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Farscape: Season 2, Vol. 4
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Farscape Season 2 (Volume 4)
Both the wit and wisdom of Farscape are readily apparent in this two-disc, four-episode set from the popular TV series' second season. The former shows up in "Beware of Dog," in which a parasite manages to board the organic mother ship Moya; although the creature's attack on D'Argo (Anthony Simcoe; bios of both the actor and his character are among the set's DVD bonus features) is serious business, both it and the "Vorc," an E.T.-like critter whose job is to destroy parasites, are played for laughs. Meanwhile, the show's more serious side can be seen in "The Locket," which finds Crichton (Ben Browder) and Aeryn (Claudia Black) growing old together on a strange planet--and sharing some of the genuine emotions that have been brewing between them since the show's inception. Either way, Farscape fans will surely find much to admire in this set, which also includes deleted scenes and various other extra material. --Sam Graham
- Deleted Scenes
- Farscape Dictionary
- Alien Encounters
- Conceptual Artwork
- Alien Races, Part 1
- Actor Biography: Anthony Simcoe
- Character Backstory: Ka D'Argo
- ADV previews
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Top customer reviews
The first episode is Beware of Dog, which happens to be very popular. Not my favorite, but it does have some great moments as a parasite invades the ship and crew goes through much trouble to get rid of it by employing a tracking animal. Much comedy and excitement ensues. This episode also hits a solid 8 on the gross-out scale at one point. I won't dwell more on this episode because I want to get to the others.
Won't Get Fooled Again is an incredible episode. It starts weird and gets weirder. Crichton wakes to find himself on Earth surrounding by his friends and family. But then things take a turn. Suddenly members of the Moya crew appear, but in earthly roles, like a doctor and a psychiatrist. Slowly Johns psyche starts to disintegrate as the situations turn ever darker. Then suddenly the reasons become clear. I won't spoil the rest. Interposed between moments of strangeness are incredible moments of hilarity. Crais in pumps, Dhargo's Luxan bonding ritual and Boogie Oogie Woogie. This episode is a must watch.
I have to admit that the Locket is my favorite episode of the series. I am surprised that it is not more popular among the fan base. Here we come upon Moya in a stellar mist to discover that Aeryn has been missing for a few hours. When she returns she has aged 60 years. The situation is complex and I don't want to spoil it, but I will say that much that happens is on a character level. The focus is the interaction between John and Aeryn and there is not much "action" per se. But the character development in this episode is incredible and there are moments of pure magic. In one point in the show John sings a snatch from the old Robert Shaw ballad A-roving. Later on John and Aeryn on walking through these green hills under gorgeous trees, talking and laughing together, but you can't hear them because overdubbed is an absolutely beautiful musical reprise of the A-roving melody, just simple and heart-wrenching in its loveliness (kudos to the music department on this one). Then the scene cuts to a brief glimpse of Moya hanging in this flowing stellar mist as the music carries on, then it cuts to a commercial break. It's just beautiful. Inserted into a time of fear, mystery and doubt is a little section of quiet simplicity. I could only call it a moment of serenity.
The Ugly Truth has come under some unfair criticism from another reviewer. In this episode the crew of Moya is questioned by a race called the Plokavians. They are asked in turn to relate the events that occured when Talyn destroyed a Plokavian ship. Each crew member gives his/her impression of the events. While it may seem slow to some people it actually quite brilliant. This episode is an homage to Akira Kurasawa's masterpiece film Rashomon as it follows the same story structure. While very little actually happens in the episode, the enjoyment of it is watching how the personalities of each character influence how each of them percieved the reality of the events. Obviously this is another character based episode, so if you want action, this may not be for you. But if you want great writing and acting, this is for you. Only the best acting could pull this off, and they did. This episode is about the perception of reality and it tackles this serious subject with the same flair that Farscape handles all such issues. Even keel, with a steady hand, but not too seriously, as there are a few gags now and then.
These are some of my favorite episodes of all, and to have them in one addition is something very special. Do not miss the chance to own these as it seems Farscape is nearly doomed to cancellation. Help to save Farscape, but if the networks are foolish enough to not pick up this hit show, make sure you have all the episodes on DVD. This is a show I can watch forever.
Defying that very expectation is what made Farscape special. Yes, Beware of Dog isn't as earthshaking as the cliff hanger of the previous season (or even the three part episode set on "Royal World" as Crichton humorously calls it). It's meant to be Farscape's Trouble with Tribbles with a much darker, edgier tone. You'll either love or hate the tone of this fine episode as it indulges in a bit more humor than the average episode. Star Trek: TNG vet Naren Shanker's script plays with our perceptions of the characters. There's a witty line of dialog that references Aliens (having Chiana say it was an inspired touch. There's also a number of humorous visual references to E.T. and a tip of the hat to Joe Dante's Gremlins)
Won't Get Fooled Again is a marevlous episode that plays with both audience expectations, Crichton's previous experience with a simulation of a return trip home and the essence of the show's regular characters. It also reveals important information about why Scorpi keeps showing up in Crichton's wakeful "dreams". It's another way for Scorpi to be in the script, interacting with Crichton even in the setting of Moya. It's marvelously paced and Ben Browder gives a superb performance (as do all the actors playing against character "type")as a man losing his mind. Kudos to writer Richard Manning for pulling off an episode that, essentially, revisits theme from the previous season and Rowan Woods' surreal directorial touches (the red pumps on Crais is a marvelous touch).
The Locket focuses on the outcome of Crichton's infatuation with Aryn. It's a great "what if" episode that, again, defies expectations. It's a heartfelt episode that focuses on character and the various character's expectations of each other. Writer Justin Monjo's script and Ian Watson's direction are both top-notch.
The Ugly Truth could have been a routine episode. By dint of the performances, direction and writing it overcomes many of the limitations of the basic premise. The dialog by first time Farscape writers Gabrielle Stanton and Harry Werksman, Jr. has some sparkling dialog and character moments. The opticals exceed expectations in what could have been a simple "bottle" episode.
This quartet of episodes are among the best the second season had to offer. The next boxset will focus on a strong trio of episodes that unfold what Scorpi really did to Crichton and the disasterous outcome of his shipmates attempt to save him.
The transfer is top notch with little or no analog or digital artifacts. While the entire series has looked really good, it's clear that ADV has hit their stride with the second season set. I did notice some analog artifacts on the previous set but it wasn't a huge distraction. There's no such problems that I can see here. The extras include deleted scenes, conceptual artwork, a biography of Anthony Simcoe as well as a backstory on D'Argo. There's also the first part of a text/visual driven look at the various alien species.
The sound is, for the most part, exceptional (except for some of the deleted scenes where it's clear that it came from a broadcast episode probably created for a foreign market with no stereo or 5.1 sound available).
While I did have problems with some of the science in some of the previous episodes (Crichton's escape in one episode was engineered by decompressing into space and using a gun to propel himself to another craft. While it's possible, the amount of time Crichton was in space could have killed him. He didn't look any worse for the wear. It's a nice little tribute to a similar scene in 2001 though).