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ADV Films presents
Farscape #9 (2001)

"Sometimes it's just too easy."
- Chiana (Gigi Edgley)

Review By: Dan Lopez   
Published: November 26, 2001

Stars: Ben Browder, Anthony Simcoe, Claudia Black
Other Stars: Virginia Hey, Gigi Edgley
Director: Ian Watson, Tony Tilse

Manufacturer: DVXX
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (mild violence)
Run Time: 01h:50m:00s
Release Date: November 27, 2001
UPC: 702727010422
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A- A-AA C-

DVD Review

Farscape: Volume 9 starts things off with Through The Looking Glass,the first post-Chiana's arrival episode. As it begins, Moya's crew are debating whether ornot to leave the ship or stick with her. Since Moya is pregnant, her unstable behavior riskseveryone being caught, so many feel that leaving her would be a wise course of action. The issue becomes moot, though, when Moya attempts to impress the crew bystarbursting away to another place in the galaxy. While travelling, something disastroushappens, though, that splits Moya into two alternate versions of herself with the crewtravelling in and out of each version haphazardly. As Crichton, D'Argo, and the restattempt to find their way out, another problems arises: the arrival of a mysterious creaturethat travels between each dimension and hungers for destruction.

While entertaining and well made, as usual, the episode smacks a bit too much of a ratherclichéd, Star Trek-style storyline. The alternate dimension gimmick isgetting a bit old, what with virtually every sci-fi show using it as a plot point somewherealong the line. Farscape always has a way of taking an established idea like thatand making it entertaining and skillfully made, but it still marks, in my opinion, a lowpoint in the series. The episodes of Farscape that tell a story based more aroundthe characters seem to function better to further things along.
Rating: 2 out of 5 Moyas

Next is A Bug's Life, in which the crew of Moya must make it appear as if thingsare back to their original state. Rygel, D'Argo, and Zhaan pretend to be prisoners, whileAeryn and Crichton masquerade as high-level Peacekeeper soldiers. They must do thisbecause they've been boarded by a Peacepeaker squad intent on taking over the ship tocomplete a special mission. Unfortunately, Chiana, pretending to be a slave girl, decidesto go back to her old tricks of thievery. She tries to steal the package that thePeacekeeper soldiers are attempting to deliver, but only winds up unleashing a strangenew virus being developed for mind-control. As the virus makes its way around the ship,no one is sure who is trustworthy and who remains loyal to the Peacekeepers.

This episode is a pretty good one, thanks mainly to the enlarged cast, which offers a fewmore characters for the crew to interact with. It's also the first episode to really let the newest cast member, Chiana (Gigi Edgley) start fitting into her crew-member shoes. It also marksanother first moment: Crichton imitating a Peacekeeper, which would soon become arunning theme in the series. Overall, this is a needed boost to get over the obvious feelingof Through The Looking Glass.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Moyas

For the last few episodes, things have been moving towards the major event thatessentially defines the second season (coming up soon), which is the birth ofMoya's child. Once born, the little leviathan ship causes a whole new level of plot andprogressive story to emerge. We see less of the single-episode stories (like LookingGlass) and more writing that focuses on future events and a singular storyline. In fact,these episodes are the last of "classic" Farscape. The series now moves on the'Family Ties' 4-hour story which closes season one, and what a ride it has been.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Crystal clear and solid as ever, the image is, at times, breathtaking. Pristine sourcematerial and an artifact-free transfer make the show really come off the screen. Finedetails are clearly visible, and the dark cinematography the show usually has doesn't causeany problems in terms of being too dark or losing details. For something live-action andfull-screen, this is another stunning piece of work from ADV.

Image Transfer Grade: A


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby 5.1 mix is outstanding, filled with so much activity, that it's hard to really everconcentrate on one single element. There are regular sound effects coming from all overthe place and virtually any opportunity for a weird surround trick or front-speakerdirectional effect is well used. The engineering was obviously done to be very wild, butyet precise and balanced. While the Dolby 2.0 doesn't have the split-surrounds or thesame kind of clarity, it still offers a similarly active and loud experience.

Audio Transfer Grade: A


Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 8 cues
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Spriggan, ShadowRaiders, Sin, Samurai X
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Video Profile: Lani Tupu
  2. Conceptual and photo still gallery.
  3. DVD-ROM Weblinks
Extras Review: This disc's big feature is a video profile of actor Lani Tupu, running at 30 minutes. Tupuplays Commander Crayce (who will soon be a much larger character in the show) and alsoprovides the voice for Pilot. Unfortunately, the profile is simply overloaded with footagefrom the show. Literally, only something around 6-8 minutes of the running time is actuallyspent talking to Lani Tupu. There is a photo gallery of Lani Tupu in his various costumes, and the conceptual art gallery is mostly material from the actual shows on this disc. There are ADV previews (Spriggan, Shadow Raiders, Sin, Samurai X) and some weblinks.

Extras Grade: C-


Final Comments

Another solid Farscape entry from ADV, but I really hope the 4-hour season finale is presented on one disc (or in one set).


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