Saturday, January 23, 2010

DVD Review: Farscape Megaset

It’s been ten years since we first travelled across the universe with astronaut John Crichton. To celebrate the show’s tenth birthday A&E Home Entertainment, alongside the Jim Henson Company, have released a box set that’s almost perfect. I’ll get to why it’s not quite perfect later.

The set is gorgeous to look at even with out cracking it open. Black, blue and silver really give the packaging depth. This isn’t the first time the series has been released on DVD, and I credit the poor design work done on the original releases accountable for that.

While the outside sure is pretty, its what’s on the inside that counts (just like you’re mother always told you). All 88 episodes of the series are split between four boxes, the fifth is dedicated solely to bonus material and documentaries.

All in all the collected array of content is standard for a box set release, but unlike other sets this one’s pretty interesting. Rockne S. O’Bannon, the show’s creator and Brian Henson, producer and son of the legendary Jim Henson really give some interesting insight into what it took to put the show together and keep it on the air for as long as they could.

Of course, the really good stuff is the show itself. Farscape wasn’t the first bit of original programming on the SyFy Channel had on the air but its what set the tone for what was to follow. With out Farscape we wouldn’t have hit shows like Eureka or Warehouse 13. Heck, we might not have been given the chance for the re-envisioned Battlestar Galactica.

Farscape lasted from 1999 until 2004. It would have continued if not for its’ production cost. NBC, SyFy’s parent company, has been known in the past ten years to be notoriously cheap, and as a result they don’t like putting too much money into their programming.

As a result Farscape got the axe. That didn’t mean it was the end though. Due to a huge fan response to the show being canceled with out notice, a special mini series, The Peace Keeper wars was made in 2004 to tie up loose ends and give some closure to the series.

The Peace Keeper Wars is not included in the set, making the series incomplete. Anybody who goes into committing to this box set thinking it’s the complete picture will be sadly mistaken.

Here’s where the problem is. With out the Peace Keeper Wars series its incomplete. The fourth season of the show was cut short by the cancelation and to the uneducated viewer will just end, and strangely at that.

Is the box set worth picking up? Yes. If you’re a die hard fan of the series. If you’re new to Farscape? The individual seasons are available for sale as well. If you like good science fiction this is a show for you.

The set retails for anywhere between $59.99 and $159.99. If you decide to buy it you might want to think about getting the Peace Keeper Wars as well. You won’t be disappointed. Share in the wonders John Crichton saw on the other side of the universe.

Carl Keyser
Staff Reviewer

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