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on 18 December 2011
So Farscape finally makes its way to Blu-ray, but it definitely comes with a 'buyer beware'. I say this because, as you may already be aware, the 35mm negatives and prints used to create this landmark cult series have gone on an Australian 'walkabout'... they're nowhere to be found. This led A&E to source the highest quality versions of the episodes in existence, which happened to be PAL 720x576i master videotapes, and employing the use of state of the art upscaling algorithms and other digital trickery, they have created an upscaled 1080p 'HD' transfer. As a result, while you should not expect anything like a series of similar age sourced from original film negatives, the results are still impressive. There is a subtle overall increase in sharpness and detail in comparison to the DVD's, and a definite increase in quality as regards compression... or rather lack of it compared to the previous DVD sets. Contrast and colour have also been tweaked to show the details that were already there in a far better light. What you end up with is a 'psedudo HD', for want of a better description. Of course I'd have preferred real 1080p from 35mm film, but I absolutely love the set all the same. If you don't feel confident of purchasing the set based on what I have to say, seek out the interview online with New Video's Dan Kenny, and the accompanying before and after screenshot comparisons. You will see that the increase in detail is subtle to say the least, but it is there, and there is an overall sharper look to the characters features. Of course it still has a certain softness to it, but I guess that really couldn't be helped given what they had to work with.

This is for all the "it should have come in widescreen" brigade:
The first 3 seasons were SHOT in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio. That's "full screen", or 4:3... i.e. NOT widescreen. Meaning on Blu-ray you have forced black borders at the sides of the screen on a widescreen TV. This is a GOOD thing. It respects the way the show was produced, and to have gotten a widescreen transfer from the source material they would have had to pan scan/zoom. Meaning faces cut off at the eyebrows, or chopping people's legs off. Too much top/bottom screen information is lost, and it looks *ridiculous*. I own a couple of series that got this treatment and it makes for horrible, claustrophobic viewing. Further, what detail was gained from the upscaling process would have been lost. I've added this paragraph to my review in answer to ill informed reviewers low scoring the set or other Blu-ray sets like it (Star Trek The Original Series, for example) for something that was unavoidable. Farscape Season 4 was shot in 1.78:1 widescreen, so that plays in widescreen... filling the entirety of your 16:9 TV.

Seeing as they couldn't give us an all singing, all dancing full HD picture, they have really gone to town on the audio. The DTS-HD MA track is a whole world away from all previous releases that used compression based formats. There are sounds here I have honestly never noticed before, and the sweeping title score really gets the ol' goosebumps tingling. Channel separation is amazing, and the rear speakers are respected as much as the central speaker's dialogue. It sounds amazing... and very punchy.

All the extras from the last DVD set have made the journey over, which will entertain fans for many hours. The audio commentaries from the previous set are also present and correct. Unlike the previous DVD release, we also have subtitles, if only in English. However, the real meat on the bones of the set's features is an exclusive, newly shot 36 minute full HD featurette, 'Memories of Moya', featuring the musings of the stars and production crew as they look back on their time making Farscape. As all the previous DVD extras were made some time ago, this new featurette gives fans a new and fresh perspective as regards the cast and crew's thoughts on Farscape.

Due to licensing issues, A&E were not at liberty to include The Peacekeeper Wars on the set, which is a great shame, but I have it on fairly good authority that the license owner is working on a Blu-ray of the mini-series. Of course a Peacekeeper Wars Blu-ray has already been released in Germany, but the transfer is poor and it apparently contains no extras.

Overall, I'm more than happy with the set. However, I knew what to expect. I'm not so sure impulse buyers or those expecting a crisp true HD picture quality will greet it as warmly. But if they come across my review I'd ask them to consider the future. If they ever buy a larger TV or 2k/4k screen, the DVD's can only ever get worse. This is the best Farscape will likely ever look, at least for many years, and with uncompressed audio it is certainly the best it will ever sound. For fans who already own the DVD set asking if they should upgrade, I'd say it depends on the individual. If you're the type who, like myself, will take that subtle increase in picture quality and be glad of it, of course. Same for those with very large screens, and those capable of decoding the amazing HD audio. This will no doubt leave a good deal of people who will be happy to save some money and keep their DVD sets, or at least hang around for a considerable price drop.
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on 3 September 2010
Farscape is often overlooked in favour of the more mainstream and popular Star Trek and Stargate series where many people have either never heard of Farscape, or been put off by "Muppets". Well that was their mistake because unlike the previously mentioned series Farscape is a truly imaginative science-fiction show that blends great drama, terrific storytelling, wonderful three-dimensional characters that grow and change as the show develops and a healthy dose of comedy.

Also unlike other contemporary sci-fi rivals Farscape endeavours to bring aliens that actually look alien, rather than just facial prosthetics which is the norm. Okay some may not have worked but the Henson's team created a wonderfully diverse and imaginative universe for the stories to take place in.

Farscape features some wonderfully rich characters and none more so than the shows hero John Crichton played by Ben Browder. Crichton a human stranded far from Earth after being shot through a wormhole while testing a scientific theory. He is then brought aboard a ship, a living ship, filled with strange alien life-forms, prisoners escaped from the peacekeepers... I won't say any more as I don't want to spoil you but needless to say the exploits of John Crichton and the crew aboard Moya is a fantastically fun and rewarding experience. Adventures and mystery aplenty, sometimes strange and wacky fun, romance and laughs plus of course a few tear-jerking moments tugging on your heart strings.

I should imagine this box-set is the same as the recent region one release plus The Peacekeeper Wars which if I am correct will make this release literally the most definitive Farscape DVD set to date and should be jam-packed with extras - although you'll have to check-up closer to a release date for the full details to be certain. Regardless it's an amazing series and a must for anyone who loves great television... Available at a terrific price for four complete seasons, 88 episodes in total and the 3hr mini series Peacekeeper Wars!

For any parents put off by the 18 certificate rating that really only applies for one episode in season 2 the majority of episodes are either PG or 12 certificate.

"home on the remains" is the 18 certificate episode from season two.I'd say watch the episode yourself before decieding if you think it's suitable for your kids/teenagers.

There are also a few 15 certificate episodes including...

From season 1 "A Bugs Life", season 2 "Won't Get Fooled Again", "look At The Princess" trilogy, from season 3 "Season Of Death", "losing Time", "Scratch n' Sniff", & from season 4 "Prayer".

The rest are either U, PG or 12 certificates .
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on 22 November 2010
If you know the show, you know what you're getting so no reviews about that.

This set includes most of everything released previously in a single box except for a few features that remain limited to the Starburst series. Those may never again see the light of day if the rights were never acquired by AETN which produces this set now.

What you get are the four seasons on separate doublewide amaray cases - each housing 6 discs with 2 on front and back and 2 on a flapper. Bad point number one here, you can't remove certain discs without removing the other since they are 'stacked' in the case so some minus points there already.

An extra doublewide amaray case holds 6 DVDs of bonus materials with the following content
Disc 1 - includes "The Farscape Effect - BTS of a cutting edge scifi show", "In the beginning - a look back with Brian Henson", "The Flax Director's Cut" and "Through the Looking Glass Director's Cut"
Disc 2 - includes "Union - bonus episode", S2 bloopers, Director's cut of selected episodes (unlisted on content ... haven't viewed it yet)
Disc 3 - Deleted scenes, TV promos, BTS season 3
Disc 4 - Deleted scenes, Save Farscape Featurette, Inside Farscape Villians Featurette, Farscape visual effects
Disc 5 - Farscape Undressed, Music featurette and "Listening in with composer Guy Gross"
Disc 6 - BTS with the cast, Video profiles and Zhaan forever

The final single amaray houses a 2-DVD set of Peacekeeper Wars.

Video quality is great for a show that was produced in standard definition ... don't get your hopes up on a bluray release (don't think it can improve that much anyway looking at the source material). There are negligible and most often unnoticeable compression faults and artefacts but they go past very fast and do not detract from the content material. Audio is the same 5.1 (or maybe 5.0 since it was upmixed from Dolby Surround) and works very well.

Improvements on the US Complete Collection? Well, Peacekeeper Wars is now included as opposed to the US set. The box has been improved and is now a paperboard slipcase instead of the thin box which many customers complained about because it tore easily. Pictures have been uploaded to Amazon UK for you to view the actual boxset contents.

UPDATED : see comments on more details.
UPDATE 28/11/2010 : Further inspection shows the set has poor quality control as each season has DVDs that will not play.
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on 3 May 2015
First Time I've posted a review, why never before, well never had anything that wasn't already covered by someone else! Until now anyway, this is a brief review of Farscape definitive Collection on Blu Ray. Now most people will be aware that this is an upscaled pseudo HD picture as the original masters are currently on Walkabout in Australia. However I wanted to clarify that this is a significant upgrade from stander def picture and offers better image then upscaled image as well. The print isn't perfect the biggest weakness, and this is not in many episodes, is where they inserted stock footage as this was a lower standard to begin with and so is noticeable soft and lacking in fine details. In general you have faith colour with Skin tone and blacks holding up well as does the sfx on the principle characters and puppets. So picture wise a good solid performance I'd rate as 3.5 - 4 throughout.

The Other item often see as a negative is the presentation of 4:3 image which is how it was shot! Now some shows were filmed in widescreen with suitable safe areas etc but Farscape was not one of these from the research I've seen. The quality of the show means after the first few mins you don't notice the black bars and this doesn't affect my enjoyment of the show.

Now audio is where it really shines with new loss less sound tracks. I'm outputting via a THX certified amp 7.1 systems and the audio makes good use of all channels and creates an encompassing sound stage. I feel this makes better use of the soundscape then much larger productions like STNG where the sound mix is less of a strength often feeling sparse. Now from a purely personal perspective I always find upgrade to sound adds more to the viewing experience then just the video. Audio wise I'd give it a solid 5 stars.

Farscape is a show that remains both underrated and a cult classic and whether its brand new to you or you've bought it before on DVD at the current price point its well worth jumping in.
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on 16 November 2010
This is the best value for money Farscape release ever. Taking most of the extras from previous releases and adding in the dressing of Farscape is icing on the cake.

Condensing all those boxsets down was never going to be easy, but they have done a great job. The DVD transfer for region 2 is good, sound quality is excellent, but there are still no subtitles and this has always been a problem with the Farscape DVD's.

Whilst the visuals are good they are not the best they have ever been, the original DVD releases were done at a really high detail level and never been released again in such quality again. This is an improvement over some of the other more recent releases how ever not suffering from the slightly grainy quality that bugged them previously.

This release is a huge space saver, it would have been better if they had used the same clam shell cases used in the Babylon5 rereleases which made a whole boxset take up the same size as a single DVD but these double thickness boxes in a nice slipcase take up a tenth of the space the original DVD releases took up.

This series has been over looked for too long and out of print so people could not appreciate it.

If you want to watch Farscape this is the best way to get it. The price is fantastic, costing less than buying a single season if you wanted the original releases. Considering the extras, quality of transfer, value for money and just general awesomeness of this series it should be in every Sci-fi/space opera lovers collection.

Its highly unlikely we will get a blu ray release of this series so do the geek in your life a favour and get this.
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on 27 October 2012
First of all, I only got the BluRay Box a few days back, so I definitely haven't seen all the discs (yet). I would also like to mention that I paid £43, instead of the £93 that Amazon wants to have at the time of this writing.

My first impression, however, is that it's definitely worth the £43 I paid for it. Not sure about the £93; I don't usually buy 4-season shows at that price.

I'm not going to try reviewing "Farscape" from memory and after watching the first few episodes from the set. Chances are that you already know what you're getting into if you read this.

The BluRay box, unfortunately, doesn't include the Peacekeeper Wars (which are technically not part of the series, although the content is the "what season 5 would have told you" compressed to a much shorter runtime, so it really IS part of the series). This is the reason I gave it 4 stars -- I really don't care if Peacekeeper Wars was produced separately; this may be something that lawyers might be concerned with, but I'm a viewer. And from my perspective, a definitive Farscape collection has to include The Peacekeeper Wars, there's just no way around it.

Also, the BluRays are upscaled SD; this is not from an HD source. Nonetheless, the upscaling seems well done, the audio is impressive (I don't know the DVD box, though), they kept the 4:3 aspect (no cropping or distorting to force it to 1,78:1; let your player or TV set do it if you want it) -- to sum it up, I think those who made the box actually did care about getting a good result.
I did not take another star off; as far I know, they chose to upscale SD because it was the best source that still exists; if there's any truth to the claim that HD-capable sources did exist but have been lost, the blame would have to go to whoever lost them :-)

There's an annoying FBI warning at the beginning (I didn't realize I was purchasing a pirated box?), followed by a few company jingles (like I care who made the discs and want to see it every time I put one of them into my player), followed by the ridiculous "commentaries do not represent the views of the company" garbage before we finally get to see the menu -- which is straightforward and easy to use, and they didn't even disable the mouse like so many other discs do for no apparent reason at all.

As for the box itself, considering that I bought it at "only" £43 it doesn't have the usual bad cheap box design. There are 4 individual booklets, one for each season, with each disc mounted separately, packaged into a decent cardboard box. Nothing fancy, but not the excessively cheap and disc-scratching design that is getting more common every day either. No booklets or other "non-digital" extras.
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on 14 February 2011
Ok, we all pretty much accept that this was a landmark show. The amazingly realised worlds, the characterisations, the mature humourous yet moving script writing, the excellent acting and the effects that, whilst not being stunning, still do the job very effectively ten years later. It also presented some of the weirdest aliens ever seen. And Scorpius? Personally I think he knocks Darth Vader into a cocked hat as the most villainous foil in sci-fi history.

Particular mention to Ben Browder and Claudia Black who turn in quite possible one of the best modern romantic pairings of any TV series. And Browder's overall Johnny-come-lately performance manages to come across as totally unforced and natural. I'm amazed that guy hasn't done more film work!! A crime!

The only gripe I have about this package are the menus. Navigating is awkward with no ability to just go straight into an episode. Also, the menu music is a bit on the loud side, making it tricky when you're trying to watch this late at night while the baby sleeps.

Other than that I don't think there's another sci-fi series out there that even comes close, Firefly might have had it run longer, Babylon 5, whilst I like it enourmously, is just a bit too much of a Star Trek homage and Battlestar Galactica? It is an amazing body of work (as was the sadly canned Caprica) but the existentialist angst does wear you down. Only the early Lexx episodes come close IMHO. Farscape can take you through every emotion and also has some of the straight out funniest lines ever!.

Do yourself a massive favour, at this price its an absolute steal. You'll keep coming back to this wonderful series again and again and again.
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on 22 May 2012
Theres little point saying much about the quality of the show itself.

Since Farscape is a very niche show, which hardly anyone knew about, its very unlikely you would be reading this review unless you had seen the show and loved it anyway.

But if not, the show as one of the most fresh, original, well written, mature shows produced in a long time.

Yes its got muppets in it, but the show is a masterpiece visually in regards to the oustanding puppet work, the amazing creatures on show, the planets and ships they have created. There are no other shows on TV which have pushed the bar as much as Farcape did when it came to diversity in visuals.

The CGI visual effects put a lot modern shows (created years after) to shame in terms of production value.

But the main bit... the HD visuals and sound on the Blu Ray version.

You aren't going to get mind-blowing 1080 HD visuals here as the video is basically upscaled from a lower resolution, but to be honest.... it still looks great. A massive step up from TV broadcast quality and far beyond DVD quality.

The CGI shots look amazing and stand out in contrast to the live action, but even the live action shots are rich in colour and detail.

The sound also jumps out of the screen and its great.

I have no complaint and I think the HD image looks great and the hours and hours and hours of extras is hard to complain about too.
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on 3 December 2012
Splendid box set - looks great, quality of video is fine and all episodes present - what more could you want.

Unfortunately the episodes are not in order...

For correct episode order (which makes more sense when watching), goto [...]

Check out the list before settling down to watch as the 2nd espisode on disc 1 is actually episode 4 according to the list above.

Hope this helps increase the enjoyment of a top quality series.
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on 12 November 2011
I recently bought this item and was thoroughly delighted with it. I watched the series on TV(BBC2-Monday's) and was very impressed with acting. I was especially impressed by Claudia Black. I've seen her in PITCH BLACK and QUEEN of DARKNESS. What a brilliant actress & VERY underrated! I must give it 10 out of 10. Thanks and keep up the good work.
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