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

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Released 2-Feb-2011

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-A Look Back
Audio Commentary-5 episodes
Featurette-Farscape Cartoon: Revenging Angel
Featurette-Season 3 Theme
Featurette-Farscape Animation In The Making
Interviews-Crew-Sean Masterson (Puppeteer)
Featurette-Costume Design
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 946
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (6)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Pino Amenta
Peter Andrikidis
Ian Barry
Brian Henson
Studio
Distributor

Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Ben Browder
Claudia Black
Virginia Hey
Anthony Simcoe
Gigi Edgley
Paul Goddard
Melissa Jaffer
Lani John Tupu
Wayne Pygram
Danny Adcock
Jonathan Hardy
Kent McCord
Murray Bartlett
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Guy Gross
Braedy Neal
Chris Neal


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
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 third 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 new extras, and for this season most of the previous extras on the Universal sets have returned (see details in extras section below). The box set also includes a three disc set called The Farscape Archives which will be reviewed in the near future.

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 3 across 6 discs.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

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 edition of this season suffered from bad MPEG compression issues resulting in picture break-up especially during fast motion (despite being a significant improvement over the original edition of season 1). This new edition still has a few MPEG artefacts but nothing as drastic as the original edition. The specific issues mentioned in the previous review relating to MPEG compression have been resolved. 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 and Guy Gross 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

Menu

The menu was functional but unexciting including music.

Audio Commentaries

This set features five audio commentaries (three of which are repeats from the previous edition). They are all good natured, informative and easy to listen to. Great to see them on this local release. They are

Disc 6

Season 3 - A Look Back (44:36)

David Kemper (Executive Producer & Writer) hosts a retrospective of the season, episode by episode, covering characters and story developments. Includes interviews with other cast & crew -Not on previous release

Season 3 Theme discussed with Guy Gross (4:32)

Series composer Guy Gross discusses the new title theme composed for Season 3 including what the producers wanted and how he approached it -Not on previous release

Puppeteer Interview - Sean Masterton (8:36)

The lead puppeteer for Pilot discusses the technology and issues involved in their work.

Costume Design (10:06)

Costume Designer Terry Ryan talks us through the various costume choices for the main characters -Not on previous release

Farscape Cartoon (7:49)

Full length version of cartoon used during one of the episodes. Funny take off of Loony Tunes.

Animation in the Making (4:36, 3:26, 2:23, 2:07, 1:53, 2:13, 3:40)

Various comparison of animation stages for the Loony Tunes take-off from the previous extra.

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 stand alone release available globally of Season 3.

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 good quality, with most of the previous extras being repeated and new ones added.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, March 15, 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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