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ADV Films presents
Farscape #11 (2001)

Crais: Get the hell off of my ship!
Scorpius: Heh..your ship?

- Lani Tupu, Wayne Pygram

Review By: Dan Lopez   
Published: August 22, 2002

Stars: Ben Browder, Lani Tupu, Viginia Hey, Anthony Simcoe
Other Stars: Wayne Pygram
Director: Tony Tilse, Andrew Prowse

Manufacturer: DVXX
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (violence, mild language)
Run Time: 02h:05m:00s
Release Date: March 26, 2002
Genre: television


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A- A-AA- B+

DVD Review

Volume 11 of the Farscape DVD series marks the end of season one. As the concurrent show heads into it's 4th season as I write this, it's a strange feeling to think when this stuff originally aired, I was unsure of its success. In any case, these episodes mark the last two of the four-part Family Ties season closer, which started in Volume 10.

As things start up in Bone To Be Wild, Crichton and his pals have managed to temporarily outrun Commander Crais and the mysterious Scorpius. Hiding in a field of asteroids, Moya's crew figure they can avoid being detected long enough to get out of the whole mess. Strangely, they receive a distress signal from one of the nearby asteroids. Despite the fact that Moya now has a child—the fighting craft called Talyn—the crew decide to investigate. They find a strange, mini-planet overrun by thick vegetation. Since Zhaan is actually a plant, she's rather impressed to be surrounded by such an environment, but D'Argo and Crichton sense some sinister creature lurking about. Sure enough, some inter-stellar nasty has gotten on board their space pod, and after trying to kill it, they damage the ship and find themselves stuck. While they meet a friendly creature, they're unsure of her intentions.

Meanwhile, Aeryn finds herself bonding with Talyn, and Moya seems to approve. Commander Crais finds his control over his missions being lost to Scorpius, who is taking over almost every aspect of Peacekeeper operations. Back on the asteroid, Crichton, D'Argo, and Zhaan find themselves in a situation where they're not sure who to trust, and the two creatures they've met aren't giving them much confidence. While it might seem this story is way off-base from where the season finale is going, it's actually effective. It establishes a deeper relationship between the characters and creates a distinct bond between everyone that the future episodes will build on. It also sets the stage for the future of Crais, who becomes increasingly frustrated with the Peacekeepers handing over his operations to Scorpius. He no longer cares about Peacekeeper goals, but only gaining revenge on Crichton for killing his brother, back in episode 1.

The closer, Family Ties, is relatively complex, but begins when Rygel decides to leave Moya in the asteroid field and travel to the Peacekeeper command carrier to make a deal for himself. He offers to betray Moya's crew in exchange for help to restore his throne on the planet Hyneria (where he was ousted by a coup), but he continually plays for more time. Crichton and the rest obviously want to get their hands on Rygel, but they start considering if there might be a positive motive to it. Regardless, they're in trouble of Rygel gives up their location. Crais decides to take a more personal approach and forces Rygel to take him to Moya by convincing him he's dead anyway once Scorpius gets what he wants.

Crais' scheming is just in time, because Scorpius takes away even more of his authority, leaving Crais with the obvious option of leaving the Peacekeepers and pursuing Crichton on his own. With no forseeable way out of being caught by the Peacekeepers, Moya's crew comes up with a complicated, risky, and seeming suicidal plot to escape, making the Peacekeepers think they're split up and possibly dead. The conclusion of this season leads to an unfinished situation in which all the characters will have crucial elements of their futures decided.
Overall rating for the 4-episode finale:
5 out of 5 Moyas


When these episodes originally aired, I remember having a hunch that this show would be big, much bigger than its first season alone. I could feel that people were responding to the series and were hooked, desperately waiting for Season 2 to kick in. Farscape managed to evolve a lot in its first season alone, and the evolution continued so that the focus of the show always changed a little, every month or so. It's also a great way to grab new viewers when you make your season ender something that just opens up more questions and places for the characters to go. Technically, I guess this makes the Family Ties story arc more of a new beginning rather than any kind of ending and even in retrospect, there's tons of enjoyment in these earlier shows.

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

 

Image Transfer

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


Image Transfer Review: The transfer is typical of Farscape, showcasing a digitally perfect image that's crisp, clean, and free of flaws, artifacts, or any other annoyances. The black level is solid, allowing the darker scenes (which is most of the show) to have superior cinematography and perfectly defined light/dark areas. The color is brilliant and vivid, with everything coming across as realistically as possible.

Image Transfer Grade: A

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby 5.1 audio is packed with effects and power, really embracing the nature of the show. One thing that's always impressed me with Farscape DVDs is the level of attention paid to the ambience in the background, and it hasn't changed here. Almost every scene uses surround effects and directionality to convey the space and feeling of a location or scene. Action sequences just get more wild and immersive. The Dolby 2.0 surround has a lot of this, but lacks the obvious increase in clarity, especially in terms of dialogue and sound effects.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 8 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Gunsmith Cats, Shadow Raiders, Sin, Samurai X
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Video Profile: Executive Producer David KemperConceptual Art
  2. Video Profile: Creator Rockne S. O'BannonVideo Profile: Jim Henson's Creature Shop
  3. Video Profile: Jim Henson's Creature ShopVideo Profile: Producer David Kemper
  4. Conceptual DrawingsVideo Profile: Producer Rockne S. O'Bannon
Extras Review: This disc contains 3 video profile segments (running about 15 minutes a piece), each of which offers some insight into the making of the show and its creation. In this case, David Kemper and Rockne O'Bannon are the guests of honor, and there's plenty of interview footage and discussions of the show. The use of footage from the actual episodes is not as bad as in most Video Profile segements so far. There is also a profile on Jim Henson's Creature Shop, the special effects house responsible for creating the monster and aliens for Farscape. It's a showcase of what goes on behind the scenes and some discussion with Brian Henson, the current head of most of the projects and co-producer for the show. Additionally, there is a small gallery of conceptual drawings and sketches.

Extras Grade: B+

 

Final Comments

While newcomers to Farscape should obviously not start here, those who missed the show's beginnings can now enjoy the first season and all its offerings in excellent quality. Now comes Season 2 on DVD, and more adventures.

 


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