Farscape-The Complete Season One (Beyond Home Ent) (1999)

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Released 2-Feb-2011

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary-Eight Episodes
Featurette-Making Of
Featurette-In the Beginning - A Look Back with Brian Henson
Alternative Version-Directors Cut vs Broadcast Featurettes
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 990
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (6)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Ben Browder
Claudia Black
Virginia Hey
Anthony Simcoe
Jonathan Hardy
Case Slip Case
RPI $39.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Farscape is a well loved Sci-fi television series, made in Australia in the late 1990's, early 2000s. It has been released on DVD before by Universal back in 2005. You can find our review of this first season in that previous release here. The series is now being re-released by Beyond Home Entertainment both as individual seasons and as a box set including all four seasons plus the mini-series, The Peacekeeper Wars.

     In terms of the releases, this new one is a significant step up as it addresses the major issue with the original releases, video quality (see below for details). There are also lots of new extras, although most of the previous extras on the Universal sets have not returned (see details in extras section below). I am not planning to write lots of detail about the show, the previous review gives good coverage of the plot and most readers will only be interested in how this release compares to the previous ones. This set contains all 22 episodes of Season 1 across 6 discs.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is a big step up from the previous release although certainly not perfect.

     The feature is presented in a 1.29:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout considering the age of the show. The shadow detail was quite good. The previous editions of this series suffered from very bad MPEG compression issues resulting in regular picture break-up especially during fast motion. This new edition still has a few MPEG artefacts but nothing as drastic as the original edition. There is some mild grain at times and occasional minor MPEG artefacts. The colour is very good with no major issues to report. There was some edge enhancement from time to time but it was not overly distracting.

     There are no subtitles which is disappointing. The layer changes are fairly obvious.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio quality is very good. This DVD set contains an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack which if anything is a little too obvious in the surrounds. There is lots of front separation as well. Dialogue was generally clear and easy to hear although subtitles would have been useful from time to time. The score by Subdivision is suitably dramatic. The surround speakers were used constantly for music, directional effects such as the worm hole and sounds of the ship. At times they were a little over the top drawing attention to themselves. The subwoofer was well used for thumps, thuds and music support.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    The extras on this edition seem to be mostly new, however, the making of is probably the same one as was on the Universal discs.

Menu

     The menu was functional but unexciting including music.

Audio Commentaries

     This set features eight audio commentaries, which were previously available in other regions, however were not on the Universal set, previously released in Region 4. They are all good natured, informative and easy to listen to. Great to see them on this local release. They are

Disc 6

The Making of Farscape : The Farscape Effect (22:25)

     I am guessing that this is the same making of as appeared on the previous set. It was obviously made at the time the show was made but also gives a clear indication of how much better the show is after its clean up.

In the Beginning – A Look Back with Brian Henson (38:10)

     A 2004 documentary about the show featuring Brian Henson discussing aspects such as the show’s development, difficulties selling the idea, scripting, creatures, characters and more. Also features behind the scenes footage and scenes from the show. Interesting stuff but does contain some spoilers.

Farscape in the Raw (18:52 & 23:05)

    Dissections of different versions of two episodes, The Flax and Through the Looking Glass featuring comparisons between the broadcast version and the director's cut versions. Interesting but probably only for serious fans.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This seems to be the best standalone release available globally of Season 1.

Summary

     A much loved Sci-fi series gets a quality re-release which is a significant step up from the previous version. The video quality is very good and much better than the previous release. The audio quality is very good but maybe slightly overdoes the surround effects. The extras are top quality.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Friday, March 04, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplayLG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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