Starring: Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Virginia Hey, Anthony Simcoe, Gigi Edgley, Kent McCord
Created by: Brian Henson, Rockne S. O’Bannon
DVD Release Date: November 5, 2013
Run Time: 4136 minutes
Series: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 5 out of 5 stars
I am sure the burning question for this release is: how does this release differ from the 2011 release from A&E? Well there is not much different besides some custom inserts for each of case and an exclusive 15 page comic book by Ramon Perez. The main selling point though is the price no question which is quite lower and with no question worth the money since this includes all four seasons along with an incredible amount of special features. One thing that is bothering me is that I don’t know if I just suck at math but this is 2013 and this show debuted in 1999, so that is 14 years in my book but nonetheless, Cinedigm is releasing the complete series of “Farscape” on Blu-ray…again (the last time was in 2011 and released by A&E) to celebrate its 15th anniversary and it is must have for fans that couldn’t afford it the first go around for sure.
Official Premise: From Jim Henson Productions comes the Sci-Fi cult classic FARSCAPE. Follow John Crichton and the crew of Moya on a journey to places they never dreamed possible. Sizzling with brilliant characters, breathtaking effects, high-stakes action, and irreverent humor, Farscape is like no science fiction before. It is a story of good versus evil, obsession, friendship, and even love. The unpredictable twists and turns of this international TV hit will keep you riveted and cheering for more.
I love science fiction and “Farscape” always interested me, especially since The Jim Henson Company was responsible for the various alien makeup and prosthetics in the show, as well as two regular characters (Rygel and Pilot). I love seeing puppets represented on TV. I grew up with “The Muppets” and “Fraggle Rock” and loved seeing them being adapted for the science fiction genre. The show packed some very visual aspects besides the puppets included great special effects and cool sets. The show was also quite funny, yet still had a very serious angle with some solid drama. I also love the fact that this show is already considered a cult classic amongst its fans!
This new release was even sourced from the same masters as the A&E set, which if you don’t know were actually upscaled to 1080p. The 20 Blu-ray discs feature 88 complete and unedited episodes. The show was doesn’t look as stunning as one would hope for on high-def Blu-ray but it also doesn’t look terrible either. The series’ first three seasons are presented with a 1.33:1 aspect ratio and the last fourth and last season is presented in 1.78:1 (and looks the best). Bouncing back from the decent video, “Farscape” comes with rock solid DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks, they work perfectly with the shows style and captures the action and comedy so well. You almost forgot you are watching a TV show and not an epic sci-fi movie.
If you are a fan of this show then you are going to really enjoy this shows amazing special features, which are easily the main selling point for this release. Get ready for this cause there are seriously 29 episode commentaries tracks, including “Premiere” with Rockne S. O’Bannon, Brian Henson and Ben Browder; “Jeremiah Crichton” with Claudia Black, Producer/Writer David Kemper, Browder and O’Bannon; “Bone to Be Wild” with Anthony Simcoe; “Relativity” with Lani Tupu (Crais/Voice of Pilot) and Director Peter Andrikidis; and, “Bad Timing” with Browder, Black and Kemper chatting about the series’ finale. Each of them add a lot to this series and is great addition for replay value!
There is a must-watch documentary for fans titled “Memories of Moya: An Epic Journey”, which features revealing new interviews with the cast and creators. There is actually over 90 minutes of deleted scenes including for all four seasons. There are tons of amazing eaturettes and documentaries including “In the Beginning: A Look Back with Brian Henson”; “Making of a Space Opera” and “Inside Farscape: Save Farscape”. All of these extras are made for the fans and will leave them super excited to get more of this great series.
If you want more Behind-the-Scenes looks, there are some great interviews with cast Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Anthony Simcoe, Virginia Hey, Gigi Edgley, Paul Goddard (Stark), Wayne Pygram (Scorpius) and more. There are also multiple video profiles featuring archival clips and cast/crew discussing their characters and roles on the series. “Farscape in the Raw” features Director’s Cut scenes for the following episodes “The Flax”, “Mind the Baby”, ” Re:Union “, “Taking the Stone”, “Through the Looking Glass” and Vitas Mortis. They are VHS quality, so cool to watch but nothing stunning in HD.
Rounding down, there are still about a dozen more featurettes focusing on the series’ score with “Listening In With Composer Guy Gross”. They cover all four seasons and various aspects of the score. There are tons of great slideshows and archival photo galleries, including character concepts and promo photos, as well as production design galleries featuring screenshots, rough drafts and concept slide shows. Lastly there are a bunch of original TV promos and trailers as well. I am sure I left some extras out but you get the jist, this show is well-represented on Blu-ray and a must own for any fan of the show or new fans looking to discover this series.
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