Farscape: Character Bios: Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan

PA’U ZOTOH ZHAAN played beautifully by Virginia Hey

Zotoh Zhaan is a Pa’u (priest) of Delvia.  She’s a 812 cycle (years I think) old plant person with a very high intelligence and a particular skill in medicine and science.  She is thoughtful and sometimes fairly laid back, but sometimes she is a also a complete nutter giving in to some of the cruelest and most dangerous emotions.

If you were to meet Zhaan in a pub you would be massively impressed with her.  She would elegantly enter the room, order a Bloody Mary and annoy the girls by captivating the guys with her strange and unusual beauty… erm… and baldness.

Delvian’s are a spiritual race preferring peace and love to war and confrontation. Zhaan has recently reached the 10th Plateau in the Delvian Seek, which is a search for perfect understanding of life the universe and everything.  This is no mean feat!  It takes a very long time to achieve and you develop skills and mystical abilities along the way that tends to make the achiever a difficult and powerful adversary.

D’Argo (the thug elephant dog) for instance, has always had a great respect for Zhaan… “I have heard of your kinds of practices, your …. Appetites.  I have heard of something known as the erm… Fourth Sensation.” he once enquired.  We never quite learned what this was, but it sounded intense!

She once confessed that the reason she was a prisoner was that she was something of an anarchist – in fact she was a leading anarchist, and it was deemed that the only way of calming the unrest that she caused, was to have her imprisoned. But we found ou later that she was imprisoned for killing her lover during sex. Her lover apparently wanted to make some sort of accommodation with the Peacekeepers. Zhaan, firebrand that she is, disagreed.

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She spent three cycles on a maximum labour planet working on the surface on some strange technology (called Cellular Interface or something).  As a result she was able to learn Peacekeeper coding and assist greatly when she, D’Argo and Rygel escaped in Moya.

Most of the time we see her to be a calming influence, full of charm and patience.  However, Zhaan can be ruthless in getting what she wants.  In the episode “DNA Mad Scientist” we saw her conspire to cut off one of Pilots arms as a payment to a real git of a scientist for some star maps.  I was amazed that Zhaan would agree to something like that.  She needed to find her homewold and selling the limbs of a colleague was simply a price that had to be paid!

Zhaan is a plant creature, she eats the same as Sebatians, Luxans, Hynerians and humans, but other things tend to affect her more that the others.  once of these is light, I guess it may be something to do with photosynthesis, but light (especially intense natural light) can send her into a whopping sense of euphoria – it looks orgasmic to the outsider!

Some of her other abilities include telepathy with John Crichton (developed in the episode “Rhapsody in Blue.”)  Though Andrea Reed suggests, “Her telepathic thing with John seems to be more akin to the Vulcan mind meld than telepathy per se. She called it Union. I don’t think they can talk to each other or anything thru it, it is more like they *knew* each other on a fundamental level.

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Zhaan is most helpful when administering a range of medicines and care to her patients.  She has helped Moya with treatment for pain and regularly performs scientific analysis on substances when required to do so by the crew.


Virginia is one of Australia’s most successful actresses. She has appeared in the American series Roar, Flipper, Mission Impossible, and Dolphin Cove, Flesh and Blood for Channel 4 in the UK, E Street and Pacific Drive in Australia.

Film credits include the Warrior Woman in Mad Max 2 and starred in the James Bond film The Living Daylights, also Mussolini, Return of Captain Invincible, Norman Loves Rose and recently Signal one.

Virginia’s television films include Crazy Like A Fox (USA), Big Deal (BBC), Timeslip (HBO).

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This character review is © 1999 – 2019 Tony Fawl
and not for reproduction without the authors express permission

The FARSCAPE names, characters and everything else associated with the series  are the property of The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Entertainment,  Nine Network, and in association with The Sci-Fi Channel and the BBC.

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