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Region One Season Two DVDs

The first of ADV's second season of Farscape DVDs contains the first four episodes of Season Two. I was especially anticipating this one for the commentary on Crackers Don't Matter by Claudia Black and Ian Watson. It was an interesting commentary, but it really had nothing to do with Crackers Don't Matter. It was more of a conversation between Claudia and Ian about acting in general. I was quite disappointed because Crackers is one of my favorite eps and I was looking forward to hearing what they had to say about it.

As far as the other extras go, the Actor Biography of Ben Browder, Character Backstory of John Crichton, Alien Encounters and Farscape Dictionary: Alien Slang would all be better in a book than on a DVD. They're interesting enough but are only still screens that you read. The conceptual artwork screens are very interesting - I love this stuff - but a couple of them are nearly impossible to see because they're so light. 

There are some deleted scenes that are fun to watch. They don't have any music and the ADR hasn't been done yet so you can hear the characters' footsteps clomping around on Moya. There's a great one between Chiana and D'Argo that gives hints of their developing relationship.


Region Two Season Three DVDs

Contender has done a complete makeover in the format of the Farscape DVDs for season three. The first thing you see (once the initial credits for Contender, Hallmark etc. are finished) is a great montage of scenes from each of the season three episodes that zips past to the new theme music. It's like a great trivia game - what ep is this one from? 

The DVDs come in sets of two and the first one contains the first five episodes of season three. It's the extras that make the set well worth the price. There's the entire Farscape Undressed special that the US SciFi Channel showed just before Season of Death, the SciFi Channel trailer for each episode and a featurette on Guy Gross, the composer of Farscape's music. 

And if that's not enough, there's a section called "Farscape Facts" which contains several screens for each ep with behind-the-scenes information. For example, over a background picture of the Three Stooges, you learn that: "Before deciding to use a clip of the Three Stooges, other options considered by the production team for the 'message from earth' included I Love Lucy, Mr. Ed, and the Marx Brothers."

But wait! There's more! There are two Info Pods, one of Zhaan with several screens of information about the life of Zhaan and her as well as a gallery of stills from season three. The second info pod features Aeryn Sun and contains  info screens and a gallery of Aeryn images. In addition, there's an interview with Claudia Black that looks like it was done during the filming of  Farscape Undressed.

Last but not least are the gallery images of conceptual drawings, costume designs and makeup tests for several of the characters.

 


Region One Season One DVDs

I have no idea why - maybe it's only my imagination - but this version of the DVD (as opposed to the UK version reviewed below) seems to have even better picture quality. Everything is extremely clear and the sound is phenomenal

 Farscape Region One DVD Cover

Since I'm such a behind the scenes junkie, the first things I watched were the commentary versions of Premier and I, ET. Ben Browder, Rockne S. O'Bannon and Brian Henson speak for Premier, and Claudia Black and Anthony Simcoe for I, E.T. Both sets are informative and funny, and as I listened it became obvious that these people love what they're doing and are very proud of Farscape. Claudia and Anthony recorded the I, ET commentary a day or so after the Burbank convention last summer and I imagine Premier was done about the same time. They make quite a few references to the fans, especially the Farscape bulletin board at Scifi.com. They point out things that I never before noticed, even though I've watched both episodes countless times.

Brian Henson talks about Ben Browder

Ben Browder talks about Rygel

There are a couple of other excellent features included on the DVD: a video profile of John Crichton and a making of Farscape that I think were made early in season one, during the filming of Exodus from Genesis. . Both of these were on the UK version and both are outstanding. Several conceptual drawings and pictures of the main characters are also on the disc but, as I said in my review of the UK version, I'm not sure a DVD is the best place to view still drawings.

ADV, the company that makes the DVDs, in my opinion did an outstanding job. The list price is $24.98, but you can find it much lower, depending on where you buy it, you can pay for $15.99 at Buy.com or $18.74 at Amazon.com. They'll add shipping and handling (whatever that is) on top of that.

 


Farscape Fan Club Kit

   

 Anthony teaching the fans how to speak Luxan

Ben explaining who's the million dollar man.

Of all the Farscape merchandise that I've reviewed, I think I've enjoyed the Creation fanclub video the most. There's just so much cool stuff here - a poster, four 8" by 10" photos, a membership certificate, a letter from Rockne S. O'Bannon, a membership card, and a pretty nice box to keep it all in - but the coolest of all is the video that's included. It's nearly an hour long and was taken at the Farscape Convention in Burbank in August of 2000. This alone is worth the $33.95 price tag. The footage is about evenly divided between the on-stage appearances and backstage interviews with the cast and other members of the creative staff. If you were there, the video brings back a lot of wonderful memories and gives you a lot of new information from the backstage interviews. If you didn't make it to Burbank, you'll get a good idea of what it was all about.

 

 

 

Backstage with Claudia Black and Gigi Edgley

Creation Entertainment, the producer of the video and the people who run both the Farscape Fan Club and the Official Farscape Conventions, has chosen some of the best bits from the convention to put on the video. You can hear about Gigi Edgley's encounter with the border patrol, learn how to speak Luxan, hear about Farscape's beginnings, and watch Ben hug his fans (not me, unfortunately). Claudia talks about her first meeting with Ben, and Virginia talks about why Zhaan is her dream role.

Another perk of the Fan Club is their monthly e-mail newsletter. It contains interviews, news, reviews and more. If you want to join, go to Creation Entertainment's Official Fanclub web page and sign up. The price is $33.95... In my opinion, money well-spent.


Music CD from the Original Soundtrack

This bit of Farscape "stuff" is really worth the price. The music we hear every episode is usually very much in the background, enhancing the story but not overwhelming it. It's a delight to really listen to it. The first thing you hear when you start the CD is the Farscape Theme without Crichton's voice-over (or the advertising gabble the SciFi Channel drowns it out with at the end of the episodes). Premier is next and you can almost see Farscape One spinning through the wormhole while you listen. Eight other Season One episodes are represented, each with its own distinctive music by SubVision, who also composed the theme.

Inside Pages of CD Booklet

Season Two has music from six different episodes with most having more than one selection, and finishes with the Farscape Theme. I was glad to see that two of my musical favorites, The Way We Weren't and Beware of Dog, are included here.

There's a small blurb on each of the music creators - the three Neals from Season One's SubVision and Guy Gross from Season Two. There's also a short a paragraph on the series itself. A little bit more would be welcome, but I suppose then it would be a book and cost more. And they did leave plenty of music for the second CD. It can't come out soon enough for me.


Region Two Season One DVDs

 

Inside Cover DVD 1

Extras Menu DVD 8 

First of all, let me warn you that these DVDs are region 2 and will not play on a region 1 DVD player. If you live anywhere except Japan, Europe, South Africa, and the Middle East (including Egypt), you’re pretty much out of luck for now. Although some computer DVD players will allow you to switch among regions, they’ll only allow you to do this 4 or 5 times before it becomes unchangeable. If you want more information on this whole DVD region code business, check out the DVD FAQ. It will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about DVDs. And don’t forget that the region 1 versions (USA and Canada) will be out starting early next year.

Now, that being said, on to the review. These DVDs come in sets of two, each disk having either 2 or 3 episodes on it and at least one of the pair has some extra features. Each disk comes in its own case, and two cases are packaged in a box. When the boxes are lined up together on a shelf, the spines read “Farscape”.

 

Conceptual Art

Conceptual Art

The extras range from fantastic to so-so. The first set has a great documentary called “Behind the Scenes of a Cutting Edge Sci-fi Show”, video profiles of John Crichton and Aeryn Sun, the original Henson trailer, and for PC DVD ROM only, a very cool Farscape screen saver. Succeeding sets have character profiles of Zhaan, D'Argo, Rygel, Moya and Pilot, the costumes and the Creature Shop. The first few of these are interesting, but the later ones are pretty repetitive. A few of the disks have galleries of artwork, featuring original conceptual drawings for the series. These are interesting but I’m not sure a DVD is the best place to view them because they’re just drawings, no motion or sound.

Terry Ryan talks Costumes 

Producer Matt Carroll
talks about Pilot and Moya

The episodes are, of course, wonderful. They each have several extra minutes that weren’t broadcast in the US. Some bits are just a couple of seconds at the beginning or end of scenes that were shown here, but there are some whole scenes added. I hope when the region 1 versions come out, they’ll have the extra time in them, too. The sound and picture qualities are typical of most DVDs – astounding audio, astounding video. I heard and saw things in the DVDs that I never noticed while watching the broadcasts or my videotapes of the episodes.

I was disappointed to find that there are no commentaries during the episodes, although I’ve heard that the US versions will have them. And there is no closed captioning either.

If you live in the UK, you can purchase these directly from Contender , but they won’t export to non region 2 areas. If you live outside of region 2 and know that your player is compatible with region 2, try Black Star


Farscape is owned by The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Entertainment, Nine Network (Australia) and the Sci-Fi Channel. No copyright infringement is intended and no financial gain has been made by any of the staff of this web site.