Paul Goddard Talks to Joe Nazzaro about his surprising return to Farscape in Season Four...

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Like the rest of the Farscape cast and crew, Goddard learned about the show's abrupt cancellation very late in the game. "I think I'd finished on a Tuesday," he remembers, "and we were having the wrap party on the Friday or Saturday night. The night before that, David Franklin, who played Braca, called and said, 'I don't know if you know, but I'd better tell you just in case you don't, because I don't want you a turning up to the wrap party not knowing,' so that's how It found out. 

"It was quite a shock, maybe not for me as much as other people, because I'd come and gone and was always prepared for the possibility of not coming back for Season Five. But it was a disappointment, because I would have liked another opportunity to round the character out a bit and bring some of his history into the episodes. But somehow, it feels complete. I did hope that it would be resurrected at some point, but as I know, there's little chance of that now. There will be nothing like that in Australia again, that's for sure!" 

Arguably  one of the most elusive characters in the Farscape universe, little is known about , the mysterious Stark even after four seasons. The masked, emotionally unstable spiritualist had an annoying tendency to pop up without warning, leaving the crew of Moya to wonder about his whereabouts. That happened most recently in Season Three, when Stark embarked on a quest to find his departed Zhaan, only to suddenly appear on a Scarran ship as Scorpius's torturer near the end of Season Four.

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"The same thing happened when he returned in Season Two," notes Paul Goddard, better known for purposes of this discussion as the actor who plays Stark, "and there was even less back story as to what had happened to him; he was just suddenly there. This time, because it was the end of the season and they were sweeping along to the grand finale, l don't think they had enough time to explore where he'd been. Maybe that would have been explored later on in the next season. There were just a few references to it, although I don't know if they were left in. At one point, Crichton asks if the Scarrans had hurt him, which is when Stark kind of says yes and that Zhaan's voice is gone. I guess nobody knows exactly what happened to him and I found that a little frustrating."

Stark and ZhaanEspecially when Goddard himself didn't know when he was going to be to the series. "It was always, 'Stark is coming back, but we're not sure when. We know you're coming back for Episode Seven, because Ben [Browder, who wrote the offbeat fantasy john Quixote) planned that at the beginning of the year. And then there's Episode 11 [Unrealized Reality so you'll be back for a little bit of that.' And then we got up to Episode Eight, and it was clear that the return kept getting put further back. But there was always the promise that Stark would return and they were true to their word. I did get a strong sense that Stark was going to be back for quite a while, if not for the whole of Season Five. At the wrap party, David Kemper talked to me about how he had envisaged the end of Season Five. We talked about what happened to him while he was away and the damage that the Scarrans had done to him and that his mental vulnerability was now expressing itself in a different manner. I thought that was an interesting twist." 

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So how had Stark changed since viewers last saw him in Season Three? "It was predominantly in the writing because David and I had decided that he'd lost the connection with Zhaan altogether. One of the reasons that he left was to go off and find Zhaan, and I decided that had failed. Also, during the time that he spent with the Scarrans, through the torture and what have you, that's possibly how he lost the connection, so now he's come back and is empty and even more traumatized by his last adventure."

StarkAlthough Goddard's time on Farscape was a bit more limited than some of his fellow cast members, the experience was still a memorable one. "I think it was the Fantasy element," he reflects, "which unlike a cop show or medical show, this took you to heights that were intergalactic in nature. It really was the kind of Fantasy play that you do as a kid. There were all kinds of extraordinary things that we got up to: controlling Talyn, floating on wires, being spewed on by Rygel, and just interacting with Ben and Claudia and Virginia. It's like one of those experiences people have where they've been abducted by aliens.

"You'd walk on the set and there would be these extraordinary creatures walking around without any cables, that were alive. I recently saw a friend of mine, who I went to drama school with, and I was joking that the last time I saw her, this golf trolley went past me at the studio and this fish was waving at me. I thought, 'Who the hell is that?' and it turned out to be this friend of mine! It's a bit of a distant memory of being in a galaxy far away."  

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