Considering the complexities involved in producing Farscape
, with its mix of puppetry, a large cast of live actors, special effects, scripts that trace story arcs across not only a single season but the entire series, and more, it's not surprising that the special features in this 20-disc Blu-ray boxed set (found on the fifth and final disc of each of the four seasons) amount to a staggering 15 hours' worth of material. And while there is some redundancy, not to mention a surfeit of self-congratulation (was it really necessary to include executive producer-head writer David Kemper's farewell speech to the crew, telling them how great they were?), there's also an enormous amount of interesting and illuminating information provided, adding up to a genuine bonanza for the show's devoted adherents.
The bonus material can be separated into several general categories. They include, in no particular order:
Making-of/behind-the-scenes featurettes and documentaries: The first and arguably best of these is "The Making of a Space Opera," found in the season one set. Though it's a bit scattered, which might make it difficult for newcomers to figure out what's going on, this 22-minute documentary effectively covers technical aspects like operating the puppets, building the sets, production design, makeup, and so on. Also among the season one features is "In the Beginning," a lengthy (almost 40 minutes) interview with Brian Henson that features plenty of episode clips but is otherwise somewhat dull. The season two set has another documentary, "Farscape Undressed"; described as "long sought-after," it's essentially a slick, 44-minute commercial for the series, with plenty of snarky flirting between stars Ben Browder (John Crichton) and Claudia Black (Aeryn) but not a lot of information. In the season three set, "A Look Back" at that year finds Kemper and others discussing every episode at considerable length. The season four set includes two more documentaries: "Memories of Maya: An Epic Journey Explored," a new documentary filmed in high definition after the series' conclusion (the others are archival), with members of the cast and crew discussing what Henson calls the "cultural flavor" and "unique wildness" of the show; and "Farscape: The Story So Far," a breezy recounting of the characters and storylines, presented without narration or interviews but with plenty of film clips.
"Farscape in the Raw": Found in seasons one and three, this interesting feature juxtaposes "director's cut" (i.e., before post-production polishing) scenes from multiple episodes with the final broadcast versions.
Alternate season two premiere: Entitled "Re-Union," this episode was eventually recut and appeared later in the season. It appears here in its original edit.
"Listening In": Several featurettes focus on the work of composer Guy Gross, who leads us through the process of creating the music, both for particular scenes and sequences and for the series overall.
"Inside Farscape": This trio of featurettes focuses on the series' various villains (most notably the dread Scorpius); the show's outstanding visual effects work; and "Save Farscape," a valentine to the fans that recounts their efforts to save the show after SyFy (formerly the Sci-Fi Channel) canceled it following the fourth season; the creators had planned for a fifth, but while the audience was fiercely devoted, it never expanded much beyond the hard-core, the principal reason for its demise.
Interviews: And lots of 'em. In addition to the various writers, producers, and other creative types, the actors portraying every significant character are interviewed at length. There are also "video profiles" of Kemper and creator/executive producer/writer Rockne O'Bannon.
Deleted scenes and audio commentaries: The former appear in three of the four season sets; the latter are copious, to say the least, numbering no less than 30.
Bloopers and TV promos: No explanation needed.
John Crichton. Astronaut. Flung through a wormhole and lost in a galaxy far from home. He finds himself in the middle of a prison break, surrounded by hostile aliens, soaring through space inside a glorious living space ship called Moya. Hunted by the relentless Peacekeepers, he allies himself with his unimaginably alien fellow refugees and searches for a way home.
So begins the epic sci fi classic FARSCAPE. A fusion of live action, state-of-the-art puppetry, prosthetics and CGI, FARSCAPE features mind-boggling alien life forms, dazzling special effects, edge-of-your-seat thrills, irreverent humor and unforgettable characters all brought to life by the creative minds at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. No wonder it’s been called the most imaginative sci fi series in television history.
Now, presented for the very first time in stunning Blu-ray, come all four FARSCAPE seasons, 88 episodes of spectacular sci fi adventure. Relive the adventures of Moya’s crew Crichton, Aeryn Sun, Ka D’Argo, Zhaan, Chiana, Dominar Rigel, Pilot with unmatched sound and picture quality. Like Moya herself, this package contains amazing surprises including hours of bonus materials including a brand new retrospective documentary: Memories of Moya: An Epic Journey Explored. Prepare for Starburst!
Special Features: ALL 88 EPISODES PLUS OVER 15 HOURS OF BONUS FEATURES ON 20 DISCS!
- Memories of Moya: An Epic Journey Explored A BRAND NEW documentary featuring the cast and crew reminiscing about the experience and legacy of the sci fi classic. Presented in HD.
- Farscape Undressed - The rarely-seen, long-sought-after behind-the-scenes special.
- Three Archival Documentaries: In the Beginning: A Look Back with Brian Henson, Making of a Space Opera and Farscape: The Story So Far.
- Three Inside Farscape Featurettes: Villains, Visual Effects and Save Farscape.
- 31 Audio Commentaries.
- Deleted Scenes, Director’s Cut Scenes, and an Alternate Version of the Season 2 Premiere.
- Video Profiles and Behind-the-Scenes Interviews with the Characters, Cast and Creative Team of Farscape.
- Original TV Promos.
- And much more!