|DVDs - Region 2 Double DVD Box Set 3.5 (Deluxe)|
The third season of Farscape comes to an end! The Region 2 set includes two discs featuring the final four season 3 episodes completely uncut: "I-Yensch, You-Yensch", Into the Lion's Den, Part 1: "Lambs to the Slaughter", Part 2: "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" and "Dog with Two Bones". The extras include deleted scenes, a David Kemper interview looking back at all of season 3, Rygel, Crais and Scorpius info-pods, 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 prints of the plans of Talyn, seen in "Into the Lion's Den" and the final two lithograph prints.
by Dani Moure
The final four episodes of the season start rather subdued, with "I-Yensch, You-Yensch". This episode sees D'Argo and Rygel have a meeting with Scorpius, to discuss John giving him wormhole technology. On Moya, Talyn destroys a medicals hip, and the crew are forced to shut him down. While the plot is definitely subdued, and after the last episode's cliffhanger you'd be forgiven for expecting this episode to feature the crew on the Command Carrier, this episode is still a very good one, if only for the excellent interplay and bargaining between Scorpius and Rygel. We rarely see the two characters interact, so seeing them work on the same level in the same episode is fantastic. The two blue aliens that take them hostage, however, are extremely annoying and run the risk of detracting from the episode's enjoyment. Nevertheless, it's a fun start that sets up what is to come.
Into the Lion's Den, Part 1: "Lambs to the Slaughter" sees the crew arrive on Scorpius' Command Carrier, with both Scorpius and John sporting I-Yensch bracelets. This episode is truly the one you thought you'd never see, and the opening scene plays up to that perfectly, as Scorpius welcomes John to his ship with no expenses spared. While the crew are still trying to work against Scorpius in secret, John gradually wonders if Scorpius perhaps is the lesser of two evils, but the arrival of a new and formidable foe – Commandant Mele-On Grayza – threatens everything and forces Scorpius to speed things up. The cliffhanger is absolutely shocking and unexpected, sending chills down my spine. There are some truly great scenes here, between the various crewmembers and the their protagonists, and it's extremely well-written. Part 2: "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" is an emotional roller-coaster and possibly the series' finest episode to date. The crews plans to go against Scorpius fail, which leads Crais to make the ultimate sacrifice, and use Talyn to destroy the Command Carrier, causing the death of both Crais and Talyn. It's a very powerful episode, with Crais' final scenes being superb, and the destruction of the Command Carrier being an awesome sight to behold. The episode has amazing music, too, and all in all it is just fantastic, with stellar performances from the entire cast.
The season finale slows things down after the previous episode. "Dog with Two Bones" has the crew taking Talyn's remains to an ancient Leviathan burial ground. They are met with resistance by a rogue Leviathan, that the crew are forced to destroy. All the while, a mysterious old woman has appeared on the crew, and is showing Crichton things through hallucinations, of what his life would be like should he take Aeryn back to Earth. It's an extremely sad episode on varying levels, particularly as we see John come to the realisation that he can't get back to Earth and have Aeryn as well. But he makes the choice of Aeryn, only for her to suddenly up and want to leave. There is an amazing Crichton-Aeryn scene that is high on emotion, and demonstrates the amazing chemistry between Ben Browder and Claudia Black, which leads to a coin toss that ends with Aeryn leaving Moya. She's not alone, as Rygel, D'Argo and Chiana also leave. But as John is alone, thinking in his pod, Harvey visits him and makes a startling revelation about Aeryn. As if that wasn't enough, Moya is swallowed by a wormhole, and John is left stranded in space. It's an awesome cliffhanger, and despite how strange the whole episode feels, it is a joy to watch.
The extras for this final volume pick up considerably, with quite a wealth of them.
This time we get a plethora of deleted scenes; more than ever before, clocking in at over 13 minutes worth. Two are from "Lambs to the Slaughter," four from "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" and from "Dog with Two Bones." Some of these are fantastic. There's a character building scene with Aeryn and Henta talking about their past. Another is an amusing one of Chiana pulling Rygel's finger so he breaks wind to clear the room, and then discuss John's plan. A couple of others cover the crew getting the information they were looking to get from the Carrier for John. We also get the beautiful scene with Crais and Aeryn, which leads to her putting her hand on his face just before he gets on Talyn in "Wolf," and it's a shame this one was cut, because it's extremely short. Another great scene really helps with the story in "Dog with Two Bones" and early season four, where Jool is in Pilot's den and they talk about Jool being reunited with her people on Arnessk, and also Moya visiting the Leviathan burial ground. The rest are from the finale, and include some great scenes from John's hallucinations, including John's bachelor party, a scene with Pilot on show at a circus and D'Argo's hilarious conga. There're also two scenes explaining the presence of a dying Leviathan called Elack, who becomes prominent in earl season four.
Another fantastic extra on this set is a David Kemper interview. It's a fantastic piece, running at almost 45 minutes, with David Kemper looking back and talking about the third season, episode by episode. It includes several other appearances by the likes of Ricky Manning (Executive Producer/Writer), Dave Elsey (Creative Supervisor), Tim Ferrier (Production Designer), Lily Taylor (Story Editor), Andrew Prowse (Co-Producer/Director) and Terry Ryan (Costume Designer). It's excellent to watch and offers some great insights into the season, and makes a great extra.
The info-pods this time are for Crais, Scorpius and Rygel. As always, these text-based extras are an informative look at the character backgrounds. There are no interviews this time, but the set is packed as it is.
The behind the scenes facts are again well worth a look, with several interesting snippets from each episode on the disc.
The original promos this time are back to thirty seconds a piece, although disappointingly, there isn't one for "I-Yensch, You-Yensch." Though it's nothing to do with Contender, the fact that the "Dog with Two Bones" one gives away a part of the ending must have been quite frustrating for US viewers.
Another picture gallery appears here, featuring some behind the scenes photos from the episodes on the disc, including costume and makeup tests, prop shots and so forth.
The deluxe edition extra this time around comes in the form of four prints of the plans of Talyn, which Crais receives in "Into the Lion's Den." Presented in a similar style to the lithograph prints, these are gorgeous to look at, and a wonderful extra to have.
Also included are the final lithographs. Again, these are stunningly designed and a real collector's piece. They're just lovely and the complete set looks great in the album that came with the first deluxe box.
Video & Audio
The video becomes harder and harder to talk about as the Farscape discs have one of the most consistent and best transfers of any TV show. The picture is crisp and smooth with not artefacting that I could see.
The audio is good as always, and on par with the rest of the discs, and again there's little else I can say.
Packaging & Presentation
Yet more delightful covers, as this time the box takes the cover of DVD 3.10, which features a nice shot of John in the foreground, and a cast shot featuring Scorpius, Chiana, Rygel, D'Argo and Aeryn in the background. It looks wonderful and is entirely appropriate for the last box. DVD 3.9 features Crais in the foreground and Scorpius slightly behind, and is also a stylish and suitable cover. The covers this season have been truly superb, and really, Contender deserve a lot of credit for the consistency in style and design.
The menus are still fantastic, with looping clips from season three in the background. There's little to say about them, than what has been said. They've been consistent for the season and are entirely fitting. They just look and feel really nice.
The deluxe box is, well, the same box that they have all been. It looks nice, although a little design variation might have been better.
The end of season three is as epic and astounding as one would expect, and really is not to be missed. The episodes are awesome, and introduce two new characters to the fold, who will become more important in season 4. The extras are superb, with so many deleted scenes and the David Kemper and co. interview being worth the asking price alone. The deluxe edition is well worth buying if only to finish the lithograph prints, though the plans of Talyn are really nice if you like that sort of thing.
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Item: Farscape Season 3 Double DVD Box Set 3.5 (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: 1 x DVD9, 1 x DVD5
Total Running Time: 232 mins (approx.)
Episodes: "I-Yensch, You-Yensch" (44:05), Into the Lion's Den, Part 1: "Lambs to the Slaughter" (44:05) and Part 2: "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" (44:05) and "Dog with Two Bones" (44:06)