On Farscape, Moya was serviced by a fleet of Diagnostic Repair Drones, or DRDs for short. I've been trying to find out how those DRDs that featured on the show - One-Eye, DRD Pike and 1812, and the nameless others - were operated by the show's technical crew.

Were they radio-controlled, like a toy car? Were they pulled around on wires? Was there some over-complicated arrangement with magnets pulled around under the set's floor? Were there tiny puppeteers in green-screen suits that were erased in post-production?

I've Googled around for it, but all I could find was a lot of sites selling DRD replicas, some even looking similar to the original, or YouTube videos helping you build one on your own from a kit or completely from scratch. No behind-the-scenes information about how they did it on the show.

  • 1
    I'd imagine they were remote controlled - but all the Farscape wikia has to say on the matter is that "they were not made from bicycle helmets".
    – HorusKol
    Apr 2, 2013 at 21:53

1 Answer 1


DRDs or Diagnostic Repair Drones which appeared in the Farscape series were a mixture of remote controlled vehicle and computer programmable device. Note the remote controls next to the device and the internal motherboard. Given they were produced by Jim Henson Studios I am not surprised they were hand made with loving detail. They were quite expensive to build and design with "fully functional" ones cost over $10,000 each.

enter image description here

  • The only name I could find associated with the design of DRDs was Andre Potappel who now works at Gizmo Workshop in Sydney Australia (pictured above)

  • They had sophisticated programming such as the chase lights on the bottom which moved fast when the DRD moved but slowed when they came to rest.

enter image description here

  • There were two attachment points for peripherals with 7 variations, the claw, the projector arm, the "gatling gun", the injector, the "canon", the plow and the sprayer.

  • One had movable eyes which could move independent of each, but most only had eyes that were slaved together.

  • The single most functional one had full forward/reverse motion, speed regulated baselights, full motion projector arm, working claw, working "wings", slaved eye stalks and pop-up "siren" lights.

enter image description here

  • The more advanced units had plates that could be added or removed along with LED plates for different lighting when a plate was missing.

  • Though it was hard to tell the devices were quite large, much larger than they appeared as the moved through the corridors of Moya.

enter image description here

Given the expense of the fully functioning DRDs, I suspect they made varying levels of technical sophistication depending on what was needed when filming was being done.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.