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Farscape: The Complete Series Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 (Seasons 1 — 3)/1.78:1 (Season 4)
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 4086 Mins.
  • Discs: 20 (20 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • Blu-ray Release Date: November 15, 2011
  • List Price: $199.95

[amazon-product]B005CXOG8M[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Farscape: Complete Series (20pc) - Widescreen Box AC3

Purchase Farscape: The Complete Series on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:4.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:5/5]

From the mind of Rockne S. O’Bannon and the Jim Henson Company was spawned this enduring sci-fi space opera featuring bizarre aliens, as producer Brian Henson put it, to paraphrase, that seemed like they were from the bar in Star Wars. There was a biomechanical spaceship with a soul that could give birth being piloted by a biologically connected “Pilot” and everyone could of course communicate in their native tongues through the help of injectable translation microbes that attached to their brainstems. When Brian Henson was looking around for something more daring, adult, and darker for the Henson Company to produce than the normal children’s programming they were known for, Farscape was an absolute genius discovery.

At the time of its initial run, from 1999 to 2003, there was literally nothing else on television like Farscape. Not even the world of Star Trek could compare to this odd, morally ambiguous world of freaky creatures, violence and scientific and philosophical exploration.

The main story revolves around an Earth astronaut named John Crichton (Ben Browder) whose experimental spacecraft, the Farscape, is accidentally sucked through a wormhole while on a mission orbiting Earth. He is shot into an unknown part of the galaxy – or Universe – far from Earth where, on the other side, he accidentally destroys a spaceship killing the brother of a Peacekeeper, a feared race of Sebation warriors who look remarkably like humans. He ends up on the run and having to join a group of escaped prisoners on the living spacecraft Moya to escape along with the Peacekeeper woman Aeryn Sun (Claudia Black) who is banished from the Peacekeepers by her commander for being “contaminated” by the human.

The first season gets off to a rocky start and the episodes are a bit uneven, but by the last 1/3 of Season One, the series really begins to pick up. By Season Two, a new villain for Crichton and his friends aboard Moya is introduced. It is the half Sebation/half Scarren Peacekeeper Scorpius (Wayne Pygram) who is after Crichton to gain his knowledge about wormholes. Through Season Two, Farscape deepens the relationship between John Crichton and his more human counterpart Aeryn Sun (what series worth its salt doesn’t have a good love story at its core?). By the time we reach Season Three, we’re in deep sci-fi territory, exploring the meaning of life and death, theoretical physics, and Crichton’s own obsession with finding wormholes, which he sees as his ticket back home.

The series was cancelled before it had a proper ending, lasting only a complete four seasons, but was wrapped up in a quick two-part mini-series entitled The Peacekeeper Wars, which, unfortunately, is not included in this “complete” series set. Still, this was, is, and will always be one of the greatest sci-fi series to grace the airwaves.

Video Quality

[Rating:3/5]

Farscape doesn’t look like cutting edge HD on Blu-ray. Apparently the original film negatives weren’t available for this transfer and the master was originally scanned at 1K resolution with all special effects done in standard definition. This Blu-ray release was sourced from the European PAL standard definition masters. The end result is an AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 image that really only looks like extremely well upscaled SD, as opposed to a true high definition image. Backgrounds are a bit soft and lacking in detail, foregrounds look smooth and the grain structure isn’t very well defined at all. Still, this is a very good step up in quality over the highly compressed DVDs, mostly due to the increased bandwidth or “breathing room” offered on Blu-ray.

Audio Quality

[Rating:5/5]

The audio is a much bigger step up in quality on these Blu-rays. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mixes offer clean dialogue and a wide soundstage with greatly active surround channels filled with ambience and discrete sound effects. During the many action-intensive scenes, the surrounds really come alive and surround the listener in explosions, pulse weapon fire and more. The subwoofer helps out to make things sound weighty.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:4.5/5]

There are literally hours of extras included in this set, almost all of it ported over from the various DVD releases, but still good to have all together in one place, finally. The numerous audio commentaries (31 in all) featuring the stars and show creators will be a must for fans as will the robust amount of interviews, deleted scenes and promos.

The supplements provided with this release are:

Season 1:

Disc 1:

  • Commentary for Premiere with Rockne S. O’Bannon, Brian Henson, and Ben Browder
  • Commentary for I, E.T. With Claudia Black and Anthony Simcoe
  • Commentary for Exodus from Genesis with Brian Henson and Virginia Hey
  • Commentary for Throne for a Loss with Ben Browder and Claudia Black
  • Commentary for Back and Back and Back to the Future with Ben Browder and Rowan Woods

Disc 2:

  • Commentary for Thank God It’s Friday…Again with Rockne S. O’Bannon and Anthony Simcoe
  • Actor commentary for DNA Mad Scientist with Ben Browder and Claudia Black
  • Producer commentary for DNA Mad Scientist with Rockne S. O’Bannon and David Kemper

Disc 3:

  • Commentary for Jeremiah Crichton (“When Bad Things Happen To Good Shows”) with Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Rockne S. O’Bannon, and David Kemper

Disc 4:

  • Commentary for A Human Reaction with Ben Browder and Claudia Black
  • Commentary for Nerve with Ben Browder and Claudia Black

Disc 5:

  • Commentary for Bone to Be Wild with Anthony Simcoe
  • Commentary for Family Ties with Ben Browder and Claudia Black
  • Commentary for Family Ties with Rockne S. O’Bannon and David Kemper
  • Making of a Space Opera (1.33:1; 00:22:26)
  • In the Beginning: A Look Back with Brian Henson (1.33:1; 00:38:10)
  • Farscape in the Raw: Director’s Cut Scenes for The Flax and Through the Looking Glass (1.33:1; 00:42:00)
  • Behind the Scenes Interview: Anthony Simcoe (D’Argo) (1.33:1; 00:29:18)
  • Behind the Scenes Interview: Jonathan Hardy (Voice of Rygel) (1.33:1; 00:20:45)
  • Behind the Scenes Interview: Lani John Topy (Crais and Voice of Pilot) (1.33:1; 00:23:35)

Season 2:

Disc 1:

  • Commentary for Crackers Don’t Matter with Claudia Black and Ian Watson
  • Commentary for The Way We Weren’t with Ben Browder and Claudia Black
  • Deleted Scenes for Mind the Baby (1.33:1; 00:03:19)
  • Deleted Scenes for Taking the Stone (1.33:1; 00:00:37)
  • Deleted Scenes for Crackers Don’t Matter (1.33:1; 00:00:45)
  • Listening in with Composer Guy Gross: The Way We Weren’t (1.33:1; 00:09:20)

Disc 2:

  • Deleted Scenes for Dream a Little Dream (1.33:1; 00:03:59)
  • Listening in With Composer Guy Gross: My Three Crichtons (1.33:1; 00:11:28)

Disc 3:

  • Commentary for Won’t Get Fooled Again with Rowan Woods and Richard Manning
  • Deleted Scenes for Look at the Princess Part I: A Kiss is But a Kiss (1.33:1; 00:01:40)
  • Deleted Scenes for Look at the Princess Part III: The Maltese Crichton (1.33:1; 00:01:30)

Disc 4:

  • Commentary for The Locket with Ben Browder and Claudia Black
  • Deleted Scenes for The Locket (1.33:1; 00:00:57)
  • Deleted Scenes for Liars, Guns, and Money Part II: With Friends Like These… (1.33:1; 00:01:34)
  • Listening in with Composer Guy Gross: The Locket (1.33:1; 00:09:50)

Disc 5:

  • Commentary for Die Me, Dichotomy with Ben Browder, Claudia Black, and David Kemper
  • Listening in with Composer Guy Gross: Die Me, Dichotomy (1.33:1; 00:10:49)
  • Season 2 Bloopers (1.33:1; 00:06:38)
  • Farscape in the Raw: Director’s Cut Scenes:
    • ReUnion
    • Mind the Baby
    • Vitas Mortis
    • Taking the Stone
    • Crackers Don’t Matter
    • Picture if You Will
    • The Way We Weren’t
    • Home on the Remains
  • Re:Union (1.33:1; 00:44:13) – Alternate season 2 premiere recut and aired later in the season.
  • Farscape Undressed (1.33:1; 00:44:02)
  • Behind the Scenes Interview: Wayne Pygram (Scorpius) (1.33:1; 00:22:07)
  • Behind the Scenes Interview: David Franklin (Braca) (1.33:1; 00:16:56)

Season 3:

Disc 1:

  • Commentary for Self Inflicted Wounds Part II: Wait for the Wheel with Claudia Black
  • Deleted Scenes for Season of Death (1.33:1; 00:02:25)
  • TV Promos for Season of Death (1.33:1; 00:00:17)
  • TV Promos for Suns and Lovers (1.33:1; 00:00:32)
  • TV Promos for Self Inflicted Wounds Part I: Could’a, Would’a, Should’a (1.33:1; 00:00:32)
  • TV Promos for Self Inflicted Wounds Part II: Wait for the Wheel (1.33:1; 00:00:32)
  • TV Promos for …Different Destinations (1.33:1; 00:00:17)

Disc 2:

  • Commentary for Eat Me with Guy Gross
  • Commentary for Green Eyed Monster with Ben Browder and Tony Tilse
  • Commentary for Relativity with Lani Tupu and Peter Andrikidis
  • Deleted Scenes for Thanks for Sharing (1.33:1; 00:00:27)
  • Deleted Scenes for Losing Time (1.33:1; 00:02:52)
  • Listening in with Composer Guy Gross (1.33:1; 00:10:33)
  • TV Promos for Eat Me (1.33:1; 00:00:32)
  • TV Promos for Thanks for Sharing (1.33:1; 00:00:32)
  • TV Promos for Green Eyed Monster (1.33:1; 00:00:33)
  • TV Promos for Losing Time (1.33:1; 00:00:33)
  • TV Promos for Relativity (1.33:1; 00:00:33)

Disc 3:

  • Deleted Scenes for Incubator (1.33:1; 00:01:20)
  • Deleted Scenes for Scratch ‘N Sniff (1.33:1; 00:01:50)
  • TV Promos for Incubator (1.33:1; 00:00:33)
  • TV Promos for Meltdown (1.33:1; 00:00:13)
  • TV Promos for Scratch ‘N Sniff (1.33:1; 00:00:33)
  • TV Promos for Infinite Possibilities Part I: Daedallus Demands (1.33:1; 00:00:33)
  • TV Promos for Infinite Possibilities Part II: Icarus Abides (1.33:1; 00:00:18)

Disc 4:

  • Commentary for The Choice with Claudia Black
  • Commentary for The Choice with Rowan Woods and Justin Mojo
  • Deleted Scenes for Revenging Angel (1.33:1; 00:00:35)
  • Deleted Scenes for The Choice (1.33:1; 00:00:51)
  • Deleted Scenes for Fractures (1.33:1; 00:04:17)
  • Deleted Scenes for Into the Lion’s Den Part I: Lambs to the Slaughter (1.33:1; 00:00:43)
  • Listening in with Composer Guy Gross: Revenging Angel (1.33:1; 00:08:20)
  • Listening in with Composer Guy Gross: The Choice (1.33:1; 00:00:11:14)
  • TV Promos for Revenging Angel (1.33:1; 00:00:18)
  • TV Promos for The Choice (1.33:1; 00:00:18)
  • TV Promos for Fractures (1.33:1; 00:00:18)
  • TV Promos for Into the Lion’s Den Part I: Lambs to the Slaughter (1.33:1; 00:00:33)

Disc 5:

  • Commentary on Into the Lion’s Den Part II: wolf in Sheep’s Clothing with Rockne S. O’Bannon and David Kemper
  • Commentary on Dog with Two Bones with Ben Browder and Claudia Black
  • Deleted Scenes for Into the Lion’s Den Part II: Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing (1.33:1; 00:07:44)
  • Deleted Scenes for Dog with Two Bones (1.33:1; 00:07:10)
  • Listening in with Composer Guy Gross: Into the Lion’s Den Part II: Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing (1.33:1; 00:09:00)
  • TV Promos for Into the Lion’s Den Part II: Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing (1.33:1; 00:00:33)
  • TV Promos for Dog with Two Bones (1.33:1; 00:00:32)
  • From the Archives: Composer Guy Gross Discusses The Season 3 Theme (1.33:1; 00:04:38)
  • Behind the Scenes Interview: Claudia Black (Aeryn) (1.33:1; 00:35:28)
  • Behind the Scenes Interview: Anthony Simcoe (D’Argo) (1.33:1; 0027:12)
  • Season 3: A Look Back (1.33:1; 00:44:37)
  • Behind the Scenes Interview: Ben Browder (Crichton) (1.33:1; 00:05:24)
  • Behind the Scenes Interview: Wayne Pygram (Scorpius) (1.33:1; 00:24:20)
  • Behind the Scenes Interview: Gigi Edgley (Chiana) (1.33:1; 00:17:56)
  • “Zhaan Forever” with Virginia Hey (1.33:1; 00:30:16)
  • Behind the Scenes Interview: Rebecca Riggs (Commandant Grayza) (1.33:1; 00:29:15)
  • Behind the Scenes Interview: Paul Goddard (Stark) (1.33:1; 00:04:22)

Season 4:

Disc 1:

  • Deleted Scenes for Crichton Kicks (1.78:1; 00:03:11)
  • Deleted Scenes for What Was Lost Part I: Sacrifice (1.78:1; 00:01:59)
  • Deleted Scenes for Promises (1.78:1; 00:03:04)
  • Listening in with Composer Guy Gross: Crichton Kicks (1.33:1; 00:07:08)

Disc 2:

  • Commentary for John Quixote with Ben Browder and Claudia Black
  • Deleted Scenes for Natural Election (1.78:1; 00:02:16)
  • Deleted Scenes for A Perfect Murder (1.78:1; 00:02:19)
  • Listening in with Composer Guys Gross: John Quixote (1.33:1; 0008:06)

Disc 3:

  • Commentary for Kansas with Ben Browder, Claudia Black, and David Kemper
  • Deleted Scenes for Kansas (1.78:1; 00:02:28)
  • Deleted Scenes for Terra Firma (1.78:1; 00:04:28)
  • Deleted Scenes for Twice Shy (1.78:1; 00:01:55)
  • Deleted Scenes for Mental as Anything (1.78:1; 00:00:27)
  • Listening in with Composer Guy Gross: Terra Firma (1.33:1; 00:09:23)

Disc 4:

  • Deleted Scenes for Bringing Home the Beacon (1.78:1; 00:00:53)
  • Deleted Scenes for A Constellation Doubt (1.78:1; 00:16:49)
  • Deleted Scenes for We’re So Screwed Part II: Hot to Katratzi (1.78:1; 00:01:19)

Disc 5:

  • Commentary for Bad Timing with Ben Browder, Claudia Black, and David Kemper
  • Memories of Moya (1.78:1; 00:36:51)
  • Deleted Scenes for Bad Timing (1.78:1; 0002:48)
  • Listening in with Composer Guy Gross: Bad Timing (1.33:1; 00:09:12)
  • Farscape: The Story So Far (1.33:1; 00:26:32)
  • From the Archives: On the Last Day – Farscape Wrap Speech from David Kemper (1.78:1; 00:03:37)
  • Inside Farscape: Save Farscape (1.33:1; 00:30:44)
  • Inside Farscape: Villains (1.33:1; 00:15:09)
  • Inside Farscape: Season 4 Visual Effects (1.78:1; 00:09:36)
  • Video Profile: Creator/Executive Producer/Writer Rockne S. O’Bannon (1.33:1; 00:19:37)
  • Video Profile: Executive Producer/Writer David Kemper (1.33:1; 00:12:07)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Despite the image which is not in the same league as a true high definition transfer, the step up in quality over the DVDs, reference quality audio, and abundance of extras make this set a must have for fans of this beloved sci-fi series that was gone well before its time. Too bad they couldn’t see fit to include The Peacekeeper Wars in this set as well.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B005CXOG8M[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Farscape: Complete Series (20pc) - Widescreen Box AC3

Purchase Farscape: The Complete Series on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:4.5/5]

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