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Farscape Season 3, Vol. 4

ADV Films // Unrated // August 12, 2003
List Price: $39.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Don Houston | posted September 8, 2003 | E-mail the Author
Farscape is a science fiction cable television series that chronicles the life of an astronaut, John Crichton, who's thrown into another part of the Universe by means of a wormhole. He appears in the middle of a space battle, accidentally killing the brother of an important alien commander just before taking refuge with a group of escaped prisoners of various species. As the series progresses, his life is turned upside down when he is given advanced knowledge of wormholes by an even more advanced alien race. This knowledge causes him to be hunted down by the dominant species of the region that think it will give them a strategic advantage against their enemies.

Movie: Farscape 3.4 is the fourth two disc set of season three that chronicle the life and times of John Crichton and the crew of Moya who are all looking to go home and escape the hostile forces that are closing in on them. A brief recap seems in order at this point. Moya is a living spaceship capable of interstellar travel. She is controlled by a large being called Pilot and the crew consists of John, the human, D'Argo, a warrior imprisoned wrongfully by his dead wife's brother, Chianna, a young gal who's morals are flexible, Aeryn, a Peacekeeper who originally was working for the group trying to capture the crew and ship, Rygel, an alien ruler who is the equivalent of a political prisoner, Jool, an alien with unique abilities, and Stark, a former captive of the main enemy (Scorpius) that has some sort of psychic power but has gone slightly mad from his exposure to certain previous events. Here's a brief description of the five episodes here as provided by ADV (to minimize spoilers):

3.14) Infinite Possibilities Part 1: Daedalus Demands:
An Ancient – again taking the form of Crichton's father Jack – appears on Talyn and accuses Crichton of sharing wormhole stabilizing technology with the Charrids, a vicious race allied with the Scarrans. Crichton realizes that Furlow, the mechanic from Dam-Ba-Da depot who once repaired Crichton's module, is the real guilty party. With a Scarran Dreadnought on the way, Jack must unlock the wormhole technology in Crichton's brain to build the ultimate weapon – but must first confront the evil Scorpius Clone in Crichton's mind.

3.15) : Infinite Possibilities Part 2: Icarus Abides:
After disposing of the Scorpius Clone, the Ancient 'Jack' unlocks the secrets to wormhole technology in Crichton's mind—allowing them to build the 'ultimate weapon' to destroy the Scarran Dreadnought before it escapes with Furlow's data. Seeing the value of the weapon, Furlow kills Jack and takes off with it. In the ensuing chase, Crichton is fatally exposed to the highly reactive Partanium that fuels the engine. With nothing left to lose, Crichton volunteers to launch the weapon at the Dreadnought, experiencing first hand the terrifying power of wormhole technology.

3.16) Revenging Angel:
A fight between D'Argo and Crichton over the malfunction of D'Argo's mysterious new ship ends with Crichton knocked unconscious. The Scorpius Clone in Crichton's mind tries to convince him that revenge against D'Argo is the only way to settle the conflict, but John prefers to resolve it in his own head, acting out a Crichton vs. D'Argo cartoon battle set in Road-Runner land. Meanwhile, the ship malfunction leads to the activation of a self-destruct sequence that threatens to blow Moya to pieces. This is a classic episode for animation fans due to the animation used in the "cartoon battle".

3.17) The Choice:
Grieving for Crichton, Aeryn travels to a planet of mystics and frauds and makes contact with a man who claims to be Talyn Lyzcak, her father. Talyn puts her in touch with Seer Cresus, a creature who is able to 'channel' the dead Crichton. Meanwhile, Stark and Rygel search for Aeryn, but first come across an old enemy. Lurking on the planet with malign, warped designs of her own is Aeryn's mother, Xhalax Sun. In the commentary by Claudia Black, she mentioned a number of aspects of the episode but also about her feelings for the show in general.

3.18) Fractures:
Not far from Moya and Talyn's expected rendezvous point, Moya picks up a badly damaged Leviathan Transport Pod carrying a Scarran, a Hynerian and a Nebari – all escaped prisoners – and their Peacekeeper hostage, complicating the long awaited reunion between Moya and Talyn's crew. When the Scarran is shot, it's clear that someone on board is a traitor. Can the crew figure it out before they are all killed? Crichton makes up his mind to go on a suicide mission to prevent Scorpius from discovering the secret to wormhole technology.

Farscape is a solid show for entertaining science fiction fans. There were 5 episodes this time and ADV still made room for plenty of extras. If you want a gem to watch, check out this 2 disc set of quirky fun that I've rated as Highly Recommended.

Picture: The picture was presented in full frame 1.33:1 ratio and looked great! I saw a few artifacts; there was some grain and color saturation in a few episodes this time. The blacks were clean and looked good and the fleshtones were very accurate otherwise.

Sound: The sound options included Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0 stereo English. Both were very solid and superior to the original cable television presentation with some noticeable separation between the channels.

Extras: Behind the Scenes interview with Anthony Simcoe (D'Argo), Commentary for The Choice by Claudia Black (Aeryn), Farscape trailers (to the individual shows), several deleted scenes, alien encounters (learn about the various life forms from each show), set/prop/costume gallery, updated character histories, Farscape facts, credits, ADV trailers.

Final Thoughts: The show always impressed me with it's solid acting, direction, and writing and the simple fact that it was so much different than that which you'd find on television in the USA. Like the last boxed set, Volume 3.3, this one was a winner and any fan of the show should buy it. If you're looking for a science fiction show that provides a unique viewpoint, check it out but start from the beginning so you won't miss anything.

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Highly Recommended

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