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Customer Review

653 of 666 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Show With A Fantastic Makeover, November 29, 2009
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This review is from: Farscape: The Complete Series (DVD)
I first started watching this program somewhere in the Second Season during its initial run on the SyFy Channel at the urging of my wife, who had been an avid viewer since day one. I had seen the Pilot when it was first broadcast, but never watched with regularity (at the time I was working a lot of overtime on Friday nights). I did come away from the Pilot very impressed by what appeared to be a great premise, excellent special effects, and potentially some great characters. Eventually my Friday evening schedule cleared up and once I started watching a couple of episodes I was completely hooked.

There is a definite 4 year story arc here; most of the episodes do tie together as the later seasons demonstrate. I won't elaborate on all the details of the program, mainly because there are many reviews here that do just that. What I will discuss is the quality of the box set that A&E has released, and has done an outstanding job of packaging and remastering the episodes. I had collected the old ADV releases over the years, and they did a good job of reproducing very good audio and video for the most part. What this set has done is go WAY beyond anything that has been on DVD previously. I don't know if this is the case, but it certainly looks as if A&E did a complete makeover on the video and audio on this set, and it is nothing short of SPECTACULAR.

Some quick notes about this wonderful package:

VIDEO: These episodes are presented in their original aspect ratios of 4:3 for Seasons 1-3 and 1:78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen for Season 4. Do not be mislead by other reviewers who claim that the final season of the show (which was indeed the only one filmed in widescreen) is not in its proper format. The quality of the video is STUNNING: details of all levels of color jump out at you, and the detail in close-ups and special effects are truly amazing. (A note here: I watched this on an Oppo BD-83 Blu Ray player which upscales standard DVDs to 1080i). The video is so good, I would swear I was watching a Blu Ray at times; THAT's how good it is. It is a remarkable improvement from the ADV releases of a few years ago (which up until the release of this set, were fetching a hefty price on eBay). I truly was stunned at the video...I don't think this show ever looked this good.

AUDIO: One word: phenomenal. The 5.1 mix totally immerses you in the story. All speakers and the sub-woofer are used perfectly and to to any extremes. The ADV releases had a very good 5.1 soundtrack, but the new A&E version has absolutely jaw dropping audio. Yes, it is THAT good.

PACKAGING: 5 "sets" of DVDs gathered in one glossy box keeping them all together. Each Season has its own "set" with the final set being reserved for a number of special features ("making of" documentaries, mostly). The other Special Features as promised in the description of the set here, are scattered throughout the various discs. I wish the glossy box was a bit more sturdy and easier to access the sets (do you open from the left or right? you decide). A minor quibble though compared to the overall satisfaction I've gotten so far from this new A&E release.

BOTTOM LINE: "Farscape" is truly an incredible show with excellent writing and some fine acting throughout its 4 year run. It would have been nice to have the final 3 hour installment "The Peacekeeper Wars" (which somewhat neatly ties up and concludes the series) included in the box, but rights issues prevented that from happening. You can certainly buy it separately on Amazon (and you REALLY must do so in order to see the conclusion of the show) and keep it next to this on your shelf. Speaking of which, the amount of shelf space saved with this package compared to the original 2 disc ADV volumes is incredible. Even if you own every ADV release like I do, this set is more than worth getting. The video and audio are markedly improved (even though it is never mentioned that the episodes are remastered, one look and you will be able to tell in an instant); and it truly does make a HUGE difference compared with the original ADV releases. The aforementioned amount of shelf space saved is indeed a plus.

Overall, 5 stars for the quality of the show, and this incredible new release with remastered video and audio. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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Showing 1-10 of 26 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 28, 2009 12:10:11 PM PST
Does this "complete series" include Peacekeeper Wars? Or will I need to purchase that separately? One would think that if it's "complete" Peacekeeper Wars should be in there, but studios are silly these days and sometimes don't include everything...

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2009 8:11:51 AM PST
S. C. Koch says:
As the reviewer stated, it's not included due to rights issues.

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 12:32:50 PM PST
Ecostarr says:
Thanks so much for the review of the technical details of the packaging, what is available, what formats it is provided in, and your impressions of the audio and video. I've seen the show so I don't need a rehash of the plot or quality of the series, and plenty of reviewers have contributed those kinds of reviews. It really helps when people provide reviews of the extras, the packing or other changes in what is offered in the particular "version" of a series/movie.

Posted on Jan 16, 2010 3:34:26 AM PST
Obicoke says:
Hi, I live in the UK. We have region 2 here, but I've read somewhere that this will play on a Region 2 also. However, I also noticed it says Region 1. I'm not sure whether to order just incase it wont work. Can you please advise me "Will it work or not!" Thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 19, 2010 2:59:50 AM PST
Thai-ger says:
Hi Obicoke, Region 1 DVD's will not play on a region 2 player you will need a multi regional player. Amazon also warn about region 1 enhancement although this is not a problem I have ever come accross.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2010 8:15:31 AM PST
Hey Obicoke if you need to, get a dvd player and region unlock it (you can do that to the dvp 642 with the remote for instance) and I think you'd be fine.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2010 3:21:47 AM PST
Obicoke, be sure to look for a region-free DVD player with upconversion, so you can get the video in near-Bluray quality. I live in Japan (Region 2, but NTSC, not PAL), so I really need a region-free player (American DVDs are usually less than half the cost of the same ones in Japan), but the one I have is old and doesn't upconvert. My PS3 Bluray player upconverts wonderfully, but it only plays Region 2 DVDs (and can't be made region-free). So I'm shopping for a new DVD player now. Good, cheap, region-free, upconverting players are to be found online, for about $100 including overseas shipping. Just google for them.

Posted on Feb 19, 2010 6:10:57 PM PST
Danny Boy says:
Interesting about the video. The bad news is I own the whole ADV release and was really never satisfied with the video quality. Hate to spend money repurchasing something I already own (and wasn't cheap besides) but my player upscales as well. Hmm, you've got me thinking here...

Posted on Apr 21, 2010 11:13:15 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 21, 2010 11:39:39 PM PDT
Farscape1 says:
i think you are confusing the ADV releases. there were two of them. the second being the "starburst editions".

the a&e release is not superior to the "starburst editions". even if i didn't view them both one could easily tell you that. cramming episodes onto half as many dvds as the starburst editions means one thing...lowered bitrate (degraded quality). and a&e didn't "remaster" anything. do you really think they would expend the extra cost to remaster an entire series, especially one that has a relatively small following????? and if they did remaster it, don't you think they would have marketed it as such???? now the remastered star trek series...that is stunning.

i have an oppo bd-83 as well (and a 60" kuro). i can tell the difference between the upscaled farscape dvds and a true blu-ray feature.

the early starburst dvds came on flipper discs (very bad choice) but other than that, they were a great set.

and hey, don't just take my word for it....

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/reviews3/spinsheet112309.html

the oppo bd-83 will make any dvd look better.....unfortunately, not everyone can own it.

NOTE 1: if shelf space is a concern, then invest in dvd wallets (or cases that DJs use).

NOTE 2: if you can find a good, used oppo dv-981hd player, i recommend getting it. it is easily made region free and it can play both pal and ntsc without having to convert it (if your display can handle both formats). nothing beats the oppo bd-83 at upconverting dvds but the dv-981hd does an admiral job.

Posted on May 3, 2010 12:38:59 AM PDT
L7 says:
I have one question,
what is the difference between this season 4 version in the set, and the ones from 2004 and the other from 2009?
Is there a extra documentary in either, or etc?
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