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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 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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VINE VOICEon 12 September 2010
At last! Farscape finally reappears on DVD again, and at a much(!) cheaper price than ever before. So if you like Firefly, you've got an I.Q. and you won't settle for second best, then you'll love Farscape...

So how good is Farscape? Well... before Farscape arrived on the scene one early evening on BBC2 I'd been a fan of Deep Space 9. When I say 'fan' I mean that out of a 22 episode DS9 season about 3 episodes would be good and the remaining 19 would pass the time without actually being particularly interesting... but hey, there was no other sci-fi on t.v. so I watched them regardless, and at least they were better than enduring the Next Generation (a series so pompously dull that even the Borg became boring).

And then suddenly BANG!!! Farscape exploded onto the screen, a sci-fi series where at least ninety percent of a given season's episodes were fantastic and the remaining ten percent were merely very good. Don't believe me? Each 45 minute episode crammed so much incident into it that it felt more like one and a half hours had just whizzed passed. Farscape threw out more ideas in an episode than DS9 and and TNG did a season (for instance at one point John Crichton gets duplicated, a storyline that in Star Trek - or any other series - would have constituted a single episode. Here Farscape took the idea and ran with it - and it's consequences - for the best part of a season).

Anyway I'm running out of space so here's a quick overview -

Season 1: Good, often very good, and the last few episodes will leave you breathless as arch villain Scorpius is introduced, although occasionally some of the CGI hasn't held up that well (just like most other sci-fi CGI) and there are a handful of early filler episodes while the writers search for a direction).

Season 2: Farscape really hits it's jaw dropping stride. The whole season explodes with characters and ideas, leaving other sci-fi series choking in it's wake.

Season 3: Just when you think the series can't get any better it does... and then some. There's no other way of describing it, this season is just staggeringly jaw dropping from start to finish. Outstanding.

Season 4: The reason - in retrospect - Farscape got cancelled. For the first 8-ish episodes the writers completely drop the ball and lose the plot completely. Some are adequate, a couple are atrocious. But DON'T DESPAIR, because after these episodes are out of the way it rapidly starts ascending the heights again, leaving most other sci-fi in it's wake... but it's too late. Stargate SG1 ain't anywhere near as good but has more fans, so the Sci-Fi Channel drops Farscape to pay for new Stargate episodes... and to add insult to injury Ben Browder and Claudia Black wind up being recruited into it's ranks.

Season 5 mini series Peacekeeper War. Miraculously, after having cancelled Farscape before it's time, Sci-Fi were persuaded to bring it back for one last hurrah. Peacekeeper War ties up a lot of loose ends (for instance in a throw away moment that most other series would have laboured over for an entire episode, it's explained exactly why peacekeepers/sebaceans look remarkably like humans) but naturally enough it's all over too soon... although let's face it, it's a miracle we even had this.

In short, Farscape's greatness (and as it turned out it's Achilles heel) is that whilst most episodes were self contained stories, many of it's background plots stretched out over several episodes, which for some reason audiences are prepared to stick with in soap operas but not in sci-fi series (which is weird as most sci-fi fans are even bigger addicts than soap fans). In fact despite all the gunfire exploding across the screen more than half of Farscape's fans were apparently women, which I suppose says it all in a world where spotty fanboy morons happily endured Andromeda despite the fact that it was complete and utter pants...

But trust me - if you loved Firefly then you'll love Farscape, and as villains go Scorpius is up there with Vader.
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on 2 December 2010
It is fantastic that farscape is now back on boxset.

However, I have found that many of the discs in my set, while they look fine, vibrate terribly in my dvd player. I don't know if the discs are unbalanced, or what else could cause this. I have tried them in two other dvd players with the same result.

This is a pity because it detracts from a great series.
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VINE VOICEon 12 December 2011
"Farscape" came at a good time providing a bridgeduring a key time when most science fiction on TV was "Star Trek" or nothing else ("Babylon 5" excepted) and it brought a much needed dollop of humor, fascinating storylines and great characterizations. It's true that the series presents a hodge podge of ideas that were successful in other shows from "Star Trek" to "The X-Files" but what was great as with all things that are an amalgamation of other ideas from other shows was how it was put together.

"Farscape: The Complete Series" is, well, somewhat incomplete. While it includes all four seasons it doesn't include the mini-series "Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars" due to licensing issues with Lion's Gate (which released that title)so you'll need to keep your DVD set for that until the latter is released on Blu-ray.

The Blu-ray presentation for "Farscape" suffers a bit from the fact that it was produced prior to studios thinking of high definition. The show was shot on film but the visual effects were done in digital standard definition that wouldn't be a problem but the show was assembled in standard video as well and the 35mm source prints/negatives are nowhere to be found.

Having said that the New Video used a number of digital techniques to enhance the SD picture and bring it into the high def realm pretty effectively.

Be aware however that "Incubator" has the dialogue slightly out of synch with the picture on the Blu-ray.

Subtitles ARE on the Blu-ray release.

If you adjust your expectations that this ISN'T going to look as good as, say, "Battlestar: Galatica" on Blu-ray or even the original "Star Trek", you'll enjoy this set. Should you buy it? That depends on how picky you're going to be about teh image quality here but this does look marginally better than previous editions.

As a result we have a Blu-ray presentation that isn't in 1080 instead A&E and New Video the distributors here had to go to the best source possible the PAL video (which has higher resolution than U.S. NTSC)thus while this isn't in high definition it DOES look slightly better than the the regular DVD's in particular because the higher bit rate for Blu-ray allows the show more "breathing" room. The show looks soft but there's no way around that. Detail is better than the 2009 DVD's but the compression artifacts that were problematic for the DVD set released in 2009 aren't as problematic here. Likewise, this is a huge upgrade over the "Starburst" editions of the series put out a couple of years back.

The audio is a big upgrade with a lossless 5.1 presentation that is quite powerful and well done.

The special features from the previous 2009 set have been carried over for this set with one new high def featurette included looking back on the show. We get mulitple commentary tracks for a number of episodes (with the first season getting the most).

Summary: -video quality: Is soft but with better detail than most of the DVDs I've seen of the show because the producers used the higher resolution PAL video masters. The encoding and use of compression here is an improvement as well helping the picture quality. It's a marginal upgrade in image quality though.

Audio: Sounds brilliant with a nice, immersive 5.1 lossless mix.

Special Features: All of the special features from the 2009 A&E/New Video release are included with one new high def special featurette.

There are 31 commentary tracks. We also get deleted scenes and TV spots.

The first season of "Farscape" is a bit uneven but the show finds its footing by the second season and was positively on fire once Scorpious was introduced as a character.

I'd still recommend this as long as you adjust your expectations on the video quality of the series particularly if you can get it at a good price.

Series: 4 1/2 stars
Image for show: 3 (translated as good)
Audio: 4 1/2 stars
Special Features: 5 stars
Overall average: 4 stars.

Recommended but keep in mind it's not from a high def source but still improved.
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on 30 August 2016
Complete Far Scape not really as this set does not include the Peace Keeper Wars. It does clearly say that it is only the series so I did know before hand. Interesting inter-racial relationships in space. Enjoyed this when it was on tv but missed too many episodes when it was moved from regular times / days without any notice. Very pleased with the blu ray version.
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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 6 September 2010
I've always loved this show - the great strong deep characters, imaginative storylines, brilliant story arcs, excellent production, and witty writing - put simply this IS the final word in Sci-Fi for the 2000's. The past box sets are getting so expensive now, it's great to see this re-release. We older fans will have the chance to go back and re-visit this awesome universe, and I truly envy newer fans experiencing it for the first time - they're in for a wild ride!! It's an absolute blast! Already at the top of my Xmas list!!
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