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Blu-ray review-Previous edition repackaged comic created for this edition
on November 20, 2013
Please note that the reissue contains the same transfers and commentary tracks as the previous Blu-ray edition. Unfortunately , we don't have "The Peacekeeper Wars" still has been released on Blu-ray in the U.S. This edition might have been worth while picking up again IF that had been licensed as an extra. There isn't enough new material here to justify repurchasing for most fans.
"Farscape" came at a good time providing a bridge during a key time when most science fiction on TV was "Star Trek" or nothing else ("Babylon 5" excepted) and it brought a much needed dollop of humor, fascinating storylines and great characterizations. It's true that the series presents a hodge podge of ideas that were successful in other shows from "Star Trek" to "The X-Files" but what was great as with all things that are an amalgamation of other ideas from other shows was how it was put together.
"Farscape: The Complete Series" is, well, somewhat incomplete. While it includes all four seasons it doesn't include the mini-series "Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars" due to licensing issues with Lion's Gate (which released that title)so you'll need to keep your DVD set for that until the latter is released on Blu-ray.
The Blu-ray presentation for "Farscape" suffers a bit from the fact that it was produced prior to studios thinking of high definition. The show was shot on film but the visual effects were done in digital standard definition, that wouldn't be a problem but the show was assembled in standard video as well and the 35mm source prints are nowhere to be found.
The first three seasons are in full screen as it was originally presented. The fourth is widescreen also as it was originally broadcast.
Having said that the New Video used a number of digital techniques to enhance the SD picture and bring it into the high def realm for a decent looking transfer.
Subtitles ARE on the Blu-ray release.
If you adjust your expectations that this ISN'T going to look as good as, say, "Battlestar: Galatica" on Blu-ray or even the original "Star Trek", you'll enjoy this set. Should you buy it? That depends on how picky you're going to be about teh image quality here but this does look marginally better than previous editions.
As a result we have a Blu-ray presentation that isn't in 1080 instead New Video the distributor here had to go to the best source possible the PAL video (which has higher resolution than U.S. NTSC)thus while this isn't in high definition it DOES look slightly better than the the regular DVD's in particular because the higher bit rate for Blu-ray allows the show more "breathing" room. The show looks soft but there's no way around that. Detail is better than the 2009 DVD's but the compression artifacts that were problematic for the DVD set released in 2009 aren't as problematic here. Likewise, this is a huge upgrade over the "Starburst" editions of the series put out a couple of years back.
The audio is a big upgrade with a lossless 5.1 presentation that is quite powerful and well done.
The special features from the previous 2009 set have been carried over for this set with one new high def featurette included looking back on the show. We get mulitple commentary tracks for a number of episodes (with the first season getting the most).
The box states that there are 35 commentary tracks but, unless I'm missing something, this has exactly the same amount as the previous edition.
Summary: -video quality: Is soft but with better detail than most of the DVDs I've seen of the show because the producers used the higher resolution PAL video masters. The encoding and use of compression here is an improvement as well helping the picture quality. It's a marginal upgrade in image quality though.
Audio: Sounds brilliant with a nice, immersive 5.1 lossless mix.
Special Features: All of the special features from the 2009 A&E/New Video release are included with a 16 page hard copy comic book which also includes a brief interview with Brian Henson discussing the legacy of the show.
We also get deleted scenes and TV spots.
Premiere: Rockne S. O'Bannon, Brian Henson and Ben BrowderI, E.T.: Claudia Black and Anthony Simcoe
Exodus from Genesis: Brian Henson and Virginia Hey
Throne for a Loss: Ben Browder and Claudia Black
Back and Back and Back to the Future: Ben Browder and Rowan Woods
Thank God It's Friday. . .Again: Rockne S. O'Bannon and Anthony Simcoe
DNA Mad Scientist: a) Ben Browder and Claudia Black; b) Rockne S. O'Bannon and David Kemper
Jeremiah Crichton: Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Rockne S. O'Bannon and David Kemper
A Human Reaction: Ben Browder and Claudia Black
Nerve: Ben Browder and Claudia Black
Born to be Wild: Anthony Simcoe
Family Ties: a) Ben Browder and Claudia Black; b) Rockne S. O'Bannon and David Kemper
Crackers Don't Matter: Claudia Black and Ian Watson
The Way We Weren't: Ben Browder and Claudia Black
Won't Get Fooled Again: Rowan Woods and Richard Manning
The Locket: Ben Browder and Claudia Black
Die Me, Dichotomy: Ben Browder, Claudia Black and David Kemper
Self Inflicted Wounds Part II: Wait for the Wheel: Claudia Black
Eat Me: Guy Gross
Green Eyed Monster: Ben Browder and Tony Tilse
Relativity: Lani Tupu and Peter Andrikidis
The Choice: a) Claudia Black; b) Rowan Woods and Justin Monjo
Into the Lion's Den Part II: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: Rockne S. O'Bannon and David Kemper
Dog With Two Bones: Ben Browder and Claudia Black
John Quixote: Ben Browder and Claudia Black
Kansas: Ben Browder, Claudia Black and David Kemper
Bad Timing: Ben Browder, Claudia Black and David Kemper
The first season of "Farscape" is a bit uneven but the show finds its footing by the second season and was positively on fire once Scorpious was introduced as a character.
I'd still recommend this as long as you adjust your expectations on the video quality of the series particularly if you can get it at a good price.
Series: 4 1/2 stars
Image for show: 3 (translated as good)
Audio: 4 1/2 stars
Special Features: 5 stars
Overall average: 4 stars.