper Wars, after learning she had made a deal with the Scarrans to save her people from them, Scorpius attacked her and left her for dead on a planet, implying that he doesn't care for her, or anything else, as much as he hates the Scarrans.
- Commandant Mele-On Grayza: Grayza is a fellow officer within the Peacekeeper forces and a clear rival to Scorpius. Where Scorpius's main concern is in defeating the Scarrans, Grayza is show to be more loyal to the Peacekeeper organization itself and does not approve of Scorpius's research. The two are very spiteful towards one another and following his scaling down at the start of Season 4, Grayza takes great pleasure in having Scorpius publically debase himself. However, in the end Scorpius gets to enjoy watching Grayza lose at the hands of the wormhole weapons.
- Captain Miklo Braca: Braca is an officer who serves under Scorpius for most of the series. Initially serving as a mere Lieutenant, Braca managed to move quickly through the ranks thanks to his loyalty to Scorpius and his willingness to support his superiors. While initially shown to be only interested in his own career and eager to backstab or trick his superiors to do so, Braca shows complete loyalty to Scorpius, even after his dressing down and exile. It is implied that Braca has a deep admiration for Scorpius and possibly even an attraction, showing great emotion on reuniting with Scorpius and taking pleasure in watching him and Sikozu have sex. However, these feelings are never made explicit and do not appear to be reciprocated. Scorpius does admire Braca's loyalty, though, and is willing to share more with Braca than any other officer or ally.
- Natira: Scorpius's first sexual partner and possible romantic interest. Little is known about their relationship beyond that it was physical and deeply based in BDSM and sadomasochism. It is implied that she took him in sometime after his escape from the Scarran Dreadnaught and helped him grow out of his weaker personality. She also runs the Shadow Depository where he keeps most of his valuables, and is willing to commit acts of torture for him (although, she appears to be willing to torture for anyone). However, despite being close, he does not show much remorse towards her death.
- Bialar Crais: A Peacekeeper captain that Scorpius convicts of treason and forces into exile. Scorpius's initial conflict with Crais is over a desire by both men for John Crichton (Scorpius wants to steal his knowledge of wormholes while Crais wants to murder John for the accidental death of his brother). Scorpius shows disgust and embarassment for Crais who he sees as both a physical and intellectual inferior. Following his loss of home and rank, Crais becomes vengeful towards Scorpius and ends up sacrificing his life to destroy Scorpius's base.
- Rylani Jeema Dellos: Scorpius's unwilling mother. While he never actually met her, she seems to be the one person Scorpius actually shows pure, unconditional love towards and anger at her death. Her rape and death remains his primary motivation for revenge against the Scarrans.
- Tauza: Scorpius's teacher and guardian. In her attempts to make him tougher and stronger, she would beat, torture, and degrade him, helping to build both his self-hatred and hatred towards his people. She become his first kill and he shows nothing but anger and hatred towards her.