Farscape: Character Bios: Rygel

RYGEL XVI is operated expertly by John Eccleston, Dave Collins, Sean Masterson, Graeme Haddon and Tim Mieville, and voiced wonderfully by Jonathan Hardy.

Rygel is a total git!  He is self centred, disloyal, greedy, flatulent and absolutely wonderful.  His full title is Rygel XVI, Dominar of Hyneria.

If you were to meet him in a pub he would be the ‘pub bore’ – recounting numerous stories of his accolades and acquisitions supported by numerous alcoholic beverages (non of which he had purchased himself).

He is 26 inches tall but a very large character indeed.  What he lacks in physical size, he makes up for in gall and cunning.  He is lazy (he doesn’t walk very much, but prefers to sit on a hovering transport) and all the things we would expect a spoiled, petulant little brat would grow up to be.

He is the embodiment of all the nasty parts of our personalities. “Speak for yourself,” I hear you shout, but maybe it’s for this reason that we find him so funny and in some ways lovable.

Rygel is the sovereign to over 600 billion loyal subjects.  Well, not quite all of them.  He was the victim of a coup lead by his cousin Bishan.  He was kidnapped in his sleep and subsequently imprisoned by the Peacekeepers (subcontracted by Bishan) for approximately 250 cycles.

He dreams of being returned to his throne and continually recalls stories of his opulent lifestyle back home and the revenge he will exact on the mischievous Bishan.

In one particularly horrific escapade we see the poor Hynerian slug lying dead on a disection table – thank goodness it was only a dream!

Many times we are appalled at Rygel’s insensitivity and cunning behavior.  Yet this makes him an excellent negotiator and he has, on many occasions, assisted the crew of Moya in obtaining supplies (and freedom) when needed.

His bodily functions are wonderfully crude.  For a little geezer he can spit big time!  In the first episode he spat a huge quantity of thick green mucus at Crichton, and when he is nervous or angry he has been known to fart helium causing those around him to speak like Donald Duck.

Rygel’s observations can be fun too.  Moya once visited a Royal Cemetery Planet and he was appalled to find that on “Earp” we bury our leaders in the ground: “Next to where you live? That’s disgusting!” He said.

I don’t have any information on the wonderful Jonathon Hardy (who plays the voice) – if you know of any, please email me.

Discuss this character in the Farscape Discussion Forum

The character Biographies are ©2000 – 2019 Tony Fawl.
Corrections and additions ©2000 – 2019 Andrea Reed 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.