|DVDs - Region 2 Double DVD Box Set 3.4 (Deluxe)|
The third season of Farscape continues on DVD, with death, depression and animation! The Region 2 set includes two discs featuring the next four season 3 episodes completely uncut: Infinite Possibilities, Part 2: "Icarus Abides", "Revenging Angel", "The Choice" and Infinite Possibilities, Part 1: "Fractures". The extras include deleted scenes, D'Argo info-pod (including Anthony Simcoe interview), Pilot info-pod, behind-the-scenes episode facts, original SciFi episode trailers, gallery of stills featuring concept artwork, character and prop photography. The limited Deluxe edition also includes a full colour, framed duplicate animation cell from "Revenging Angel," a comm. badge replica and two more lithograph prints.
by Dani Moure
This set begins with the conclusion to the last episode in the last set, which sees a not so surprising turn of events, that packs a huge punch nonetheless. Infinite Possibilities, Part 2: "Icarus Abides" sees a swift resolution to the cliffhanger of Harvey taking over John, and we discover that the neural clone is dying. With the help of Jack, Harvey is permanently expelled from John's mind. But things aren't going well on all sides. Furlow decides she will snatch the wormhole tech for herself, while a Scarran boards Talyn, ahead of the arrival of a Dreadnought. With so much going right for the crew, this is a tour-de-force of emotions, as we witness the joy of both John and Aeryn knowing the neural clone has been eradicated, but then the sadness at John's ultimate fate. From the moment he comes into contact with the radiation, you know it's all over, and yet it's played so expertly by the cast that it really is one of the series' most heart-felt and emotional moments.
Back with the Moya adventures, "Revenging Angel" takes chances that most would never have expected. When John is knocked unconscious because of D'Argo, he falls into a coma, and we take a look inside his mind as he battles against various emotions and realises his reason for living. Sounds simple enough, but there's a twist. We're in John's mind, where he just happens to be seeing things as an old Looney Toons cartoon. Yes, it's animated Farscape, and it's an absolute blast. It fits together amazingly well with the live-action happenings, as we see D'Argo constantly chasing John, and Harvey acting as his conscious, and egging him on to go for revenge. The animated Aeryn is fantastic when she appears, and helps John realise that Aeryn is his reason for living. With some wonderful character scenes between Chiana, Jool and D'Argo outside of John's mind, this episode is a real winner that really works as a study of Moya-John's state of mind.
As if one character study wasn't enough, we return to the Talyn crew's adventures for "The Choice". The premise is simple, and the plot thin. Following Talyn-John's death, the crew visit Valldon, a planet of mystics and seers, where Aeryn attempts to contact John. The episode sees the return of her mother, Xhalax, and also an alien impersonating her father, Talyn. In terms of plot, the episode is poor, but to look at it that way would be missing the point entirely. "The Choice" is dedicated to looking at Aeryn and how she is reacting to John's death, and we get a really good look at her character. It's very, very emotional and Claudia Black puts in possibly her finest appearance in the series to date, as she shows Aeryn's feelings perfectly. This is a real winner.
The final episode on the set sees the long-awaited reunion between the Moya and Talyn crews. "Fractures" sees Talyn arrive at Moya's location, but not before Moya has been visited by a group of escaped prisoners – a Nebari, Hynerian and a Scarran. While it may have been nicer to dedicate the entire episode to how the crew feels now they're back together, the balance between the plot of who is a traitor and the return of the Talyn crew is pretty good. While in places, it feels far more like an early season two episode than season three, that's not necessarily bad. The main cast deliver some great performances, with the first meeting between Moya-John and Aeryn in particular being a fantastic scene. This episode is a lot of fun, and the final scene sets up the season finale.
This time around, there are a fair few extras, considering there was a dip in the last volume.
We get almost five minutes worth of deleted scenes, with one from "Revenging Angel," one from "The Choice" and four from "Fractures." They're mostly character building scenes, with a couple of really nice ones, including John and Crais talking about the death of Xhalax, and an extended scene with Jool and Crais, working on the Boolite. "I don't get it? How do you do it? 'Cos I don't do anything wrong, and everyone still wants me gone." Poor Jool.
The info-pods this time are for D'Argo and Pilot. As always, these text-based extras are an informative look at the character backgrounds. The D'Argo one also includes a nice Anthony Simcoe interview, with him talking about all sorts of things, from his favourite episodes to what he thinks about the show and its philosophy. With it running at just over 13 minutes, it's fairly substantial, and again, thankfully, the padding with scenes from the show is minimal.
The behind the scenes facts are again well worth a look, with several interesting snippets straight off the set. They're text-based, and presented in a similar way to the "Did You Know?" portions of my reviews.
I won't complain about the narration on the promos again, although I still think it should follow the original. It was a little irksome that this time, they're all the sixteen-second versions. Of course, these are what Contender were given, so I can't really blame them, but the longer promos are nicer (although, I believe for these episodes, these were the longest versions being produced). The one for "Fractures" is particularly good with its tease, though.
Finally, as always, we finish with the obligatory picture gallery, featuring some behind the scenes photos from the episodes on the disc, including several on location from "Icarus Abides." As always, they're a nice inclusion and nicely presented.
This is by far one of the better Deluxe sets for extras. First, the duplicate animation cell is wonderful. Since "Revenging Angel" is a personal favourite, I can safely say that I adore this extra. A cell from the episode is a great piece of memorabilia to own.
The comm. badge replica was something I worried about after the Qualta Blade in the lasts et, but that worry was unfounded as it's an excellent replica and, from what one can see on screen, looks just like the real thing.
Also included are two more lithographs. Again, these are stunningly designed and a real collector's piece. They're just lovely and personally I'd finish the deluxe sets just for these.
Video & Audio
The video is great, as always. Crisp and clean, it looks fresh and there were no blemishes or problems that I could see.
The audio is also good as always, and it's always been nice to have a 5.1 mix.
Packaging & Presentation
The box for this set takes the cover from DVD 3.8, with Aeryn taking centre stage, and a nice picture of Chiana holding Hubero from "Fractures." Aeryn's is the promo pose of her holding the huge gun, but the picture is nice and the box looks great. The cover for DVD 3.7 sees D'Argo in the forefront, with Stark looming in the background. Again, it's a nice cover, and it's really hard to fault any of the covers on the Farscape DVDs because they're all so lovely this season.
The menus are again fantastic, with looping clips from season three in the background. They are just wonderfully designed, look really great and professional, and really surprised me. Everything is well laid out and access times are minimal, and the style of the menus really fits with the feel of season three.
The deluxe box is much the same as before, and while nice, it would probably have been better if something about these boxes had been changed, other than the occasional slight variation in hue. But it still looks nice.
The DVD is, as always, well presented, with some nice deleted scenes and a great interview with Anthony Simcoe. The episodes are outstanding, and while "Fractures" is perhaps a slight dip below the others, as it's more a transitional episode to reunite the crew ready for the finale, it's still well worth a look. To be honest, if any one of "Icarus Abides," "Revenging Angel" or "The Choice" were on this set, I'd say buy it. With all three, what are you waiting for?
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Item: Farscape Season 3 Double DVD Box Set 3.4 (Deluxe)
Recommended Retail Price: £24.99, £39.99 for Deluxe edition
Distributor: Contender Ltd. (under Kult-TV label)
BBFC Rating: 12
Region: 2 (PAL - Europe, Australia)
Picture Format: Pal 4:3
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Number of Discs: 2
Format: 2 x DVD9
Total Running Time: 192 mins (approx.)
Episodes: Infinite Possibilities, Part 2: "Icarus Abides" (44:05), "Revenging Angel" (44:04), "The Choice" (44:05) and "Fractures" (44:05)