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ADV Films presents

Farscape 2.2 (2001)

Rygel: This will involve deceit and trickery.
Chiana: At last, we're playing to our strengths.- Lani Tupu, Gigi Edgley

Stars: Ben Browder, Anthony Simcoe, Claudia Black
Other Stars: Lani Tupi, Wayne Pygram
Director: Tony Tilse, Andrew Prowse, Ian Watson

Manufacturer: DVCC
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (violence, some language)
Run Time: 03h:24m:00s
Release Date: 2002-08-27
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A- B+AA+ C+


DVD Review

Season 2 of the sci-fi juggernaut Farscape progresses nicely, introducing more depth to our familiar characters while ushering in new ones. Now that Moya's crew is on the run even more so than before, the series takes a more grim tone, where there is little hope they will ever see freedom, but rather have to continue hiding for the rest of their lives. Things are never easy for the crew, as is evidenced by this new selection of episodes in the second disc of the Season 2 collection.

The Way We Weren't
Chiana, the newest member of the crew, stumbles across a video recording that reveals some of the Moya's past, the living spacecraft they inhabit. She discovers that the previous pilot was killed by Peacekeepers in order to install the current pilot creature. This fact disturbs Pilot greatly, but it gets worse when it is revealed that Aeryn herself was the Peacekeeper who performed the deed. A rift is created between Aeryn and Pilot, and many problems arise because of the dark past behind how Moya became the ship she is and how she became pregnant. Aeryn offers to allow Pilot to kill her in order to have closure to the issue, but Pilot himself wonders if his own past was not partly responsible for the fate of the ship. While this episode is mostly flashbacks and backstory, it still functions well to deepen Pilot as a true character, as opposed to a simple element that gets various reactions.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Moyas

Picture If You Will
In this episode, Chiana comes across a special mirror that, supposedly, will foretell the future. Unfortunately, it seems to predict rather sinister things in the future of Chiana, and the crew decides that it would be best to get rid of the mirror, but nothing will keep it from functioning or mysteriously coming back. Zhaan begins to mentally collapse when the mirror predicts the violent deaths of the entire crew, but eventually she discovers the secret behind the mysterious artifact, and it involves elements that go all the way back to the episode That Old Black Magic, from Season 1. It's an entertaining episode, but I think it went a bit too far with stretching the audience's suspension of disbelief, which is better understood once you've seen the episode.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Moyas

Home on the Remains
When Moya runs low on food, Zhaan has a strange reaction to her malnutrition. Since she's plant-based, she begins releasing a harmful spore from her body which aggravates allergies in the entire crew. They stop the ship near the corpse of a giant space monster whose body is being harvested for all its natural, valuable resources. Hoping they can get some food from some of the scavengers and space pirates hanging out in the dead body, Moya's crew tries to make some deals, but discover that only working in the mining operations will net them any reward. The problem is, there's a strange monster supposedly roaming about the giant corpse making things very difficult. This episode essentially functions to make each character a very separate being, because their reactions to the situation and what they offer to do comprise much of the main story. It's not the best episode, and it has some predictable turns, but it works as a bridge into more serious work.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Moyas.

Dream a Little Dream
It's rare that a series doubles-back on itself and actually puts a little more detail into something already come and gone, but this interesting episode takes that strange direction. It tells the story of Crichton and D'Argo's disappearance earlier in the season, but from the point of view of Zhaan and the other crew. When Crichton and Zhaan are stuck aboard a stalled spacecraft that Moya needs to rescue, Zhaan explains to him how she was almost framed for murder on the wrong planet. At first, the story might seem out of place in the grand scheme of Farscape, but it actually functions well to add that extra dose of depth to a situation that was too chaotic to fully tell back in the beginning of the season. It's a good idea, executed well.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Moyas.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: As usual for Farscape, the transfer is pretty much as good as it gets for this material. The amazing clarity and overall attention to detail in the dark photography is impressive to say the least, and always results in a DVD-defining image that never wavers into being artifacted or pixelized. The colors are brilliantly rendered, which is a good thing given the usual wild schemes used to create mood.

Image Transfer Grade: A

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby 5.1 sound mix makes good use out of all the channels by really surrounding the viewer in a true field of noise, making ambient details the focus. The action scenes have a lot of activity and movement to them, but at the same time the track never goes overboard to scream that it's multichannel. The mixing improves on the original broadcast stereo surround by simply expanding how it works. The original Surround 2.0 track is well composed as well, it simply lacks some of the crisp dimension of the 5.1.

Audio Transfer Grade: A+ 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Andromeda, Spriggan, Gasaraki, The Devil Lady
4 Deleted Scenes
Packaging: Double Scanavo
Picture Disc
2 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Farscape Dictionary
  2. Artwork and photo galleries.
  3. Character Backstory: Aeryn Sun
Extras Review: There are no commentary tracks this time around, but there are some interesting galleries of drawings and photos to highlight the design work on the show. Featured are a creature gallery, a spaceship gallery, and a conceptual artwork gallery. Each one highlights some element of the episodes on this disc and allows either a simple look at it or something behind it's original design, the best being the conceptual work. There are some deleted scenes which don't amount to much, but are worth looking into for the fans. The scenes simply show some extended takes and/or additional elements of dialogue cut from the final broadcast. These don't add too much to anything, and it's easy to see why they were first chosen for cuts.

A character backstory guide is presented, this one dealing with Aeryn Sun. For newcomers to the show, this might help flesh out her motivations and goals a bit better, but for those who have watched the show from episode 1, the guide is pretty much only a reminder to what has passed. This volume's dictionary entry defines some technical terminology used on the show, much of which is made-up or taken a bit out of normal context. It's interesting, but not as quaint as the alien slang dictionary from the last volume.

Extras Grade: C+

Final Comments

Season 2 comes into its own and sets things off on an interesting note, with good pacing as well. The new 4-episode format for each Farscapevolume is paying off by making the series seem more organized and focused.

Dan Lopez 2002-12-19