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"That Old Black Magic"

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Average Reader Score
Review by Slender Means

What worked in this episode: Zhaan. Her development throughout was well-written, and just as well-acted -- the scene in which she was attempting to torture those creatures was painful enough to the point where I actually turned away from the screen. Her quiet anguish at the end -- along with that brief, suitably scary snap in her composure -- was also lovely. The lines and the acting hit all the right notes. What didn't work -- too much to go into here, due to the word limit. Flawed, but decent.

Review by Tommy

This episode provides interesting character development for John, Crais and Zhaan, so character-wise it's an excellent episode. John and Zhaan face very interesting choices. I like how we see some 'badness' in both John and Zhaan.
On the other hand, I don't like fantasy elements in science fiction, and while they certainly are a part of the Farscape universe, in some episodes they just annoy me and this is one of them. Too many mental abilities.

Review by Rory

This episode was a mixed bag in many respects. The overall premise is interesting, although I didnít find Maldis particularly effective as a villain: the performance and dialogue were too OTT even by Farscape standards. He was a pantomime villain through and through and as such I donít feel he warranted a follow-up appearance in the second season. Thereís some follow-up to the Crais/Crichton arc, but this particular arc never quite clicked for me. Although the episode tries to lend some much-needed depth to Craisís character (and provide some justification for his obsessive behaviour), it still seems overwrought and ineffectual. The scenes in Maldisís Ďlayerí are repetitive, unimaginative and ultimately amount to very little. There are some interesting developments for Zhaan and for the first time we are privy to her darker side (which, truth be told, is scary as heck!). Overall, itís an uneven, if interesting, piece.

Review by TPS

Starts pretty good but gets little repetive and boring towards the end. I don't like Maldis either, not in this episode and not on the other: although Picture If You Will gets a special mention for being one of the first Farscape on acid episodes.

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